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March 30, 2009

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Jackson appointed non-executive director at SectorGuard

65-year-old Jackson enjoyed a distinguished career in the British Army spanning 45 years, and is a former Chief of the General Staff of the British Army and commander of the Nato Kosovo Force.

Sir Mike was awarded the MBE in 1979, the CBE in 1992, the CB in 1996, the KCB in 1998, the DSO in 1999 and the GCB in 2004.

Since retiring from the Army back in 2006, he has taken up a number of consultancy and Board positions. Currently, the former military stalwart serves as a senior advisor with PA Consulting Group and sits on the Rolls Royce International Advisory Board. In the recent past, Jackson has held positions with Numis Securities and the Risk Advisory Group.

Jackson commanded the British in Iraq, United Nations forces in Kosovo and peacekeeping missions in Bosnia. He was originally commissioned into the Intelligence Corps, specialising in the threat from the Soviet Union. He transferred to the Parachute Regiment and was on duty in Northern Ireland on what became known as Bloody Sunday. He was later promoted to Commanding Officer of 1st Para.

The Pristina Incident

In the 90s, Jackson served in the NATO chain of command as a deputy to Supreme Allied Commander Europe, General Wesley Clark. He memorably refused Clark’s order to block the Russian-occupied runway at Pristina airport, telling him: “I won’t start World War III for you.” Had he complied, British and Russian troops might well have come into armed conflict.

In the wake of the Iraq invasion in 2003 it was Jackson, as Chief of the General Staff, who ordered an inquiry into images released by the Daily Mirror depicting alleged torture of Iraqi prisoners by British soldiers. The Mirror’s Editor Piers Morgan was later fired, of course, after the pictures were shown to be a hoax.

Sir Mike remains extremely proud of his soldiers’ record, while openly critical of Donald Rumsfeld’s post-conflict strategy. He has also questioned the Ministry of Defence’s understanding of the ethos of the armed forces, and the debt they are owed by Government.

Breadth of experience, depth of knowledge

Speaking about the news, Charlie Cleverly – SectorGuard’s managing director – told SMT Online: “We’re delighted to welcome someone of the calibre of General Sir Mike Jackson to the Board. His breadth of experience and depth of knowledge will undoubtedly be a great addition to our company, particularly in light of the recent acquisition of Legion Group. We all look forward to working with him on our future development.”

On his new appointment, General Sir Mike Jackson stated: “I’m very pleased to be joining the board at SectorGuard plc, particularly so at a time when the company has just acquired Legion Group. This is an exciting advance, and I very much look forward to helping the company continue its successful progress.”

SectorGuard announced the completion of the Legion deal on 20 March. The Company is also pleased to announce that it has successfully raised GB pound 1.98 million via a Placing – as also outlined in the official announcement of the Legion deal on 11 March – the proceeds of which have been used to reduce the SectorGuard term debt on completion of the Legion acquisition.

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