Livingstone hosts its FM Conference – ‘Winning strategies for a consolidating market’

Jeremy Furniss | Dec 2017

FM Conference image

Livingstone and global law firm Mayer Brown last month hosted a fascinating group of speakers and panellists from across the corporate, owner-managed and investor communities to share their experiences and insights on the UK Facilities Management (FM) Industry.

The conference comes at an exciting time for the Facilities Management sector. At present, the UK FM industry is well established as a global leader in outsourcing markets and continues to attract interest from both acquirers and investors, domestic and international.

In his opening remarks, Jeremy Furniss, Partner and Head of Livingstone’s Business Services team, provided an in-depth analysis of the state of play in the industry. In particular, Jeremy highlighted the stability of M&A activity, the dominance of the domestic market, and the greater focus on hard FM. In the year to date, Livingstone’s research has shown that hard FM has outpaced soft FM almost twofold, with 33 deals to 17.

As well, Jeremy drew attention to the growing demand for technical M&E service providers that has taken place over the past few years. Recent deals have included Bridges Ventures’ acquisition of Just Ask Services and SPIE’s acquisition of Trios. Looking to the future, he noted how we could expect to see a further convergence of technical and soft FM services, combined with increasing levels of cross-border activity.  

The former CEO of Interserve plc, Adrian Ringrose, provided the keynote address for the conference, drawing on over thirty years of experience in the industry. Notably, he issued caution on the perils of over-integration. Firms who offered increasingly wide-ranging services for clients risked becoming, in his words, ‘the jack of all trades, and the master of none’.

The half-day conference also played host to two insightful discussion panels: ‘Acquiring FM Businesses: Pitfalls & Opportunities’ and ‘Building value in a fast-paced market – the independent’s view’. Representatives from FM-focused firms including Pimlico Plumbers, idverde, Kier and SPIE all engaged in debate on the key strategies and problems developing in the industry, with Mayer Brown’s Andrew Stewart delivering the closing remarks on the day’s affairs.

Please email Rosemarie Lamanno at lamanno@livingstonepartners.co.uk to request a copy of the conference slides.

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