Mouchel has been managing major roadwork and construction developments for over 100 years, including over a third of the UK’s road networks, having introduced reinforced concrete to the UK in 1897.
During a recent period of high-pressure takeover talks with the London-based Kier Group, Mouchel company secretary Helen Marsh employed the valuable services of Equiniti secondee Jonathan Miles to assist in the daily running of the business. “I originally found out about Equiniti after they came in to do some outsourcing for us and then when we went into a transaction I just asked if they could do a secondment and they said ‘yes’ right away,” says Helen.
Equiniti David Venus’s Secondments service is designed as a cost-effective way to aid company secretarial teams going through busy periods, as well as providing expedient interim staff solutions during periods of recruitment or prolonged staff absences, such as maternity leave. Equiniti David Venus director Marla Balicao explains:
We can provide people to come in, hit the ground running at all different levels to help with special projects, such as a takeover or IPO, or just to keep the day to day things ticking over while other members of staff can concentrate on a project or the things that they are busy with.
According to Helen, Jonathan’s role as a secondee at Mouchel has been particularly eventful: “Jonathan originally came in to plug the gap between me starting and the assistant company secretary leaving, and then he looked after the general annual fees for the company,” she says. “He then moved into doing the support for anything related to completing a transaction, including company secretarial work; for example, as part of pre-closing he’s helping me with all the refinancing that we completed in January, and our company is now proceeding into the Kier financing so there are a lot of minutes related to that.”
This wasn’t the first time Jonathan had helped Mouchel either, having developed a trusted partnership with the company through a previous secondment as an interim support. “Prior to my joining Mouchel, Equiniti David Venus had been providing some services for our company as an interim while they had no company secretary,” Helen says. “When I came to the company, I asked their director Marla if I could have Jonathan in to work with me and they said that wasn’t a problem at all and he started the next week. We said ‘Well, [the project] was meant to be done last month, but can you extend it?’ and they were very flexible about it.”
As a busy company secretary, Helen says Equiniti has been extremely accommodating regarding their Secondments service, particularly given the complicated and lengthy nature of the Kier takeover process (which is due to close on 15 June, 2015), and as such Jonathan’s role was extended to four days a week to accommodate this.
“It’s a very varied role, from supporting the closure of the trade sale, to handling secretarial information for tenders and bids,” she says. “We have to provide lots of shareholder information when recruiting tenders because the bodies we are dealing with are mainly governmental, and they want to know what’s going on behind the scenes. We’re also in the process of incorporating a Saudi company, so he is helping with that as well – he’s definitely taken some of the pressure off my plate.”