Wates focuses on opportunities that lie ahead | Wates

The Wates Group has today unveiled a series of organisational changes that will intensify its focus on the opportunities that lie ahead in its key sectors. The announcement incorporates revisions to its structure along with a series of new executive appointments.


David Allen - Chief Executive, Wates Group

Chief Executive David Allen said:

“The last four months have challenged all of us in new ways.  Working together, the team here at Wates has met those challenges with great ingenuity, determination and success.  Our business and our strategy have been tested and have proved to be robust.  We are now adjusting our structure to focus on the great opportunities that we believe lie ahead in our key sectors.  These changes give us the best possible prospects of thriving in the current environment and once the coronavirus crisis has passed and we’re confident that our future direction is clear.”

The following changes are incorporated in today’s announcement:


The Group is making a major commitment to the growth of the Wates Residential business, establishing it as a stand-alone business and appointing Helen Bunch as its Executive Managing Director, with immediate effect.

Helen, who is moving from her current position as MD of fit-out and refurbishment division, Wates Smartspace, said:

“I am really delighted to be joining the award-winning Wates Residential team who are making such a positive impact on local communities, providing people with great places to live.  With the Wates Group’s renewed commitment to invest in the business and a great market opportunity ahead of us, it’s going to be an exciting time for us, our partners and our customers.”


Helen Bunch - Executive Managing Director, Residential
Helen Bunch - Executive Managing Director, Wates Residential


From 1 August, Wates Smartspace will become a division of Wates Property Services, joining Wates Living Space and Wates FM under the leadership of David Morgan, Executive MD, Wates Property Services.

The move reflects the Smartspace business strategy to have a more balanced public/private sector portfolio and should allow it to benefit from the group’s strong existing public sector relationships, as well as the opportunities to share skills and create cost efficiencies.

A new Smartspace MD will be appointed in the coming weeks.


The Group’s construction business will intensify its focus on design and offsite manufacturing, and strengthen its capabilities in complex sectors, such as healthcare.  Following their successful collaboration during lockdown on a landmark project to build a new intensive care unit for the Royal London Hospital in only five weeks, SES Engineering Services, Wates Building Services and Prism Wates’ specialist offsite manufacturing facility will be brought together under the umbrella of Wates Integrated Construction Services (WICS).

Rob Clifford, currently MD, Wates Building Services, has been appointed Managing Director, WICS, reporting to Paul Chandler, Executive Director, Construction.

Rob Clifford - Managing Director, Wates Integrated Construction Services
Rob Clifford - Managing Director, Wates Integrated Construction Services, Wates Construction

Following the recent resignation of MD Jason Knights, Steve Joyce has been appointed Managing Director of SES. SES will continue to provide its customers across the sector with the specialist M&E services on which its excellent reputation is based.

Together with Prism Design and Manufacturing Services, WICS will lead the Group’s digital transition and adoption of Modern Methods of Construction.

Steve Joyce - Managing Director of SES Engineering Services
Steve Joyce - Managing Director of SES Engineering Services, Wates Construction


From 2021, approximately 70% of the Group’s turnover will be from public sector customers. Wates has reiterated its commitment to becoming the partner of choice for the public sector with the immediate appointment of Strategy Director, Steve Beechey, to the newly-created position of Group Public Sector Director.

Steve will ensure that Wates plays its part in helping the Government achieve its ambition to ‘build back better, build back greener, build back faster’ and will be responsible for ensuring that we provide the best of the Group’s capabilities consistently to every part of the public sector that we serve.

Steve Beechey - Group Public Sector Director, Wates Group
Steve Beechey - Group Public Sector Director, Wates Group


David Brocklebank, Executive MD, Wates Developments, will oversee the expansion of Wates’ Development Agency Service offer and create a new Wates Partnerships business to generate ‘turnkey’ opportunities.

Investment Director, Natalie Flint will continue to lead the growth of the Development Agency Service offer, helping customers generate more value from their investments in housing and overseeing marketing and sales.

Helen Rieman, former head of business development and partnerships at United Living, joins Wates Developments as Partnerships Director to help identify, develop and fund housing, key worker, build to rent and senior living schemes where Wates can use its land, development, contracting, sales and facilities management capabilities to generate value across the entire lifecycle of the assets it creates.

Helen Rieman - Partnerships Director, Developments
Helen Rieman - Partnerships Director, Wates Developments

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