About us | Wates

About us

Wates: committed to the long-term future of the built environment

We're one of the largest privately-owned construction, development and property services companies in the UK.

Wates employs over 4,000 people and works with more than 10,000 supply-chain operatives and partners to successfully deliver our projects throughout the UK.

We are committed to the long-term future of the built environment. Our award-winning corporate social responsibility and sustainability programmes underpin our vision to become the most trusted partner in the built environment, leaving a positive legacy for the communities in which we work and live.

Now in our fourth generation of family ownership, Wates’ professional family shareholders are committed to the future of the business, growing the Wates Group in a sustainable way over the long term, with a view to handing over to the next generation.

  • INTEGRITY

    We do what we say

  • INTELLIGENCE

    We think beyond the obvious

  • TEAMWORK

    Together, we go the extra mile

  • PERFORMANCE

    Everyone plays their part

  • RESPECT FOR PEOPLE AND COMMUNITIES

    Leaving a positive legacy

A proud HISTORY 1897-2019
Our History

Sir James Wates CBE

Chairman

Sir James Wates CBE has worked for the Wates Group since 1983 and has been Chairman since 2013. He was first appointed to the Wates Group Board in 1997. He is chairman of the Nominations Committee.

Outside of the company, Sir James is Chairman of the CBI Construction Council, Co-chair of Infrastructure Exports: UK, and Chairman of the BRE (Building Research Establishment) Trust. He has also served in the past as President of the Chartered Institute of Building, Chairman of the Construction Industry Training Board, and Co-chair of Build UK. He is a Non-executive Director of Argent Services LLP.

Sir James feels passionately that good business, well done, is a force for good for society, which has led him to take on a number of other roles, such as Chairman of the think tank Tomorrow’s Company and Chairman of the Princes Trust Corporate Advisory Group. In 2018 he was appointed by the government to chair the coalition group developing corporate governance principles for large private companies (the so-called ‘Wates Principles’).

He was awarded the CBE for services to construction and the charitable sector and was awarded the knighthood in the Queen’s Birthday Honours in 2019.

David Allen

Chief Executive

David Allen was appointed Chief Executive in April 2018 having joined Wates as Chief Financial Officer in January 2016.

Before arriving at Wates, David was Crossrail’s Finance Director and one of the three Executive members of the £15bn project’s board. He had joined Crossrail in March 2009 from Laing O’Rourke, where he was Finance Director for its European Construction business.

Prior to entering the construction industry in 2004, David worked in Accenture’s Strategy Consulting practice and HSBC Investment Bank’s Corporate Finance & Advisory Division.

David began his career with Arthur Andersen’s Tax Practice, is a Chartered Accountant and holds a degree in Modern History from St. Peter’s College Oxford.

Andrew Wates

Director

Andy joined the Wates Group in 1995. He was appointed to the Board in 2011 and is currently a member of the Remuneration Committee. He is Chairman of the Wates Family Enterprise Trust and also chairs the Wates Investment Partnership, which is the family’s long-term investment portfolio. He has also served as Managing Director of Wates Interiors.

Andy chairs the Wates Foundation, an independent grant making family trust that has been supporting the charitable and voluntary sector for almost 50 years.

Before joining Wates, Andy spent six years with Costain Construction and John Shreeves & Partners.

Outside of the company, Andy is Chairman of the Construction Youth Trust, founded in 1961 to support young people who are facing significant barriers to education, training and employment.

He is active in the Institute for Family Business, serving as a member of the National Policy committee and Chair of the IFB South East Region.

In 2018 he was elected to the Court of The Clothworkers’ Company. He holds an MBA from Roffey Park Business School.

Charles Wates

Director

Charlie joined the Wates Group in 2005. He is founder and joint Managing Director of Needspace?, the company’s managed workspace division which now comprises a portfolio of seven properties across London and the South East. He joined the Board in 2011 and is also Chairman of the Next Generation Committee.

Before joining Wates he was a chartered surveyor with over ten years’ experience in the commercial property sector with firms including Jones Lang LaSalle.

Outside of the company, he is a member of the British Council of Offices and the British Property Federation. He is on the Board of Management, Estates Committee and Finance Committee of the Royal Alexandra & Albert School.

Jonathan Wates

Director

Jonny was appointed to the Wates Group Board in 2008, having previously served as Group Head of Strategy and Sales Director of Wates Homes Ltd. He is a Trustee of the Wates Family Enterprise Trust and the William Wates Memorial Trust. He chairs the Board Sustainability Committee and champions sustainability at a strategic and an operational level.

Previously, Jonny was Founder and Chairman of the renewable energy start up Myriad Cleaner Energy Generation, and he began his career as brand manager at International Distillers & Vintners (now Diageo).

