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Alastair Lyons appointed as Chairman of Glas Cymru


Glas Cymru Holdings Cyf. - the owner of water company, Dŵr Cymru (Welsh Water) - today announces that Alastair Lyons CBE has been appointed to become a member of the Board from 1 May 2016 and will take over as Chairman after the company’s AGM on 8 July 2016. He will succeed the current Chairman, Robert Ayling, who announced last year that he planned to stand down this summer.

Alastair Lyons has been Chairman of Admiral, the Cardiff based FTSE 100 motor insurer, since 2000 and is also Deputy Chairman of Bovis Homes. During an extensive executive career, he was Chief Executive Officer of the National Provident Institution and the National & Provincial Building Society, Managing Director of the Insurance Division of Abbey National plc, and Director of Corporate Projects at National Westminster Bank plc.

Robert Ayling joined the Glas Cymru Board in 2008 and has been Chairman since 2010. He has played a key role in guiding the company through the 2009 and 2014 regulatory price reviews and major transformational changes, including insourcing of nearly 1,600 employees into the company in 2010 from previously outsourced operations contracts and the re-shaping of the company’s core business in 2015 into three distinct business units - Water, Wastewater and Retail Services - and has seen the company deliver its best overall performance since being set-up as a not-for-profit company in 2001.

Robert Ayling, Chairman of Glas Cymru said: "I am delighted that Alastair will be joining the Glas Cymru Board as my successor as Chairman. He brings with him a strong commercial acumen and customer service ethos that will help ensure that Welsh Water rises to the challenges of a changing water sector whilst always putting its customers first in everything that it does. With its innovative non-shareholder model enabling all gains to go to customers, I am proud of the progress that has been made in recent years which now means that Welsh Water is amongst the top performing water and sewerage companies in England and Wales."

Welsh Water’s Chief Executive, Chris Jones, said: “Bob has led the Glas Cymru Board with great distinction and has played a key role in helping transform the company - not least by challenging and scrutinising colleagues to ensure that we always deliver the best possible water and wastewater services to our customers, at the most affordable price.

I look forward to welcoming Alastair as Chairman of Glas Cymru. He brings with him extensive skills and experience at the very highest level and his demonstrable leadership qualities will help us build on the success that we have achieved so far so that we truly become a customer-led provider of the most essential of public services.”

Alastair Lyons commented: “I am delighted to have been offered the opportunity to chair a business that plays as central a part in Welsh life as Welsh Water and whose constitution allows such a strong alignment of interest between itself and its customers, both now and over the long-term.”

Enquiries to the Welsh Water press office on 01443 452452 or press@dwrcymru.com

Notes to Editors

  • As a company limited by guarantee, Glas Cymru Holdings Cyf. has no shareholders, and all financial surpluses generated are retained and reinvested for the benefit of Welsh Water and its customers.
  • Glas Cymru modernised its governance structure in March 2016 to enable the company to respond more effectively to changes within the water and wastewater sectors. The Board reaffirmed its commitment to safeguarding Welsh Water’s not-for-profit model and its core purpose which is to provide the most essential of public services to customers at the best possible price.
  • Under the unique Glas Cymru business model, the important corporate governance role of the Board is to be responsible for promoting the long term success of the company. The Board sets the Group’s strategic aims, monitors the performance of management against the strategic aims, advocates good governance, sets the risk appetite and ensures that effective controls are in place in the business.
  • With no shareholders, Glas Cymru has 63 independent Members. Members carry out an important corporate governance role, and for this reason membership is personal and Members are not appointed to represent any particular group or stakeholder interest.
  • The appointment follows a recruitment process led by a sub-committee of Board Members chaired by Professor Stephen Palmer, a senior Non-Executive Director of Glas, with the assistance of external recruitment consultants.
  • Alastair Lyons has also held numerous non-executive roles, having served as Chairman of Towergate Insurance, Chairman of Serco, the international services group, and Senior Independent Non-Executive Director at Phoenix, the life assurance consolidator. He has also been a Non-Executive Director of both the Department for Transport and the Department for Work and Pensions and was awarded the CBE in 2001 for services to social security.