Ex-Costain boss Alan Lovell takes the healm prior to Jarvis AGM where controversial bonus scheme won shareholders' approval.

Jarvis has appointed Alan Lovell chief executive ahead of its AGM today. Lovell, 50, replaces Kevin Hyde, who resigned from the struggling firm last month.

Prior to the appointment, Lovell, a chartered accountant, was chief executive of the sports firm Dunlop Slazenger Group. He has industry experience, dating from his time as financial director and then chief executive of engineering and construction firm Costain between 1992 and 1997. He has been recruited by Jarvis as it bids to turn its fortunes around, shedding its PFI division in an effort to curb its losses.

Mr Lovell said: “I am delighted to have been invited by the Board to help with the recovery process. There are clearly significant challenges ahead, but I believe that there are also great opportunities for Jarvis and my job will be to ensure that they are realised as fully as possible.”

Jarvis said in a statement that Lovell had been appointed because of his experience of “company restructuring work in a wide variety of industry sectors” and because he “ specializes in restoring and creating value.”

At the AGM shareholders approved controversial bonuses for Jarvis's top brass. Proposed six-figure bonuses for ex-Jarvis managers came under the scrutiny of the Association of British insurers which had slapped a 'red-top' goverance warning on the firm.

Out of the votes cast 84.3% approved of the bonuses while 15.7% voted against the proposal.

Chairman Steven Norris also announced that savings of £20m had been made so far this year and that the group had disposed of a number of its companies including Asquith Jarvis, Estonia Rail, JMPC, Ultramast and PatientFirst. Yesterday (Wednesday) it announced that Jarvis had sold its PFI bidding operations to Vinci Investments.