Portrait of Matt Darby
Mace People

Matt Darby

Director of Cost Consultancy

Consultancy, UK

Since joining Mace in 2007, Matt Darby has hardly spent more than two years in the same position. Taking every opportunity that has come his way, he’s climbed the career ladder at Mace while working on projects across the UK and overseas.

How did you get into what you do?

My father ran a small construction firm in the West Midlands so the industry was always a big part of my life when I was growing up. It was clear to me from an early age that I would work in construction, plus I was always good at maths at school so it was a simple equation of maths + construction = quantity surveying!

After leaving college I joined a small professional quantity surveying practice and undertook a part-time degree in quantity surveying. I worked there from 1997 until I moved to Mace in 2007.

How has your career progressed since joining Mace?

I joined as a senior cost consultant and over the past ten years have progressed to associate director, project director, operations director and executive director sitting on the cost consultancy board. 

What do you enjoy most about working at Mace?
The wide diversity of sectors Mace works in provides me, and others, with the chance to broaden our knowledge and experience on a daily basis. The business also puts a lot of emphasis on client engagement and delivery which aligns with my own personal values.   
What project stands out for you?

I’ve worked on a number of projects at Mace that have been extremely rewarding but the stand out scheme was a new car manufacturing plant in Brazil. It was the most challenging of my 20 year (and a bit!) career. The service was delivered from both the UK and in-country so I travelled back and forth a fair bit. I gained a vast amount of knowledge of the Brazilian culture, the local supply chain, health and safety, and construction procurement. The team camaraderie on the project was excellent and to see it completed and cars coming off the line was a great feeling.

What do you foresee for your specialism in the next five years?

It doesn’t take a much to realise the economic changes from the EU and US will make a big difference over the next five years – good or bad, only time will tell! As an industry, collaboration will be vital if we’re to support our clients through these uncharted waters. It’s also crucial that we inspire and encourage young talent to consider a career within cost consultancy.

What are you passionate about outside of work?

For my sins I’m a big Aston Villa fan - but let’s move on!
Both of my daughters play for local junior football teams so I spend most evenings and weekends encouraging and supporting them – they’re pretty good. 

If you hadn’t got into this line of work what do you think you might be doing?

I'd have been a graphic designer or maybe a stunt man, albeit a failed one. As a kid I’d take on any challenge with a skateboard or a bike – I’ve had my fair share of broken bones!   

Portrait of Matt Darby

“The wide diversity of sectors Mace works in provides me, and others, with the chance to broaden our knowledge and experience on a daily basis.”