Steve Buck, who is currently group head of finance and transformation at Centrica has been appointed as Anglian Water’s new chief financial officer.

He will join the water company in June and will work alongside current financial director Scott Longhurst until he departs later this year.

Buck (pictured) has previously worked at board level at British Gas and was finance director, Europe at Thames Water from 2002 until 2007.

He said: “This is both a challenging and exciting time for the water sector. The Anglian region is growing fast yet it gets a third less rainfall than the rest of the UK, so long term investment in resilience is vital.

“The political agenda and the challenge for the water sector to be more transparent, when coupled with these unique, local features mean the spotlight really will be on how we structure and plan our financing and investments in the future.

“I’m delighted to be joining at this exciting time and am eager to guide this forward-thinking business into the next period in its history.”

Peter Simpson, chief executive of Anglian Water, who Buck will be reporting to, said: “It’s great to be welcoming Steve to the business at such a critical time for the industry. Steve’s customer-centric approach to the role will be invaluable for us as we get set to deliver the next AMP, from 2020-25.”

After 15 years with Anglian Water, Longhurst will be departing the company later this year to pursue a portfolio career.

Anglian Water said it has set a “new benchmark for sustainable finance” under his leadership by becoming the “first European utility” to issue two sterling green bonds after raising funding in this way in 2017.

Commenting on Longhurst’s departure, Simpson said: “Scott has been instrumental in developing a sustainable business with a very long-term view, built on excellent relationships with our owners and investors.

“His ability to advocate both the customer and the commercial perspectives in balance has been a tremendous asset for us over many years, often ensuring that the two are inseparable. We wish Scott every success as he leaves us to build what will no doubt be a highly successful portfolio career.”

Anglian Water removed its Cayman Islands subsidiary from its financial structure in June last year after Ofwat’s chairman Jonson Cox and environment secretary, Michael Gove laid down challenges to the sector.

The water company was placed in the slow track category when Ofwat published its initial assessment of the water sector’s business plans for PR19. It is required to resubmit its business plan to the regulator by 1 April.

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