Board succession update

Source: RNS
RNS Number : 5867F
Watkin Jones plc
19 July 2021



For immediate release

19 July 2021



Watkin Jones plc

('Watkin Jones' or the 'Group')


Board succession update


On 14 April 2021, Watkin Jones plc (AIM:WJG) announced that as part of its long term Board succession planning, Grenville Turner had given notice of his intention to retire as Chair during 2021 and that Phil Byrom, Chief Financial Officer, had also given notice of his intention to retire in 2022. Following an active recruitment process, the Board is pleased to announce the appointments of a new Chair-designate and CFO-designate.


Appointment of non-executive director and Chair-designate

Alan Giddins is appointed as non-executive director and Chair-designate with immediate effect. It is intended that Grenville will step down from the Board in October 2021 and that Alan will take over as Chair, having allowed time for an orderly handover.


Alan is currently Chair of Hill & Smith Holdings PLC, the FTSE 250 international group creating sustainable infrastructure and safe transport solutions, having joined in October 2017 as the Senior Independent Director, before assuming the role of Chair in October 2019.  Alan is also a non-executive director and investment committee member of Big Society Capital Limited, the UK's largest social impact-led investor.


Alan brings a wealth of board, investment and ESG experience, having been Managing Partner and Global Head of Private Equity at 3i Group plc ('3i'), and sat on the boards of a number of 3i's largest private equity investments. Prior to joining 3i in 2005, Alan spent 13 years in investment banking advising a broad range of quoted companies. He qualified as a chartered accountant and has a degree in economics.


Appointment of Chief Financial Officer-designate

Sarah Sergeant is appointed to the Board as Chief Financial Officer-designate with effect from 6 October 2021. Phil Byrom will step down from the Board, and Sarah step up to CFO after a suitable handover period.


Sarah is currently the Chief Financial Officer of the UK & Ireland region at Compass Group PLC, the FTSE 30 food and support services company. She has held a number of senior finance and operational roles over her 13-year tenure at Compass, including Group Financial Controller, M&A Director, and CFO of the Asia Pacific region, based in Singapore. Sarah brings considerable financial, strategic and operational experience from across the commercial spectrum. She is a chartered accountant.


Grenville Turner, Chair, commented on the Board appointments: "We are delighted to welcome Alan and Sarah to the Board. Alan brings considerable expertise particularly in guiding companies through the execution of their growth strategies and Sarah brings significant financial and operational experience working in complex businesses. Their experience will be invaluable to Watkin Jones as we continue to grow the business."



For further information:

Watkin Jones plc

Grenville Turner, Non-Executive Chair

Richard Simpson, Chief Executive Officer

Tel: +44 (0) 20 3617 4453

Phil Byrom, Chief Financial Officer


Peel Hunt LLP (Nominated Adviser & Joint Corporate Broker)


Tel: +44 (0) 20 7418 8900

Mike Bell / Ed Allsopp


Jefferies Hoare Govett (Joint Corporate Broker)


Tel: +44 (0) 20 7029 8000

Max Jones / Will Soutar

Media enquiries:


Henry Harrison-Topham / Richard Oldworth

Jamie Hooper / Steph Watson


Tel: +44 (0) 20 7466 5000



Disclosures required by Schedule 2(g) of the AIM Rules for Companies:


Alan Clifford Bence Giddins, aged 55, holds or has previously held the following directorships and partnerships in the last five years:


Current appointments

Appointments held within the last five years

Big Society Capital Limited

3i Investments plc

Buyouts C&C 2010A LP

Boketto Holdco Limited

Growth C&C 2010 LP

Buyouts CCC 08-10 A LP

Hill & Smith Holdings PLC

Harper Topco Limited

Pan European Buyouts Co-invest 2006-08 LP

Pan European Buyouts 2004-06 LP

PE 2013-16 DBD LP

PE 2013-16 Pool LP

PE 2016-19 Co-invest LP

PE 2016-19 DBD LP

PE 2016-19 Pool LP

The Tennis & Rackets Association Limited


Sarah Jane Sergeant (nee Chapman), aged 48, holds or has previously held the following directorships in the last five years:


Current appointments

Appointments held within the last five years

14Forty Limited

Audrey (London) Limited

3 Gates Services Limited

Audrey Investments Limited

A.C.M.S. Limited

Bateman Services Limited

Bateman Catering Limited

Compass Group Finance No. 3 Limited

Bateman Catering Organization Limited (The)

