Winners of the 2017 Consultancy and Engineering Awards announced

21 June 2017

ACE, UK’s association for engineering consulting, has announced the winners of its 2017 Consultancy and Engineering Awards. Eleven awards handed out, with keynote awards for Best UK Business Performance, SME  going to IMC Worldwide, and Best UK Business Performance, Large Firm presented to Curtins.

Every year the Association for Consultancy and Engineering (ACE) organises the Consultancy and Engineering Awards, a ceremony to showcase best practice for the global engineering consulting community, with the annual gala in London attended by business leaders from across the industry.

In addition to traditional business progress categories, the awards showcase triumphs in categories reflecting challenges faced by our industry, in a tumultuous era of political and market fluctuations, with winners selected by a judging panel of experts in their respective areas of prowess.

As the Awards continued to gain notoriety, the process this year was highly competitive, and judges remarked that the challenge to to select just one winner had been so great that five runners up had received newly implemented Highly Commended recognitions, in addition to the eleven category winners.

Winners of the 2017 Consultancy and Engineering Awards

Best Firms

Winners of Best UK Business Performance by an SME, IMC Worldwide, were subsequently joined by Highly Commended GESL, who narrowly missed out on the Brunel-sponsored award, while Willis Towers Watson’s gong for Best UK Business Performance for a Large Firm went to engineering consultancy Curtins, with High Commendation going to BWB. IMC also picked up the Pennington Manches-sponsored Collaboration Champion prize, with Hoare Lea earning commiseratory plaudits for its work on the RNLI slipway lifeboat station at Porthdinllaen.

Having narrowly missed out on Best UK Business Performance for a Large Firm meanwhile, along with the Training Initiative of the Year, which went to Troup Bywaters & Anders, BWB were finally presented with their own award for Technology Champion of the Year, a prize supported by technological advisory Deltek.

Professional services firm Max Fordham meanwhile won Inclusion and Diversity Champion of the Year. Max Fordham has a partnership model similar to that of an ‘employee-owned’ business. For its unique partnership structure, which offers all employees the opportunity to discuss how the business is run after four years of service – leading to increased representation among the firm’s 120 partners.

Commenting on the strategy, Senior Partner Henry Pipe explained, "A few years ago we didn’t think we needed to do anything about diversity. Doing the right thing is at the core of our values. We expected diversity and inclusion to be the natural consequence of employing people who are deeply passionate about it, we were wrong.”

Energy engineering experts Mott MacDonald were named Sustainability Champion of the Year meanwhile, with the firm currently participating in a number of clean-energy projects world-wide.

Samiatt Onikoyi, Tamsin Tweddell and Henry Pipe

Individual Awards

The individual award for Apprentice of the Year was presented to Jordan Laraway, of the professional services group Arup, with Ben Freedman of MLM being named the Young Professional of the Year, with further commendation for Tahira Newaz of MWH.

Accompanying his previous triumph, Ben Freedman was also presented with the ceremony’s elite Diamond Award, while the Ambassador Award for top industry representative was presented to Professor Roger Flanagan of Reading University.

On the winners and the awards gala, Dr Nelson Ogunshakin OBE chief executive of ACE said, "This year we had extraordinary projects, companies and individual enter into the Consultancy and Engineering Awards 2017. This year`s winners are true exemplars of what makes our industry great, raising the bar for the rest of the industry."

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Six attractive professional services firms to work for in UK

23 April 2019

Consulting firms dominate the 25 companies named by LinkedIn as the most attractive organisations to work for in Britain. JLL, Engie, CBRE, Atkins, Schroders and GE each made the grade, with the professional services sector putting in the strongest showing of any industry in the UK.

Each year, the editors and data scientists of social business platform LinkedIn examine which firms are the most attractive to job seekers, as well as which are the best at retaining their talent. Utilising information gathered from billions of actions taken by more than 433 million members, LinkedIn leverages a data-driven approach to consider what members are doing – not just saying – in their search for fulfilling careers. The result is the Top Companies list, an annual ranking of the most sought-after companies – now in its fifth year.

Each of the previous incarnations of the list has seen a strong showing from the UK consulting industry, with its contingent including McKinsey & Company, EYBoston Consultancy Group and Accenture in 2018. This year has seen the sector continue to see its stock rise, with the diversity of the sector’s workload buoying six professional services firms which were not on the previous ranking to prominence.

Analysing the anonymised actions of British-based LinkedIn members, the company determined which firms were the most attractive through four main pillars: interest in the company, engagement with the company’s employees, job demand and employee retention. As a result of this, real estate professional services firm JLL was found to be the most attractive consulting firm to LinkedIn members in the UK.

