Marine services group James Fisher has appointed Angus Cockburn, one of the top bosses at Serco, as its new chairman.
Headquartered in Cumbria, James Fisher owns a string of businesses linked to the oil and gas industry across north-east Scotland.
Mr Cockburn is currently chief financial officer (CFO) of Serco, the international corporation that specialises in outsourcing public services contracts, particularly in areas of defence, “justice and immigration”, transport, health and “citizen services”.
He plans to step down as CFO during the upcoming Serco AGM in April, a position he’s held since 2014.
As non-executive chairman, he will replace Malcolm Paul who intends to retire once his successor is in place.
Mr Cockburn’s career has included positions as CFO and interim CEO of power generation specialist Aggreko, managing director of clothing firm Pringle of Scotland and senior finance positions at PepsiCo.
He is a chartered accountant, with an MBA from the Swiss IMD Business School, and an honorary professor at Edinburgh University. Mr Cockburn is also a non-executive director of Edrington Group and Ashtead Group.
A large chunk of Serco’s revenues come from running UK public services contracts, which has come under the spotlight in recent years after the firm was fined £19.2m for fraud and false accounting over its electronic tagging service for the Ministry of Justice.
Mr Cockburn joins James Fisher while the firm tackles the “challenging conditions” of Covid-19.
A statement released earlier this month from the firm said 2020 revenues are down 16% on 2019, while underlying profits will also take a hit, at around £40m, compared to £58.5m (pre-tax) the prior year.
The company also said it intends to take an impairment on its marine support division, ahead of full-year results to be announced in March.
The outgoing Malcolm Paul wished “continued future success” to the company and Mr Cockburn.
He added: “James Fisher is an outstanding company and it has been an honour to be its Chair. The Company has demonstrated great resilience in the recent challenging times, and I believe I leave it well-positioned to weather the current issues and grow strongly in the future.”
James Fisher has a number of entities in the north-east, including the National Hyperbaric Centre in Aberdeen, oil services firm RMSpumptools and Fisher Offshore in Oldmeldrum, and JFD Global (UK) based at Westhill.
It also has a tankships arm and specialist technical division, which works on defence contracts globally.
Mr Cockburn said: “I am delighted to take the Chair of James Fisher. I look forward to working with the Board at an important and challenging time for the Company and all its stakeholders.”