British Water (BW) and the Water Industry Forum (WIF) have announced that the merger of the two organisations has been completed.
The organisations said the merger would increase the range of services on offer, strengthen membership support, and enhance the opportunity for challenge-led thought leadership – elements that were only growing more essential in the current economic climate.
“By joining forces, we’ve created an even stronger organisation that can deliver ever greater value for all our members, key stakeholders, partners, and the sector as a whole,” said Chris Loughlin, chair of British Water. “There is tremendous synergy to be gained from bringing our respective strengths together.”
Dr Mark Fletcher, chair of Water Industry Forum, added: “We are two strong, respected and financially stable organisations that, together, can provide a single point of focus in the water sector, with our four forums addressing both the UK and international water markets. The merger will provide efficiencies through eliminating duplication of effort, broadening our membership and opening access to our combined range of services.”
BW and WIF began exploring the possibility of a potential merger in 2020, and following detailed discussions and due diligence, it became clear to both boards that the timing and rationale for pooling resources was so compelling that in 2021 the organisations recommended to their respective members that they proceed.
“It has been made possible through the commitment of a key team of senior representatives from British Water and the Water Industry Forum, under the wise and dedicated leadership of Tony Conway, a highly respected non-executive director of both organisations,” added Fletcher.
A proposed operating model and governance framework have been developed to support the activities and priorities of the merged organisation, and importantly to preserve the Water Industry Forum’s integrity and independence - enabling it to maintain the trust and respect it enjoys throughout the sector.
The Water Industry Forum will remain as a not-for-profit limited company, operating as a subsidiary of British Water.
“British Water and WIF have proud histories of achievements, for and on behalf of their members and the sector,” added Loughlin. “We know that by combining our respective strengths we can create a new and even stronger organisation which will deliver added value for all our members, key stakeholders and partners, enabling us to respond most effectively and efficiently to the unique challenges and opportunities ahead of us all.”
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