Industrials Practice People Moves: September 2018

Over recent months we have seen continued investment in top-level talent for businesses, despite the increasing economic uncertainty facing organisations.

The following Industrial appointments have all taken place across the wider manufacturing sector over the last few months.

If you would like to discuss the manufacturing practice or how Norman Broadbent can help your business, please contact Nick Behan on  or +44 (0) 207 484 0106.


  • Former Nama executive Mary Birmingham has joined Irish housebuilder Glenveagh Properties.
  • STEWART Milne Group has appointed its group finance director Stuart MacGregor to the newly created post of chief operating officer. The move comes following a review of the housebuilder and timber manufacturer’s overall group structure.
  • James Hardie Industries PLC, the world’s top fiberboard maker, said on Friday that Jack Truong, president of the company’s international businesses, will replace Chief Executive Louis Gries.
  • Claude Lora has been appointed cement director at the Global Cement & Concrete Association (GCCA), which was set up earlier this year with ten founding member companies.
  • The Glasgow-based packaging firm MACFARLANE Group has appointed Andrea Dunstan to its board as a non-executive director.
  • Johnson Service Group has appointed Christopher (Chris) Francis Girling to the board as an independent non-executive director with effect from 29 August.
  • Former Carillion managing director Mark Davies has been appointed to the same position at Balfour Beatty and Vinci’s HS2 joint venture.
  • MILLER HOMES Miller Homes, a large UK national house builder, has appointed Scott Chamberlin to its board as divisional managing director with responsibility for strategic land
  • Smurfit Kappa UK has appointed a former SCA Recycling director, Chris Collier, as its new managing director.
  • Bouygues UK has appointed Rob Bradley as its chief executive following the resignation of Lionel Christolomme
  • Kier has appointed ex-Carillion building operations director James Hindes to run its aviation and defence operation
  • Bristol Airport’s new Chief Executive Officer, Dave Lees joins today.
  • Tideway – the company building London’s Thames Tideway ‘supersewer’ tunnel – has appointed a new chief financial officer, Mathew Duncan
  • Aecom this week named Colin Wood as the replacement for its HS2-bound infrastructure boss.
  • Biffa is pleased to announce the appointment of Richard Pike to the Board of the Company as CFO.
  • Richard Tarrant has been appointed head of commercial at Amey, joining the UK-based Ferrovial subsidiary from Renewi where he was commercial director
  • Chris Connolly has joined Persimmon Homes West Midlands as new technical director and is based at its Wolverhampton office
  • Crest Nicholson has appointed Adrian Bohr as managing director of its eastern division.
  • The former boss of Balfour Beatty’s UK construction arm has joined Interserve as a non-executive director, Nick Pollard
  • Mace has brought in two former Carillion bosses to boost its infrastructure team at its Manchester office. Richard Dinsdale has joined the contractor as operations director, while Mark Holmes has been appointed associate director
  • Legal & General Homes has appointed Chris Sly as finance director in a move to strengthen its housebuilding business
  • Former Wates Residential managing director Joanne Jamieson has been appointed to head the North and Midlands operation of housebuilder and refurb specialist United Living
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The Death of the Chief Risk Officer

Since the Financial crisis, the role of the Chief Risk Officer has increasingly come under scrutiny. Regulatory demands, already evolved from Controlled Function to Senior Managers Regime, have made the CRO, a pivotal point in the organisation, responsible for governance. This is the natural consequence of the dire breakdown in corporate responsibility, especially in the pre-2008 Financial Services. But what does the future hold? Is the current incarnation of the CRO fit for purpose, or does the CRO role need to change?

Technocrat vs Business Executive

It’s a difficult question, and the answers differ depending on the maturity of an organisation’s risk model. The CRO must balance their inherent risk based ethics with the inherent need for a commercially successful organisation. A number of our clients seeking support with senior Interim Risk roles, have similar challenges. They have felt an existing or departing CRO can stifle business opportunities with a blinkered approach to governance. One client even referred to the “Black Hat” syndrome. In these cases – already three this year – we were able to assign a strong Risk Interim Professional. Their role was to ‘reset’ the 3 lines of defence model, and begin an enterprise wide process of reviewing the risk appetite of the business. Additionally, they paved the way for a permanent successor, allowing that person to come in ‘clean’, with no perceived baggage. related to a potentially difficult transformation. These are the benefits a flexible resourcing model offers – build, buy, rent.

A wider business challenge?

The future of the CRO is now considered a serious Board level challenge. A recent Deloitte report asked more than 300 C-suite and Board members from around the world to share their views. Interestingly, Chief Risk Officers were not part of the report. It noted that “nearly 9 out of 10 organisations recognize that risk management should focus on value creation—not mere risk avoidance”. In addition, 58% said in the future, CROs need to devote significantly more time to strategy, over double the number CROs currently spend.

Compounded with the need for strategy and value creation, Boards are now coming up against a shortage of strong, senior risk professionals with the right commercial attitude. As the latest EY/IIF Bank Risk Management survey reported: “banks are now firmly focused on the difficulties of operationalizing the three-lines model in a way that delivers both effective risk management and cost efficiency …… they also expect talent shortages across all three lines in areas”. This has increased the demand for Interim Transformational CROs and other senior Risk Professionals, as they bring experienced, considered, quick and effective change to organisations in transition, allowing a more considered process to appoint the permanent successor.

But what of the Regulator?

The FCA has been vigorous in its drive to ensure that the Financial Markets can never return to the pre-2008 practices, and that consumers are protected as much as possible. However, it has also recognised that for organisations to be successfully commercially viable, and ultimately benefit their staff, shareholders, members and the economy, the CRO mandate has to evolve. Recently, Jonathan Davidson, Director of Supervision for Retail and Authorisations, said at the Building Societies Conference: “My main message to you here today, is that, although change brings risk, it also brings opportunity”. He went on to encourage engagement with the regulator, saying “please maintain a two-way dialogue with us – especially if you are looking to pilot innovative products. Do consider engaging with our Innovation Hub, which can provide additional support, or consider testing your product ideas through our sandbox.”  This is backed up by the experiences of two clients in recent searches whose choice of a senior risk individual was influenced by comments from the regulator who ‘gave the nod’ to our Interim appointments because they wanted to encourage entrepreneurialism as well as governance.

Summary – the rise of a new breed of Chief Risk Officer

In summary, the CRO of tomorrow requires a wider, more strategic set of skills to fulfill the leadership role that is required. No longer will the role be solely focused on Risk downside, but one where they play a key part in the commercial success of the business. CRO’s need to shift the focus from Compliance to Customer, from Controls to Efficiency and lastly, but most importantly, from the Transactional to the Strategic. As part of this transition, businesses need to ensure they have the right people at the right time, and when gaps appear, utilise the strong Interim market across Governance, Risk and Compliance.

One of our clients, the CEO of a large Insurer, summed this sentiment up nicely: “we had a problem, but wasn’t sure what it was. It turned out to be a people issue, with old style thinking from our risk team frustrating our growth. Fortunately, the Interim that Norman Broadbent supplied us with got to grips with it quickly, made significant changes and put in place a solution – we are now on the right track”.

To find out how Norman Broadbent Interim Management may help your business or to discuss this topic further, please contact Mike Davies, Director of Norman Broadbent’s Risk Practice, for a confidential and initial conversation on: or +44 (0) 20 7484 0067

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The Decline of UK Manufacturing

Following all the positivity around manufacturing in recent months, the sector had its weakest month in over two years as the impact of the global economic slowdown and the reality of a no-deal Brexit saw exports decline in August for the first time since April 2016.

This was backed up by the IHS Markit/CIPS latest UK Manufacturing Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI), which showed that manufacturing growth had hit a two-year low. The PMI dropped from 54 to 52.8, its lowest level since immediately after the Brexit vote, and a weaker than predicated forecast.

