Architect Richard Rogers Partnership has made its first significant managerial appointment since the departure of managing director Marco Goldschmied in July.

RRP has moved Ian Birtles, its head of finance, to the practice’s main board, where he will have a brief to more efficiently co-ordinate the financial affairs of the business.

As managing director, Goldschmied was heavily involved with the business of the practice, and he has yet to be directly replaced.

RRP said in a statement that Birtles would have a specific brief to introduce more timely and accurate management information and to implement similar systems for the firm’s overseas offices in Tokyo, Madrid and Barcelona.

Birtles, who is a chartered accountant by training, has been at RRP since 1997, when he was appointed head of finance. Before that he spent 10 years in the City working for chartered surveyor Gooch & Wagstaff.

During his time at RRP, Birtles has helped to develop the firm’s framework agreement with BAA, and its work on Heathrow Terminal 5. He has also worked on Barajas airport in Madrid.

Goldschmied’s departure has fuelled speculation that younger directors such as Graham Stirk and Ivan Harbour would be given a higher profile.

n The £37m of European Union Objective One cash earmarked for Will Alsop’s scrapped Fourth Grace project in Liverpool could be spent instead on several projects to improve the city’s waterfront, including a wintergarden and park.