John Lovell

Coats appoints new Group Pensions Director

Coats plc, the world’s leading industrial thread and consumer textile crafts business, has appointed John Lovell in the newly created role of Group Pensions Director.  John will be responsible for overseeing the Coats’ pension schemes worldwide and GPG plc’s* UK pension schemes and joins from J Sainsbury plc where he was Head of Pensions.

The role includes developing the pension strategy for Coats and GPG and working closely with the trustees of the various schemes to ensure its delivery.  John will report to Richard Howes, Chief Financial Officer.

Richard Howes, Chief Financial Officer, Coats plc, said: ‘I am very pleased John has joined Coats. He has extensive experience of overseeing large pension schemes in the UK and internationally as well as the complex and changing regulation of the pensions sector.  He will play an important role in the development and delivery of the pension strategy across the Group.’

The principal Coats pension plan is in the UK and GPG also has two UK pension plans. There are also a number of other Coats plans in countries across the world with the US plan, which is in surplus, being the largest.


John’s previous roles include Director of UK Pensions at Lafarge UK, the building materials company, and UK Pensions Manager at National Grid.  He has also worked at Grant Thornton, was Pension Development Manager at Italian insurance company, Generali, and started his career at Friends Provident Life Office (now Friends Life).  He has a law degree and is a Fellow of the Pensions Management Institute and an Associate of the Chartered Insurers Institute.

John will be based at Coats’ head office at Stockley Park in West London and starts on 2 March.


For more information and to request an image contact:
Kristina Blissett, Communications Manager
T +44 (0)208 210 5084, M +44 (0)7714 539887

Notes to Editors

*Coats is the last remaining asset of Guinness Peat Group plc an investment holding company.

About Coats

With a rich heritage dating back to the 1750s, Coats is the world's leading industrial thread and consumer textile crafts business, at home in more than 70 countries, employing over 20,000 people across six continents. Revenues in 2013 were US$1.7bn.

Our well-known brands and strong relationships with customers and consumers mean our products and services meet current and future needs. Our company-wide understanding of our business partners and consumers, coupled with the deep expertise of our people, builds trust and certainty.

Coats’ pioneering history and innovative culture ensure the company continues leading the way around the world: providing complementary and value added products and services to the apparel and footwear industries; extending the crafts offer into new markets and online; and applying innovative techniques to develop products in new areas such as tracer threads, aramids and fibre optics.

  • One in five garments on the planet is held together using Coats’ thread
  • 100 million car airbags are made using Coats’ thread every year
  • Coats produces enough yarn to knit 70 million scarves a year
  • In three and a half hours, Coats makes enough thread to go to the moon and back
  • 400 million pairs of shoes are made every year using Coats’ thread
  • One million teabags using Coats’ thread are brewed every 10 minutes
  • Thousands of surgical operations take place every day using Coats’ thread
  • Thomas Edison used Coats’ thread in 1879 to invent the light bulb
  • Coats produces enough thread to reach around the Equator every 11 minutes
  • Coats is the second largest and fastest growing global zip manufacturer