Outside of the company, Jonny holds a range of positions including: Vice Chair of Polaris – Family Business Network International; an Advisory Board Member for the Centre for Climate Change and Social Transformations; a member of the Advisory Council of Commonland; a Trustee of Forum for the Future; and an Associate at Leaders’ Quest.

He has an MBA from the Cranfield University School of Management and a Master’s Degree in Sustainability and Leadership from the University of Cambridge.

He is passionate about encouraging biodiversity in the city as a way to raise awareness of climate change, promote community cohesion and create a harmonious relationship between humanity and nature.

Timothy Wates

Director

Tim joined Wates in 1993 and has served on the Board from 2006 to 2008 and since 2011. He is Chairman of the Wates Family Council – the Family Shareholder forum – and is a member of the Audit Committee. He is also a Trustee of various Wates Family charities.

Prior to joining the Wates Group, Tim started his career at Cazenove & Co.

Outside of the company, he is Chairman of the Coast to Capital Local Enterprise Partnership and a Deputy Lieutenant of Surrey. He serves on the Advisory Board of the Cambridge Judge Business School, and is a Non-Executive Director of Tampopo and Pedder Property. He has an MBA from the University of Cambridge.

Tim has particular interest in housing and regeneration issues, as well as facilitating the effective management of public-private partnerships.

 

Paul Chandler

Group Managing Director, Wates Construction Group

Paul joined Wates as Group Managing Director of the Construction Group in January 2017, with accountability for the portfolio of businesses comprising Construction London, Construction London Residential, Construction Home Counties, Construction North, SES Engineering Services and Wates Building Services.

He was appointed to the Wates Group Board in June 2018.

Before joining Wates Paul was Executive Vice President at Skanska UK, responsible for building and mechanical/ electrical operations. Additionally Paul  held executive responsibility for environment, pre-construction and strategic development. Over a 34 year career with Skanska, Paul delivered large and complex projects (routinely over £100 million in value) across the commercial, residential and engineering services sectors as well as a significant number of large public-private partnership (PPP) schemes in healthcare, defence and education. Amongst the most notable landmark projects for which Paul has had accountability are 30 St Mary Axe (The Gherkin) and Heron Tower in London.

Paul has a strong reputation for people development and succession management. He places a particular emphasis on promoting young talent in construction.

Philip Wainwright

Chief Financial Officer

Philip Wainwright joined Wates as Chief Financial Officer in December 2018 and sits on both the Group Board and the Executive Committee.

Formerly Group Finance Director at Wilmott Dixon, Philip has a degree in mechanical engineering and began his career as a graduate engineer with Balfour Beatty, before qualifying as a chartered accountant with Ernst & Young. He has over 20 years of experience in the construction industry in both senior financial and operational roles, including at Byrne Group, Laing O’Rourke, Biwater Plc, National Grid and ED&F Man.

Philip is married with four children and lives in Kent.

David Barclay

Independent Non-Executive Director

David was appointed Non-Executive Director of Wates Group in December 2012 and is the Group’s Senior Independent Director. He is Chairman of the Remuneration Committee and a member of the Audit and Nomination Committees. He also holds Non- executive positions with Wessex Water and The British Library, where he is Deputy Chairman and Chairman of the Remuneration Committee. He was appointed to the Board of YTL Land & Property (UK) Limited on 13 March 2017. He is former Non-Executive Deputy Chairman of the John Lewis Partnership and Vice Chairman of Dresdner Kleinwort, the investment bank. Earlier in his career, he spent ten years in the UK civil service, including two years as private secretary to the then Prime Minister, Margaret Thatcher.

Jeremy Newsum

Independent Non Executive Director

Jeremy Newsum joined the Wates Group Board on 1 September 2018.

A Fellow of the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors, Jeremy retired in 2016 after spending over 25 years leading the executive team of the Grosvenor Estate and the Grosvenor Family Investment Office. He remains a trustee of the Grosvenor Estate, and also holds Non-Executive roles at Trinity College, Cambridge; Grupo Lar (Spain) and Cambridge Ahead.

Previous Non-Executive roles include Chair of the Urban Land Institute; President of the British Property Federation and council member of Imperial College, London.

Joe Oatley

Independent Non Executive Director

Joe Oatley was appointed to the Board as Non-executive director in July 2017.  He was Chief Executive at Cape plc – a global FTSE-listed company specialising in the provision of critical industrial services to the energy and natural resources sectors – for six years until 2018.  Joe was previously Chief Executive of Hamworthy plc, a global oil and gas engineering business, which he joined in 2007 and led until its takeover by Wartsila in 2012.   Joe is also a non-executive director at Carclo plc, an international manufacturer serving the medical and automotive sectors.

Prior to this, Joe spent most of his career in the engineering sector in a broad range of roles including Managing Director – Strategy Development and Acquisitions.

