Experienced People

Nick Demain

Director for Sub-Saharan Africa

Consultancy and Construction, Sub-Saharan Africa

Nick has been with Mace since 2009, first exploring market opportunities for the business in South Africa, working out of our London office. He then made the move to set up the Mace business in Johannesburg and has been leading our work in Sub-Saharan Africa ever since.

What's your role in South Africa?
Since 2010 I have focused on building Mace’s business in Africa to the point where we now have eight established centres of excellence [Angola, Ghana, Nigeria, Kenya, Rwanda, Mozambique and South Africa], and providing our core services of project, programme, cost and construction management, as well as our relatively new service offer of ‘turnkey’ contracting.
How did you get into what you do?

My parents were expatriates and I was fortunate to have experienced living in numerous countries during my childhood. My original focus was always to join the military and although I initially pursued this route, I was drawn to the excitement of being an ‘expat’. After studying a BSc (Hons) in Construction Management, I was recruited by Taylor Woodrow and within eight months of graduating, I found myself working on a 400km road in a remote part of West Africa.

Having worked through the construction ranks to project manager I was offered a place at Cranfield School of Management to study for an MBA. This took me on a career path that included project financing in PFI Healthcare in north-west England for Taylor Woodrow, business management for Costain in Nigeria, mergers and acquisitions for Costain in UK, and then finally before joining Mace, banking operations for Goldman Sachs in the City of London. Mace was looking for someone who had an understanding of Africa and this is where our paths crossed…

“I’ve always respected and enjoyed Mace’s appetite for entrepreneurialism. With this blend I’ve been able to push and develop the business in markets other organisations might shy away from.”

What do you enjoy most about your role at Mace?
I’ve always worked within Mace’s international business, and the demands of overseas environments means you have a sizeable degree of responsibility and autonomy. Added to this, I’ve always respected and enjoyed Mace’s appetite for entrepreneurialism. With this blend I’ve been able to push and develop the business in markets other organisations might shy away from.
What’s your proudest achievement at Mace?
There are a few from my time in Sub-Saharan Africa: creating the new MMQSMace cost consultancy business, setting up Mace Construction in South Africa, and helping our team grow as our client base expands.