Allen first took on the role as acting chief executive back in November, when previous incumbent Andrew Davis left to take the helm at Carillion, which ultimately collapsed just before he joined.
Wates Chairman, James Wates, said: “On behalf of the board, I am delighted to confirm today’s appointment, which is the outcome of a rigorous executive search process.
“Our aim was always to find the very best candidate, either from within our talented senior management team or from outside Wates. We are particularly pleased to be able to confirm David in this key leadership role, as it evidences our strength in depth at executive level.
“David has shown an acute understanding of what it means to lead this very special family-owned business and I look forward to continuing to work with him as we progress through the next phase of the company’s history.”
Allen, aged 46, said: “I’m excited about leading the next stage of Wates’ push to become an even more high performing, progressive and sustainable organisation that continues to deliver for, and is trusted by, all of our customers and partners.”
He joined Wates as chief financial officer in January 2016, following almost seven years as Crossrail’s finance director.
Allen joined Crossrail in 2009 from Laing O’Rourke, where he was finance director of its European Construction business.