Keolis UK, which secured a 15-year contract in 2018 to operate Transport for Wales Rail Services in a joint venture partnership with Amey, has named Sir Derek Jones, former Permanent Secretary of the Welsh Government, as its new chairman of the board.
Sir Derek was the head of the Welsh Civil Service between 2012 and 2017 and has held numerous positions across Whitehall and the Welsh Government – including time at HM Treasury and the then Department of Trade & Industry – during a long career in government. He is currently chairman of the Prince’s Trust in Wales, is a non-executive director of IQE plc and an independent adviser to Cardiff University.
Three other senior appointments have also been announced, as Keolis advances its strategy to expand its multimodal transport expertise in the UK market. All the new roles will be based in Cardiff, in line with the company’s plans to relocate its UK headquarters from London to Wales by the end of this year.
Nigel Stevens takes up the position of Keolis UK chief operating officer, with responsibility for technology, innovation and business development. Nigel was previously CEO of Transdev in the UK and Ireland.
Catrin Asbrey, who has 20 years’ experience in HR, including seven years at FirstGroup, has been appointed human resources director.
Richard Graham joins the UK business as performance director, moving from Keolis Group in Boston, where he has held an equivalent position for the last three years. Richard will oversee the delivery of Keolis’ continuous improvement strategy across the business’ UK operations.
Keolis UK chief executive Alistair Gordon said: “Sir Derek’s vast experience is a major bonus for Keolis as we focus on delivering the Welsh Government and Transport for Wales’ bold vision for the transformation of rail services and pursue new opportunities across the UK.
“UK transport is on the cusp of many changes – from the potential for a new approach to operating mainline rail, to the opportunity to create integrated networks through the re-regulation of bus services. In this context, we see major opportunities for Keolis’ international expertise to benefit the travelling public.
“The appointments of Nigel, Catrin and Richard add skill and breadth to our UK leadership team, at this very exciting time.”
Sir Derek Jones added: “From leading on the integration of track and train, to operating the UK’s only high-speed rail service, Keolis has long been at the forefront of innovation in UK transport. I look forward to working with the excellent leadership team as the business continues to invest in Wales and expands its progressive approach to passenger transport into new areas across the UK.”
Sir Derek Jones succeeds Sir Mike Hodgkinson, who steps down as Keolis UK chairman having held the role since 2011.