Cost consultant becomes limited company and creates three operating divisions in attempt to move away from pure quantity surveying.
Top six cost consultant Currie & Brown is turning itself into a limited company and moving away from traditional quantity surveying in a rejig of its UK operations.

Former group director Richard Payne, now consulting managing director, said the decision to change the partnership into a limited company would give the firm greater focus, enabling it to respond better to clients.

Payne said: "Being a partnership is quite an unwieldy tool in the modern business world. It's less flexible for decision-making than a smaller board of directors." Under the restructure, the firm will be divided into three service divisions: cost management, project management and consulting.

Payne said these divisions would be backed up by sector groups working across the company in fields such as rail, pharmaceuticals and industry.

He said: "This will give us the opportunity to cross-sell across the three service firms, both in the UK and abroad." The other managing directors of the new service firms are Graham Billin (cost management) and Hamilton Kennedy (project management), both former group directors.

David Mitchell will head the group's existing international operation.

A partnership is quite an unwieldy tool in the modern business world

Richard Payne, Currie & Brown

Currie & Brown, which merged with rival Widnell in May, is also looking for a new chairman following the retirement of Doug Leedham, who stood down at the end of September.

Payne said Leedham had gone out on a high, having masterminded the Widnell deal.

"Having achieved that, he [Leedham] felt that was the pinnacle of his career. He thought that was a good time to go," Payne said.

The merger was confirmed last week at a House of Lords reception. It creates a combined group with 1500 staff in 46 offices and a combined turnover of £60m.

Leedham said in May that the merger would allow the group to secure more global clients. Existing clients include SmithKline Beecham, BP and Shell.