The interviewee: Greg Davies, director of market development, Assurity Consulting
The topic issue: Assurity’s management buy-out – and what 2017 will mean for FM
9 January 2017 | Herpreet Kaur Grewal
Assurity Consulting has just secured a management buy-out. Why now?
It was the result of a change of circumstance for one of the owners who wanted to recognise their asset. The offer was then given to the then executive management team who now form the board of directors. It also coincided nicely with our 30th year in business.
How do you see the market for FM services evolving?
It’s always been quite cyclical where we have seen aspects of services insourced and outsourced to third party providers. How that will change? Earlier in the year there looked to be more confidence amongst service providers, but now some have decided to wait to see what happens.
What has been the Brexit effect?
It’s still not clear that Brexit’s implications are being understood in areas such as investment, recruitment and availability of skills, as well as the uncertainty of the future of the regulatory market. All of this is certainly going to sit on the FM agenda.
How would you characterise 2016?
2016 was about positioning post-recession, with organisations keen to work out what they need and start planning for it. That process has been extended for many because there is that little bit more uncertainty now. At Assurity, we’ve seen growth across all sectors; we work in five major areas including corporate, independent skills, property management, universities and charities – and all of these areas have seen growth. There is confidence in the market and people are looking to spend and develop.
What will FM need to tackle in 2017?
It’s going to be an interesting year. There will be a bigger focus on tackling the ill health levels stated in health and safety executive figures. From an FM perspective, this is all about how we develop and measure wellbeing. The HR issues are more about stress and mental health, but issues of the indoor environment quality – air quality, water quality, temperatures and humidity - they have a direct effect on productivity as well as wellbeing. How all of this is managed and measured in the future is key.
Having social and environmental data gives us the opportunity to be thought and knowledge leaders. We have to start gathering this information. Many organisations don’t yet do so because it is relatively new to the agenda. We don’t yet have the disciplines in place to compare data, but in 2017 these will start to emerge – and FM will be critical to the process. Decisions pertaining to this data will go through the FM’s desk, whether managing and measuring it or contributing details to other parts of the business. HR will be involved too, but as far as people, place and process, FM will be fundamental.