With a background in accountancy, you could be forgiven for thinking that Taylor Wimpey's new managing director in south Wales has never got his hands dirty on a building site.
However, you could not be more wrong. Shaun White, the new head of the south Wales division of Taylor Wimpey, knows all about the sharp end of development and new homes, with his first job in the industry being as a bricklayer's labourer.
"My dad was a bricklayer and so when it came to finding work as a student that was the obvious opportunity for me," says White. "Then, after leaving university, it was equally obvious to go back to working on sites whilst I was looking for my first step onto a career ladder. I really enjoyed spending nearly a year out on site and it taught me a lot for later years."
White graduated from Plymouth University with a degree in accounting and finance in 1994 and, following his stint on site, secured a position as a trainee accountant in the retail sector before moving into home building with George Wimpey in 2001.
Working his way through the company as it continued to grow with acquisitions and mergers, White held several director positions before joining the south Wales division as managing director.
"Although my main career background was from an accounting perspective, including a period of time as finance director, my most recent position was as land and planning director in our Bristol-based business," explains White. "However, growing up in a household where home building was the talk over the dinner table has given me a great insight to all aspects of our business."
Reflecting on his new position, White adds: "Of course there are some geographic and topographic differences to south Wales when compared with where I have been working on the other side of the Severn Bridge. The market is also more challenging here, but we are starting to see some growth in demand and easier access to mortgages, so the ripple effect is finally starting to spread out from the south east of England".
In order to take advantage of the growing confidence within would-be buyers, however, White is well aware that there's one golden rule to house building.
"Everything comes down to location," he says. "We may build some fantastic new homes, and Taylor Wimpey has a five star rating for customer satisfaction which we are immensely proud of, but without thinking carefully about where to build, we just wouldn't have the sales. My ultimate ambition is to have outlets right across south Wales and Herefordshire to ensure we are providing new homes for all markets.
"As it is, once people decide they want to buy in an area and they find out Taylor Wimpey is building there, they have the best of both worlds."
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