Sir Brian Bender will bring a wealth of civil service experience with him as he becomes the chairman of Water UK.
Trade association Water UK has appointed Sir Brian Bender as its next independent chair.
Bender will take over from Martin Baggs, Thames Water’s chief executive, who has been acting as interim chair following the death of Sir David Rowlands in May 2014.
Bender has previously worked in the civil service, holding several Permanent Secretary postings between 1999 and 2009, including at DEFRA and the department for business innovation and skills (BIS). Having retired from the civil service in 2009, he now has a number of board roles in business including chairman of the London Metal Exchange and non-executive director of the Financial Reporting Council.
Baggs said: “Our recent review of Water UK identified the need for us to strengthen our representation in Brussels so his knowledge and understanding of the EU from his time in Whitehall and UKRep Brussels will also prove invaluable to the water industry and our members and indeed our stakeholders.”
Bender said he was “struck by the drive and ambition” of Water UK and “honoured” to become its independent chair.
“The water industry contributes significantly to the local and national economy, way beyond those of its water supply and sewerage services. Supporting infrastructure development and construction, environmental improvements and apprenticeships are just a few examples. And the sector has a primary role in safeguarding public health,” he added.
One of Bender’s first tasks will be to help the board identify a new chief executive to take over from Pamela Taylor who last year announced she would be stepping down.