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 establish 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 important of a £3bn constructing security levy pressured by by ministers two months in the past.
David Thomas, Barratt’s chief govt, has been significantly 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 setting which leaves no incentive for corporations to base themselves within the UK or be listed on the FTSE,” Mr Thomas wrote final month.
“It would hurt inward enterprise funding within the UK.”
Barratt has put aside tons of of thousands and thousands of kilos to pay its share of the brand new levy, which allied with different components has lately exerted downward stress on the corporate’s shares.
Over the last 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 during the last 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 stated the corporate’s annual assembly subsequent yr seemed 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 grew to become 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 dwelling disaster.
“There’s an amazing 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 informed 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 current board members had been more likely 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 govt of Marks & Spencer.
The seek for Mr Allan’s successor is being led by Jock Lennox, Barratt’s senior impartial director.
One of many new Barratt chairman’s most urgent duties is more likely to be figuring out a medium-term substitute for Mr Thomas, who has himself been within the position for nearly seven years.
Barratt declined to remark.