Managing Director, Global real estate
Our real estate business delivered overall revenue growth of 21 percent, and was particularly strong in the Middle East and UK.
Improving conditions in commodities markets in 2016- 2017 produced higher than expected GDP in several major economies including Brazil, China, Europe, Russia and the US. This encouraged significant global capital spend. Africa, The Americas and Europe also held firm, while Australia and Asia were resilient in challenging markets.
Clients are adopting new global approaches to real estate development and asset management with a focus on consistent quality, regional buy-in and total cost control. They demand global advisors with on-the-ground local knowledge and the capability to deliver strategies across regions. We continued to build our capacity and technical strength in this area with several major portfolio wins.
In an increasingly data-rich environment, clients also expect greater visibility of information on their investment, to enable agile decision-making across portfolios and close control of projects and capital expenditure. We are leading our industry on data management and the application of technology. Our goal is to align all parties contributing to projects across process and data, to ensure major programmes are set up for success and ultimately deliver the insights and value our clients need.
Our high tech and manufacturing business has been particularly buoyant, securing project wins with major clients including Uber in Latin America, Microsoft in Europe and a global technology client in Africa.
We have strengthened our relationships with leading manufacturers, including ABFoods, Jaguar Land Rover, Rolls-Royce and Unilever.
In life sciences, we are working on major facilities in the UK and China, and supporting the expansion of Pfizer’s clinical research facilities in Anderlecht, Belgium. We also achieved multiple wins in leisure and hospitality, including the redevelopment of Hilton Durban and the Star Entertainment Group’s five-year multibillion-dollar development programme in Australia.
Our significant workload in the education and healthcare sectors continues. For example, in Australia we are working on 29 new schools in New South Wales, and continue to provide a multidimensional service to the new Perth Children’s Hospital, a 298-bed hospital that is embedding world-leading robotics into its operations.
We acquired West Coast US firm Trestle, in 2016, bringing additional local development management expertise and significant blue-chip experience in technology, healthcare, financial services and retail to one of our fastest growing regions.
We also acquired UK-grown Suiko in June 2016. They are experts in lean thinking and lean management and have experience beyond construction, bringing operational excellence to the core of our offer and transferring their knowledge from other industries to our client base.
Building our capability and increasing innovation in our front-end project and programme management service is a priority, using talented people and world-class tools to deliver value to our clients.
In response to changing industry roles, we are also investing in preconstruction and design management leadership. We want to play a positive role integrating design teams, contractors and key suppliers to deliver better outcomes on projects.