Firm’s boss predicts current figure will increase by half in next three years

The boss of Mace’s consulting business is predicting that staff numbers will jump by close to half over the next three years and hit 7,000.

Jason Millett was speaking after the firm announced it has brought in a new head of its Americas business where it wants to see business increase by two-thirds to around £100m in the next few years.

The firm’s consulting arm currently employs 4,800 people across the group, making it by some distance the biggest part of Mace by employees, and the division’s chief executive Millett said booming overseas workloads mean he is expecting the number to be close to 7,000 by 2026.


Mace Consult’s chief executive Jason Millett says he expects turnover to break through the £500m barrier this year

The firm is still auditing its numbers for last year but they are expected to show that turnover will have grown by a third to around £480m.

Just over half its workload comes from its Europe business, which includes its core UK market, with the remainder from the Americas, Asia and the Middle East and Africa.

Its biggest business after Europe is the Middle East with around £100m of revenue and Millett wants the other two regions to get up to that level of income.

He said work in Saudi Arabia and the Gulf states was rocketing while it has also won more work on a rail scheme it is helping deliver in Canada’s biggest city Toronto.

The firm has around 300 staff in Saudi but Millett admitted the scale of jobs in the country, such as building new resorts and neighbourhoods in the capital Riyadh, meant it was looking to triple numbers in the kingdom.

Mace wants income from the consulting division to be £500m by 2026 under a five year plan but group chair and chief executive Mark Reynolds said the figure could be reached two years early and was likely to end up north of £550m.

Millett said a downturn was looming for certain parts of Europe and US in the coming few months. “It’s a tricky year this year. You can’t ignore that a recession is on the horizon,” he added. But he admitted: “We feel more resilient because of the spread of work. I’d be disappointed if we didn’t go through £500m this year [2023].”

He added the firm is looking to branch out from its traditional programme and delivery partner roles and carry out more cost and commercial, advisory and project management work. “We want more penetration across the different service lines,” he said.

Last week, Mace announced that it had brought in a former Atkins boss to head up its Americas business unit which is based in New York.

Priya Jain has been handed the newly created role of president for the Americas, which covers the firm’s work in both North and Latin America.