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Thames Water set to appoint Adrian Montague as chair

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Thames Water is poised to nominate Sir Adrian Montague, an skilled Metropolis troubleshooter, to step in as the brand new chair of Britain’s largest water firm because it struggles to boost essential funding. 

The group, which can publish its annual monetary report subsequent week, is anticipated to verify inside hours the appointment of Montague, who has beforehand chaired British Power and Anglian Water and was deputy chair of Community Rail. 

Montague can also be chair of Cadent Fuel, the UK’s largest gasoline distribution community and of Manchester Airports Group.

Two folks with information of the matter confirmed the appointment, which was earlier reported in The Occasions.

Thames Water declined to right away remark.

The British authorities is on standby for a possible taxpayer rescue of the corporate, which was not too long ago recognized by the water regulator Ofwat as essentially the most leveraged group in a debt-laden sector. 

Rising rates of interest are placing strain on many water corporations, with Ofwat having in December expressed considerations about Thames Water, Yorkshire Water, SES Water and Portsmouth Water.

Thames introduced a 12 months in the past that it needed to boost £1.5bn from its current shareholders — giant institutional buyers such because the Universities Superannuation Scheme and the China Funding Company — nevertheless it has to this point raised solely £500mn of this, leaving a £1bn hole.

The earlier chief government, Sarah Bentley, abruptly stepped down this week and considered one of her co-successors not too long ago admitted the corporate may have to boost greater than £1bn given the pressures on the enterprise. 

Montague, 75, who began his profession as a Linklaters lawyer and Dresdner Kleinwort Benson banker, has taken on senior roles up to now involving complicated monetary troubleshooting in main corporations. 

He was appointed as deputy chair of Community Rail when it was set as much as substitute Railtrack twenty years in the past.

Montague was additionally appointed as chair of British Power when the then-operator of Britain’s nuclear energy stations fell into difficulties in 2002. He steered the group again to profitability earlier than promoting it to France’s EDF for £12.5bn in 2009.

Extra not too long ago Montague was chair of Aviva, the insurer, from 2015 till 2020, the place he presided in a relaunch of the corporate’s technique with a cost-cutting train involving mass job cuts. 

His lengthy profession within the Metropolis of London has included spells as chair of personal fairness group 3i, insurer Pals Provident, recruitment group Michael Web page and Swedish paper producer Cellmark. 

He was chair of Cross London Rail Hyperlinks, the precursor to the east-west Crossrail line, and likewise performed a pivotal function establishing the Inexperienced Funding Financial institution below the Tory-Lib Dem coalition, appearing as deputy chair till 2013.