Punch boss named as new chairman of Anglian Water

Stephen Billingham, who has been appointed chairman at Anglian Water Group.

Stephen Billingham, who has been appointed chairman at Anglian Water Group. - Credit: Archant

Anglian Water Group has announced the appointment of Stephen Billingham, who currently heads pubs group Punch Taverns, as its new chairman with immediate effect.

Mr Billingham has been an independent non-executive director at the regional water group since last November, also chairing its audit committee.

He is currently executive chairman at Punch, which he joined in 2001, but is due to step down from executive duties in June.

He was previously group finance director at the former British Energy Group, which was the UK’s largest electricity generator, and WS Atkins, the UK’s largest engineering consultancy. Earlier in his career, he worked for construction group BICC (now Balfour Beatty) and water company Severn Trent.

He is also currently a Government-appointed non-executive director and chairman of the audit committee of Urenco Ltd.

Mr Billingham takes over as chairman at Anglian Water from Robert Napier who, having previously been the senior independent non-executive director, stepped into the role of Chairman following Sir Adrian Montague’s move to Aviva and while the recruitment process for his successor was completed. Mr Napier will remain as an independent non-executive director until his retirement in September.

Anglian Water Services has also appointed, again with immediate effect, three further Independent non-executive directors.

Most Read

John Hirst, who will also take over as chairman of the audit committee, was previously chief executive of the Met Office from 2007 to 2014, and is currently a board member of Ultra Electronic Holdings and Marsh Ltd. He is also chairman of Hammerson Pension Fund, and holds roles on several charity boards.

Polly Courtice is director of the University of Cambridge Institute for Sustainability Leadership, and founder director of te Prince of Wales’s Business and Sustainability Programme. She is also a director of Jupiter Green Investment Trust, an investment company specialising primarily in businesses with a significant focus on environmental solutions, and sits on environmental and sustainability advisory boards for AstraZeneca, Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer LLP, Lloyds Banking Group and Nespresso.

Steve Good was previously chief executive of FTSE 250 manufacturing company Low and Bonar until 2014 and he currently holds two other non-executive roles on the boards of Elementis and Zotefoams.

Stephen Billingham said: “I am delighted to welcome the very considerable experience of John, Polly and Steve to the Anglian Water Services Board.

“They each bring distinct and highly valuable skills that will assist the company as it addresses the significant challenges and opportunities posed by the next Asset Management Plan period, from 2015 to 2020.

“Taken together, these appointments strengthen the independent scrutiny the Board brings to Anglian Water’s business. We are all looking forward to working with the management team to deliver a Business Plan that meets the high expectations of our customers.”