Ray O’Rourke can only spend part of the year in UK

Grant Prior 12 months ago
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Laing O’Rourke chairman and chief executive Ray O’Rourke can only spend a limited number of days in the UK due to his tax exile status in Jersey.

The restrictions come at a time the O’Rourke leader is taking a more hands-on role in a bid to turn around the fortunes of the country’s largest private contractor.

The company revealed last month that it made a £246m loss for the year to March 2016.

Ray O’Rourke said: “It is with humility that I have to report our first loss in 15 years of trading as Laing O’Rourke.

“As a private company, the responsibility for its performance rests with me as founder.”

Ray O’Rourke took up the chief executive role 13 months ago when Anna Stewart stood down.

Companies House records show he is a resident of Jersey which is a tax haven.

Tax rules mean Ray O’Rourke can only spend half the year in the UK.

A source close to the company said: “Ray is back at the helm but being based in Jersey obviously has its drawbacks.

“He can only spend a certain amount of time in this country where a lot of the recent problems have been.”

The Enquirer understands that senior O’Rourke managers have been forced to fly to Jersey for board meetings.

A Laing O’Rourke spokesperson said: “In his leadership role as executive Chairman and CEO, Ray travels extensively across all our international operations and is managing the business in a hands-on way, supported by an extremely capable senior leadership team.

“The Chair’s choice of residence is very much a private matter for him and his family, and therefore we will not be commenting further.”

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