As a development director Mike is well versed in managing schemes in Mace’s development portfolio and leading successful development projects for third-party landowners. For over twenty years Mike has been supporting projects for Mace that shape cities and improve communities.
- How did you get into what you do?
I was interested in property from an early age and after completing a degree in construction management I started working in the industry. Unfortunately the recession hit hard in the mid ‘90s, at which point I took a change in direction and joined one of the ‘big six’ accountancy firms at the time. Although my clients were property and construction companies it didn't provide me with the same variety of work I wanted and I returned to construction after a few years. The financial skills I gained during this period were, however, invaluable and I strengthened them shortly after by obtaining a Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) diploma in planning and development.
- How has your career progressed since joining Mace?
I first joined Mace in 1997, working out of our Manchester office, and then shortly afterwards moved to London where I worked in consultancy project management for the next 5-6 years - firstly on commercial office schemes and then on large scale public sector regeneration schemes.
I then left Mace and joined a large commercial property company where I helped secure planning consent for Nova Victoria in London, which Mace went on to build. I returned to Mace in 2010 and joined the client rep team for the Olympic Delivery Authority on the construction of the London 2012 Athletes’ Village which was a fantastic experience. In 2012 Mace started to form its own specialist development division and I’ve been working alongside David Grover [Chief Operating Officer for Development] and the team ever since, helping to grow the development business.
- What do you enjoy most about your current role at Mace?
The variety of people and the work I get to deal with. A typical day can involve reworking plans with architects, talking through construction challenges with the site team, presenting updates to the development board, progressing property and legal matters and meeting with the local community.
What amazes me is the amount of people it takes to deliver a successful scheme and the amount of effort that everyone puts into getting it just right. Every single person plays an important role.
- What has been your proudest achievement at Mace?
There have been a lot of achievements since our development business formed and winning the role on Westferry Printworks near Canary Wharf sits up there. In my view it is one of the best residential sites in London and we’ve got a real opportunity to create a unique product. The 15-acre site benefits from being south-facing, is situated on the water and has extensive public realm space, which is rare in Canary Wharf.
Our unique selling point that helped secure this and other similar roles with third-party landowners is that we have access to a really strong contracting and consultancy arm, which helps provide an edge over our competitors. With expert advice from our wider business we really get under the skin of all the schemes to ensure we successfully deliver our developments.
- What do you hope you will be doing in the next five years?
The most important thing for me is successfully delivering Westferry Printworks with the team. We want the scheme to be an industry disruptor - for it to be known as one of the exemplar schemes in the way it works, looks and how it was delivered.
- What’s your passion outside of work?
I love a challenge and being outdoors. Over the past years I’ve walked Hadrian's Wall, Offa’s Dyke and the Inca Trail. I’ve done ice climbing in New Zealand, rock climbing in Thailand and one of my ambitions is to horse ride across the glaciers in Patagonia.
“Our unique selling point is that we have access to a really strong contracting and consultancy arm, which helps provide an edge over our competitors. ”