Architect restructures European and Asian businesses to improve international presence

London is to spearhead the international expansion plans of Aedas after a shake-up of the £131m turnover architect’s global structure.

Under the restructure, which has yet to be ratified, the London, continental European, African and Middle Eastern parts of the 2,031-strong business will come under the control of
a newly-formed Aedas International division.

The division will be run by a new global board that is likely to be chaired by the heads of the European and Asian arms. It will control all of Aedas’ business outside of the UK, east Asia and America. The three global hubs of the architect will continue to be New York, London and Hong Kong. A full announcement is expected in December.

David Roberts, chief executive of Aedas in Asia and member of the global board, said: “We have recognised that London has to become the focus for our international activities. There’s
no reason why we can’t have 300-500 people in London from the 80 there now.”

The shake-up comes as the architect admitted the London and Asian regions had “trodden on each other’s toes” on bids, particularly in the Middle East, where it is working on schemes such as the Heart of Doha regeneration in Qatar (pictured).

Roberts added: “We weren’t as joined up as we could have been and people were perhaps focusing on their parts of the business. Clients weren’t clear about which parts they were dealing with.”

Brian Johnson, chairman of Aedas in Europe and a global board member, said the state of the UK public sector was a factor. “We’ve seen the decline of public sector work and are expanding the international side and the design side to make up for that. It’s looking like we’re heading for a double-dip recession.”

Aedas in numbers

Europe £34m turnover, 16 offices
Middle East £15m turnover, four offices
Asia turnover £59m, 13 offices
Americas £23m, five offices