Compass Group Finance No.2 Limited

Bateman Healthcare Services Limited

Compass Group Finance No.4 Limited

Baxter and Platts Limited

Compass Group Finance No.5 Limited

Bromwich Catering Limited

Compass Group North America Investments Limited

Business Clean Limited

Compass Group North America Investments No.2

Capitol Catering Management Services Limited

Compass Group Trustees Limited

Carlton Catering Partnership Limited

Compass Healthcare Group Limited

Castle Independent Limited

Compass Hospitality Group Holdings Limited

Cataforce Limited

Compass Hospitality Group Limited

Caterexchange Limited

Compass Hotels Chertsey

Caterskill Group Limited

Compass Nominee Company Number Fourteen Limited

Caterskill Management Limited

Compass Overseas Holdings Limited

CCG (UK) Limited

Compass Overseas Holdings No.2 Limited

Chalk Catering Limited

Compass Overseas Services Limited

Chartwells Hounslow (Feeding Futures) Limited

Compass Pension Trustees Limited

Chartwells Limited

Compass Quest Limited

Circadia Limited

Compass Scottish Site Services Limited

Cleaning Support Services Limited

Compass Site Services Limited

Coffee Partners Limited

Compass UK Pension Trustee Co Limited

Compass Accounting Services Limited

Eurest Support Services (Cyprus) International Limited

Compass Catering Services Limited


Compass Cleaning Services Limited

Meritglen Limited

Compass Contract Services (U.K.) Limited

New Famous Foods Limited

Compass Contract Services Limited

Nextonline Limited

Compass Contracts UK Limited


Compass Experience Limited

Sevita (UK) Limited

Compass Food Services Limited

Compass Group Medical Benefits Limited

Compass Group Procurement Limited

Compass Group, UK and Ireland Limited

Compass Mobile Catering Limited

Compass Office Cleaning Services Limited

Compass Offshore Catering Limited

Compass Payroll Services Limited

Compass Planning and Design Limited

Compass Purchasing Limited

Compass Restaurant Properties Limited

Compass Road Services Limited

Compass Secretaries Limited

Compass Security Limited

Compass Security OldCo Group Limited

Compass Security OldCo Holdings Limited

Compass Security OldCo Investments Limited

Compass Services (Midlands) Limited

Compass Services (U.K.) Limited

Compass Services for Hospitals Limited

Compass Services Group Limited

Compass Services Limited

Compass Services Trading Limited

Compass Services, UK and Ireland Limited

Compass Staff Services Limited

Cookie Jar Limited

Crbs Resourcing Limited

Crn 1990 (Four) Limited

Customised Contract Catering Limited

Cygnet Foods Holdings Limited

Cygnet Foods Limited

Dine Contract Catering Limited

Dre Developments Limited

Eat Dot Limited

Eaton Catering Limited

Eaton Wine Bars Limited

Eurest Airport Services Limited

Eurest Defence Support Services Limited

Eurest Offshore Support Services Limited

Eurest Prison Support Services Limited

Eurest UK Limited

Everson Hewett Limited

Facilities Management Catering Limited

Fads Catering Limited

Fairfield Catering Company Limited

Feedr Limited

Fingerprint Managed Services Limited

Foodbuy Europe Limited

Funpark Caterers Limited

Goodfellows Catering Management Services Limited

Gruppo Events Limited

Hallmark Catering Management Limited

Hamard Catering Management Services Limited

Hamard Group Limited

Henry Higgins Limited

Hospital Hygiene Services Limited

ICM Five Star Limited

Integrated Cleaning Management Limited

Integrated Cleaning Management Support Services Limited

Keith Prowse Limited

Kennedy Brookes Finance Limited

Knott Hotels Company Of London

Langston Scott Limited

Leisure Support Services Limited

Leith's Limited

Letheby & Christopher Limited

Lough Erne Holiday Village Limited

Meal Service Company Limited

Milburns Catering Contracts Limited

Milburns Limited

Milburns Restaurants Limited

National Catering Limited

National Leisure Catering Limited

NLC (Holdings) Limited

NLC (Wembley) Limited

P & C Morris (Catering) Limited

P & C Morris Catering Group Limited

Payne & Gunter Limited

Pdm Training and Compliance Services Limited

Pennine Services Limited

Peter Parfitt Leisure Overseas Travel Limited

Peter Parfitt Sport Limited

PPP Infrastructure Management Limited

Prideoak Limited

QCL Limited

Quaglino's Limited

Reliable Refreshments Limited

Rhine Four Limited

Roux Fine Dining Limited

Scolarest Limited

Security Office Cleaners Limited

Selkirk House (CVH) Limited

Selkirk House (FP) Limited

Selkirk House (GHPL) Limited

Selkirk House (GTP) Limited

Selkirk House (Wbrk) Limited

Shaw Catering Company Limited

Ski Class Limited

Solutions On Systems Ltd

Springboard UK Limited

Summit Catering Limited

Sunway Contract Services Limited

Sutcliffe Catering Midlands Limited

Sutcliffe Catering South East Limited

Sycamore Newco Limited

The Charleston Trust (Bloomsbury In Sussex)

The Compass Group Foundation

The Cuisine Centre Limited

The Excelsior Insurance Company Limited

The Springboard Charity

THF Oil Limited

Tunco (1999) 103 Limited

Vendepac Holdings Limited

Waseley (CVI) Limited

Waseley (CVS) Limited

Waseley Fifteen Limited

Waseley Nominees Limited

Wembley Sports Arena Limited

Wheeler's Restaurants Limited

Woodin & Johns Limited


There is no other information that is required to be disclosed pursuant to Schedule 2 paragraph (g) or Rule 17 of the AIM Rules for Companies in respect of Alan Giddins or Sarah Sergeant.


Notes to Editors

Watkin Jones is the UK's leading developer and manager of residential for rent, with a focus on the build to rent and student accommodation sectors.  The Group has strong relationships with institutional investors, and a reputation for successful, on-time-delivery of high quality developments.  Since 1999, Watkin Jones has delivered 43,000 student beds across 130 sites, making it a key player and leader in the UK purpose-built student accommodation market.  In addition, Fresh, the Group's specialist accommodation management business, manages over 20,000 student beds and build to rent apartments on behalf of its institutional clients.  Watkin Jones has also been responsible for over 80 residential developments, ranging from starter homes to executive housing and apartments.  The Group is increasingly expanding its operations into the build to rent sector.


The Group's competitive advantage lies in its experienced management team and business model, which enables it to offer an end-to-end solution for investors, delivered entirely in-house with minimal reliance on third parties, across the entire life cycle of an asset.


Watkin Jones was admitted to trading on AIM in March 2016 with the ticker WJG.L.  For additional information please visit

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