Steve Mason to head up London business

Gleeds has brought in Steve Mason three months after he left Mace to become an executive director at its London arm.

Mason, one of the founders of Mace’s cost consulting business, left the firm at the end of last October after first joining in 1998.

Gleeds said he starts his new job today and will work with UK regional director Paul Sweeney to lead its business in the capital.


Steve Mason starts his new role today

Chief executive Graham Harle told Building: “It’s a bit of a coup to get him, he was speaking to a number of people. We’re very happy he’s joined, he’s got some great clients.”

He added that Mason will be involved in all aspects of Gleeds’ London business with an emphasis on private sector clients but supporting its public sector work as well, such as frameworks.

Schemes Mason worked on while at Mace included the London 2012 Aquatics Centre, designed by Zaha Hadid and built by Balfour Beatty, and British Land’s 5 Broadgate scheme, the UBS headquarters building in the Square Mile designed by Make and built by Mace.

“He ran a business for a long time and has a huge amount of business acumen,” Harle said. “Getting good people is difficult.”

Gleeds said it has around 1,000 staff in the UK, up from 800 at this point last year, with the firm looking to bring in another 350 people this year as it looks to meet a long-term plan to bring global staff numbers up to 4,000 by 2024 with turnover doubling to £400m at the same time.

“Recruitment is a big challenge for us,” Harle admitted. “The emphasis is building from the bottom. We do a lot of work with schools and colleges. We haven’t been affected as badly by Brexit as some of the contractors but it’s not easy.”

Harle said the firm posted a global turnover of £185m last year and is looking at income of £240m this with margins of between 8% and 12%.

He said growth would be organic rather than through acquisition and added that CBRE’s deal to take on 60% of T&T last year could open up parts of the market.

“We’ve seen in the past with EC Harris and Arcadis and Davis Langdon and Aecom, areas open up and we can increase our market share.”

Mason is the second director at Mace to join Gleeds in the past six months with Matthew Darby joining Gleeds as a senior director last August after nearly 15 years at the business.