Support services company Accord aims to tap into the £11bn private sector facilities management market using a dedicated business unit.
Accord, a Hertfordshire firm, has largely focused its FM work on the public sector but Steven Samuels, a recent recruit from KPMG who now runs this operation, will be creating a unit devoted to private sector outsourcing.

The unit will be made up of 20 people who will work with five to 10 clients in the first two years.

The first international client is close to being signed up, according to Chris Clark, the group commercial development director.

Clark joined Accord last month and will help set up the business unit. He is a former customer solutions director at Carillion.

Clark has spent 30 years in the construction and maintenance industries.

He helped win a contract worth £140m a year for Carillion with British Telecom.

Clark said: "We will be looking to develop bespoke leading-edge solutions, looking beyond conventional methodologies, to support the core businesses and help create and maintain an edge over the competition.

"We have quite a robust business plan [for the new unit] but it will be focused on a small number of businesses – we won't just be chasing a lot of small contracts."

Chief executive Stelio Stefanou said: "We've been operating a successful outsourcing model with public services for many years. We will use our experience and the systems we have developed to create a new offer for the private sector."

Accord has taken significant steps recently to expand its business. In August it acquired £13m-turnover QS Schofield Lothian in an attempt to strengthen expertise in project management, infrastructure services and management consultancy.

Accord is structured on a group basis and provides services including highways, housing maintenance, education, facilities management and environmental management. The group, which demerged from contractor John Doyle in 1999, employs more than 3300 people and has a turnover of £240m.