Private company eager to break out of traditional role and form strategic alliances to meet client needs.
Mansell chief executive David Beardsmore has launched a three-year drive to improve the way the contractor does business and propel it on to the international stage.

Beardsmore plans to form strategic alliances with other industry players to provide one-stop services to transnational clients such as BAA and BT. These companies want suppliers to provide construction and facilities management solutions throughout the lifetime of a building.

Privately owned Mansell already has a presence in the property, repair and maintenance markets, but Beardsmore said: “We now need a much broader cadre of people and resources to meet clients’ needs. We need to create integrated teams covering the whole range of construction capabilities.”

Mansell intends to form links in Europe and the USA, where it has no presence. “It is very early days,” said Beardsmore, “but I see no reason why we should stick to our contracting traditions and why we cannot explode this out on to an international field.” Beardsmore wants the company to expand by 10-20% a year for the next three years.

The company announced record half-year results to 30 June with pre-tax profit rising from £2.2m to £2.5m. Turnover was up from £203m to £213m.

Beardsmore said he was prepared to tie up with any kind of business but indicated that any deals would be looked at case by case, depending on the client. The strategic alliances are likely to be based on similar lines to BAA cluster teams (a form of partnering). Mansell has already formed one such alliance with WS Atkins and Drake & Skull in a bid to manage BT’s 8000-building estate.

“Project Jaguar got us out of the starting blocks,” he said. “But this initiative will involve a change for industry and everybody concerned. We will need to do a lot of work changing attitudes and working with clients to develop a sellable formula.”

The approach will also position Mansell alongside global property players such as WS Atkins, but Beardsmore said he would be looking to work with, rather than kill off, competition. “Gone are the days when we and Atkins would sit on opposite sides of the table.”

The strategy could make Mansell a more attractive proposition to City investors that have fallen out of love with traditional low-margin contracting in recent years. But Beardsmore said that the firm’s relatively low capitalisation meant that he had no plans to float it.