Industry heavyweight Bob Holt OBE joins Cosgrove & Drew as chairman

M&E contractor Cosgrove & Drew has announced the appointment of celebrity business leader Bob Holt OBE as its new chairman, to help drive forward the company’s ambitious growth and expansion plans.

Bob Holt, a former Mears Group PLC director and major investor, is also joining the Bristol-based company as a major shareholder. He brings with him a wealth of experience as the company aims to double in size over the next two years, with long-term exponential growth firmly in mind.

Founded by former traders Zac Cosgrove and Luke Drew in 2014, Cosgrove & Drew has grown rapidly from a two-man band with no funding to an award-winning £5m company with over 80 engineers, including including valued contractors. It provides services ranging from domestic heating and plumbing installations to large commercial and industrial enterprises in the education, leisure and healthcare sectors, as well as government authorities and housing associations.

With a career spanning over five decades, Holt has held leadership positions in some of the UK’s most successful companies. He is perhaps best known for his pivotal role in the rise of Mears Group PLC. He grew the then little-known Gloucestershire entrepreneur from a £12m business with 83 staff, by IPO in 1996, to a £1bn group with over 12,000 staff, operating in the care and home maintenance sectors.

He is also the former chairman of maintenance contractor Surreserve Group PLC (formerly known as Lakehouse). Here, he further demonstrated his success as a leader by completing his major turnaround to deliver a very strong financial performance, overseeing a 125% rally in Surreserve stock price. At the time of his recruitment in 2016, the company had bank debt of £50million.

The same year, Holt received an OBE for devoting a lot of energy and time to charity. In 2008, he established The Footprints Foundation to help those in need, both at home and abroad, including supporting six orphanages in South Africa.

Commenting on his new role, Holt said, “This is a fantastic opportunity to help Luke and Zac move the business forward and focus on expansion. Prior to the pandemic, the company had built up significant reserves. After the pandemic, it is well prepared for the enormous growth and development potential of the evolving energy transition market.

He continued, “With a well-trained and committed workforce, the opportunity is vast, and I’m looking to help double the business over the next two years and then double again.”

Luke Drew, Managing Director, commented: “Bob’s illustrious track record of driving businesses to high levels of success through his energetic and inspired approach speaks for itself. We couldn’t be more excited to harness his vast business know-how and insight to take Cosgrove & Drew to the next chapter.