’Refresh’ is first part of changes in wake of death of founder Tony Pidgley

Berkeley Group has kicked off a promised refresh to its board with the appointment of three new faces and a cull of company veterans.

The housebuilder said this morning that it had appointed private equity expert William Jackson, the Archdeacon of Hackney Elizabeth Adekunle and PwC senior partner Andy Kemp to the board.

Kidbrooke Villlage L&Q Berkeley

To make way for the appointments, Adrian Li and long-time advisor and former Evening Standard editor Veronica Wadeley will step down this year.

The changes mark the first moves in a wider refresh of the board undertaken in the wake of the death of Berkeley Group founder and chairman Tony Pidgley last summer.

Interim chairman Glyn Barker said the appointments marked the first stage in a drive to refresh the board, including with the appointment of a long-term chair, by June 2022.

Jackson, managing partner of private equity firm Bridgepoint, will join Berkeley today, taking up a role on the nomination committee. He will leave his non-executive role at British Land on 31 March.

Berkeley said Adekunle, who advises the Metropolitan Police on ethics and diversity issues, also joins today. She has been appointed to advise on the potential of urban regeneration and good place-making to improve the lives of those living in places in which Berkeley operates.

Andy Kemp, who will join the audit committee, will not join Berkeley until July, when he retires from his role at PwC.

In Pidgley’s absence, Berkeley has been run by chief executive Rob Perrins alongside Barker, who will chair the firm for up to two years while a long-term chair for the business is identified.

Barker said: “We are delighted to welcome William, Elizabeth and Andy to the board. Their appointment represents the first stage of our programme to refresh the board by June 2022.

”Each of them is a highly respected leader in their respective field and they bring a breadth of relevant experience to Berkeley.”

Li’s departure from Berkeley was widely expected given continued resistance from shareholders to his appointment. There was concern that he held too many directorships. At the last AGM 21% of shareholders voted against his reappointment and Berkeley said he would leave before the 2021 AGM.