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Bam boss urges vigilance against problem projects

Bam Construct’s chief executive has urged staff to be vigilant as it seeks to avoid problem jobs and chasing revenue.

Speaking exclusively to Construction News, James Wimpenny said mistakes had been made in the past and that he wanted to see staff “say no” to avoid winning contracts which turn into problem jobs.

“We need a culture of people speaking up and saying, ‘This is not the right project to go for’, being bold and telling customers we don’t want to play because it can do us, them and the industry a lot of harm. Our industry is very good at saying yes, we can do anything, but you have to realise your limitations and say sometimes, it’s best to walk away.”

The CEO, who replaced Graham Cash in January this year, insisted Carillion’s liquidation had come as a surprise, but admitted clients had begun to approach Bam before its rival’s eventual demise.

He said the collapse was bad for the industry as it “creates impressions for people who probably don’t understand our industry that well”.

Bam is targeting investments in the property sector, having gone through a period of disposals in recent years, with Edinburgh and Glasgow among the cities in which the firm is looking to invest.

It will also look to develop PRS units on its Latitude site in Leeds, where the contractor has already built an office block.

Royal Bam Group wants the Construct business to make margins of between 3 and 4 per cent by 2020, Mr Wimpenny said.

The contractor’s most recently reported margin was 2 per cent, but he expected this to improve based on current trading.

To read the full interview, click here.

Bam boss at the CN Summit

Bam Construct boss James Wimpenny will speak on the leaders forum at this year’s CN Summit on 20 - 21 November.

He will speak alongside: Fabienne Viala, chairman of Bouygues; Patrik Schumacher, partner Zaha Hadid Architects and Jeremy Greenwood, MD for Tarmac.

Go to to see the draft programme and learn more about this year’s event. 

To get 10 per cent off a delegate place at this year’s CN Summit, use the code CNSUBS when booking online.


Bam boss urges vigilance against problem projects

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