VIRTUS People | Innovation & Industry Experience

People

VIRTUS' management team is one of the most experienced in the industry, with a breadth of experience across major global IT service businesses spanning software development, hosting, IT services, cloud and networking as well as design, build and operation of mission critical data centres.

VIRTUS has consistently led the way in bringing innovation to the industry and continues with its innovation roadmap, enabling customers to stay ahead of the curve in their own ventures.

Steven Norris

Steven Norris

CHAIRMAN

Steve Norris was Conservative MP for Oxford East and then Epping Forest between 1983 and 1997. He was Parliamentary Private Secretary to three ministers, William Waldegrave at the Department of Environment, Nick Ridley as Secretary of State for Trade and Industry and Kenneth Baker as Home Secretary. In 1992 he became Minister for Transport in London and held the post until 1996 becoming one of London's best known political figures in the process. In 2000 he stood as Conservative candidate for Mayor of London and was selected to run again as their candidate in 2004. He is a former Vice Chairman of the Party.

Steve has combined his political life with a successful business career as a high level business advisor, working with corporations and blue chip companies. He is currently Chairman of BNP Parisbas Real Estate UK, of Soho Estates Ltd and of VIRTUS Data Centres Ltd and is an advisor on public affairs issues with special emphasis on transport and the built environment. He is Chair of the Data Centre Alliance and the National Infrastructure Planning Association, a Fellow of the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors, a Companion of the Institution of Civil Engineers and an Honorary Fellow of the Association of Project Managers. He is President of ITS (UK) part of the global network of IT systems.


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Neil Cresswell

CEO

With over 25 years of experience in the data centre, technology and banking industries, building successful, high growth, profitable businesses with a reputation for quality, innovation and customer service, Neil joined VIRTUS Data Centres as CEO in April 2013. Since 2013, Neil has grown VIRTUS from one data centre of 3MW to now being the 3rd largest UK data centre provider with three of London’s leading facilities providing over 35MW of capacity. His leadership has transformed VIRTUS into one of the most innovative and fastest growing data centre providers with customers including leading global organisations in the financial services, technology, media and education sectors and funding from Deutsche Bank, Brockton Capital and ST Telemedia.

Previously, Neil worked across UK, Europe, Asia and the U.S for companies such as BNP Paribas, IBM and Fiserv and was previously with Savvis (a leading global supplier of cloud and data centre service and a division of CenturyLink Inc), for 6 years, where he was Managing Director of the EMEA Region and the global financial services sector. He holds an honours degree in Business Studies from the University of Westminster and is a graduate of the Henley Business School Advanced Management Programme.


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Daryl Seaton

CFO

Daryl is one of the co-founders of VIRTUS Data Centres, which was incorporated in 2008, where he continues to play a key role in the day to day management of the business.

Daryl has 20 years of commercial experience including the last 9 spent within the property and data centre sectors. He started his career in JP Morgan where he gained his CFA qualification, then moved into Private Equity, working for 3i Plc, and then HBOS before working in a property development company and then co-founding VIRTUS. His experience spans a wide spectrum of investment, fund-raising and management across multiple geographies and sectors.


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Robbie McGhie

CTO

Robbie has been in the data centre industry since 1999 and is responsible for the Design, Build & Operate aspects of the business. Prior to joining VIRTUS, in early 2013, he was based in Prague working for CE COLO, a new subsidiary company of GTS CE and had overall operational responsibility for all 14 data centres in the CE region. His key achievements included introducing an operational excellence scheme and creation of a new Operations and NOC department across the full portfolio of sites, ownership of numerous expansions and new builds and key participation of strategic acquisitions.

Prior to CE COLO, Robbie worked for Interxion, a leading pan-European data centre and colocation services company where he spent 4 years in the Netherlands before being relocated to London to head the local Operations department. Robbie has an Electrical background having studied at Falkirk College of Technology.


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Darren Watkins

MANAGING DIRECTOR

Darren began his career as a graduate Military Officer in the RAF before moving into the commercial sector. He brings over 20 years experience in telecommunications and managed services gained at BT, MFS Worldcom, Level3 Communications, Attenda and COLT. He joins the VIRTUS team from euNetworks where he was Head of Sales for the UK, leading market changing deals with a number of large financial institutions and media agencies, and growing the company's expertise in low latency trading.

Additionally, he sits on the board of a one of the industry's most innovative Mobile Media Advertising companies, Odyssey Mobile Interaction and is interested in all new developments in this sector. Darren has an honours degree in Electronic and Electrical Engineering from University of Wales, College Swansea.


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Venessa Wilson

MARKETING DIRECTOR

Venessa Wilson, VIRTUS' Marketing Director has worked in marketing within the IT industry for over 20 years.  Her experience includes working within a wide variety of corporates including Equinix, HP, IBM, Cisco and 3Com, and for 7 years as the Client Services Director of a specialist IT Marketing agency, working for clients including some of the world's largest companies. Venessa has extensive experience of working within new and emerging markets, most recently being based in the Middle East, and within IT start-up environments.


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Helen Kinsman

HEAD OF COMMERCIAL OPERATIONS

Helen Kinsman, Head of Commercial Operations has worked for VIRTUS since its formation in 2008. Prior to VIRTUS, Helen's main area of expertise was in property acquisition, management and development of sites in Asia and the UK. While her role still incorporates some of these aspects the main focus is on Commercial Operations; including bid management, contract negotiation and service delivery.