Liam Cummins begins new role at end of next month

Liam Cummins is joining Permasteelisa next month as its new group chief executive, becoming the first UK boss of the Italian cladding giant.

Kier announced last month that Cummins was leaving the business after three years, having joined in 2019 as construction boss from Laing O’Rourke where he spent 16 years.

In a statement, Permasteelisa, which is based in Treviso in north-east Italy, told Building that Cummins will join the €800m turnover group on 23 January and take over from Klaus Lother, who is retiring after three decades at the business.

Liam Cummins 1 (4)

Liam Cummins joined Kier in 2019 and will now head off to Italy to become boss of Permasteelisa

The firm’s chairman Peter Bacon said: “We are delighted to have Liam at the helm of Permasteelisa, further deepening our expertise in construction services and bringing strong leadership to underpin our ambitions for the business.”

Permateelisa has close to 4,000 employees and has six production plants including Montreal, Shanghai and Bangkok as well three sites in Europe.

Its biggest business by turnover is Europe followed by North America with half of its staff based in Europe.

As well as Permasteelisa, the group also owns the Gartner and Scheldebouw brands with more than 90% of its business in exteriors products.

In May 2020, the firm was bought by a US private equity firm called Atlas Holdings for an undisclosed sum, nine years after it was bought by Japanese firm Lixil for €573m (£493m).

US schemes Permasteelisa has worked on include New York’s One World Trade Center, as well as Apple’s California headquarters and the Museum of Modern Art in Manhattan.

The firm is currently working on Google’s headquarters at King’s Cross, while its other recently completed high-profile schemes in the UK have included the redevelopment of Battersea Power Station and the City’s tallest tower at 22 Bishopsgate.

In October, Permasteelisa’s UK boss Martin Dial left although no replacement has been formally confirmed.

Filings last week made at Companies House show that existing staffer John Conboye has been made general manager.

In the year to March 2022, the UK arm of the firm returned to the black with a pre-tax profit of £1m from a £14m loss last time on turnover up 12% to £138m.

Cummins is being replaced as group managing director of construction at Kier by current group commercial director Stuart Togwell who joined Kier from Wates in summer 2019 after more than three decades at that business.