"Every good consultant has spent time at the sharp-end of industry” was the advice I received from a senior partner early in my career. I've been on the spike for most of my career since!
I love engineering and as a young design engineer at Arup, I could indulge my creative bent. I moved into design and construction management at Mowlem in the heyday of fee based management of large projects, working with some of the UK’s most prominent industrial, commercial and public sector clients (think BP, GSK, Eagle Star and MoD).
An MBA enabled a transition into strategic planning, change management and M&A in manufacturing and logistics at SGB (Harsco Infrastructure).
My experience of integrating acquisitions proved invaluable when called on to mobilise the UK Government’s property outsourcing concession for the HMRC estate (an early public-private partnership).
Mowlem was in the vanguard of PPP/PFI and from here it was an obvious progression to set-up and lead the asset management unit for its burgeoning portfolio of investments.
I joined Barclays Private Equity in 2006 to bring an active management approach to its portfolio of infrastructure investments. As with all large portfolios, these included a number of “challenged” assets which I was only too happy to embrace!
I have managed the value of various transport, defence, health and education investments from the boards of 24 investee companies, including resolving disputes, turning around operational and financial performances and refinancing debt. In my experience, the sharp-end is never far away!
Today, I am the chairman of a special purpose company (SPC) that designed, built, financed and currently operates an acute hospital project in London (appointed by the project's senior lender).