SES Water’s managing director, Anthony Ferrar, will retire this autumn after 11 years of service with the company.

His replacement will be appointed and announced in due course, the company said.

Ferrar joined the water company in 2008 when it was called Sutton and East Surrey Water after 15 years as the finance director and company secretary of Bournemouth and West Hampshire Water.

Jeremy Pelczer, chair of SES Water said: “I have worked with Anthony for the past six years and would like to take this opportunity to publicly thank him for his many years of leadership and commitment.

“During his time the company has gone from strength to strength, evident in our position as a responsible local company, playing an active role in the areas we are privileged to serve. It is particularly commendable that Anthony’s leadership has ensured we have been very well placed to positively respond to the increased scrutiny of the industry, including transparent ownership, simple financial structures and long-term resilience.

“On a personal basis I have greatly valued his open, transparent, constructive and straightforward leadership style and he has been a wonderful ambassador for the company within the water sector and with all our major stakeholders. The rest of the board and I wish Anthony a long and happy retirement.”

Ferrar added: “My time at SES Water has been extremely rewarding, especially the last few years which has seen the company successfully step up to embrace many changes, such as the opening of the business market two years ago.

“I feel privileged to have worked with so many committed and professional employees and, with them, to have played a part in SES Water’s strong track record where we have helped set new performance standards in many areas that are important to our customers. With so many skilled and talented employees and the foundations laid for our ambitious PR19 business plan, it feels like the right time after nearly ten years as MD for my successor to take the company forward towards even greater success.”

Ferrar has previously worked in the UK and overseas contracting, manufacturing and service industries.

He is a director of a number of associated companies, a member of the board of Water UK and a trustee of Water Companies Pension Scheme.

In December last year, SES Water announced it had “significantly lowered” its gearing from 77 per cent to below 60 per cent as the company published its first ever “customer-friendly” guide explaining how the company is owned, run and financed.

SES Water was placed in the slow track category when Ofwat published its initial assessment of the water companies’ business plans for PR19.

On 1 April, the company resubmitted its plan to the regulator along with all other companies in the slow track and significant scrutiny categories.

Ferrar said the company had developed its business plan for 2020 to 2025 in partnership with its customers.

He said: “It is important that our re-submission continues to deliver what matters most to them with bills lower in real terms than they are today. We have largely focused on further justification of our original plan, providing more evidence where appropriate and taking on board some refinements suggested by Ofwat.”

Ferrar insisted the plan “is the best one” the company has ever submitted.

What to read next