Commercial director Gordon Ray leaves contractor to head up Amec project investment.
Shepherd Construction lost another senior player this week when commercial director Gordon Ray became the fourth big name to exit the firm this year.

Ray is joining Amec as commercial director of project investment developments, manufacturing and services division. This will include structural steel firm Watsons, concrete firm Buchan and its private finance initiative operations.

He joined the building arm of family owned Shepherd Building Group from HBG, becoming commercial manager in 1997.

Ray said: “I’m leaving on the best of terms. It is an exciting opportunity at Amec and is a move away from front-line construction to project investment.” Shepherd Construction managing director Geoff Simpson said: “Gordon is quite happy with Shepherd but believes he is going to further his future by moving. In no way is it anything to do with others who’ve left.” Ray was brought in for his considerable PFI experience and was instrumental in closing last week’s £45m Bishop Auckland PFI hospital deal.

His departure follows those of Stuart McConnachie, former regional manager for London and the South-east; ex-managing director David Anderson; and ex-London and South-east director Stuart Fraser, who have all left within the past five months.

McConnachie, now London director of fit-out contractor Miletrian, said: “Gordon will be a loss to Shepherd Construction and an asset to Amec.” A Shepherd spokesman said: “It is a coincidence that one or two other people have left recently. There is absolutely no connection.” Fifty employees of the York-based contractor lost their jobs in March as part of a strategic review aimed at cutting costs that was sparked by a £962 000 loss in the year to 30 June 1998. The company’s three divisions were also reorganised into northern and southern operations.

Ray joins Amec next week. He said his departure was not related to the restructuring: “The recent reorganisation after the much-publicised disasters earlier this year will take time to make dividends. I continue to fully support the view of the board in that respect.” Ray is not being replaced immediately. His responsibilities will be relocated within senior management.