John Laing hires new CEO

Ex-Saur Group executive Olivier Brousse will succeed Adrian Ewer, who announced his intention to retire last year.

John Laing, the UK infrastructure developer, has appointed Olivier Brousse as chief executive.

Brousse will succeed Adrian Ewer, a 23-year John Laing veteran and its top executive for the last eight years. Ewer announced his intention to retire last year.

Brousse, who will be relocating from Paris to London, will assume his new position at the beginning of March.

He will join from Saur Group, the environmental services firm, where he was executive chairman until last week. His role there involved transforming the company’s relations with the public sector and diversifying its range of services in France and internationally.

Prior to joining Saur, Brousse was deputy chief executive of Veolia Transportation, the largest private sector operator of multiple transport services. His experience includes managing infrastructure assets spanning environment, transportation and utilities.

The news comes as John Laing continues to shore up its fortunes in anticipation of a possible sale this year. Last April, it emerged that the company’s current owner – the UK asset manager Henderson Equity Partners – was looking to monetise the only asset held in its £573 million (€688 million; $936 million) PFI Fund II, bought in 2006 for £1 billion.

John Laing saw its profits before tax rise from £5.4 million in the six months to end June 2012 to £64.3 million during the same period this year. It was also selected as preferred bidder for the New Generation Rollingstock project in Queensland, Australia, last November.

The company now manages a portfolio of investments valued at £650 million.