Ipswich: ISG boss Bernard Clarke announces his retirement

The boss of a multi-million pound construction business based in Ipswich is set to hang up his trowel.

Bernard Clarke, managing director of ISG’s South East business, said it had been “a fantastic journey” as he announced his retirement.

Mr Clarke, who has managed the business for the last 15 years, has seen it grow significantly to reach a turnover of �110million a year.

He has spent just under 40 years with the firm through its various stages of development, joining Ipswich-based Jackson Group in 1974. The Ipswich business became part of ISG and was re-branded as ISG Jackson in 2006. Earlier this year, it dropped the ‘Jackson’ to become a regional business of ISG. ISG is an international construction firm established in 1989 with a turnover of around �1.2billion.

“I’ve been privileged to play a part in the creation of a business with a great pedigree and profile, a solid order book and most importantly an excellent team of people, who continue to benefit from our investment in education and training,” said Mr Clarke.

“We have planned for succession in the South East for over two years with the transition from a sector focused business to a regional construction model, which has generated growth in the East and expansion in the South East via our base in Tonbridge.”

On July 1, ISG split the business into two stand-alone regional offices with the East office in Ipswich and the South East office in Tonbridge, Kent, and appointed two new regional managing directors for the two offices as part of a planned succession.

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ISG’s base in Tonbridge has grown rapidly. At the same time, the Ipswich office has continued to perform strongly.

Ian Gifford and Phillip Allerton, who have been promoted from within the company, are set to head up ISG’s South East and East offices respectively.

Mr Allerton sees the Ipswich business continuing to go from strength to strength.

“The Ipswich office continues to grow in strength and following our delivery of the �65m Suffolk One education scheme in 2010, our major capital works credentials have placed us firmly in contention on some of the region’s largest and most prestigious developments,” he said.

Mr Gifford said: “Since establishing the Tonbridge office in 2008, the volume and quality of converted opportunities has demonstrated the strength and sustainability of the regional construction market.

“The successful completion of the stunning new Marlowe Theatre project in Canterbury has firmly established our brand and reputation for high quality delivery, underlining our capabilities to a broad audience.”

Mr Clarke will remain on the ISG Construction board until September and will continue to be involved with the business until the end of the year.