Hayley Parsons OBE will become a Non-Executive Director at Cardiff Blues as Wales’ Capital Region continues to modernise its board.
The 45-year-old entrepreneur and investor founded the financial services comparison website GoCompare and becomes the first female to join the region’s board.
Parsons was formally appointed to the board on July 18 and is the first addition since Alun Jones took the reins as chairman in January.
Jones has welcomed the appointment and believes the keen rugby follower will prove an invaluable asset to the company.
He said: “We are absolutely delighted to welcome someone of Hayley’s calibre to the board of Cardiff Blues and have no doubt that she will prove an invaluable addition.
“Hayley has a diverse and hugely successful business background and will bring strong commercial, marketing and social media experience, which will be beneficial to the region’s business plan.
“This is just the latest step in the modernisation of our board and our corporate governance and demonstrates our desire to become more diverse and representative of all of our stakeholders.”
Parsons, who was born and raised in South Wales, began her career at the Cardiff-based Admiral Group and was a central figure in the launch of Confused.com.
She left the company to establish GoCompare in 2006, which quickly grew to become a dominant player in the price comparison industry. The mother of two sold her shares in the company in 2015.
In 2012, Parsons was awarded an OBE in the New Year’s Honours list for ‘services to the economy’ and apart from her two main passions – her family and rugby – she is a staunch supporter of entrepreneurship in Wales.
She is a member of Inspire Wales, an investment consortium made up of 20 successful Welsh business people who work to find exciting businesses to invest in and mentor. The Cwmbran-born entrepreneur has also been appointed to advise the Welsh Government on the development and delivery of its entrepreneurship agenda.
However, she is now relishing the opportunity to lend her vast expertise to her lifelong passions and believes Cardiff Blues have enormous potential.
She said: “I am very proud to be the first female board member of the Cardiff Blues. I am a huge supporter of Wales in terms of its economy, its people and the its potential, as well as Welsh rugby and the regions.
“In this role as a non-exec director, I will be looking at things from a fresh perspective and with a new approach. There’s a huge amount of potential here and there’s a lot more we could, and should, be doing to achieve that and I’m looking forward to getting stuck in and helping in any way I can.
“With the changes being made at Cardiff Blues at the moment, I am confident that we can develop a sustainable business model for the region, make sensible business decisions, while growing and developing as a business to deliver success. I’m very excited about joining the Cardiff Blues board and making a contribution to Welsh rugby."