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Global engineering and infrastructure advisory company Aurecon announced today that under the leadership of its newly appointed incoming Global Chief Executive Officer (CEO) William Cox, it would be adding two more female senior leaders to its Global Executive leadership team, with Louise Adams appointed as Managing Director Australia and New Zealand.
The incoming global CEO has moved boldly to restructure his leadership team as he announces his intention to continue Aurecon’s rapid growth and continuing diversification across Digital, Advisory and Asia, following record profit margins over the past three years.
Louise Adams, previously Regional Director responsible for Aurecon’s South Australian and Victorian practice and the first female member of Aurecon’s Global Board, has been appointed Managing Director Australia and New Zealand, currently responsible for generating 80% of Aurecon’s revenue.
Francoise Merit, previously Chief Financial Officer (CFO) for Australia and New Zealand, has been appointed as Aurecon’s Global CFO, with previous CFO Andrew Muller appointed as Aurecon’s new Chief Operating Officer (COO).
Incoming Global Chief Executive Officer, William Cox, said “I am pleased to announce these appointments for Louise, Francoise and Andrew. Each are seasoned, expert operators at the top of their fields, capable of leading the charge as we consolidate Aurecon’s growth and pursue new opportunities across Digital, Advisory and Asia.
“Louise and Francoise’s appointments bring the number of women on our Executive Committee to three, reflecting Aurecon’s commitment to increasing the number of female leaders as we continue to build a culture of diversity, innovation and digital excellence across Aurecon globally.
“Senior female leadership appointments are rare in the traditionally male-dominated engineering and finance industries, yet the benefits are immense. When you get different viewpoints operating in organisations, you unleash creativity, innovation and new solutions on old or intractable problems.
“This is particularly relevant at a time of enormous cultural change across the property, construction and infrastructure sectors as incredible new technologies help us plan, build and manage infrastructure and the built environment in ways never seen before, truly changing the way we engineer, design and advise”.
Appointment of Louise Adams, Managing Director Australia & New Zealand
Commenting on her leadership appointment, Louise Adams said, “One of the key shifts in our business over the last four years has been our diversification into Advisory as we reshape Aurecon to face the digital disruption impacting our industry and helping our clients do the same.
“Comprising 1,000 professionals globally, Aurecon’s Advisory practice has delivered 29% revenue growth over the last financial year. Australia and New Zealand are key markets for our advisory business and this will be a key area of focus for me”.
Since 2015, Louise has been the Regional Director responsible for Aurecon’s operations across Victoria and South Australia. Leading a team of more than 700 people she has been focused on project performance, supporting local leadership and liaising with major clients. Louise became the first Australian woman on Aurecon’s Global Board in 2013 and she is Aurecon’s global spokesperson for Women in Leadership.
Louise has a passion for organisational diversity and the role it plays in innovation and is prominent in Aurecon’s global Future Ready program. In 2016, Louise received a high commendation for Female Champion of Change in Consult Australia’s Excellence Awards and in 2018 she was awarded a Chief Executive Women Scholarship to attend the Wharton Business School in Philadelphia.
Louise has extensive experience as a Project Manager and Chartered Civil Engineer. In previous roles, she has led major civil and multidisciplinary projects in the United Kingdom, Australia, Ireland, Iran, India, Malaysia, Thailand, Laos, Singapore, Guyana, North America, Pakistan, Libya, Qatar, and the UAE.
Appointment of Francoise Merit, Global Chief Financial Officer
Francoise Merit, who joined Aurecon as Chief Financial Officer, Australia and New Zealand in early 2018, has been appointed Global Chief Financial Officer. Francoise has almost 20 years’ experience in the engineering sector encompassing finance, risk management, commercial and contractual negotiations.
In addition, to her significant industry knowledge, Francoise is applying her transformation experience from other roles to improve operational and financial processes and financial risk management at Aurecon. Francoise is also passionate about increasing female leadership in the finance industry and regularly speaks to external organisations such as the Royal Australian Navy about her experience and strategies to increase diversity and inclusion in organisations.
Appointment of Andrew Muller, Global Chief Operating Officer
Aurecon’s previous Global Chief Financial Officer Andrew Muller has also been appointed as Global Chief Operating Officer. Andrew is a senior finance executive who joined Aurecon in 2016 as global Chief Financial Officer following an 18-year career with Lendlease, where he held a range of senior financial management positions both in Australia and globally. Having almost 20 years in the property and engineering construction industry, Andrew has a very good appreciation of Aurecon’s operations from a different perspective and will be able to apply this insight to the COO role.
His key strengths lie in the ability to combine strategic thinking with operational expertise, to achieve significant financial outcomes and drive business growth.
Andrew and Francoise will begin their new roles on 1 January 2019 and Louise’s appointment is effective 1 February 2019.