Home / Facilities Management / Worth the Wates

Worth the Wates

Antony Collett, Managing Director of Wates’ facilities management business explains why the hard FM specialist aims to expand steadily by offering clients engineering expertise, digital know-how and compliance assurance

When it comes to the building lifecycle, family-owned building, development, and property services company, Wates Group provides the full remit, from commercial development through construction and fit-out to facilities management. The group, which has been privately owned for four generations, had a very busy 2023, securing a raft of contracts across all its divisions, with its facilities management business steadily growing its portfolio and influence within the facilities sector.

In January 2023 the group appointed Antony Collett Managing Director of the facilities management business. He brings 20 years’ plus experience, including senior roles at Integral UK and latterly a MD at Mitie where he was responsible for large scale transformation within its technical services business. It’s an interesting move for an FM stalwart, as Collett acknowledges: “Integral and Mitie are great businesses and you’re often taught to go up in scale but for me having done that journey, i have realised I enjoy working for privately owned organisations where you feel you’re really counting

“I’d a wonderful career in both those organisations but I was super keen to join Wates where I can feel it’s much more possible to feel you’re making a difference.”

Collett also prizes the advantages of facilities management organisations like Wates as he believes that the behemoths may find it more of a challenge to concentrate on customers when they’re dealing with such numbers.

“I’d describe this a ‘purple patch’ where clients can really buy into your brand. Wates is a very people orientated business and what I and our business stands for is having the capability to integrate properly into our customers world and so take a bespoke approach to make sure we’re meeting all their needs.

“That’s the reason we’ve had the success that we’ve had. It’s proving that we will do what we say we will do, and the family brand is part of that. At the engineering level it’s also being able to tune into our client’s needs and concentrate our resources accordingly to make sure we deliver for our individual clients, not necessarily what we think the market generically requires.”


Aside from its hard services pedigree, Wates facilities management business offers an integrated total facilities management (ITFM) service, which includes catering, cleaning, service desk, security, asset management and Computer Aided Facilities Management (CAFM), through partners and suppliers. But hard FM is the main focus in a market that has rationalised massively during Collett’s 20 years in the sector with a lot of consolidation among the larger organisations. He notes there has also been more investment in technology and data driven atomisation which has created a very fast paced diverse market which is highly competitive.

Given the size and scale of some of its competitors Wates FM is not in the market to pick up a £50 million contract but focuses instead on contracts ranging from a million to £15 million – across a customer base including the sports industry, high end labs, manufacturing and commercial offices. A clear benefit though, is being part of the larger Wates Group.

Says Collett: “Clients may begin their relationship via our construction arm and then stay with us because we can offer a cradle to grave service. In this way, provided we get the commercial modelling right, our clients can anticipate any issues down the line fully managed and substantial added value both in terms of Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) and higher degrees of service.”

The right data he believes is key: “To get the leverage and get the benefit of access to data you’ve got to make it as simple as you can – so we’ve got to ensure we provide the right platform and data modelling that gives our clients the ability to utilise the information we provide. It’s how we as operators present that information to the client so they can make better data driven decisions which is something FMs should be able to lean on from their service supplier to bring in that analysis help.”

About Sarah OBeirne

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *