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Willmott Dixon revamps board in post-Brexit bid

Willmott Dixon has promoted two chief operating officers to its group board, in a bid to “adapt to life after Brexit”.

John Waterman from Willmott Dixon Construction and Mike Hart from Willmott Dixon Interiors will join the divisions’ parent board from the start of 2019.

Wilmott Dixon chief executive Rick Willmott said the changes were “another prudent step to ensure we are in the best possible shape to adapt to life after Brexit”.

“While our network of customer relationships remains deliberately focused on built environment projects in the public sector, especially those procured through collaborative frameworks, it’s also been encouraging to see many of our private sector customers being sufficiently confident to continue to grow market share ahead of Brexit,” he added.

The Willmott Dixon boss also said the firm had been working with financial institutions to ensure the contractor was seen as “best in class” by the banks.

“We have also worked hard to ensure that our banks view us as ‘best in class’ with no bank borrowings or overdrafts, whilst maintaining the best supply chain payment terms and payment record in the industry,” he said.

Mr Willmott’s comments come as many tier ones warn that banks are cutting their exposure to the construction sector.

Last month, Kier chief executive Haydn Mursell said the contractor’s banks and lenders had “changed their position” rapidly after deciding to cut exposure to the entire construction sector.

In October, Willmott Dixon’s group finance director Philip Wainwright resigned after almost three years with the firm.

Mr Wainwright’s resignation followed a 2017 group restructure, which saw its Be Living housing development arm and Fortem property services business spun off.

He was replaced in his role by chief financial officer Graham Dundas.

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