Author: Lauren Goldring

This is where the money is…

What are the big trends emerging across Transport & Infrastructure?

There has been uncertainty across Transport & Infrastructure in the past few months.

Government decisions and delays have been frustrating.

But despite this there is no shortage of infrastructure work in the pipeline for 2024.

Let’s get the negatives out of the way first…

1. HS2 Phase 2a.

The cancellation of the mega project has impacted an awful lot of businesses pipelines. The effects of this will be felt across the supply chain.

2. Large projects hanging in the balance.

Politicians will put off difficult decisions if they can and some projects will be impacted by the impending election. Large projects that still require planning approval, have questions over financing or are facing significant environmental lobbying probably won’t see much movement this year.

The likes of Lower Thames Crossing and A303 may need to wait for the next government to form, whichever colour that may be, before any big decisions are taken.

However, there are far more positives…

3. TransPennine Route Upgrade

A much-needed programme that has the backing of all political parties and is well underway.

4. Water

The proposed spend for AMP8 is £96bn up from £51bn in AMP7. This level of investment is staggering. The water sector will need unprecedented resources to deliver this amount of infrastructure upgrades, particularly in major programmes.

5. Energy

A market that benefits from being largely privately funded so there is less government interference.

Projects are mostly centred around net zero initiatives so there are no environmental blockages to getting things off the ground.

The volume of projects taking shape is huge. Both mega projects and lots of smaller opportunities. Many businesses are investing in “off meter” ways of generating and storing their own energy, which opens up an additional stream of work to the supply chain.

6. Defence

Lots of capital works are taking place across defence. A number of estate and infrastructure programmes are underway – Devonport Dockyard being just one example.

In the past few months there has been a real increase in companies recruiting defence specialists to grow this market.

7. Airports

Passenger numbers have recovered from the pandemic. Programmes that were paused are back on and investment is ramping up.

Alongside this, new legislation around baggage handling has meant that airports are investing lots of money into upgrading baggage handling systems with tight deadlines to meet.

What does all of this mean?

  • Staff will move internally from sector divisions experiencing a downturn to emerging markets.
  • Specialist energy, water, defence, and aviation experts will be in high demand.

This echoes what we are experience right now. We are actively recruiting in these areas for lots of different businesses.

If you need a Programme Director, Business Development Director, Sector Director, Bid Director, or any other type of senior leader to support your plans then give me a call.

Author: Jim Newsom

Jim Newsom

Managing Director

Movers and Shakers in Transport & Infrastructure the Headlines from January 2024

Discover all of the latest movers and shakers across Transport & Infrastructure over the past month.

Network Rail

Have appointed Robert Cairns as the new Interim Managing Director, Western & Wales. Cairns joined Network Rail in 2015 and has most recently been Capital Delivery Director for the Eastern Region.

Octavious Infrastructure

Have announced that Liz Baldwin will be the company’s SID Director, leading the Southern Integrated Delivery (SID) alliance within the Southern Renewals Enterprise delivering the £9 billion Major Programme in the South.


Former HS2 Phase 2A Delivery Director, Peter Sollitt, will be joining the company as the new Alliance Managing Director TRU West starting in February.

James Wimpenny, BAM’s UK Construction Chief, has announced that he is retiring. James has been with the contractor since 1985, joining as a Management Trainee and rising through the ranks to become the Chief Executive of Bam Construct six years ago. In the interim Simon Finnie, Executive Director, Ventures, UK and Ireland Division, will take on the additional role of leading the Construction segment while a successor is recruited.

Rider Levett Bucknall (RLB)

Andrew Fettes-Brown joins the RLB Global Board, succeeding Russell Lloyd, RLB UK’s Head of Services. Fettes Brown has been Partner for the London Cost Consultancy business since 2017.


Have announced that Technical Services Delivery Director, Emma Head, will become the new Chief Railway Officer. This role will oversee and integrate the main work packages on HS2.

They have also announced the appointment of Shira Johnson as the new Chief People Officer. This is a step-up position from her previous role of HR Director.

West Midlands Trains

Andy Boyle has been appointed as Operations Director. He joins from McGinley Support Services, where he held the position of Operations Director- Rail Systems.

South Western Railway

Have announced that Stuart Meek will become the Interim Managing Director as of March. He will be joining this position internally, where he is currently Chief Operating Officer.

Clegg Construction

Michael Sims moves internally to become Managing Director, having previously been the company’s Commercial Director. This change comes with the retirement of Simon Blackburn, who has been with the company for over 20 years.

Galliford Try

Have appointed  Phil Harris as Managing Director of Galliford Try Investments. Phil has been a Director of Galliford Try Investments since 2014.

Connected Places Catapult

Erika Lewis has been appointed as the company’s new Chief Executive Officer. She joins from the AI Safety Summit.

Yorkshire Water

Have announced the appointment of John Thomas as the new Director of Strategy and Regulation. He joins from Rail Partners, where he was Director of Policy.

Laing O’Rourke

Have announced the appointment of Aidan Brannan as the new Alliance General Manager in Perth, Australia. He will be part of the team constructing the new Fremantle Bridge. Brannan joins from Sir Robert McAlpine, where he was Operations Director of Highways.


Have appointed London City Airport Chief Executive Officer, Robert Sinclair, as their new CEO. He leaves the airport after six years at the helm.

Tilbury Douglas

Have appointed Andrew Bull as the new Managing Director- Infrastructure. Andy joins from ARCADIS, where has been Senior Partner & Major Programme Director since 2018.

MTR Hong Kong

Rohan Perinpanayagam will the join the Corporation as the new General Manager- Lantau (Projects). He brings with him over 30 years of major project and programme management experience from companies such as Bechtel, HS1, Crossrail, Heathrow, TfL, and HS2. He is currently Capital Delivery Director for Wastewater at Southern Water.

