10th October 2019
A vision 30 years in the making
As Caliber is kicking off its final quarter of 2019, with the challenges and excitement that the busiest time of year brings, I wanted to take the opportunity to look back over the years, particularly as 2019 marks my 30th year of working in the UK residential and house building sector.
During this time, I have had the privilege to work with, and for, some of the most successful companies at the forefront of bringing new homes and award-winning developments to the market, ranging from affordable and starter homes through to multi-million pound luxury homes.
I started out as a trainee Quantity Surveyor with Lovell Homes. The following 15 years bought gradual promotions at companies including Bryant Homes, McAlpine and Redrow.
I then became one of four who set up the now East Midlands division of Bellway Homes. Playing a role in setting a company from scratch into building over 300 houses a year, within three years, was not only rewarding, but it was what broadened my knowledge of different parts of the business and here is when my passion for finding land and completing land deals developed. I would like to thank everyone that was part of that adventure for their support, the confidence that they instilled in me and the longstanding friendships that have remained a constant ever since.
My next move came after I was headhunted by Parkridge Holdings, where I worked with them to set up a housing division within their very successful international retail, commercial and industrial development business.
Throughout my time, I have met and worked with incredible people that embrace the passion, intellect and dedication to make a truly meaningful impact. These have included some of the most talented QCs (with Jerry Cahill being at the top), Architects, CEOs ( John Cutts at Parkridge), MDs, Directors and Consultants. Likewise I have seen some very successful people far younger than myself rise through the ranks and achieve truly great results.
Setting up Caliber Group is without doubt the highlight of career. The business was set up following a single meeting with Russell Martin (owner of Finance 4 Business and now co-owner of Caliber) which lasted a few hours and was the first time we had properly met. I knew right away that I had met someone with the same drive, ethos and ethics (particularly how best to celebrate successes with alcohol and fun). The next two years were very much mapped out, allowing us to create a proposition we are proud of. To sum it up, collectively, we find the land, provide the money to purchase and build, make it tax efficient, secure stamp duty savings, market the proposed scheme and sell the completed units, often well before they are finished. That is something new and unique in my opinion.
I have spent decades listening, learning and embracing knowledge whilst identifying the very best talent to nurture and share that knowledge with. As a result, I am so proud of the small group of tremendously-talented individuals that are part of the Caliber team. Every day, they bring the highest level of professionalism, energy and commitment into serving our clients. Trust is massively important and my second in command Phil Roberts, has been there with me from the start and has been integral to our growth, as well as plans for my vision early semi-retirement at 55!
What perhaps stands out the most from my years of working in the industry is that great businesses are built by great people. I’ve been really fortunate to build a career and skill set out of the things I like doing the most. The people that I surround myself with share that passion to create something truly unique.
Our focus on people, combined with our growing expertise in affordable housing, the care sector and off-plan purchases from international investors, make the future a more exciting one. I can’t wait to see how the next 10 years unfold.