24 Acquisition International - October 2017 Vertas Group Limited is the fastest growing facilities management provider in East of England, specialising in a range of building services such as catering, cleaning, grounds design and maintenance, security, passenger transport, energy consultancy, graphic design and print and much more. We spoke to Ian Surtees to discuss being featured in CEO of the Year 2017 & CEO of the Year – the UK. ertas operates with over £46m turnover and employs c.2,600 staff across over 400 sites in Suffolk, Norfolk, Cambridgeshire and Essex. The business works with a variety of clients from all sectors; including settings within education, local government, business and industry and everything in-between. As CEO, Ian talks us through his previous roles, outlining how he came to achieve his position, and explaining how he draws on past experiences in his current role. “Throughout mainland Europe and the UK, I have undertaken varied positions within the FM sector. I have gained experiences in Operations, Sales, Marketing, Finance and Health and Safety, and this experience has given me a solid understanding of all aspects of the requirements to lead a multi functioning business effectively. I have always communicated well with colleagues and it is important to create a positive culture that flows throughout the organisation. As a previous Operations Director, you face many daily issues that require agility and focus. These experiences have taught me to be resilient, positive and flexible to overcome challenges and lead our workforce.” Company: Vertas Group Contact: Ian Surtees Address: Beacon House, Landmark Business Park, Ipswich, IP1 5PB, UK Phone: 01473 263600 Website: www.vertas.co.uk Making the Difference V 1709AI17 When undertaking a new client, it is vital to ensure right from the start that the outcome meets the needs of everyone involved. Solid planning and a correctly assembled team are key aspects of success. With regards to Vertas and the company’s ongoing strategy, Ian tells us what techniques he employs in order to ensure that the strategy results in success. Understanding the business and communication levels are vital to the firm’s success, alongside technology and enhancing the work life balance, making sure staff are happy going to work. “Essentially, I am very active within the business and communicate at all levels. It is important that everyone understands the business strategy and are updated regularly. My colleagues appreciate the fact that I deliver the message and they have the opportunity to discuss and understand the business direction. In terms of a strategy outline, it is as follows: ‘business growth via long term, sustainable business, whilst supporting and developing our people and services’. With c.2,600 employees within the business, we have to constantly develop our communication approach and systems to support this exposure. “Technology has been sourced and implemented into the business to support our teams. A new time and attendance system, HR, payroll and holiday system, absence management and finance system have all been recently introduced to enable teams to focus on services and clients rather that administration. This has helped improve business efficiency dramatically. “Vital to the success of the company, we have also introduced an initiative regarding our use of email. We have banned internal email on a Thursday, unless business critical and introduced a 6-6 rule, no email early morning and late evening. This has dramatically supported work life balance and given back time to focus on our clients and potential opportunities. You have to be brave sometimes to succeed.” Referring to his leadership style, Ian tells us how he ensures everyone in his organisation understands his vision and works towards it. Again, Ian mentions communication, something he obviously regards as crucial to his and the company’s success. He explains how his vision is embedded into the culture of the firm.