Willmott Dixon

Have announced a reshuffle of its main board following the retirement of Executive Chairman, Colin Enticknap. Rick Willmott moves from his current role as Group Chief Executive to become the company’s new Executive Chairman, with Chief Financial Officer Graham Dundas promoted to Chief Executive.

The company’s main board will also include two new additions, with Roger Forsdyke, Chief Operating Officer for Willmott Dixon Interiors, and Chris Tredget, COO for Fortem – the company’s repairs and maintenance company – also joining from the start of January.

Rider Levett Bucknall

Rob Leslie-Carter, previously Global Project Management Skill Leader at Arup, has joined the firm as the new Project Management Partner.

Nuclear Transport Solutions

Have announced that Gottfried Eymer has been appointed as its Managing Director- Rail. He joins from Etihad Rail where he has been CEO of the rail freight business.

Balfour Beatty plc

Louise Colley, Business Development Director, will now lead the Pre-Construction and Estimating functions in addition to her current role.

Additionally, Neil Dalton has joined the company as Defence Work Winning Director. He joins having spent three decades in the Forces, and five years with defence contractors, most recently, the Defence Infrastructure Organisation.


Matt Rice has been appointed as the new Chief Operating Officer. Matt will be joining from Network Rail, where he was Route Director.

Tilbury Douglas

Have named Phil Shaw as its new Managing Director of its Building North unit. He joins from PLS Environmental Services where he has been Managing Director since 2012.

They have also announced that Martin Horne will be joining as the new Regional Director for the North West, having held the position of Regional Director, Europe, Middle East, and Africa at Trotec Laser since 2019.

Mott MacDonald

Julie Wood has joined Mott MacDonald’s Advisory and Programme Delivery unit as Defence & Energy’s Head of Programme and Project Management. She joins from Arup, where she was a Director and Leader of Major Complex Projects.


Have announced the appointment of Lora Brill as Head of Sustainability for Buildings in the UK. Lora joins from Orchard Street Investment Management where she was Head of ESG and Responsible Investment.       

Any big moves to announce in our next roundup? Drop me an email with your news.

Author: Jim Newsom

Jim Newsom

Managing Director

Discover the latest M&A updates

So much can change in a year – especially in our markets!

Here is your annual roundup of the big M&A announcements from the past year.

M Group

M Group Services acquired home decarbonisation firm AgilityEco. They join their existing portfolio of energy service providers, including Morrison Energy Services, Seeka and Callisto.

Last year they also acquired Avonline Networks. The telecom network specialist employ 90 staff across offices in Cardiff and Northumberland.

Octavius Infrastructure

Has made several acquisitions this year. They bought London-based specialist rail consultant Navitas Engineering Group. The 30-strong team provides electrical engineering consultancy services to both the railway and electricity industries.

They also bought the assets and most of the contracts of R&W Civil Engineering after it went into administration.


UK Private Equity firm Buckthorn Partners completed the purchase of Amey from Ferrovial at the beginning of last year.

VINCI Energies

Acquired high voltage overhead line specialist NorPower. This represents Vinci’s second acquisition in Scotland in the past two years, as well as the opening of new design offices in Glasgow.

United Living

Was sold to US-based private equity giant Apollo for an undisclosed figure.

Aggregate Industries

Has bought leading Midlands aggregate concrete block maker Besblock.

FM Conway

Acquired Essex-based Flowline and its 164 employees. Specialist drainage contractor Flowline appointed administrators from PwC in May.


Has  boosted its building control business with the acquisition of Ball & Berry. Ball & Berry provides Approved Inspector services to commercial, residential, education, healthcare, hospitality, industrial and leisure sectors.

OCU Group

The parent company of O’Connor Utilities and Instalcom, has acquired London multi-utility contractor Modus Utilities

Mitie Group

Has acquired JCA Engineering, an engineering and fit-out with 180 employees, in a deal worth up to £31.5m.


Have bought Dutch steel contractor, Voortman Steel Construction, as it seeks to expand its European operations.


Construction materials group GRS has acquired ground stabilisation and enabling works contractor Soil Science Ltd.


Kier bought Buckingham Contracting Group’s rail business for £9.6m. The move saw 180 Buckingham staff move to Kier.


Acquired two companies dedicated to the design of tunnels and underground structures, Bamser, in Australia and Subterra, in Spain.

Last year, SYSTRA also acquired the Swedish, Danish, and Norwegian entities of Atkins, alongside Rail Systems Australia.

Hitachi Rail

Has been given clearance to proceed with its £1.4bn acquisition of Thales’ Ground Transportation Systems business.


Has sold a subsidiary of Louis Berger –  Louis Berger Services Inc. (“LBS”) to Versar Inc. a global engineering, environmental, and security services company. 

They also acquired lgt, a Quebec-based building engineering firm and  Calibre an engineering services provider based in Australia.

Transport UK

Abellio completed the divestiture of its UK subsidiary through a management buy-out. Abellio UK’s operations transferred in their entirety to the MBO vehicle, Transport UK Group Ltd.


Expands in Ireland with acquisition of JB Barry & Partners, a civil engineering firm with headquarters in Dublin.

Galliford Try

Has bought specialist water and energy industry contractor AVRS Systems for £7m.


Has sold its FM business to a management buyout team. The management buy-out of Mace Operate has been led by the FM arm’s Chief Executive Ross Abbate and Financial Director Chris Bampton alongside Mace Group Deputy Chairman Mark Holmes, who will become Chair of the new standalone firm.


Irish engineering services business, Obelisk announced the acquisition of the telecoms division of Balfour Beatty. The move follows Obelisk’s acquisition by Constructel Visabeira in 2022.

