Consultant and construction manager PCM has appointed a new managing director ahead of a growth surge at the firm..
Chris Paxford, formerly a board director at the Warwickshire-based firm, started his new job this month. He replaces Gordon Fox, who stays on as a director at the firm.

The appointment comes as the firm, part of construction and property company the Pettifer Group, moves into main contracting.

Paxford said its newly launched contracting arm, PCM Projects, had secured £30m worth of work, including City fit-out work and projects for retail clients such as J Sainsbury and Safeway.

This will add considerably to the firm's £5.8m turnover, but Paxford stressed that the move was not a great leap for the firm.

Paxford said having the backing of parent group Pettifer was crucial to the success of the venture.

He said: "It [main contracting] is a slightly different approach, but we aim to offer the same level of service as we do in construction management. We will not be looking for excuses to look for claims – the contractual arrangement will stay in the drawer."

Paxford said the firm, which has offices in Warwickshire and London, was not bidding for a huge amount of main contracting work, but contracts were coming from existing clients.

Paxford said the firm's growth plans – it aims to double its workforce from 100 to 200 in five years – would be client-focused.

He said: "The key is to stay tight with customers. You do not have to worry too much about where the market is going as long as you stay close to your customers."

Paxford said the firm was also pushing a safety portal developed for the sector that allows clients and contractors to put all the safety information required for Construction (Design and Management) Regulations electronically on a website or CD-ROM.

PCM was formed in 1997 out of Solihull-based Pettifer Group's construction management division, which started operations in 1989 for J Sainsbury.

The firm has appointed a new director, Lance Taylor, to cover the City fit-out market.