About us

Founded in 2015, ICA Mutual – or the International Cotton Association Mutual – is an independent discretionary mutual created to fund the enforcement of ICA arbitration awards and provide legal expenses cover for ICA arbitrators if sued in overseas courts.

ICA Mutual is committed to being the leading provider of funds for enforcement of arbitration awards. It aims to the set the standard in award enforcement, risk management and loss prevention advice.

ICA Mutual is a not-for-profit organisation aimed at assisting its members rather than providing dividends for shareholders.

Chairman

Ray Butler

Ray Butler

Cotton Outlook

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Ray joined Cotlook Limited, a long-established private sector company based in Merseyside, in 1975, after graduating and working for a short time in the UK textiles industry.  Cotlook monitors and reports on cotton supply and demand and cotton market developments, and is the source of the Cotlook A Index. Ray is now the leading shareholder and Managing Director. He served as Chief Editor for 25 years before passing the baton on, but is still heavily engaged in all of the company’s activities. During his career, Ray has served as a UK delegate to ICAC Plenary meetings and as a member of that body’s Private Sector Advisory Panel. He continues to participate as a speaker in numerous international cotton industry events, predominantly in Asia. In 2001, Ray was president of the Liverpool Cotton Association, the predecessor of the ICA, for which he also served as president in 2011.

Directors

David Adcroft

David Adcroft

ex-Louis Dreyfus Company

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David began his career in cotton in the mid 1970’s as a management trainee for the Liverpool merchant house of Bunge & Co, eventually moving to work for them in Antwerp Belgium. In the late 1970s he returned to Liverpool to join Louis Dreyfus (LD) as a junior trader. This was the beginning of a 38-year career with Louis Dreyfus, taking him in 1982 to Memphis, USA to join the newly acquired Allenberg Cotton Company. After 10 years in Memphis he moved to Antwerp, Belgium to help launch LD Cotton International. After 15 years in Antwerp he moved to Geneva Switzerland, to join LD Suisse on the cotton platform. During his final three years in Geneva, David was Global Head of Compliance and Risk Training at LD. David has held various trading and management positions over the course of his career and is well versed in all aspects of the cotton merchanting business. He is a past President of the ICA, a past Chairman of ACME and previously a representative of the cotton trade for the cotton advisory council of the European Union. David retired in June 2015.
Stephen Burrows

Stephen Burrows

Brabners

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Stephen is a career banker who spent forty years with the Royal Bank of Scotland, including senior roles in Houston and New York. Retiring in 2001, he became Chairman of Brabners, and until recently held the position of Regional Chairman of Coutts in Merseyside and North Wales. He became an Ambassador for Professional Liverpool in 2013, having stepped down as Chairman in 2012. He was recently appointed Honorary Consul to the Republic of Latvia in Liverpool. His charitable work includes being a Director and Trustee of Wirral Hospice St Johns, a member of the Investment Committee of the Liverpool Council for Voluntary Services and Chairman of the Empowering Youth Foundation. He is a member of the Advisory Board of the University of Liverpool Management School and a member of the Board of Regents at Liverpool Hope University. He is married to Gillian, with whom he has two daughters and three grandchildren. He is an active member of Caldy Golf Club, and enjoys golf, football, rugby, opera and theatre.
Martin Fone

Martin Fone

ex-Charles Taylor

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A Classics graduate from Trinity College, Cambridge, Martin has held throughout the latter stages of his career senior underwriting positions and/or operated at director level at major insurance and reinsurance companies and consultancies. He has a strong technical underwriting background and is very analytical in his approach. He is also very client-focused in the way he transacts business. Martin has a long track record of developing non-traditional insurance solutions for clients, such as captives, mutuals and pools. He has created numerous captives and two insurance mutuals. Martin has a proven track-record of innovation, of being able to identify new business opportunities, develop products, obtain underwriting support and market to clients and distribution sources.
Mark Qualter

Mark Qualter

Royal Bank of Scotland

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Mark has spent most of his career in Corporate banking and joined RBS in 2001. Prior to his current role of MD Real Estate SME, he has held various senior positions in the bank including Head of Strategy for the Customer Solutions Division, Director of Strategy for RBS Invoice Finance, UK Head of Corporate Invoice Finance and Regional Director, Corporate Banking for Yorkshire and Humberside. Mark is a Governor of Manchester Metropolitan University, Chairman of the Audit Committee and a member of the Nominations and Governance Committee. He has also been a member of the Yorkshire and Humberside Regional Council for the CBI. Mark has an MBA from Manchester Business School and a BA (Hons) in Hindi and Sinhalese from the School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London. Outside of work, Mark is a keen (street) photographer and a practitioner of Krav Maga.
Peter Wakefield

Peter Wakefield

Wakefield Inspection Services

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Peter began his career in the art of cotton controlling in 1979 at the Associated Surveyors and Test Laboratories Company Ltd in Thailand, where he spent three years. He was then invited to take up the position of Manager in the Taiwan office of Edward T. Robertson & Son. He returned to Liverpool in 1990 to take on the role of European Manager, where he was at the forefront of the company’s expansion into the Former Soviet Union. In 1993, a new opportunity arose, resulting in the purchase of parts of Edward T Robertson & Son and the formation of a new company, Wakefield Inspections Services. Peter was appointed Managing Director and continues in this role today. During his career Peter has been a Past President of the International Cotton Association and Chairman of the Committee for International Cooperation between Cotton Associations, Peter is now based in Shanghai.

CEO

Kai Hughes

Kai Hughes

ICA

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Kai began his working life in 1979 as an officer in the Royal Navy. During the last 10 years of his military career Kai worked in the Ministry of Defence. His career in cotton began in 2000, when he joined the then Liverpool Cotton Association as General Manager, where he remained until 2003. He then took on the role of Director of Legal Services and Governance at Bolton University. In 2004 Kai took on the same role at Manchester Metropolitan University. In 2008 Kai returned to the cotton industry as Managing Director of the International Cotton Association (ICA). In addition to his ICA role, Kai became Managing Director of ICA Bremen in 2011. Kai has a Master’s degree in Business Administration (MBA) and a BA in Psychology. He is a trained mediator and has completed the CEDR Accredited Mediator Course.

Company Secretary / Executive Officer

John Gibson

John Gibson

ICA

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John has three Masters degrees, was Called to the Bar in 1990 and is a practising Notary Public. He concluded his professional education with a post graduate diploma in law (notarial practice) from Maddingley Hall, University of Cambridge. Prior to joining the International Cotton Association to head up its arbitration department, John worked as a notary public and head of notarial services at Hill Dickinson LLP and has experience in running mutual organisations following his earlier career within the City of London’s UK Defence Association (Thomas Millers), as well as the L&L in Liverpool.