Van Elle

Van Elle Holdings has bought Galliford Try’s specialist piling business Rock & Alluvium.

Mott MacDonald

Completed their acquisition of Engevity, an Australian firm specialising in strategic advisory across the energy, climate and infrastructure sectors.

Keen to discuss your business plans for the year – when is a good time next week to catch up?

Please do drop me an email with your availability for next week.

Author: Jim Newsom

Jim Newsom

Managing Director

Movers and Shakers in Transport & Infrastructure the Headlines from December 2023

Discover all of the latest movers and shakers across Transport & Infrastructure over the past month.


Darren Elsom joins as the new Chief Operating Officer. Elsom joins from Cadent where he has been Director of Hydrogen Development & Operations, and before that Director for the Eastern Network.

New Murabba Development Company (NMDC)

Have announced that Michael Dyke has been appointed as Chief Executive Officer. He joins from Balfour Beatty where he has been Chief Executive Officer, HS2 Major Projects.

Thames Water

Have announced that Chris Weston will be joining as the new CEO. Previously CEO of Aggreko and Managing Director at Centrica, Chris succeeds Sarah Bentley, who left the business in June.

John F Hunt

Appoints Simon Hyams as its new Managing Director for the contracting arm of its £80m regeneration business. Hyams joins from Buckingham Group, where he was Managing Director of Major Projects, HS2.


Have appointed Helen Downey as the new Regional Projects Director for Ireland. Helen joins with over 25 years’ consultancy experience across numerous industries including: rail, utilities, and aviation.


Christina Brown has been appointed as the new Global HR Director for Mace Consult. She joins from Balfour Beatty where she was HR Director for the UK Construction Services division.

Transport for London

Have appointed Claire Mann as Chief Operating Officer. She returns to TfL from South Western Railway, where she has been Managing Director since 2021.

Foresight Group

Have appointed Nathan Wakefield as the new Head of Portfolio. Nathan joins from Equitix, where he was Managing Director of Asset Management.

Dragados SA

Javier Teulón Ramirez has moved internally to become the new Director for High-Tech Projects at Dragados (ACS Group). He has been Managing Director, UK & Ireland for nearly 10 years.

Network Rail

Have appointed Robert Cairns as Interim Managing Director for Wales and Western. He has most recently been Capital Delivery Director for the Eastern region and succeeds Michelle Handforth who resigned last month.

They have also announced the appointment of Mark Goodall as its new Route Director for the Wessex Route. He joins from CrossCountry Trains, where he was Service Delivery Director.


Samer Ali has moved internally to take up the position of Transportation Director. He has been Highways Sector Director since January 2022.


Have announced the appointment of Paul Reilly as the new Deputy Chief Executive. He moves internally from his current role as Managing Director, Planning & Advisory at WSP. Paul will report to Mark Naysmith, Regional Chief Executive for Europe, Middle East, and Africa.


Paul Adams has been appointed as CEO. Paul has over 20 years of global leadership experience and has held the position of National Director for 2 years at the Institute of Directors.

JPG Group

Have appointed Liam Bower as a new board Director as part of their business and succession planning strategy. He joins from MJMC Consulting where he was previously Director.


Patrick Folley joins as Head of Aviation, UK from Jacobs where he was Director of Operations for Aviation.

Turner & Townsend

Have appointed Qian Li as the new Director and Head of Carbon Accounting in line with its sustainability practices. Li was previously Associate in greenhouse gas emissions (GHG) accounting and embodied carbon at Cundall.

Simon Earles also joins the company as Project Director within their sustainability team. He most recently worked as Planning and Sustainability Director at Bristol Airport.

Siemens Mobility

Syeda Ghufran joins as the new Director of Asset Management and Assurance for Customer Services. She joins from Hitachi Rail, where she was a Fleet Engineering Director for the UK and OS&M.

Chiltern Railways

Have announced three new members to the Executive Team:

Tony Baxter has joined as Operations Director, he joins from Northern Trains, where he was the Regional Director for Yorkshire and Humber.

Tim Sayer has been appointed as Engineering and Safety Director. He was previously at Chiltern between 2006-2009 and has most recently been UK Fleet Director at Abellio.

Andrew Camp is now the permanent Commercial & Customer Strategy Director, having previously been appointed on a job-share basis.

Balfour Beatty

Lucy Jones will be joining the UK Construction Services business as HR Director. She moves from Balfour Beatty Vinci where she has been HR Director since 2021.

The Euston Partnership

Have appointed John Reed as the new Managing Director. He joins from the GBRTT, where he was the Regional Design Lead.

Any big moves to announce in our next roundup? Drop me an email with your news.

Author: Jim Newsom

Jim Newsom

Managing Director

UK Major Projects Pipeline Update – December 2023

2023 has been an eventful year for the Transport & Infrastructure sectors. We have seen some amazing progress on many of the UK’s major programmes as well as some setbacks that have been felt across the entire market.

As we head into Christmas, let’s celebrate some of the sector’s achievements by taking a look at the latest update from the major projects pipeline.

Have a great Christmas, and I look forward to catching up in the New Year!



  • The northern leg of the programme was cancelled back in October. Phase 1 will still be completed. This not only includes the HS2 line from London to Birmingham, but up to where it joins the west coast main line near Handsacre just north of Lichfield.
  • It was announced at the time that the current HS2 management team will no longer run the Euston site. Instead, a new Euston development zone would be created.
  • The procurement pipeline for the next 18 months has been published, worth more than £1bn in total. More than 300 work packages are up for grabs, ranging in value from £1m to more than £500m.
  • Assembly of HS2’s second TBM has been completed, which will start digging the second bore of the 3.5 mile Bromford Tunnel into Birmingham next year.
  • Skanska Costain Strabag joint venture has secured an extra £200m funding for its first phase southern tunnelling section of the high speed route.
  • The rail systems contracts are expected to be announced in Q1 of 2024.

