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Family Business Top 100 Recognition For Rick Willmott


We are delighted to announce that Rick Willmott of Willmott Dixon has been included within the inaugural Family Business United ‘Family Business Top 100,’ which recognises the exceptional contribution of individuals and their work within a family business.


Recognition in respect of:

  • Inspirational Leadership

  • Family Business Steward

  • Multi-Generational Family Business Leader

Rick is the Group Chief Executive of Willmott Dixon and represents the fifth generation of the Willmott family to lead the company since it was established in 1852.


Rick joined in 1982 as a project management trainee where he gained experienced working at operational level on a series of projects. In 1993 he was seconded on the government’s Construction Sponsorship Directorate with the remit of promoting UK Construction and consultancy within the wider European community in a joint initiative with the DTI.


Rick was appointed Chief Executive in 2008 and leads a company employing nearly 2,200 people with a turnover approaching £1.2 billion in 2020.


An issue of personal importance, Rick wanted the company to lead by example in being a sustainable business and as a result, they have been carbon neutral since 2012. In fact, Rick has overseen a reduction in carbon emissions relative to turnover by 57% compared with 2010 emissions. In 2020, their Now or Never strategy set a target for Willmott Dixon to be a net zero carbon business by 2030.


Rick is passionate that Willmott Dixon has a ‘purpose beyond profit’ and set up the Willmott Dixon Foundation over ten years ago to help people from disadvantaged backgrounds to achieve their potential.

Trying to make a difference has seen the company invest over £10m in community projects and help nearly 10,000 people improve their life chances – something that led to Willmott Dixon winning a Queen’s Award for Enterprise for Promoting Opportunity in 2018.


Initiatives include Ready for the Gate, working with offenders at HM Prison Elmley (they opened a new dry lining academy there) and their Building Lives Academies – a ‘pop up’ academy concept that can move from site to site as projects complete.


"Rick has been a driving force of the business for many years and continues to champion the construction sector, make a difference and inspire others. He is well deserving of his place in the Family Business Top 100."


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