A LEADING transport figure is taking the reigns at York-based Persimmon Plc.

Dean Finch will take over as group chief executive on an annual base salary of £725,000.

He will succeed David Jenkinson, who announced in February 2020 that he wished to step down once a suitable successor had been identified.

Dean, 53, is expected to join the Persimmon Board - which announced his appointment this week - and take up the CEO post at the end of the year.

He is a widely experienced senior executive with a strong commercial, financial and operational track record spanning a 30-year career in Europe and North America.

He has been the CEO of National Express plc since 2010, and built the business into Britain’s leading transport group.

Prior to that he was Group Chief Executive of Tube Lines and Group Finance Director and Group Chief Operating Officer at First Group plc, where he also held a number of other senior roles.

Roger Devlin, Persimmon’s chairman, said: “Dean is a seasoned, well-respected and proven chief executive with an exceptional record.

"In his current role he has delivered substantial strategic and operational progress over a sustained period, delivering value for all stakeholders in the business while developing a distinct and cohesive culture, focused on customer care and service.

"The Board believes that Dean is a great fit for Persimmon and is well qualified to lead the business into the next phase as we continue to drive a programme of change to become the leading volume builder of good value, quality family homes throughout the UK. I look forward to welcoming him to the Company at the end of the year.

“I would also like to thank Dave Jenkinson for his outstanding contribution to Persimmon over many years, and particularly for his decisive leadership during the Covid-19 outbreak. Dave has committed to lead the business until the conclusion of the current financial year in December.”

Dean said: “Persimmon is a strong business operating in a sector that has a critical role to play for both the people and the economy of the UK as we emerge from the profound disruption of Covid-19. I look forward to leading the business in its drive to become Britain’s best housebuilder and delivering for all stakeholders in the business whilst continuing to deliver strong financial returns to investors.”

All remuneration arrangements for Dean are consistent with the terms of the Directors' Remuneration Policy approved by shareholders at the AGM in April 2020.

As Group Chief Executive, Dean will receive an annual base salary of £725,000 and a pension allowance of nine per cent of salary in line with the contribution available for Persimmon’s salaried employees.

From January 1, 2021 he will be able to participate in the company's existing annual bonus plan up to a maximum of 200 per cent of salary (with 50 per cent of any bonus earned being deferred into Persimmon shares for three years).

He will also be able to participate in the Performance Share Plan up to 200 per cent of salary, based on performance over three years and subject to a further two-year holding period.

A significant proportion of Dean’s remuneration will be based on non-financial metrics including customer care and quality.

Dean will also receive awards in Persimmon shares to compensate for some, but not all, of the remuneration he is forfeiting on leaving his previous employer.

These will remain subject to performance conditions where appropriate.