Transpennine Route Upgrade

  • The Minister for Rail has announced a £3.9bn funding boost for the programme. This increase takes the total funding of the project to £6.9bn
  • In September, the TRU East Alliance completed three new drainage tunnels beneath the railway line at Ulleskelf Mires in North Yorkshire.

East West Rail

  • The National Audit Office (NAO) has raised concerns about the costs and benefits of the current plan for the programme following the plans announced by the Department for Levelling Up Housing and Communities (DLUHC) to expand housebuilding in Cambridge.
  • A further consultation on East West Rail is due to take place next year.
  • Work is currently underway on Connection Stage 1 (CS1), which is seeing the line built from Oxford to Bletchley (Milton Keynes), with a delivery date of early 2025.

Network Rail CP7

  • The Office of Rail and Road (ORR) has approved Network Rail’s £43.1 billion plan for CP7 which will run over the next five years.
  • Contractors have been alerted to the procurement of the reactive and minor works framework in the Wales and Western region worth £750m.
  • Procurement has also begun for the Eastern region reactive works and small scheme framework, worth £1.15bn over a maximum of seven years.
  • In August, Network Rail Scotland published its £4·2bn Strategic Business Plan for Control Period 7, covering the five years from April 1 2024.
  • The Southern Renewals Enterprise have announced a registration of interest for “Ecosystem” partners.


Haweswater Aqueduct Resilience Programme (HARP)

  • Activity is ongoing to shortlist contractors for the £1.75bn programme. The successful bidders are due to be announced imminently.

Thames Tideway

  • Construction is now 90% complete.
  • Tideway will begin testing the system next year, diverting live storm flows of untreated sewage away from the river Thames for the first time.
  • The system will be fully operational in 2025.


Lower Thames Crossing

  • A Bouygues Travaux Publics – Murphy Joint Venture (BMJV) has won a £1.34bn contract to design and construct the twin road tunnels.
  • The DCO process is expected to run until 2024.

A303 Stonehenge Tunnel

  • The DfT approved the £1.7bn tunnel – from Amesbury to Berwick Down in Wiltshire – in July. Campaigners are making a second High Court bid to try to block a road tunnel project near Stonehenge.
  • National Highways are continuing to plan and make preparations for starting preliminary work and archaeology fieldwork in 2024.


Hinkley Point C

  • Last week engineering teams lifted the 245-tonne steel dome capping the first Hinkley C reactor building.
  • HPC celebrated a milestone with the installation of a polar crane at the top of the first reactor building. It is one of the final pieces of equipment to be installed in the reactor building before the dome is lifted into place to close the roof.
  • In August, National Grid’s Hinkley Connection Project completed the installation of all 116 T-Pylons.
  • They are on target to start generating electricity in 2027.

Sizewell C

  • In August, the government pledged another £341m to speed up preparations for Sizewell C’s construction.
  • Ministers are searching for new investors in the project, which could cost between £20bn and £44bn, after removing the Chinese state-owned CGN last year due to security concerns over UK infrastructure amid poor Anglo-Sino relations.
  • The search has begun for civils and installation works to create an electrical system for the £20bn nuclear plant.
  • Eastern Green Link 1 has awarded £1.8bn of contracts to deliver the UK’s first high-capacity east coast cable project. The full details can be found here. Current plans will see a design phase start next year and construction the year after, in 2025.
  • Eastern Green Link 2 to be delivered as a joint venture between National Grid and SSEN Transmission is currently in the early development stage. Planning consent has now been granted for all onshore and offshore elements.

National Grid HDVC

  • Three frameworks have been released to the market to deliver plans for major power line links and high voltage direct current converter stations to hook up the offshore wind farm:
  • £12.77bn for civils and major works
    • £24.6bn for converter systems
    • £21.3bn for cables
  • The final cable testing for the world’s longest onshore and subsea HVDC interconnector is now complete.
  • Commercial operation is expected to commence on 29 December 2023.

Offshore Wind

  • No companies hoping to build offshore windfarms in the UK took part in the government’s most recent annual clean energy auction in September. As a result, Ministers have agreed to raise the starting price of the government’s next auction for offshore wind subsidies by around two-thirds to £73 per megawatt hour.

Carbon Capture        

  • The Government have identified two new carbon capture, utilisation and storage (CCUS) facilities for support alongside its announcement on new oil and gas licences. Project Viking (which features a partnership between RWE, Drax and SSE) is based in the Humber while Project Acorn (Shell and National Gas) is based in North East Scotland. (Energy UK update in inbox)

Small Modular Nuclear Reactors

  • 6 companies have been selected to advance to next phase of Small Modular Reactor (SMR) competition for innovative nuclear technologies:
    • EDF
    • GE-Hitachi Nuclear Energy International LLC
    • Holtec Britain Limited
    • NuScale Power
    • Rolls Royce SMR
    • Westinghouse Electric Company UK Limited
  • Successful companies are expected to be announced in Spring 2024 and contracts awarded in Summer.


Manchester Airport

  • Mace has started work on the final phase of Manchester Airport’s £1.3bn transformation programme.
  • Work has begun on the construction of a new pier, Pier 2, which will connect to Terminal 2.

  • Completion is scheduled for 2025.


Restoration & Renewal

  • In October the Delivery Authority held a consultation with potential suppliers for Strategic Partners in advance of full-scale procurements which will commencing in 2024. They are looking to procure:
  1. A Design Services Partner
  2. An Integrator to oversee, manage and integrate the programme
  3. A Construction Partner to support the development and completion of the design and procure, undertake, and manage the works.
  • Procurement of 3 delivery partners is expected to commence in 2024.

