Persimmon Contracts Manager’s site meeting rant.
A few weeks ago I was given part of a secretly recorded site meeting. In the recording, which I am of the opinion is genuine, a Persimmon contracts manager expresses his opinions. The priorities of Persimmon Homes – would appear to be, build as many new homes, as quickly as possible. Or in his own words “let’s make as much f***ing money as we can; let’s slash out as many f***ing units as we can because the market allows us.”
This is part of a two-hour recording, made in November 2015 during a Persimmon Homes South Coast Region sub contractor’s site meeting. It was sent to me by one of the sub contractors, also told me:
“These are the most damning statements any contracts manager could possibly say about their company, seriously damning words about potential purchasers of their houses. Existing dwellings that have no building standard fire protections. Fact and it’s all RECORDED, all two hours 27 minutes of it! Buildings are sub-standard and some are dangerous. The NHBC are to blame as well as they passed 99.9% of work that inspectors shouldn’t have. 40 % of the plots have no secondary DPC tray system which in turn will mean the sole/base plates supporting the timber frame houses will ROT very quickly.”
I don’t know what is more shocking, that any housebuilder would appoint this individual a contracts manager; or that having done so, anyone in that position would express such personal opinions in public meeting. This does indicate that if this is typical of the calibre of person Persimmon employs to oversee their site managers, then it is hardly surprising the company has never been rated a five star housebuilder by its customers! Download to hear it for yourself – but be aware there is a lot of foul language!
“Award-winning” ex-site manager from Barratt?
“I had 14 years at Barratts. I worked for BDW Southampton and I won, er Christ, seven Pride in the Job Awards…… site manager of the year for the division three times, regional three times, national runner-up twice.”
Comment from the room: “they have good agents at Barratts”
“They have their moments, they have their moments. They’re a lot better than they were. I had a conversation with a guy the other day that we were hoping would come and join us [Persimmon] and I’ve said to him, we are where Barratts were about ten years ago.”
“If your interested, the reason why it is like it is at the moment, when I first came onto Persimmons I came over to the top and at that time, they wanted to be a five star builder and it took us about 18 months and we got up to five star builder status and it was really, really good [note: Persimmon have never been a 5 star rated housebuilder] and we were doing 350 to 400 a year. “
“They then had a change of senior, senior management, Mike Farley was the chairman at that time [he means CEO!) and he wanted to be a five star builder. He then got to five star builder and he then retired, and Jeff Fairburn came in. The story’s common f***ing knowledge Jeff Fairburn, Nigel Greenway, and there’s one other, there’s four altogether, they’re on a one hundred million pound bonus on 2021, if by 2021, they can pay out £21 in share dividends in total by that time. [Persimmon director’s LTIP bonus is actually conditional on returning capital, 900p per share, to shareholders by 2021!] the emphasis has gone to let’s make as much f***ing money as we can; let’s slash out as many f***ing units as we can because the market allows us.”
“They are ahead of schedule, the way they are going at the moment they will actually pay out in 2018. So in 2018, you know we’re all in here now, we’re all blokes, we’re no different to them, if someone came along and said you’d got thirty million, you’d got thirty million, you’d got twenty million, you’d got twenty million, are we gonna carry on working? No we’re not. So then they’re go, so then you’ll get new people coming in, who will then have a different agenda again.”
“How sh*t Persimmons are..”
“Because obviously… what makes me laugh is we’ve been on the telly; how sh*t Persimmons are across the country. We’ve been on the telly; how sh*t Charles Church are. All over the f***ing place, Dispatches, BBC One, you name it they’ve been on it, over the last 8, 9, 10 months how crap they are. You go on the internet, and you’ve got all these f***ing websites: don’t buy a Persimmon home, don’t buy a Charles Church home they’re sh*t, blah blah blah blah blah right? Yet you will still get people paying two hundred, in excess of half a million pounds in some cases, for a house and they won’t even go and look at it, until the day they’re due to complete, until they’ve paid for the f***ing thing.” [Note: most housebuilders actually refuse access so buyers or their snagging inspectors cannot check the property!]
“Mugs” only buy Persimmon “because we are cheap”
“So who is the f***ing mug? Because if I was parting with half a million quid, I’d like to go and see it before I parted with it. But you still get people today and you look and them and think, you’ve seen how shit we are on the telly, you’ve seen how shit we are on the internet, people saying don’t buy from us and you still do! And the reason why they do is because we are cheap. We are, not Waitrose, we are not even Tescos, we are the Lidls and Aldis of the construction industry. As we all know the Lidls and Aldis of the f***ing supermarket world are getting bigger and bigger and bigger. That’s what the public want. Now unfortunately, the knock-on side from our point of view is we get shit, f***ing surveys in the office and get moaned about a hell of a f***ing lot.”
Comment from the room: “So what star builder are we at the moment?”
“We’re just about scratching on a one. This year were doing 350, this year we’re doing 800- right, in two years right. Next year…..”
Whilst it is clear he doesn’t really know much of what he is talking about it is nevertheless quite revealing. I hope to be able to provide the full length of this secret recording in due course, once I have transcribed the main highlights. Watch this space!