Persimmon launches review to assess effectiveness of new strategies

FILE PHOTO: Builders construct modular Space4 homes on a Persimmon development in Coventry, February 22, 2017. To match Insight BRITAIN-EU/CONSTRUCTION REUTERS/Darren Staples/File Photo

(Reuters) - Britain’s second-biggest housebuilder Persimmon Plc said on Friday it was launching an independent review to find whether measures to improve its business have been effective.

The review, to be led by Stephanie Barwise QC of Atkin Chambers, an independent chair, will look into aspects including customer care approach, systems and culture, quality assurance processes, and speed and consistency of response to issues.

The finding will be presented by the last quarter of 2019, Persimmon said.

“Persimmon has been focused on rapid change and improvement of its customer care culture and operations, and on eliminating cases of poor workmanship,” the company said in a statement.

“To assess the effectiveness of the new measures and processes and to determine whether they appropriately position the business for the future, Persimmon’s Board ... has commissioned an independent review.”

Persimmon faced an investor mutiny last year over its former chief executive’s pay and had said in February that interim CEO Dave Jenkinson would take on the role permanently after Jeff Fairburn stepped down last year amid criticism of his $100 million bonus package.

British housebuilders have been facing a sluggish housing market. Persimmon, however, has focused on building cheaper family houses and have sold more homes in 2018 despite the Brexit gloom.

The company also said on Friday it would adopt the principles of the Hackitt Review. Engineer Judith Hackitt was tasked here with leading a review into building regulations and fire safety after the Grenfell Tower fire.

Reporting by Sangameswaran S and Noor Zainab Hussain in Bengaluru; Editing by Arun Koyyur