Let’s get some time in to catch up on your business plans for the new year. Let me know what times work for a 15-minute phone call or alternatively you can access my diary here.

Author: Jim Newsom

Jim Newsom

Managing Director

Movers and Shakers in Transport & Infrastructure the Headlines from November 2023

Cameron is back in the cabinet; Farage is in the jungle and Sunak is learning how to hammer (I don’t see a future for him in engineering!)

Are the movers and shakers across Transport & Infrastructure as exciting as UK politicians?

Take a look at who’s who with our latest Movers and Shakers roundup…

M Group Services

Iain Sutherland has been appointed Managing Director, Water Division. He joins from Balfour Beatty, where he has been Highways Director for the past 7 years.


Have announced the appointment of Jonathan Willcock as its new Managing Director for the Transportation Division. He joins from Skanska, where for the last three years he has been Managing Director for the UK’s Infrastructure Division.

Network Rail

Lucy McAuliffe joins Network Rail as the new permanent Sussex Route Director. Lucy has been in the role in an interim capacity since last December, following two years as the Southern region’s Stations and Security Director.

Balfour Beatty

Nigel Russell has been appointed the role of Chief Executive Officer, HS2 Major Projects. He moves internally from his current role as Project Director of Balfour Beatty VINCI SYSTRA’s HS2 Old Oak Common station project. He replaces Michael Dyke who is leaving Balfour Beatty to take up a role in Saudi Arabia.


Jason Millett will be taking up the position of Deputy Chief Executive for Mace. Millet is currently Chief Executive Officer and Group Board Director for Mace Consult.

Network Rail Consulting

Mark Prior has appointed former Managing Director and Global Chair for AECOM as a Non-Executive Director. He remains Non-Executive Director for Bedfordshire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust and Director of Lawford Estates Ltd.


Former Galliford Try Group Finance Director, Andrew Duxbury, will join Persimmon as the new Chief Financial Officer.

McGee Group  

Have promoted Richard Wilkinson to the newly created position of Operations Director. Wilkinson joined McGee earlier this year from Laing O’Rourke, where he was HPC – Nuclear Island Project Leader.

Wates Construction

Steff Battle has been appointed Interim Managing Director, Construction. This follows the news of Mark Tant’s decision to leave the company after nine years.  

Affinity Water

Have appointed Emma Davies as the new Director of People and Culture. Davies previously held the position of Director of Workforce Delivery at the NHS’ Lancashire and South Cumbria Integrated Care Board (ICB).


Have announced the appointment of Gareth Roberts as Managing Director. He will replace Mark Winter, a founding member, who is stepping down. Winter will remain part of the executive team.


Appoints Darren Martin as Chief Digital Officer. He joins this newly created role from McKinsey & Company, where he was Chief Technology Officer.

Mott MacDonald

Have appointed Michael Odling as Programme Director, leading the SYSTRA JV responsible for the delivery of design for Balfour Beatty Vinci on HS2. He joins from Faithful + Gould.

P.P. O’Connor

Steve Young has been appointed Commercial Director. He joins from Taziker, where he was Group Commercial Director.

J Murphy & Sons

Andrew Morton has been appointed as Group Commercial Director. The former Skanska Commercial Director leaves Fletcher Construction in New Zealand where he has been Executive General Manager Commercial.


Sally Cox will join as Managing Director from December. Cox was previously Project Director on the BAM, Morgan Sindall, Balfour JV for the Tideway West tunnel.

McLaren Construction Group

Have appointed Paul Spiller as Group Commercial Director. He joins from McAlpine after 24 years in the company.

McLaren have also appointed Paul Heather as the new Chief Executive Officer. Heather was previously McLaren’s Group Managing Director for Construction.

Arriva Rail

Have appointed current Finance and Commercial Director Steve Best as the company’s new Managing Director. He succeeds Paul Hutchings, who will move into a new role at Arriva UK Trains (AUKT).

Core Highways Group

Jenny Moten joins Regional Managing Director from Cadent Gas, where she was Northwest Network Director.

They have also appointed Manchester Airport Group (MAG) Chief Executive, Charlie Cornish as the new Chairman.


Steve Holbrook, Managing Director for Building Operations has left the firm with immediate effect after nearly three decades of service. Former Managing Director of Cementation Terry Muckian has been appointed as his successor, with Andy Entwistle stepping into Muckian’s previous role.


Have appointed David Cochrane as Senior Vice President to lead High Speed Rail Projects. He joins from HS2, where he was Head of Engineering and Environment for Phase 1 BBV section.


Appoints Richard Finds as its new Finance Director. He joins from Exertis, a subsidiary of DDC Plc, where he held the position of Chief Financial Officer, UK, and Ireland.

FM Conway

Joanne Conway has been appointed Chief Executive. She steps up to the helm following three years as their Managing Director for the Aggregates & Asphalt division.


Have appointed Patrick Folley as Head of Aviation, UK. He joins from Jacobs, where he was Director of Operations for Aviation.


Have announced CEO of London City Airport, Robert Sinclair, as the company’s new CEO. He will take up his role as CEO in March 2024.

Turner & Townsend Alinea

Have announced the appointment of Chris Trew as Director within their Specialist Services division. He joins from Rider Levett Bucknall, where he has been a Partner since 2022.

West Midlands Metro

Welcomes Sophie Allison as the new, full-time, Managing Director. Sophie has been Interim Managing Director at West Midlands Metro since November, 2021.

Any big moves to announce in our final roundup of 2023? Drop me an email with your news.

