Managing Director for Commercial Offices and Residential
Ged Simmonds joined Mace in 2013, taking the helm of our Commercial Offices and Residential business, where he has been instrumental in shaping and advancing its portfolio. Delivering complex and innovative fit-outs with sustainable design at their core, it’s Ged’s unparalleled customer-centric approach that ensures our client’s ambitions are not only met, but exceeded every time.
- How did you get into what you do?
It was only once I’d completed my A-Levels that I started to think of what career I wanted to pursue. The lightbulb moment struck after a conversation I had with a teacher, who asked me what I enjoyed in my personal life. During summer jobs, I spent a lot of time building things, so in hindsight, my decision to study a degree in construction actually feels like an obvious path. As a fresh graduate, I began my journey on-site as a setting out engineer, before progressing through the management ranks and delivering projects in a variety of sectors including healthcare, education, residential and offices, in different regions of the UK, before then moving into a more senior management position at Mace.
- How has your career progressed since joining Mace?
I joined Mace to head up the Commercial Offices business as a Business Unit Director in 2013, and at the time the sector was turning over c£100m, with project values of up to £65m. During my time with the company, I was granted the opportunity to build the team up, working closely with clients. Subsequently I took on more responsibility with the Residential business, resulting in a combined turnover that is now over £250m, with projects in excess of £200m.
It’s been so rewarding to be given the opportunity to grow the business and support our people’s development along the way. We have a strong reputation in the market, particularly with our focus on carbon reduction and in using innovative solutions. We’ve also built lasting relationships with our clients and their teams, with 80% of our work in the sector being repeat order clients.
- What do you enjoy most about your current role at Mace?
- I enjoy being part of an ambitious company, pushing myself and that the teams think differently, placing ourselves in our clients’ shoes. Mace is great at supporting you as a key decision maker and allows you to challenge and explore new ways of working that in turn, deliver better results for all of our clients - like our construction to production approach that not only makes us safer and more productive, but improves quality too.
- What has been your proudest achievement at Mace?
Witnessing the growth of our people! It’s been great to see colleagues from a range of diverse backgrounds step up and take on more senior positions. We’re fortunate as an industry to work alongside tremendously driven clients, who give us the opportunity to deliver some outstanding projects. I’m also very proud of some of the iconic projects I’ve been involved in - like 70 St Mary Axe, a 24-storey skyscraper with 28,000m2 of premium office space! It was not only a striking design but we were proud to deliver it in a timely manner that achieved some of the industry’s most impressive productivity metrics.
- What advice would you give someone looking to get into what you do?
We’re a people-centric industry, and one piece of advice that has stuck with me is: ‘The relationship is the conversation and if the conversation stops, the relationship stops’. It’s about keeping people talking, but also the quality of that conversation. This applies equally to clients and employees alike. So for me, it’s about being both ambitious and a good listener, while also taking an interest in the wider property and economic environment, and staying on top of the current issues affecting our industry.
- What might someone be surprised to know about you?
- Sustainability is a particularly important cause to me, and I recently bought a small piece of land near where I live, converting it into a conservation project. I’ve planted over 6000 trees and created several large ponds and a grass meadow - all of which is now starting to thrive with wildlife!
- What are you passionate about outside of work?
I’m fortunate to live in Yorkshire at the weekend. It just so happens to be where I was brought up and so in my spare time, I enjoy salmon fishing, as well as other countryside pursuits.
- If you hadn't of got into this line of work, what do you think you might be doing?
As I said earlier, I’m really passionate about protecting the environment and, in fact, I nearly applied for a job in the forestry commission when I left school. I enjoyed the idea of working outside and creating something new from scratch - luckily I’ve still managed to achieve both of those things working in construction!
“Mace is great at supporting you as a key decision-maker and allows you to challenge and explore new ways of working that in turn, deliver better results for all of our clients.”