David Allen

Chief Executive

David Allen was appointed Chief Executive in April 2018 having joined Wates as Chief Financial Officer in January 2016.

Before arriving at Wates, David was Crossrail’s Finance Director and one of the three Executive members of the £15bn project’s board. He had joined Crossrail in March 2009 from Laing O’Rourke, where he was Finance Director for its European Construction business.

Prior to entering the construction industry in 2004, David worked in Accenture’s Strategy Consulting practice and HSBC Investment Bank’s Corporate Finance & Advisory Division.

David began his career with Arthur Andersen’s Tax Practice, is a Chartered Accountant and holds a degree in Modern History from St. Peter’s College Oxford.

Philip Wainwright

Chief Financial Officer

Philip Wainwright joined Wates as Chief Financial Officer in December 2018 and sits on both the Group Board and the Executive Committee.

Formerly Group Finance Director at Wilmott Dixon, Philip has a degree in mechanical engineering and began his career as a graduate engineer with Balfour Beatty, before qualifying as a chartered accountant with Ernst & Young. He has over 20 years of experience in the construction industry in both senior financial and operational roles, including at Byrne Group, Laing O’Rourke, Biwater Plc, National Grid and ED&F Man.

Philip is married with four children and lives in Kent.

David Brocklebank

Group Managing Director- Residential Developments Group

David has over 20 years’ experience in the development sector, having previously held Directorships within the Berkeley Group and David Wilson Homes. David was a principal figure in Wates’ key 2005 strategic transformation from Regional House builder to London and South East land investor and planning specialist, that secures land and planning consent, creating joint ventures with mainstream homebuilders to fund new development schemes.

David is a prominent figure in the development industry with a keen interest in the evolution of planning policy and housing supply.  He sits on the board of a number of development project companies as partner to PLC homebuilders such as Barratt and Linden. This offers significant influence and insight into development operations and the housing market within the UK.

David sits on the Research Committee for the Princes Foundation for Building Community – Financial Capital. In addition, David sits on the Advisory Committee of the MSC in sustainable development, Oxford University.  In his role within Wates, he also sits on the Group Risk and Developments Investment Committees.

Steve Beechey

Group Strategy Director and Managing Director Government Affairs

Steve joined Wates in 2010 and is responsible for Wates’ Group Strategy, Group Communications and Government Affairs.

He is accountable for guiding, informing and co-ordinating relationships with government departments, including the Department for Education, MOD Defence Infrastructure Organisation and Ministry of Justice.

In his previous role as Managing Director Education and Investment Solutions, Steve was instrumental in the development of Adapt – our kit-of-spaces design solution for cost effective schools. He was also responsible for investments across the Wates Group, focused around social infrastructure.

With over 30 years’ experience, Steve has an excellent industry track record. He began his career as an Engineer with Tarmac in 1987 and progressed into a number of commercial roles before moving into a development and programme management role with Schal.

Subsequent roles included Development and Sector Directorships with Jarvis and Laing O’Rourke, where he was responsible for over £2bn worth of PFI contracts across education, social housing, MOD, MOJ and infrastructure. He is a Chartered Surveyor, Chartered Builder and was a Founding Trustee of XP Free School in Doncaster.

Steve is accountable at ExCo for consistency around customer engagement and feedback.

From January 2019, Steve will be joining the FTSE-listed building products group, Alumasc plc, as a non-executive director.

Helen Bunch

Managing Director, Wates Smartspace

Helen joined Wates in 2006 as Group Strategy Director, developing and supporting the delivery of the Group’s growth. Helen became Managing Director of Wates Retail in January 2011 before heading up Wates Smartspace, the enlarged property services business following the merger of Wates Retail and Wates Interiors and the acquisition of Shepherd FM, as Managing Director in 2015.

Prior to Wates, Helen spent 17 years with ICI and, successor company, Lucite International working in global businesses that served a wide variety of industries from automotive to household products.

Helen is a Non-Executive Director of Morgan Advanced Materials Plc.

Paul Chandler

Group Managing Director, Wates Construction Group

Paul joined Wates as Group Managing Director of the Construction Group in January 2017, with accountability for the portfolio of businesses comprising Construction London, Construction London Residential, Construction Home Counties, Construction North, SES Engineering Services and Wates Building Services.

Paul was previously Executive Vice President at Skanska UK, responsible for building and mechanical/electrical operations. Additionally Paul  held executive responsibility for environment, pre-construction and strategic development. Over a 34 year career with Skanska, Paul delivered large and complex projects (routinely over £100 million in value) across the commercial, residential and engineering services sectors as well as a significant number of large public-private partnership (PPP) schemes in healthcare, defence and education. Amongst the most notable landmark projects for which Paul has had accountability are 30 St Mary Axe (The Gherkin) and Heron Tower in London.

