Steve Morgan retires

Ten years after Morgan took back control of Redrow he has announced his retirement from the Redrow board. John Tutte is to takeover as Executive Chairman in March.

Morgan has an estimated net worth of around £1 billion and is expected to focus on his charitable work. He donated £200m worth of share to his foundation last year.

One major shareholder said: “It’s a pity really because he is a great name and he’s done a great job. He’ll be missed.”

Morgan was a vehement critic of the Persimmon scheme in the story above saying “One company has got it very, very wrong. Everybody in the industry is as peed off with this Persimmon thing as the people outside it.”

Solid Performance with Cautious Outlook

Taylor Wimpey announced that it is on track to deliver 2018 results in line with expectations. Its weekly sales rate is comparable to last year running at 0.81 per outlet.

Pete Redfern, Taylor Wimpey’s CEO, commented: “We have delivered a strong performance during the second half of 2018, with very good sales rates supported by positive customer demand and a supportive lending environment.

There was also a hint of caution in the trading statement: “Whilst current forward indicators for sales continue to be solid, unsurprisingly due to the heightened political and economic uncertainty, we have seen some signs of customer caution, particularly in the south-east. We expect next year’s volume to be broadly flat in current market conditions.”

Jeff Fairburn to step down

One of the highest profile stories in recent years in the sector finally enters its final chapter. At the request of Persimmon and by mutual agreement Jeff Fairburn will leave Persimmon at the end of the year.

It appears Persimmon finally wanted to put an end to the huge bonus saga which has run for months and this was their choice of ending the “distraction”.

Purely from a financial performance perspective Fairburn’s record as CEO is nothing short of stellar. Under his stewardship, Persimmon doubled the number of homes it builds and more than doubled its market capitalisation. Its ROCE and margins are industry leading.

Ironically, it was this level of performance that led to his departure. Perhaps if the designers of the controversial LTIP scheme had foreseen the five-fold increase in the share price they may have attached a slightly more modest share allocation to the CEO position.

The headline initial headline figure of £100m+ payout to Fairburn was simply unacceptable to investors and a variety of politicians and commentators. Whilst Fairburn waived about a quarter of this and offered to make a sizeable donation to charity it became unsaveable from a PR point of view. For some observers, the recent awkward interview between Fairburn and the BBC appeared to be the final straw.