MANAGING DIRECTOR of top water consultant MWH Ian McAulay has been poached by United Utilities (UU) to be managing director for capital programmes, NCE has learned From the 16 April, McAulay will lead the UU capital delivery programme, which involves some £2.9bn of investment by 2010.
'It was time for a change for me, ' McAulay told NCE. 'After 20 years in consulting I thought it was time to change things around.' McAulay took MWH to the top of the water league table in this year's NCE Consultants File with fees in the sector of £86M.
Historically MWH and UU have had a close relationship. Between 2000 and 2005 UU appointed it to manage its investment programme, a role it won from United States giant Bechtel.
But in 2005 UU decided to act as its own project manager, and although it retained MWH as a consultant, it began to employ more staff directly. Persuading McAulay to join them is the latest part of this on-going restructure.
UU is one of several water companies criticised by suppliers for its slow progress on investment when the current ve year work period began in April 2005.
'The biggest priority will be efficient delivery of the capital programme, ' said McAulay.
'Many plcs have been slow (to start spending) and UU is no different but one programme is actually ahead of schedule now, ' he said.
MWH and UU also work together with Costain on the Southern Water's 4D investment programme contract. They are also partners in the Scottish Water Solutions consortium.
McAulay said that he did not expect a direct replacement to be appointed at MWH and that a restructure at the rm was likely.