The Wates boss took home this prize for his jovial attitude, keen business sense and splendid financial record since joining the contractor
Sponsored by KPMG
Paul Drechsler was voted the best chief executive in British construction after a turbulent 2008 for the industry. Born in Ireland, the Wates boss studied engineering at Trinity College in Dublin and spent 22 years at chemicals group ICI before joining Wates in September 2004. Under his tenure the contractor's profit margin has increased from 0.6% to 4.7% and last month he announced that the group had broken the £1bn turnover barrier for the first time in its 111-year history. He has also boosted cash from £47m to £170m, which has put the company in an enviable position to weather the recession. Drechsler is jovial and energetic in person and has the right balance of a razor-sharp business brain and easy diplomacy to sit in the hot-seat of a family-run business. When asked how he gets on with the Wates dynasty he once said: “I know all their kids and go to their parties. There are a significant number of feisty young ladies in the family and who knows maybe one of them will take over one day.”
KPMG are delighted to sponsor the ‘Chief Executive of the year’ award at the Building Awards for the sixth year.
The award is to acknowledge outstanding leadership within the Building and Construction industry, and to highlight best industry practice and experience for the benefit of the industry as a whole.
The award also carries the added acknowledgement from industry peers who were asked to cast a vote, in favour of their choice for the award, producing a shortlist of candidates for the judges selection.
As the Building and Construction industry embraces the economic slow down, the competition for a winner is stiff as Chief Executive’s juggle the demand for delivering on the ground with the risks to business that inevitably follows in a rapidly changing market.
We look forward to presenting the award to the deserving winner, and to the continued success of the industry.