News

Construction

Willmott Dixon in resi shake-up as five execs step down

Five senior members of Willmott Dixon’s residential business have stepped down from their current roles following a shake-up, Construction News can reveal.

The changes, revealed in an internal email seen by Construction News, are part of a move by the Letchworth-based firm to integrate its homes business into its construction division.

In the email, Willmott Dixon said it had “recently concluded that in order to best pursue sustainable growth in the residential contracting market we need to integrate our homes expertise and capability into our construction business”.

It is understood the housing division will be fully integrated into the group’s construction arm by the end of the year.

The five executives leaving their roles at the firm’s housing arm are:

  • Charlie Scherer – Willmott Partnership Homes’ chief operating officer
  • David Smith – London and north Home Counties managing director
  • Bill Kingwill – deputy managing director for the London and south housing arm
  • Mark New – preconstruction director
  • Steve Skuse – new business director for residential construction in London and northern Home Counties

Construction News understands the five are in discussions over potential opportunities within the firm’s construction division.

A Willmott Dixon spokesman confirmed the five had stepped down but said there was “nothing further to add”.

Parts of the group’s construction business are increasingly leading on residential projects being procured through major frameworks, such as Scape, CN understands.

As a result, Willmott Dixon Homes’ staff and projects will gradually be absorbed into the construction arm.

The email added: “The private sector presents a thriving opportunity to create mixed commercial and residential accommodation.

“Increasingly, as with public sector customers, existing customers want to retain relationships with current operational teams instead of being introduced to new teams from a different part of the business.”

Last week Willmott Dixon reported a near-doubling of annual profit to £31.1m . However, revenue dipped to £1.22bn, which the firm said reflected a prioritsiation of “quality over quantity”.

 

Who’s leaving Willmott Dixon Partnership Homes?

Chief operating officer Charlie Scherer

Mr Scherer joined as chief operating officer of Willmott Partnership Homes in 2012.

He has led the expansion of Willmott Partnership Homes into the Midlands and North.

Prior to this, he was national new-build housing director at construction and maintenance specialist Rok, which went into administration in November 2010.

He has nearly 25 years of experience in the sector.

London and north Home Counties managing director David Smith

Mr Smith became managing director for London and northern Home Counties in January 2015.

He has worked for the company for nearly 30 years, starting out as a quantity surveyor in 1998.

He became commercial director for construction in north London and the northern Home Counties in 2006, stepping up to deputy managing director in 2013.

Deputy managing director or the London and south housing arm Bill Kingwill

Mr Kingwill has been with the company for under a year.

He joined from ISG, where he was construction operations director for the South.

Preconstruction director Mark New

Mr New has been Willmott Dixon Partnership Homes preconstruction director for London and the South since 2014.

New business director Steve Skuse

Mr Skuse has been Willmott Partnership Homes new business director since 2016.

He has been with the group since 2008, serving as the housing arm’s head of technical until 2011.

He became development manager in 2012 and stepped up as preconstruction director in 2014.

He was then appointed as preconstruction director in 2016.