Architect chairman steps back from role and stake in business

The chairman of Leeds established Watson Batty Architects has announced that he will be reducing his role and stake in the business with effect from October.

Paul Ryan, who has been a director of the 41-year-old firm for 23 years and is known for his work for Royal Mail, is to relinquish his 50% shareholding in Watson Batty as he approaches retirement. He will hand over the baton to the four remaining equity directors Peter White, Andrew Grindrod, Richard Merrills and Mark Sidding but will still remain involved with the business in a consultancy role.

During the process Watson Batty Architects will allocate equity shareholding to seven other members of the team as a part of its succession strategy and commitment to broaden ownership with its future generation.

Peter White, managing director at Watson Batty Architects said: “Paul has been a fantastic leader for the business and a great inspiration to our team for many years. He has been instrumental in taking Watson Batty from a £850k turnover Yorkshire business to become a UK leading practice that employs 50 people nationwide working for many leading brands.

“Last year we celebrated our 40th anniversary with a re brand and plans to increase turnover to over £4.0m with a five-year plan. We are currently on target to achieve that with year on year growth.

“We would like to thank Paul for his tireless commitment and wish him the very best transition into retirement. We are pleased that he is able to maintain a consultant role and assist in concluding the graduation of our talented team into management roles.”