The London head of one the world’s largest asset management and cost consultancies has spoken out on how order books at his firm, Currie & Brown, are holding up in the face of the credit crunch and construction downturn.
In an upbeat assessment of the prospects for Currie & Brown’s London office, Director Iain Stevenson, sees continuing investment in high end, luxury projects in London by Middle East developers and the firm’s long-standing relationships with UK blue chip clients, along with the government’s BSF programme, as the factors that will see Currie & Brown weather the current economic uncertainty.
In the year ahead, the London office will contribute around a quarter of Currie & Brown’s UK turnover. With a focus on education, health, leisure, commercial and government sectors, the London team is building on its core services of cost management, project management and building surveying to deliver a comprehensive asset management service.
The firm’s international experience has been a major factor in enabling them to exploit the benefits of cross referral by converting existing relationships in one region into an opportunity in another. With its growing presence in the Middle East, Currie & Brown is well-known to major developers in Dubai and Abu Dhabi who are viewing the weak UK property market with interest.
Iain Stevenson said,
"It's all about relationships and risk mitigation. Global players change their target markets subject to market conditions. The UK and London in particular are currently very much on the radar".
Currie & Brown's London client list reads like a “Who’s Who” of UK plc with longstanding relationships with the like of M&S, Esso and GlaxoSmithKline featuring strongly on the order book.
The firm’s relationship with Esso, which now spans a quarter of a century, is typical of how Currie & Brown builds long-term relationships with clients and supports them through change in their industries and markets. A chance meeting in 1982 at the Wales & Western Pipeline Industries Dinner in Bristol led to an exchange of business cards. Following an interview the firm were appointed to provide Project Cost Management and Engineering services on one of the largest pipeline projects Esso had ever undertaken between the Esso Fawley refinery and the Esso Birmingham Terminal and that relationship continues to this day.
As the Director tasked with doubling the firm’s fee income from its London office by 2011 one of the first things that Stevenson did when he took over the reins of the asset management company’s London operations eighteen months ago was to bring the firm’s two offices under one roof at London Wall. A move he has not regretted.