Meet Rowan Baker, Laing O’Rourke’s new CFO
We take a look at Rowan Baker’s history within the construction sector and what she has to say about her new role at Laing O’Rourke.
Succeeding Lang O’Rourke’s current Group Finance Director, Stewart McIntyre, Rowan Baker is set to join the company in September and will continue to steer the construction company’s financial direction.
The change will result in a gradual handover being actioned from September 2020 as McIntyre plans his departure from full-time roles within the firm in March 2021. He will, however, remain responsible for the finalisation of the 2019-20 Group Accounts and Audit. Moreover, McIntyre will remain as an advisor to the corporation board to March 2022.
Rowan has had a wealth of experience within the finance sector and has spent time in some very important roles including heading the retirement builder’s IPO at McCarthy & Stone since 2012. In addition to that, she also spent time at Barclays Bank as a Senior Project Manager, and she kicked off her career as a Tax Consultant at PwC.
In addition to her wide range of experience in the financial field, she gained a masters degree at the University of Cambridge, graduating in 1995, in addition to gaining a qualification at the Institute of Chartered Accounts in England and Wales between 2000 and 2003. This large amount of wealth and experience will enable her to excel at Laing O-Rouke, having an impact on bringing the company further forward, following the financial troubles the firm faced in recent times, which McIntyre fought through during his career.
Baker is “thrilled and excited to be joining Laing O’Rouke”.
She also said: “I am thrilled and excited to be joining Laing O’Rourke.
“I am impressed by its swift actions to build resilience during the current COVID-19 crisis and remain focused on the significant opportunities on the horizon, in both the private and public sector.
“I believe its pioneering focus on modern methods of construction, digital engineering and its direct delivery model via its own construction workforce, position it well to win new business in a sector set for change.”
In addition to this, the firm’s CEO, Ray O’Rouke said: “I am delighted Rowan will be joining us in this critical leadership role”. He then went on to say “there are significant opportunities and exciting times ahead of us and Rowan’s finance and leadership expertise will help us maximise these and continue our transformation.”
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Chengdu Hi-Tech Zone to invest RMB30 billion in five years
Chengdu is upping the hi-tech stakes after unveiling six projects and pledging to invest RMB30 billion in building 50 R&D institutions in the next five years.
The six projects comprise Chengdu Minshan Hydrogen Energy and Carbon Neutralization Technology Research Institute; Chengdu Minshan Integrated Positioning and Navigation Timing Technology Research Institute; Chengdu Minshan Power Semiconductor Technology Research Institute; Chengdu Minshan Microelectronics Advanced Enclosure Technology Research Institute; Chengdu Minshan Cell Engineering Technology Research Institute; and Chengdu Minshan West China Medical Surgery Robotics Research Institute. They will be backed by RMB450 million in funding.
The number of enterprises on the science and technology innovation board is also regarded as one of the important indicators of regional science and technology innovation strength. Since this year, enterprises in Chengdu Hi-tech Zone, such as Olymvax Biopharmaceuticals Inc., GIMI and Zongheng Stock, have successively landed on the science and technology innovation board. So far, there are 45 enterprises listed and passing reviews in Chengdu Hi-tech Zone, including 5 listed companies on the science and technology innovation board.
Centering on the three leading industries of electronic information, biomedicine and new economy, Chengdu High-tech Zone has attracted 128 Fortune 500 companies such as Intel and BOE, and introduced 11 ten-billion-yuan projects last year, involving companies such as Tencent, Baidu, and ByteDance.
In recent years, the zone has introduced six Nobel Prize winners, 20 academicians, and 328 national high-level talents, and nearly 150,000 enterprises from different industries have set up a presence, including more than 56,000 tech companies.
Chengdu High-tech Industrial Development Zone was set up in 1988, and in 1991, was approved as one of the first national high-tech zones. In 2006, it was listed as a pilot zone by the Ministry of Science and Technology and in 2015, approved by the State Council as the first national independent innovation demonstration zone in West China, according to China Briefing.
In February, Chris van Duijn was selected, alongside GMP, as the winner of the Chengdu Future Science and Technology City Launch Area Masterplan and Architecture Design Competition (click here). The 4.6sq km masterplan, designed for the innovation industry in collaboration with CAUPD and Swooding, has been conceived as a pilot project to drive the development of the city around the new airport east of Chengdu.
OMA and GMP will develop the first phase of the overall masterplan, which will include an International Educational Park in the west led by OMA, and a Transit Oriented Development (TOD) in the southeast led by GMP.
NYSE-listed Xinyuan Real Estate Co. recently announced completion of five newly constructed properties, including Chengdu Xinyuan City.
Located in Shu Du New Town in the Pi Du District, Xinyuan City is surrounded by natural resources and offers various commercial facilities and leisure amenities, and is near the Medi River, Municipal Park, Knowledge Park, Cuckoo Park, and Chuangzhi Park.
A massive replica of the sunken ocean liner is now under construction in Daying County in Sichuan province, around 130kms from Chengdu, according to CNN Travel. Dubbed 'The Unsinkable Titanic', the ship is the exact same size as the original, 269.06 meters (882 feet) in length and 28.19 meters (92 feet) wide.
Chengdu, located in south-west China with a population of 20 million, is the seventh wealthiest city in China.