LONDON — Kier Group, the £3.5 billion construction and infrastructure firm, has appointed its first corporate affairs director, promoting public affairs lead Sophie Timms into the new position after six months in the job.

In her elevated role, Timms will have responsibility for government relations and communications across the group and will join the executive committee, reporting to chief executive Andrew Davies.

Timms joined Kier in October 2020 after 20 years at Zurich Insurance, latterly as head of UK corporate affairs, including government relations, external communications and sustainability. She also spearheaded diversity and inclusion initiatives for Zurich and the wider insurance sector.

At the same time, Alpna Amar has been promoted to another new role, as corporate development director, responsible for investor relations, group strategy and mergers and acquisitions; she also joins the executive committee. Amar joined Kier as finance director of transformation in February 2020, and had previously been head of investor relations for global automotive supplier TI Fluid Systems, which is listed on the London Stock Exchange.

Davies said: “I’m delighted to welcome Sophie and Alpna to the executive committee and know they will provide additional strength and perspectives to the team as Kier looks to move into the next phase of its strategy.

“With Kier’s role as a strategic supplier to the UK Government, Sophie’s extensive public affairs and communications’ experience will be invaluable in supporting Kier’s internal and external engagement, as well as ensuring we can help our clients to deliver on their long-term societal aims. Similarly, Alpna’s experience will be critical as Kier looks to build on its financial and competitive position and deliver its medium-term financial targets.”

Timms said: “Since joining Kier, I have been impressed not only by the scale of the projects and programmes it delivers, largely on behalf of the public sector, but also its strong credentials in delivering long-term social impact in communities. I am incredibly excited to ensure we keep colleagues and external stakeholders up-to-date with the progress Kier is making and the role infrastructure and construction can play in supporting recovery from Covid-19, rebalancing prosperity and the delivery of Net Zero goals.”