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Mastermind of May Gurney swoop named group chief executive of Kier

PUBLISHED: 12:58 02 July 2014 | UPDATED: 16:06 02 July 2014

Haydn Mursell, chief executive of Kier Group

Haydn Mursell, chief executive of Kier Group


The man seen as the “driving force” behind Kier’s swoop for Norwich-based May Gurney has emerged as the company’s new group chief executive.

Haydn Mursell has taken the top role at the Kier Group after spending the past four years working as its group finance director. He replaces departing chief executive Paul Sheffield who announced in February that he would be leaving his post.

It comes as the EDP Top100 firm’s underlying trading performance for the full year ending June 30 remained on course, as it revealed plans to consolidate its residential housing arm into one business branded Kier Living.
Mr Mursell said: “Having had the opportunity to work at Kier over the last four years it is a privilege to be taking on the role of chief executive.

“The business has some of the most experienced and skilled teams in the industry and a diverse portfolio of clients spanning the construction, services and property sectors, so it is incredibly well placed to make the most of recovering markets.”

Kier Group’s services order book was stable at £3.6bn, with 85pc of revenues secured to June 30 2015. The performance was partly boosted by the announcement earlier this year that Kier was named preferred bidder for two long-term contracts with Anglian Water worth £130m.

Meanwhile, its construction division’s operating margins was also stable at 2pc, with an order book of £2.6bn, representing 90pc of its anticipated revenues to June 30 2015.

Phil White, Kier Group chairman, added: “I am delighted that we have been able to appoint such a strong successor to Paul from within the group. It enables us to bring new momentum and vision to the leadership team, informed by a robust understanding of the business.

“Haydn was a driving force behind our acquisition of May Gurney and he has played an integral role in enabling the business to reap the rewards of that strategic investment. This combined with his earlier experience at Balfour Beatty and Bovis Lend Lease gives him exceptional credentials. It is an exciting time for the Group and I am very much looking forward to working with him.” May Gurney shareholders overwhelmingly backed a £221m takeover of the firm by Kier last year, marking the end of the road for the Trowse-based firm as a separate entity.

• Do you have a business story for the Eastern Daily Press? Contact business writer Ben Woods on 01603 772426 or email

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