Six most attractive professional services firms to work for in UK

Ranked sixth in the overall list of companies, 2018 saw the commercial real estate services consultancy expand its London-based Ratings practice in anticipation of growing demand for real estate valuations in the UK. JLL, which boasts a global headcount of 82,000, holds UK locations in London, Norwich and Manchester, and the firm was recently named one of the world’s most ethical companies for the 12th year in a row by The Ethisphere Institute. 

Sitting 10th in LinkedIn’s ranking, Engie is a French multinational professional services firm, headquartered in La Défense, Courbevoie. While the firm primarily operates in utilities – specifically in the fields of electricity generation and distribution, natural gas, nuclear, renewable energy and petroleum – its investment in cleaner tech has also seen it come to offer a host of engineering consulting services, including feasibility studies, engineering, project management and client support. The firm’s 19,000 UK staff work from offices in London, Leeds and Newcastle-upon-Tyne.

With a global headcount of 90,000, CBRE, which was ranked 13th by LinkedIn, is a real estate advisory firm, with UK offices in London, Birmingham and Glasgow. The firm oversaw the sale of a number of major locations over the course of 2018, including a key residential site in North Leigh, and an office belonging to the British Steel Pension Fund.

Atkins, which was listed 23rd, is a British professional services firm which was purchased by the SNC-Lavalin Group for £2.1 billion in 2017. With 7,300 employees in the UK, Atkins operates from locations in London, Bristol, Kingston-upon-Thames, and offers services in engineering, operations, programme and project management. Late in 2018, the firm was named one of the top employers in the UK for working mothers, receiving plaudits for its innovation in flexible working from

Schroders, a global asset management firm with UK offices in London, Bromley, Chelmsford, ranked 24th. Asset management is a fast-expanding segment of consulting, and according to LinkedIn, 43% of the professional services firm’s staff have been at the company for at least six years, while nearly a third of UK roles were filled with internal candidates in 2017. Schroders boasts a global headcount of 4,600.

Finally, multifaceted professional services firm GE was ranked 25th. The engineering, operations, information technology and advisory firm has its hand in everything from energy to health care – where it was recently nominated for a prize at the 2019 Management Consultancies Association Awards. The long-standing conglomerate said 2019 is set to be a “reset year”, while it seeks to revamp its power-related businesses at the same time that it builds on strong growth within the aviation scene.

Other sectors

Elsewhere, the financial services industry saw a high level of representation in LinkedIn’s ranking. JP Morgan was listed in second place, while Barclays, Goldman Sachs and Aviva also made the grade. This represents a decline of one listing since 2018’s figures, perhaps reflecting the uncertainty surrounding the UK’s financial sector, amid the continued twists and turns of the Brexit saga.

Retail saw a slight rebound on its decimation in last year’s ranking. Having seemingly fallen out of favour in 2018, Sainsbury’s returned this year, sitting in third place. It was joined in the top 25 by fellow ‘Big Four’ supermarket Asda – though the news that some 60,000 Asda staff could be in line to lose their paid lunch breaks under new contracts could well see the company drop off the list in 2020. Marks & Spencer also made the list. The historically up-market supermarket now runs a work-placement programme called Marks & Start, which helps single parents, people with disabilities and the homeless to build careers within the company.

Healthcare and pharmaceuticals saw three entrants in the list too. Britain’s 50 fastest-growing privately-owned pharmaceutical companies have all increased sales by at least 10% in each of their last two financial years, facing down headwinds such as Brexit and NHS spending pressures to deliver rapid growth. GSK represented the pharmaceutical sector in fourth place, while Bupa and Johnson & Johnson stood for the healthcare and hospital industry in fifth and 16th respectively.

While the technology sector ultimately hosted the ranking’s top performer, Amazon, the only other sector incumbent was Google parent company Alphabet, in 19th. Salesforce and Dell Technologies, meanwhile, dropped off the ranking, having both been present in 2018.

The oil and energy sector’s representation is supplemented by hybrid firm Engie; however, the sector only fielded two pure-play members. BP, in eighth, and Shell, in 11th, have both spent time attempting to diversify in recent years, prompted by public image crises relating to the negative impact of fossil fuels on the planet, as well declining oil prices and the rising demand for renewable energy. These dynamics have, in turn, led to new skills coming into demand within the companies. 

Finally, the list was rounded off by singular representatives of five separate industries. Representing leisure in 12th was TUI, followed by food producer Associated British Foods (17th), building materials firm Travis Perkins (20th), telecommunications giant BT (21st) and utilities firm Centrica (22nd).