Housebuilding large Barratt kicks off seek for subsequent chairman

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The Metropolis veteran John Allan is getting ready to step down as chairman of Barratt Developments, Britain’s second-biggest housebuilder by market worth.

Sky Information has learnt that Barratt has instructed headhunters at Russell Reynolds Associates to determine a successor to Mr Allan, who additionally chairs Tesco.

The method, which is unlikely to be concluded till subsequent yr, comes at a delicate time for the UK housebuilding sector, with a lot of its greatest corporations essential of a £3bn constructing security levy compelled by means of by ministers two months in the past.

David Thomas, Barratt’s chief government, has been notably outspoken, telling Michael Gove, the housing secretary, that the extra tax burden was unfair and disproportionate.

“This doesn’t replicate properly on the federal government’s regard for UK enterprise, creates an unsure fiscal surroundings which leaves no incentive for corporations to base themselves within the UK or be listed on the FTSE,” Mr Thomas wrote final month.

“It should hurt inward enterprise funding within the UK.”

Barratt has put aside a whole lot of hundreds of thousands of kilos to pay its share of the brand new levy, which allied with different components has just lately exerted downward stress on the corporate’s shares.

Over the past 12 months, its inventory has fallen by greater than a 3rd, though with a market capitalisation of £5.1bn, it stays larger than Taylor Wimpey, the third-largest firm by market worth.

Persimmon, which has seen the same decline over the past yr, is capitalised at almost £7bn.

Mr Allan has served as Barratt’s chairman since November 2014, having joined its board three months earlier, that means he nonetheless has greater than a yr earlier than he’s ‘timed out’ underneath company governance tips.

One supply mentioned the corporate’s annual assembly subsequent yr gave the impression to be a logical time for Mr Allan handy over the reins.

Mr Allan has held a string of main company roles, together with the presidency of the CBI, the UK’s greatest enterprise lobbying group, and chairmanships at Dixons Retail and Worldpay.

He has additionally served on the boards of Nationwide Grid, Royal Mail and 3i Group.

Just lately, he turned a notable advocate from the higher echelons of British enterprise in calling for a windfall tax on vitality firm income as ministers grapple with the price of residing disaster.

“There’s an awesome case for a windfall tax on income for these vitality producers, fed again to these most in want of assist with vitality costs,” Mr Allan instructed the BBC previous to the federal government’s announcement of a £5bn levy final month.

This weekend, it was unclear whether or not any of Barratt’s present board members have been prone to be in competition to succeed Mr Allan.

Its non-executive administrators embody Dame Sharon White, the John Lewis Partnership chair, and Katie Bickerstaffe, the brand new co-chief government of Marks & Spencer.

The seek for Mr Allan’s successor is being led by Jock Lennox, Barratt’s senior unbiased director.

One of many new Barratt chairman’s most urgent duties is prone to be figuring out a medium-term substitute for Mr Thomas, who has himself been within the function for nearly seven years.

Barratt declined to remark.

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