Change at the top of South West CBI as regional chair quits early

December 6, 2017
By

The CBI has appointed Susan Davy, chief financial officer of environmental infrastructure group Pennon Group, as the next chair of its South West region.

Susan, pictured right, will replace Andrew Livingston, CEO of Yeovil-based DIY and building equipment supplier Screwfix, who is leaving the post early. 

Andrew, pictured below, took over the role for a two-year term in October last year. But this summer it was announced that he will move from Screwfix early next year to become CEO of rival London-based Howden Joinery, taking over from its founder Matthew Ingle and relocating out of the region.

Susan Davey, who becomes chair next month, will serve a full two-year term. She will represent CBI members in the region in discussions with the government, local mayors, councils and policy makers.

She will chair the CBI South West Council, which forms part of the CBI’s national policy-making committee, signing off all the CBI’s public policy positions. The South West chair plays a vital role in promoting the interests of businesses in the region and ensures the voice of the business community is heard in Westminster, Whitehall and beyond.

A qualified chartered accountant with 20 years’ experience in the utility sector, Susan has worked at Yorkshire Water, and was finance director at South West Water from 2007 to 2015, before joining the board at Exeter-based Pennon, one of the UK’s largest environmental infrastructure groups.

A FTSE 250 company and one of the largest employers and private investors in the South West, Pennon employs around 5,000 people. Its core businesses are South West Water and Viridor, among the UK’s biggest recycling and renewable energy companies. 

Susan has a particular interest in infrastructure, the environment and skills, and will have a focus on supporting the South West as the UK’s future relationship with the EU takes shape.

She is also a member of the A4S (Accounting for Sustainability) CFO leadership network.

She said: “At this critical time for the country and our region, the CBI will be striving for the best Brexit outcome for the South West and the UK. It’s also vital that businesses and our members have a seat at the table as new devolution deals are discussed.

“I very much look forward to working alongside [CBI South West director] Deborah Waddell and colleagues to support the South West’s fantastic businesses and entrepreneurs as we improve prosperity and productivity, and continue to back the South West.”

CBI director-general Carolyn Fairbairn added: “I’m really delighted to welcome Susan to the CBI’s South West team. Susan’s wealth of experience, particularly in infrastructure – a key to unlocking the increased productivity which all our regions need – will help the CBI create the best possible conditions for its members in South West.

“As a new, post-Brexit landscape takes shape for the UK and the South West, Susan joins us at a pivotal time for the region’s economy and future, when firms will be looking for political stability and certainty from the government.

“I look forward to working closely with Susan and Deborah to achieve this.”

The CBI does not disclose how many corporate members it has in the South West but says, across the UK, it speaks on behalf of 190,000 businesses of all sizes and sectors. Its corporate members together employ nearly 7m people – about a third of private sector-employees. It has offices in Brussels, Washington, Beijing and Delhi.

 

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