Chairman Mash no more!

Credit: Hilton Birmingham Metropole

I think it’s fair to say we’ve had an eventful and exciting few months – there’s never a dull moment here at John Rowan and Partners!

As many of you know, earlier this month we became part of Bellrock Group in a deal that will bring great benefits both to us, and our new owners.  We bring new expertise regional capabilities to their portfolio and can now provide more services to our clients via Bellrock’s other brands. Backed by Bellrock’s financial stability and clout during a turbulent time for the market, we’ll be able to target growth at a time when many other companies in our sector may be treading water.

Being part of this established services group with a turnover of £170 million means we can grow our capability, work with more clients and provide greater job security and career development opportunities. All great steps towards helping us to plan proactively for the foreseeable future.

Our team have now met Bellrock Group CEO Paul Bean and Neil Triggs, MD of the Technical and Real Estate services division as well as teams from three of our new sister companies – the Oakleaf Group, NIFES and Concerto.

Oakleaf is a leading provider of specialist surveys that help companies manage their facilities and building information more effectively.

NIFES Consulting Group provide a wide range of energy, property and engineering services to thousands of clients across many sectors. NIFES has an interesting origin story, formed back in 1953 NIFES (National Industrial Fuel Efficiency Service), was set up by the Ministry of Fuel and Power to meet the need for post-war industry to become more energy efficient.

Together these two consultancies provide services such as (but not limited to), Fire Safety (Engineering,  FRA’s, EWS1/PAS 9980), further Compliance Services, Energy Consulting and Carbon Net Zero, Asset Management, Property Management, Service Charge, Insurance & Lease advisory, MEP Consultancy, and Facilities Management.

The third company, Concerto is an Integrated Workplace Management System (IWMS) and Computer-Aided Facilities Management (CAFM) estates management software platform. It supplies clients with a, mobile-enabled property, project and asset management software with real-time analytics. These companies are all active in our markets and by drawing on their expertise we can now strengthen and expand what we’re offering to our customers.

When we ran a survey of our clients back in early 2020, they told us they were keen for us to offer more services. Over half of those surveyed, asked for greater support with fire and building safety services. We listened to what people told us and our new sister companies combined with our own strengthened in-house offering, means we’re in a great position to offer these services and more besides.

Home delivery

Meanwhile, we’ve had some great successes on the frameworks front. We’ve been appointed by Notting Hill Genesis development consultants framework as Employer’s Agent on its £18m lot 9, and Clerk of Works on the £4m lot 13.  We have also added to their Genesis Fire Consultants Framework as building safety and general fire consultant.

At the same time, we’ve recently secured new framework agreements from Network Homes, one of our long-standing clients. We’ve been appointed by them to a four-year framework agreement for Clerk of Works services, and to a four-year building safety framework that covers general building consultancy and fire-related consultancy. This is in addition to the employer’s agent framework we were re-appointed to last year.

A successful games

It has been great to see the hard work from our Hospitality team whose fantastic efforts and determination ensured that the Birmingham Hilton Metropole was finished and ready in time for July’s Commonwealth games. An important, high visibility project which has added excellent new facilities to the city’s hotel and conferencing portfolio.

Growing our own

We love developing our own people and watching them grow – so I’m delighted to report no less then six promotions within our team. Dominic Cherry, a chartered quantity surveyor, has been promoted from Associate Partner to Partner. Adriaan Muller becomes an Associate Partner, and  Rajvina Nijjer, Rosie Cornforth and Asmita Kerai, all of whom joined through our graduate recruitment programme, have been promoted to Senior Surveyors.  And finally, we are celebrating, Rhema Mahama who was also promoted to Senior Management Assistant.

If you are a regular reader of my updates, you’ll know we set great importance n working with and supporting other organisations within our sector. I was therefore very pleased to be elected to join the Housing Forum as one of four new board members. The Forum works hard to promote partnership working nationally across the sector’s supply chain, and I’m looking forward to helping them pursue this goal.

You’ll know, too, of the importance we place in bringing on the next generation and finding ways of ensuring that the sector can attract the skills it needs to thrive and grow. So, we have been glad to welcome five work experience students back into the workplace to give them a taster of the variety of roles within the construction sector. This is in addition to the three graduates that joined us earlier this year, with more planned over the next 12-months.

So much to celebrate – what a quarter it has been!

I’m signing off now for the last time as Chairman Mash (title change only, don’t worry I’m not going anywhere!) I will be back under my new title of executive director with the next quarterly update!