Company News & Blog
Published by: Herald Scotland
TWO venerable Scottish surveying firms which merged late last year have set their sights on further expansion, after declaring that the integration of the companies has been “seamless”.
Shepherd Chartered Surveyors and Hardies, which have respective histories stretching back more than 100 years, came together in a deal concluded on December 1.
The merger was billed as creating Scotland’s “leading powerhouse” in property and construction services, combining Shepherd’s strength in property valuation, management and agency with Hardies’ expertise in construction services, including quantity surveying and project management
The enlarged practice employs around 350 staff in total, turning over a combined £25 million, although the two company names have continued to exist, reflecting the strength the brands have in their respective areas of specialism.
Hardies’ partner Murray Warner said the company has so far seen no ill-effects of the wider political uncertainty, be it brought by Brexit, the upcoming General Election or the prospect of a second independence referendum, on business.
And he signalled the firm’s appetite for growth, revealing that it was keen to expand its presence south of the Border. Shepherds, which can trace its roots back to 1880, had built a minimal presence in England before the merger, while St Andrews-based Hardies had yet to venture into the market.
Asked if the company would consider making acquisitions, Mr Warner replied: “Yes, the intention is to grow and compete at the highest level across Scotland and, more medium to longer term, there is the intention to expand across the UK.”
Mr Warner said the merger had brought a spike in new business leads as a result of combing their respective strengths and their client networks, highlighting the “huge synergy” between the two businesses.
“We’re seeing a lot of activity, and since we merged on the first of December, we’ve had a lot of enquiries,” he said. “The market does seem to be strong.
“We’re getting a lot of social housing projects, because there seems to be quite a lot of funding at the moment for social [and] affordable housing. That’s a big sector for us. But we are just seeing quite a lot of general commercial projects that are happening. There doesn’t seem to be any signs of slowing [in] the market at all.”
Noting good progress in the process of integrating offices following the merger, which will not result in job losses, Mr Warner added: “If we get guys sharing an office it means we can cross-pollinate services. That’s already working really well. Shepherd’s agency guys have got sites they are trying to sell for clients, and we have got clients who are looking for sites to be developments.
“There is such a good tie-up. That’s the mean reason we are trying to get guys in the same offices - so that they can help each other and share clients.”
Asked to comment on current projects, Mr Warner highlighted Hardies’ consultancy management work on the new main stand for Heart of Midlothian Football Club. The firm also recently completed a refurbishment contract for newspaper publisher DC Thomson on its new head office in Dundee city centre - a 10-storey B listed building on Meadowside.Back to News