New hires signal growth at innovation consultancy

Global technology consultancy Isle is continuing to expand its UK operation with the announcement of three new senior staff members, who will be spearheading innovation across asset management.

Global technology consultancy Isle is continuing to expand its UK operation with the announcement of three new senior staff members, who will be spearheading innovation across asset management.

The new employees, Keith Gardner, Chris Thomas and Ian Butler, all have extensive water sector and consultancy experience, having occupied senior roles at some of the UK’s largest utilities including Affinity and Southern Water.

“Isle is known for its expertise in identifying new technology and ideas to meet utilities challenges. Heading into 2022, we are pleased to be growing and taking even further steps to help organisations with innovation across asset management and through the integration of technologies to realise their full value,” said Ben Tam, Isle’s Chief Executive.

“We welcome Keith, Ian and Chris to the team and the opportunity to deepen the work we do to support organisations to thrive in the complex environment they operate in.”

Keith Gardner is Isle’s new Managing Director of Asset Management consulting for the UK & Europe. He has extensive water sector experience and is a recognised asset management expert – holding the Institute of Asset Management (IAM) Diploma in Principles of Asset Management. He is also the Chair of the IAM’s London and Southeast branch.

The former director of asset strategy and capital delivery for Affinity Water, the largest water-only company in the UK, Gardner has also held senior roles across asset management and strategy & regulation at Thames Water and was the interim Head of Asset Strategy at Bristol Water. He has extensive experience providing strategic asset management advisory services at executive and board levels across the water and energy sectors which is informed by hands on front line operational delivery and implementation of innovative asset management tools and techniques.

Keith is joined by Ian Butler as Head of Asset Management Consulting (UK). Butler is a senior asset management and infrastructure expert with over 25 years of experience gained in consulting and directly with industry. He holds the IAM Advanced Diploma in Asset Management and is an Incorporated Engineer.

Butler worked as an asset planning manager at Southern Water for many years before moving to UK Power Networks. Most recently Butler held the role of technical director at Black & Veatch – a leading global engineering, consulting and construction company specializing in infrastructure development in energy, water, telecommunications, management consulting, federal and environmental markets.

Chris Thomas is the new Head of Innovation and Enterprise; he is experienced in working with digital innovators to bring their solutions to the water industry. His work spans across the lifecycle of new ventures, having supported teams seeking investment, piloting and developing new products and implementing mature solutions at an enterprise scale.

When working at Bristol Water as the head of business improvement and innovation, Thomas developed the company’s innovation framework and founded a business incubator to support start-ups bringing their new solutions to the industry.

He was also responsible for transformation activities and set up several new digital capabilities around automation and reporting as well as leading organisational and process changes across asset management, operations and the back office.

Prior to Bristol Water, Chris worked for Baringa Partners supporting a range of utility clients across the UK with operating model improvement projects.

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