Businesses were also further hampered as the prospect of leaving the European Union in March next year without any trade agreement in place started to weigh more and more on the sectors mind. The Sterling weakened against both the dollar and the Euro as a result.

Also, with the rebounding international trade, which helped sustain the global recovery last year fading and the trade war between the US & Europe and the US steel tariffs in place this all added to the challenges manufacturers are facing and had an impact on production.

Taking into account that manufacturing accounts for around 10 percent of the UK’s economy, the slowdown in growth in August is likely to have a negative impact on the economy in the third quarter. This is a big concern for the country and reaffirms the importance of manufacturing to the UK.

However, it’s not all doom and gloom. A number of Norman Broadbent Interim Management’s clients are seeing this as an opportunity and are driving and embracing transformation in order to differentiate themselves and their products from their competition. The main areas of focus by these businesses have been in:

  • Innovation and product development
  • Efficiency
  • Technology – specifically to deliver improvements in supply chain effectiveness and customer experience & engagement

As part of this continuing change and transformation, we are being asked by an ever-growing number of our clients to support them as they look to tap into a more diverse range of people and experience, from both inside and outside the sector; not only to deliver change, but also bring an often missed diversity of thought.

If you would like to learn more about how Norman Broadbent Interim Management could support your business, please contact Nick Behan, Director & Head of our Industrial Practice on:

+44 (0) 20 7484 0106


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Be Bold: Why Diversity Matters

Diversity and Inclusivity are hot topics in most businesses, particularly following the recent report from the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS). Focussed on the FTSE 350, it made for lurid headlines and uncomfortable reading. With the moral argument won a long time ago, businesses increasingly understand how more diverse talent pools can bring solutions to a range of challenges. As McKinsey stated in Diversity Matters:

“We know intuitively that diversity matters … it’s also increasingly clear that it makes sense in purely business terms.” 

One part of the business world where a more diverse workforce can make a difference quickly, is within smaller companies. Smaller companies tend to be nimble, quicker to adapt, and often in need of creative solutions which a more diverse talent pool can create. For example:

Diversity enhances performance and fosters innovation: McKinsey stated that companies in the top quartile for gender or racial and ethnic diversity were more likely to have financial returns above their national industry medians than companies in the bottom quartile. When companies commit themselves to diverse senior leadership, it brings a level of competitive advantage in attracting and retaining talent. As they argue, more diverse companies “are better able to win top talent.”

Actions related to diversity help mitigate reputational risk: In the information age, Boards increasingly understand the need to manage their public profile. This includes the need to reflect society as a whole, and the clients/markets they serve. Shareholders are similarly aware and often exert pressure on Boards to become more inclusive.

From our many years of experience advising companies in this space, we recommend four clear actions for Boards to consider:

  • Implementing and communicating targets and objectives around future Board and Senior Leadership composition
  • Adopting a longer-term focus to strategically build a more diverse executive talent pipeline, feeding future board appointments, and creating diversity at leadership/sub-leadership levels
  • Adopting and carrying out clear policies around recruitment processes to promote diversity and minimise the risk of unconscious bias
  • Understanding in detail any ‘diversity’ pay discrepancies and having corrective action(s) in place.

There is clear evidence that a more diverse workforce creates positive business and commercial outcomes. Because smaller companies are so adaptable, diversity can impact operations much quicker than amongst larger organisations. As the larger traditional corporates fight to remain competitive and relevant, it is the smaller, nimbler businesses embracing diversity who can outpace their rivals with new thinking, greater creativity, and more disruptive business models.

If you would like to discuss this topic further or find out how Norman Broadbent can help you then please contact Mike Brennan, Group CEO, for an initial and confidential discussion.

Michael J Brennan

Group Chief Executive Officer

Norman Broadbent Group plc / +44 (0) 20 7484 0000

This article was originally published in the Quoted Companies Alliance’s Board Briefs.

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