Author: Jim Newsom

Jim Newsom

Managing Director

Movers and Shakers in Transport & Infrastructure the Headlines from October 2023

Keep up to date with who’s who across Transport & Infrastructure with our latest Movers and Shakers roundup…

Balfour Beatty

Have announced that Mark Bullock, Chief Executive Officer UK Construction Services,  will step down at the end of the year after more than three years in the role.


David Rowsell has been named Managing Director of Kier Construction London and Cheryl Parsons as Regional Director for Kier Construction Southern. Rowsell has joined from Morgan Sindall, where he was the Northern Home Counties Area Director. Parsons joined moves internally from her role as Health Sector Director.


Jonathan Wilcock is set to leave Skanska after three years as Managing Director Infrastructure. Simon Clitheroe has been appointed as his successor. Clitheroe has been Commercial Director for the Infrastructure operating unit and a member of the leadership team since 2015.

Scottish Water

Have appointed Lynne Highway as People Director. She joins from Natwest where she was Director of Colleague Experience and HR Transformation.


Former Galliford Try Environment Division Managing Director Stephen Slessor is joining water treatment specialist RSE as its new CEO. Slessor will start in his new role in January following a 17-year career at Galliford Try.

Galliford Try have promoted Mark Shadrick to the role of Managing Director of its Environment division.

Auckland One Rail

Martin Kearney joins as Chief Executive. He leaves Nexus where he has been Managing Director since 2020.


Former Amey Chief Executive Amanda Fisher is joining Costain as a Non-Executive Director. She will take up the role in December alongside former United Utilities Group CEO Steve Mogford who is also joining the board as two existing Non-Executive Directors move on.


Have announced the appointment of Danny Gilbert as Strategy Director of the Transport Infrastructure business to take responsibility for long-term strategic growth across the Transport Infrastructure business unit. Gilbert leaves Arriva where he was most recently Chief Commercial Officer.

The Go-Ahead Group

Have announced that Christian Schreyer has agreed with the Board to stand down as Group Chief Executive at the end of October 2023, when he will be succeeded by Miguel Ángel Parras, Chief Investment Officer at Globalvia.

Transport UK

Have appointed Martin Beable as New Trains and Fleet Director. He moves internally in the group from Greater Anglia after four years as Engineering Director.


Stephen Horrax joins as Head of Department Energy Transition. He leaves Jacobs where he has been for the past 9 years, most recently as Head of New Energy and Advisory.


Frank Ibe moves internally to become Executive Vice President, Customer & Transit Operations. Ibe joined Metrolinx last year as Vice President Rail Services & Operations.

Bachy Solentanche

Neil Grosset joins as Project Director. He leaves Costain where he has spent the last 8 years, most recently as Programme Director on the £1.34bn A66 Northern Trans Pennine Route.


Colin Niccolls joins as Project Director – Sitewide Infrastructure on the Trojena Project – Saudi Arabia. He leaves STRABAG where he was Technical Director.

Cubic Transportation Systems

Have announced that Peter Torrellas has joined as President of Cubic Transportation Systems, following former President Jeff Lowinger’s retirement on October 13.

Want to have a chat about any team moves your planning? Pop me an email to discuss.

Author: Jim Newsom

Jim Newsom

Managing Director

Bridging gender gaps with keywords

You’ve probably heard the following statistic:

“Men apply for a job when they meet only 60% of the qualifications, but women apply only if they meet 100% of them.”

Since Hewlett Packard published the report that made this claim, there have been dozens of reports that debunk this drastic difference. Unsurprisingly though, all the reports, that I’ve seen, do demonstrate some difference between the confidence and approach of men and women to applying for jobs.

This got me thinking.

If women are less confident to apply for a job – are they less willing to sell their skills and experience to hiring managers as well?

Looking at a random sample of 50 men and 50 women on our database, we found that men had 32% more keywords on their About Me section of their LinkedIn profiles than the women did.

In the world of executive search, we rely on keywords.Our research focuses heavily on keyword searching for those ideal candidates that fit your brief.  Of course, we use a combination of LinkedIn, our database, extensive desk research, industry events, networking and a whole host of other resources to make sure no one slips through the net.

However, time scarce hiring managers or contingent recruitment firms may solely focus on LinkedIn searching.  Logic suggests that women are 32% less likely to show up on a longlist.

So, make sure your search partner is utilising all research options, not just LinkedIn, to ensure you are getting the most diverse longlists and shortlists possible.

We really pride ourselves on making a difference when it comes to supporting diversity across Transport & Infrastructure. Having placed 33% female leaders into senior roles compared with an industry average of 16.6%, we have a few tips to attract and retain diverse talent.

Author: Jim Newsom

Jim Newsom

Managing Director

Selling Certainty

Focus on these four points when trying to attract leaders into your major project roles. You’ll find candidates are much more open to considering the move.

Major infrastructure projects landscape can be volatile, one minute a scheme is viewed as nationally critical and a week later it can be on the shelf to be reconsidered many years later. 

Changing jobs is one of the most important and stressful things you can do in life.

With HS2 north of Birmingham being pulled, how do other major programmes sell opportunities when a project’s viability is being questioned?

The media like to paint a doomsday picture, often not even remotely close to the reality of the situation. This was something that we experienced a lot in the early days of Crossrail. Make sure you can get across to candidates what is really going on versus what they are seeing in the press. 

In order to “sell certainty” to a leader you are hoping to attract you need to focus on:

1. Does it have political certainty?

Is this something that has cross party backing? Especially relevant with the election looming next year.

2. Does it have planning certainty?

If it is highly disruptive to the local community and environment, or likely to have other powerful objectors – what are the realistic odds of the project get planning permission or a DCO?

3. Does it have funding certainty?

Does it have a strong enough business case to be granted the money to complete the project?

4. Is this role actually needed?

Is this a core role embedded within the organisation or is it just an unnecessary overhead that will be the first to be cut if project finances inevitably tighten?

