Former Morgan Sindall exec appointed as Akela Construction MD

Former Morgan Sindall executive Robert Ogg has been appointed as managing director of Akela Construction.

The Glasgow-based construction services group also announced the promotion of Will Payne to managing director of Akela Group’s ground engineering division.

Ogg (pictured) served as managing director of Scottish infrastructure works at Morgan Sindall from 2014 until 2018, and previously led the delivery of key frameworks at Balfour Beatty between 1997 and 2014.

Most recently, he served for five years as UK national frameworks director at Robertson Group.

On top of his operational and commercial experience, he also led the BAA Scottish Airports Framework and helped the Scottish Government to create the pan-Scotland civil engineering framework.

Ogg’s new role will see him manage Akela Construction’s pipeline of work and identify new opportunities across the civil engineering, energy and renewables sectors.

Payne has served as general manager of Akela Ground Engineering since last year.

Before joining Akela, he worked for Roger Bullivant from 2006 until 2023, managing the delivery of piling projects across the Midlands, East Anglia and Gibraltar.

He has more than two decades of experience in specialist foundations, and has held positions at Van Elle and Aarsleff.

At Akela, he has overseen the development of a precast concrete beam system and its launch earlier this year. The system is designed to speed up the delivery of new homes.

Payne’s appointment will help Akela Ground Engineering focus on expanding its reach across the UK, said group chief executive Mark Markey.

As well as its construction and ground engineering outfits, Akela Group also encompasses Akela Plant, DGM Surfacing, Convel Developments and Tala Training.

Akela Construction’s recent projects include infrastructure and site work for a £60m housing development at Darnley Mains, Glasgow, and enabling and infrastructure work for a factory extension in the West of Scotland Science Park.

The announcement of the new arrivals coincided with the release of Akela’s accounts for the year ending 31 August 2023.

While the directors said they “are happy with the group’s financial performance”, the accounts showed a 22 per cent drop in turnover, from £45.9m to £35.6m.

Pre-tax profit fell from £2.3m in 2021/22 to £1.5m the following year, and dividend payouts were halved to £1.5m.

Directors noted “the very competitive nature of the industry and the requirement to ensure that contracts are priced competitively and realistically”.

They added that demand for Akela’s services remained high in 2022/23, although this was tempered by “short term” difficulties in sourcing supplies, as well as material price increases.

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