Birmingham-based quantity surveyor Francis Graves intends to offer new shares in the privately-owned family firm to staff in order to raise capital for expansion and acquisitions.
The move is part of a restructuring that has seen the appointment of new director Andrew Pearson, a former corporate finance expert at Arthur Andersen.

In addition, the firm has renamed itself Graves, dropping the Francis.

The £3m turnover QS, which opened a London office last year, is expanding its services to include work on PFI and public-private partnership projects and general business consultancy.

Chief executive Richard Graves, whose father Francis founded the firm in the 1950s, said the practice was looking at leading PFI or PPP schemes in the health, prisons and education markets. He said: "We have good contacts with funders. Rather than contractors hijacking the process, we think we can lead teams as well."

The general consultancy will be headed by Pearson, who joined the firm last November.

He will also oversee the operations side of the business, which will look at offering corporate recovery solutions, project monitoring and reporting, handling and advising on due diligence in the property and construction sectors.

Graves said the decision to offer shares to staff would lead to a spurt in growth for the firm.

The business has a profile bigger than the reality. You cannot match the profile with the reality with single ownership

Richard Graves, chief executive, Graves

He said: "The business has a profile bigger than the reality. We want to match the profile with the reality. You cannot do that single-handedly. We will never get that dynamic with single ownership of the firm."

The share scheme, Graves added, would offer an incentive to existing staff to perform as well as attracting ambitious outside talent.

Pearson said the firm had great potential. He said:

"I could not believe how big the brand was relative to the size of the business."

Pearson said the firm could still offer clients a more personal touch compared with bigger rivals such as WS Atkins and Davis Langdon & Everest.