Leaders across Transport & Infrastructure understand the nature of the major projects landscape and that even the programmes that are looking promising can go pear shaped.

Many candidates will be willing to take calculated risks. What they really need to know to make these life changing decisions is what they are honestly going in to.

The same theory applies to companies facing tumultuous times, especially in the economic landscape we are seeing at the moment.

Selling certainty doesn’t always mean selling the dream.

What has your experience been in the past when moving between projects or companies? Have there been any standout pitches that really made you buy into a project?

Drop me an email with your experiences.

Author: Jim Newsom

Jim Newsom

Managing Director

Movers and Shakers in Transport & Infrastructure the Headlines from September 2023

Check out the latest Movers and Shakers across Transport and Infrastructure from September…


Have confirmed the appointment of Mark Southwell as the new Chief Executive for their Transportation Global Business.  Southwell has 35 years’ experience in civil engineering and joined AECOM in 2019 as the Managing Director of Transportation, Europe.


Managing Director of Transportation Sue Kershaw is leaving the business. Her role will be filled on an interim basis by Group Commercial Director David Taylor.


Have announced that Angie Doll has been appointed Chief Executive Officer, with effect from the end of November. Doll has been Chief Operating Officer at GTR since April 2022.

Mark Pavlides has also been appointed as Chief Customer Officer, a newly created role.


Have announced the appointment of Colette Carroll as their new Managing Director of the Transportation Division, UK, and Europe. Carroll joined the business last year as Market Director for Strategic Rail and will succeed Andrew English.

Sisk Ireland and UK

Steven McGee has been appointed as Chief Operating Officer, for the UK and Ireland. Having joined the Irish business last year, McGee will be expanding his responsibilities to the company’s operations in construction, civil engineering, and rail across the UK.


Have announced that Tom Meacock has been appointed as a Capital Projects and Infrastructure Partner, leaving Atkins where he was most recently Director of Rail Consulting.


Have announced that David Hughes will be starting a new position as Major Programme Director, UK and International. This role will focus on clients across energy, transport, and the broader built environment. Hughes leaves the DfT where he has been Director General, Rail Infrastructure.

Southern Water

Jennifer Rigby joins as Chief Digital and Transformation Officer. Having held senior roles across a range of sectors, Jennifer joins Southern from Mozaic Services.

Yorkshire Water

Dave Kaye has been appointed as Director of Water. He joins from Abellio where he was their Chief Operating Officer- Rail.


Fiona Brunskill has been appointed permanent Chief People Officer. Tricia Wright moves into the role of Chief Officer for Pensions Review, and following the retirement of Howard Carter as General Counsel after 17 years in the role, Andrea Clarke has been appointed as interim General Counsel.

Women in Rail

Have announced the appointment of Marie Daly as the charity’s new Chair. Daly is currently Chief Customer and Culture Officer at Transport for Wales.

Gatwick Airport

Chris Howe has joined as Capital Commercial Lead. He leaves the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs where he has been Programme Commercial Director since 2020.


Have appointed David Glennon as its new Group Head of Digital Engineering. He brings over 25 years of experience which has seen him in roles such as Arcadis Head of Digital and Aecom Director of Digital Project Delivery.

The Hub

Ben Wilson and Diem Bradley have joined the consulting business, both leaving Atkins. Wilson has been appointed as a Director and Bradley joins as an Associate Director.


Ben Wheeldon is returning to Heathrow as the Director of Long-Term Strategy and Masterplanning after three years at Mace as Programme Director on Euston Station.

MAG (Airports Group)

Have appointed Emma Crossland as the new Chief People Officer. She joins from the retail company, Matalan, where she was HR Director.

BAM Nutall

Richard Watts has been appointed as Rail Sector Director. He joins from TXM Plant where he has been Chief Operating Officer since 2019.


Have announced that Andrew Dugdale will be joining them as Market Director (Rail, Metros, LRT, and Highways). He is leaving Mott MacDonald after four years as Rail Director, Principal Account Manager.

Network Rail

Matt Pocock has recently been appointed as Operations Director for the Wessex Route. He joins from Arriva Rail, London, where he was also Operations Director.

Boston Consulting Group (BCG)

Tim Chapman has been appointed as Partner and Director, leaving his role as Director at Arup after 36 years.


Martin Neeson, Executive Vice-President, has left Skanska after 22 years. Andy MacAskill and Anna Mann, Communications Directors, have also left after 16 and 12 years.


Have announced the appointment of David Buisson as their new Managing Director, Global Head of Project Controls. Buisson leaves Jacobs where he has been Delivery Integration Director for Sizewell C.


Debbie Francis OBE has been appointed Managing Director of Loram, UK. Francis joined the team in 2020, having held numerous executive positions including Managing Director of Direct Rail Services and Finance and Commercial Director of Network Rail’s former London and North Western Route.


Have announced that Phil Hodges has been appointed as Head of Energy, for the UK, and also joins the UK executive team. Hodges was previously Managing Director of Energy at AFRY Solutions.

They have also appointed Rachel Jones as the Regenerative Solutions Director within its Transport team. She joins from WSP where she was Corporate Advisory Lead and Technical Director.


Darren Mort has been appointed as the new President of Bechtel’s global Infrastructure business. He has been with the company since joining as a graduate. Most recently he has been Global Operations Manager for the Infrastructure business.

TransPennine Express

Chris Jackson has been appointed as Managing Director. Jackson has been Interim Managing Director since May this year.

Galliford Try

Have appointed Skanska Head of Procurement & Supply Chain, Andrew Spencer, to the newly-created role of Supply Chain And Procurement Director.


