Balfour Beatty announced on Wednesday that Jim Cohen, group managing director responsible for rail, will retire from the company in February next year at the age of 65.

Cohen joined the group in 1993 to develop the Balfour Beatty business in Asia. He took on board responsibility for rail in 1996 and until last year was also in charge of developing the company's PPP investments business.

Balfour Beatty chairman Sir David John said: "Jim Cohen has been instrumental in the successful growth of both our international rail business and our PPP investments business."

The construction and engineering company said that Cohen would be replaced by Manfred Leger, the managing director of Balfour Beatty Rail Power Systems in Germany.

Leger joined Balfour Beatty when it acquired the electrification project business of Adtranz in December 2001.