Ofwat non-executive Chair’s appointment extended

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Jonson Cox’s appointment as Chair of the Water Services Regulation Authority (Ofwat) has been extended by one year.

Ofwat is the independent economic regulator of the water and sewerage sector in England and Wales. It primarily serves to make sure that companies provide households and business customers with a quality service and value for money.

Cox has served as Chair for Ofwat since November 2012. His appointment, which was renewed in 2015 and was set to end on 31 October 2020, has now been extended to 30 October 2021.

The Environment Secretary has made the extension in conjunction with the Welsh Government after securing agreement from the Prime Minister. All non-executive appointments and extensions are based on merit and in accordance with the Ministerial Governance Code on Public Appointments.

Further information on Ofwat is available on the organisation’s website.

Biographical details of Jonson Cox

Jonson Cox has been Chair of Ofwat since November 2012. He was appointed to resolve long-running issues between investors, companies and the regulator. Since then, jointly with Ofwat’s chief executive, he has co-led the work to bring the water sector back to a core customer and public service focus while retaining an attractive proposition for investors. He has a background as chief executive and chairman in regulated and commercial infrastructure, with a focus on turnarounds and restructuring.

After an early career with Royal Dutch/Shell Group, Mr Cox served as managing director of Yorkshire Water (1996-2000) to lead the company out of a significant crisis with its customers and restored its top-ranking status in the industry. After other infrastructure roles, he returned to the water sector from 2004-2010 as Group chief executive at AWG plc, owner of Anglian Water Services and Morrison plc, to lead a successful turnaround following a long and sustained loss of stakeholder and regulatory confidence. He bought the Group back from its loss making construction and international operations and restored it to being a top-rated water company.

Mr Cox led the restructuring of UK Coal plc as Executive Chairman (2010 to 2012) to bring a managed “soft close” to coalmining in the UK and to secure for investors and the PPF the value in its property development business. He served as inaugural Chairman of Harworth Group plc from 2012 to 2018. He joined Cory Group, owner of the UK’s largest waste-to-energy plant, as Chairman, when lenders took control in 2015 and led the board though the recovery and successful sale to infrastructure funds in 2018. He serves on the global advisory council of I Squared Capital and is senior Non Executive Director at Energia, the Irish energy group.

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