International managing director Julian Williams has been appointed as CEO of iMist, the fast-growing Hull-headquartered watermist fire-suppression business.
Following a £4.5m investment by private equity firm Foresight Group a year ago, the business has seen rapid growth with demand for its innovative high-pressure watermist fire-suppression systems growing post-Grenfell as local authorities, developers and property professionals have sought new active fire-suppression solutions. Founded in 2015, the iMist range has been designed specifically for domestic and larger residential properties and offers a number of benefits over traditional fire sprinkler products including more efficient use of water as it uses 80% less), ease of installation as it runs off the mains and cost effectiveness as it does not require a tank.
With 35 years’ experience across a number of senior commercial roles, Julian specialises in driving dynamic growth in all sizes of organisations from fledgling SMEs to blue chip multinationals. He has worked in a diverse range of sectors including property services, consumer durables, retail and strategy consulting. As well as having a solid grounding in sales and marketing, distribution and manufacturing, latterly Julian has focused on the digital space and the application of technology to make companies more productive and more effective in connecting with customers.
Julian further strengthens the iMist board following the appointment of former CEO of Kier Group, Haydn Mursell, as chair last March. He comments: ‘With his broad management skills, passion for developing talent and impressive track record of growing businesses, Julian is exactly what we need at this exciting point in iMist’s development. As the company scales up, he will also help to put in place the processes and systems as well as the experienced people we require to ensure a smooth transition.
‘Over the last year, with the backing of Foresight Group, we have seen the business continue to grow as fire suppression has remained high on the public agenda. As well as seeing increasing numbers of public and private sector specifiers here in the UK recognising the benefits of fire mist systems and turning to iMist’s unique range, we also have ambitious plans to explore overseas opportunities and Julian’s international experience will be invaluable.’
Julian adds: ‘As a PE-backed business with a good, solid funding base, iMist is in a fantastic position to realise its growth potential. Having developed its own proprietary misting system, the company’s mission is about saving people, saving property and saving water and I am proud to be part of that cause.
Tony Sims, engineering expert and founder of iMist, will continue to lead the company’s investment in R&D and he comments: ‘With our strong focus on R&D, iMist has developed an outstanding product which we believe can become the market leader in its field. We see Julian as someone who can help the organisation develop and lead iMist to the next level on its growth journey.’