Arabtec appoints new finance chief

Arabtec has announced the appointment of Peter Pollard as its new group chief financial officer.

Mr Pollard joins Arabtec from the outsourcing firm Serco Group, where he has most recently been working as the managing director of its Hong Kong business.

Before that, however, he worked in a number of senior financial positions within contracting and property companies in the UAE, Asia and Australia. He had previously worked as the chief financial officer at Leighton Contractors (now renamed CPB Contractors) at a time when Arabtec Holding’s chief executive Hamish Tyrwhitt was the chief executive of the Leighton Group.

Mr Tyrwhitt said Mr Pollard “has a proven track record in our industry, and has previously guided companies through challenging periods with his financial acument and management skills”.

“He will be instrumental in Arabtec’s strategy, overseeing the recapitalisation programme and the strategic road map laid out in recent months as we make strides building a successful and sustainable future for the group and its shareholders.”

The company said Ravi Murthy, who has been the group’s acting group chief financial officer since July 2015, has stepped back from that post but will continue his role as the chief financial officer for its biggest subsidiary, Arabtec Construction.

Mr Tywhitt said Mr Murthy had “helped to guide the company through a challenging period, and we are grateful for the hard work, commitment and strong leadership he demonstrated during this time”.

Mr Pollard will work from Arabtec’s headquarters at Ipic Square in Abu Dhabi, where the company will hold its annual general meeting tomorrow when shareholders will vote on whether or not to approve a recapitalisation programme that should see it raise Dh1.5 billion through a rights issue and expunge Dh4.6bn of accumulated losses through a capital reduction exercise.

The deal has the support of Arabtec’s largest shareholder, Aabar Investments, which currently holds a 36.11 per cent stake in the business. It has effectively underwritten the exercise by not only agreeing to subscribe to its own allocation but also to any unallocated shares not taken up by other shareholders.

mfahy@thenational.ae

Follow The National’s Business section on Twitter