Former senior honcho at British Nuclear Group to spearhead new drive in energy sector

Consultant Currie & Brown has poached Jim O’Neill from British Nuclear Group to head its nuclear division.

O’Neill, who was formerly head of estimating and cost management at BNG, joined Currie & Brown as director of its nuclear, engineering and oil & gas team at the start of this month. He is based at the firm’s Glasgow office.

The company’s nuclear division has been built up over the past several years but the role of director has been created recently as Currie & Brown has devoted more resources to the energy sector.

O’Neill worked for Currie & Brown as a projects director in the late 1990s when his clients included Shell and BP, two big players that he will be dealing with once again.

He will be responsible for overseeing market share expansion within the nuclear sector, as well as creating alliances and joint ventures.

O’Neill will be leading a team of 12 consultants that have been involved on the UK Atomic Energy Authority site at Dounreay, on the coast of northern Scotland, since 1990, providing a range of services.

The team is now focused on three project alliances that are at different stages of design and construction.

Andrew Loudon, the company’s director of operations in Scotland and Ireland, said: “Estimates suggest that the nuclear industry will spend up to £40bn over the next 10 years. There are excellent opportunities available.”

Currie & Brown’s focus on the nuclear business is part of its long-term growth strategy.

The company has faced a turbulent period over the past few months.

After the departure of a string of senior staff it has had to fight off takeover bids from SKM and McBains Cooper.

Building also revealed earlier this month that the company’s former chairman, Angus McLean, has put in a claim for unfair dismissal.

In addition the director of Currie & Brown’s regeneration consulting division, Geoff Seeff, left the firm last week. He will act as a part-time consultant while pursuing alternative business interests.