Never sitting still: AMCM directors Jon Wardle and Simon Wilkinson

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Both are known as steady hands in a storm-tossed industry, but that doesn’t stop them striking out to attract new talent and broaden their market

“We are an amazing industry but we do make life hard for ourselves sometimes.” Jon Wardle is speaking after two years of turmoil in which Carillion went bust, Interserve went into and came out of administration and Kier has been brought to its knees by mounting debt and huge losses.

The 43-year-old is telling Building about his plans for the construction firm he set up seven years ago in his dining room in Wandsworth. He finally decided in 2011 to leave Wates, where he’d spent 15 years after joining the firm as a quantity surveyor from university. He had been wanting to do his own thing for a while but says nerves got the better of him. 

“I bottled it a few times,” he admits. It was a move across from Wates’ social housing arm in 2011 and into its construction business that convinced him it was time to fly. “I realised it was the same business and the right time to leave.”

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