Paul has a strong reputation for people development and succession management. He places a particular emphasis on promoting young talent in construction.

John Dunne

Group Safety, Health, Environment and Quality Director

John joined Wates as the Group Safety, Health, Environment and Quality Director in April 2015 and was appointed to the Executive Committee in March 2017.  He is responsible for leading a company-wide Safety, Health and Wellbeing behavioural transformation programme, embedding a culture of good decision making throughout the organisation and ensuring everyone at Wates understands their individual responsibility. He also has line responsibility for the Quality Assurance and Environmental teams.

Before arriving at Wates, John spent 15 years at Balfour Beatty within various lead Health, Safety and Environmental roles eventually managing the global HSE function across 17 different countries. He has over 20 years’ experience as a HSE Professional, across manufacturing, major construction, engineering and consultancy.

Prior to entering the construction industry in 1997, John spent ten years in the Royal Navy as a diver working on civil and marine engineering tasks as well as bomb disposal, mine clearance and Underwater Special Forces.

John is a Chartered Member of the Institute of Occupational Safety and Health. He is married with four children.

David Morgan

Managing Director, Wates Living Space

David is Managing Director of Wates Living Space. He joined Wates in January 2014, following a successful career in senior leadership roles in the support services sector.

A graduate of Warwick University, David was previously Group Managing Director for G4S’ Care and Justice business, a £325m turnover business, employing 5,000 people. Prior to this he was Business Development Director of BT Global Services’ Public Sector division, developing long term strategic partnerships and growing the business to over £500m.

As Managing Director for Wates Living Space, David is responsible for maintaining over 500,000 social housing properties in England and Wales. He has a wealth of experience in working in partnership and joint ventures with housing associations and local authorities and is committed to delivering excellent value for money in addition to community regeneration for all of our clients and residents.

David sits on the Wates Group Executive Committee, Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) Committee and Group Risk Committee.

Outside of Wates, David is a keen fundraiser. In 2015 he took part in a successful attempt to break the World Record for the Fastest Relay Run from John O’Groats to Land’s End, raising over £100k for charity in the process.

Paul Rowan

Group HR Director

Paul joined Wates in August 2014 as Group HR Director where he is responsible for all HR activities in the Group including recruitment, learning & development and reward.

Paul has previously worked in a number of sectors including manufacturing, financial services, telecoms, and technology. Having worked for organisations such as Unilver, Glaxo and Barclays, Paul has over 25 years’ experience of supporting substantial business change programmes in large complex organisations.

Paul is ExCo sponsor for all employee issues including diversity and inclusion.

Simon Potter

Group Commercial Director

Simon Potter was appointed Group Commercial Director in July 2018 and is a member of the Executive Committee of the Wates Group.

He joined Wates in 1989 and in a career spanning 30 years, has held key commercial roles within the business, including Commercial Director for Wates Construction, where he oversaw a team of 400 surveyors and had overall commercial responsibility for all construction projects – both pre- and post contract – across the UK.

During this time, Simon was instrumental in developing Wates’ pre-eminence in public sector frameworks, particularly in the education and justice sectors, together with Scape Procure Major Works and various regional frameworks.

Simon works closely with our clients to overcome problems and define commercially viable solutions for their businesses, bringing extensive knowledge of all contractual forms, construction techniques and procurement types. As part of his role Simon chairs a number of corporate committees, including those on Risk and Audit.

Simon is a Member of the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors.

A business whose shareholders are closely involved at senior levels.

  • GROUP BOARD
  • EXECUTIVE Committee

Sir James Wates CBE

Chairman

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David Allen

Chief Executive

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Andrew Wates

Director

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Charles Wates

Director

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Jonathan Wates

Director

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Timothy Wates

Director

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Paul Chandler

Group Managing Director, Wates Construction Group

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Philip Wainwright

Chief Financial Officer

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David Barclay

Independent Non-Executive Director

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Jeremy Newsum

Independent Non Executive Director

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Joe Oatley

Independent Non Executive Director

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David Allen

Chief Executive

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Philip Wainwright

Chief Financial Officer

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David Brocklebank

Group Managing Director- Residential Developments Group

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Steve Beechey

Group Strategy Director and Managing Director Government Affairs

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Helen Bunch

Managing Director, Wates Smartspace

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Paul Chandler

Group Managing Director, Wates Construction Group

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John Dunne

Group Safety, Health, Environment and Quality Director

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David Morgan

Managing Director, Wates Living Space

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Paul Rowan

Group HR Director

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Simon Potter

Group Commercial Director

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Financial Highlights

Our sector has weathered some challenging conditions over the past few years, but despite this, our business has performed extremely well.

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Health & Safety

The safety and welfare of our people.

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Contact us

How to get in touch with Wates.

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