Posted: Monday 13th February 2012

SEAMS has launched a series of RoundTableEventsTM as a means for executives responsible for ‘physical asset-rich’ companies to address issues surrounding their business planning and investment financing.

On the 4th October 2011 SEAMS Ltd hosted its inaugural roundtable event at Gordon Ramsay’s York & Albany restaurant, London. Under the debate heading “It’s Time to Drag Asset Management in to the Boardroom”, SEAMS was delighted to invite Clare Spottiswoode and Bill Emery, both former regulators, as guest moderators. They provided insight into how energy, rail, and water regulators view current practices in business planning from which interesting discussions emanated.

A full copy of the White Paper from the first SEAMS Roundtable event is available - email enquiries@seamsltd.com to receive a copy and to find out more about the 2012 programme of events.

John Phillips, Chairman of SEAMS, says, “It is a challenging time for utilities and the public sector. There is an urgent requirement to deliver the same outputs for less. Business plans must be transparent in explaining how financial constraints have been considered and what risk is placed on physical assets and the customers served. It is time to bring together a common language between the financial, asset and engineering dialogue. Network industries are changing – in terms of ownership and regulatory methods and policies. At the same time organisations are trying to operate as normal - balancing competing forces of keeping customer bills steady, achieving desired service levels and risk, but all at the same time delivering solid financial performance to the asset owners.”

Phillips continues, “It is increasingly accepted that infrastructure investment is not just a stimulus; it needs to lead to long-term economic growth. However, with the amount of growth in the so-called emerging nations, the competition for funding is going to be extremely great. There is the need for transparency and better means of support at the board level and a recognition that the joining together of financial, engineering, and asset disciplines, must occur in a more rigorous manner.”

Commenting on the relevance of the SEAMS RoundTableEventsTM programme, Phillips concludes, “I urge all executives operating in the energy, rail and water sectors to become involved. We are providing a platform for companies from different utilities to share ideas – this seeds innovation and will enable SEAMS Ltd to continue to support the improvement in the UK’s infrastructure! It is not about spending more – it is about spending more effectively and efficiently to get long term sustainable returns from our infrastructure.”

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