Hires 15 senior Buckingham Group Staff as part of their plan to set up a new building operation. Ian Burford, currently in the role of Group Director, Build and Pre-Construction at Buckingham, will head the new Strabag Building Unit.


Andrew Johns moves internally to become Technical Director for Nature-based Solutions in the UK and Ireland. He joined the company in 2019.

Currie & Brown

Have made a number of senior hires to its Infrastructure group. This includes Ian Bayes as Senior Director, Phil Iwobi and Director and David Hutchens as Associate Director.

Eryl Evans, who has led Currie & Brown’s Infrastructure group for the past 10 years, will also be stepping into a new role as National Head of Infrastructure.

Bauer Technologies

Have appointed John Theos and Paul Doyle as joint Managing Directors. Theos joins from Bauer Spezialtiefbau, where has been Regional Director for the Americas since 2016. Doyle joined Bauer Technologies in 2016 and has been Operations Director since 2018.

Moving into the final quarter of the year, lots of our clients are assessing their senior teams to ensure they have the right capability to meet targets and fulfil objectives.

If you’re like the people we have been speaking to over the past month, then drop me an email to discuss how an executive search could uncover the best people to help meet those goals.

Author: Jim Newsom

Jim Newsom

Managing Director

Movers and Shakers in Transport & Infrastructure the Headlines from August 2023

Make sure you’re up to date with all the big moves across Transport & Infrastructure from August…


COO, Ian Cochrane is leaving the business after 10 years on the board. The role of COO is not being replaced but his COO duties are being re-assigned to other executive directors and the senior leadership team.


Have announced that Tricia Williams will take over as their new Managing Director. Williams, who is currently Chief Operating Officer, will take over from Nick Donovan when he steps down from his role in spring 2024.

Tilbury Douglas

Have appointed Matt Gill as its new Chief Financial Officer. He succeeds Finance Director George Restall, who is retiring from Tilbury Douglas later this year.


Guillaume Chanussot joins as Chief Executive Officer UK. He leaves Keolis where he has been Managing Director of KeolisAmey Metrolink.


Have announced the appointment of Laura Hughes as Energy Sector Director. Hughes leaves Fugro where she was Country Director UK.

VP plc

After 26 years on the board, Chief Executive Neil Stothard is standing down. He will be succeeded as Chief Executive on 1st September by Anna Bielby, who has been Chief Financial Officer for the past nine months.

C Spencer

Mike Halliday has been appointed as Managing Director, Rail. He leaves Network Rail after more than six years as Route Delivery Director LNE.

Siemens Mobility

Have announced that Rob Morris, Managing Director of Rail Infrastructure and Sambit Banerjee, Managing Director of Rolling Stock and Customer Services, will jointly assume the role of Chief Executive Officer of Siemens Mobility United Kingdom and Ireland.


Have made two appointments to their senior leadership team. Tracey Collins is appointed to a newly created role of Head of Emerging Talent, Diversity & Inclusion, while Tracey McNamara joins as Group Purchasing Director. Collins has been the group’s Head of Diversity & Inclusion since March 2022. McNamara joins from Berry Global, where she was Purchasing Director.

Network Rail

Have confirmed the appointments of three Regional Managing Directors.

Ellie Burrows has been appointed as the permanent Regional Managing Director for Network Rail’s Southern region. Ellie has been in the Regional Managing Director role for the Southern region on an interim basis since January this year.

Rob McIntosh, currently the Eastern Region Managing Director, has been appointed as the new Regional Managing Director for the North West & Central region.

Jake Kelly has been appointed as the new Managing Director for the Eastern region. He has most recently been Group Director, System Operation.


Have widened Steven McGee’s role, making him Chief Operating Officer of the company in the UK as well as Ireland. He joined Sisk from ISG last year as COO in charge of the business in Ireland.

Ascendal Group

Jonathan Ziebart moves internally to become Managing Director (UK) & Group Business Development Director. Ziebart joined the business in 2018 as Group Business Development Director.

Ready to discuss your senior hiring requirements?

Let me know a time that suits you for a call.

Author: Jim Newsom

Jim Newsom

Managing Director

Who will lead HS2 next?

By now, you’ve heard that HS2 Chief Executive Mark Thurston is stepping down from his role at the end of September. This development begs a crucial question: who will succeed him?

All eyes are looking to HS2 to see what their next move is going to be.

Here are the pros and cons of the possible options for the next leader of Europe’s largest infrastructure project:

1. Recruiting Internally

Advantage: If you have the talent with the potential to step up then making a promotion is an extremely positive message to send to the whole organisation. It can be a good move if you want continuity of direction and provides a successor with familiarity with the project.

Disadvantage: Looking internally is a normally a smallish pool of potential candidates and will most likely be someone taking a large step up or across into the role.

2. Recruiting from Within the Supply Chain

Advantage: Familiarity with the project.

Disadvantage: You risk harming your suppliers capability to deliver and it could cause friction with some of the supply chain.

3. Recruiting from Other UK Rail Clients

Advantage: They will understand the market and the political environment of how this type of programme operates.

Disadvantage: It’s a tight pool of candidates and extremely few will have the experience to deal with this scale of programme.

4. Recruiting from Other Major Programme Sectors within the UK

Advantage: Opens up different talent options and skillsets.

Disadvantage: Learning curve on rail experience.

5. Recruiting from Major Rail Projects from Overseas

Advantage: Could get a highly experienced candidate that’s been there and done this before.

Disadvantage: Could be expensive and there is a potential learning curve for an overseas candidate on how the UK construction market operates.

It’s a big job to fill. It’ll be interesting to see who steps into the hot seat!

Got a tricky senior role to fill and need help finding great people? Drop me an email and let’s brainstorm.

Author: Jim Newsom

Jim Newsom

Managing Director