Moving on up: Nigel Hawes

Exigere were delighted to announce the promotion of Nigel Hawes to partner in December 2017. We caught up with Nigel to discuss recent developments and to ask where it all goes from here.

Your first year as partner now complete… How’s it going?

Its been a very interesting year, adapting to the new role, working on some great projects. On both a personal and business level I think everyone can be happy with what’s been achieved.

Partner is a big position to hold, especially at a smaller company like ours, but it’s a position I felt ready to take on and I’m enjoying it. When I joined exigere I was looking for a company with similar values and that’s what I have found.

Exigere is built on partner led involvement on projects and that was fundamental to my decision. I enjoy using my experience and knowledge in a more hands on way on the front line. That’s where you can really impact and drive the quality of delivery.

The balance between project and management work at exigere is exactly what I enjoy, and I also think it’s why we stand out in the market.

Exigere announced their three-year plan. Exciting times?

We’re looking to continue our growth and that’s exciting but we’re working on some great schemes right now. I’m on site with a £140m heavy cut and carve scheme which is currently in the early stages of demolition.

After two years of design and procurement it is exciting to see the works commence. I have also recently started a hotel and theatre in central London.

It’s a four-storey basement, serious infrastructure which interfaces with TFL and all the complications that come with that. It’s early stages, but very interesting.

It’s a few years ago now, but what got you started as a QS?

I can’t say I wanted to be a QS when I grew up but my dad and granddad were in construction so I’ve been around the industry from an early age.

A local QS firm were advertising for a junior that they would put through university so I went for an interview and it started from there. I loved the job, it was a traditional practice where you had to learn the nuts and bolts, it was very active and you were on site a lot.

It’s proved to be valuable experience.Inevitably London called, and I left for Turner and Townsend as a graduate QS. I gained a wide breadth of knowledge working my way around different sectors; public realm, commercial fit out, commercial developments, arts and culture and so on. I also experienced working in other countries, you don’t get that in too many industries.

Lighting Times Square to Sao Paulo and an Olympic legacy

The market crash of 2008 saw the opportunity to work in New York I and jumped at the chance.

Lehman Brothers had been bought out by Barclays Capital and my role was to go client side and manage Barclays properties across North America and Canada. Lighting the Barclays building in Times Square was probably the stand out project.

They took over the Lehman brothers office and changed the outer branding and lighting screens. You see it occasionally in films and the like, it’s a landmark and blue beacon, you see it if you fly over NYC at night which is nice.

Another Barclays project took me to Sao Paulo, Brazil. It was a very interesting time and brilliant experience see how things work commercially in other countries.

Back in London I was involved in the 2012 Olympic Legacy scheme with Mace. We worked either side of the games, turning event structures into leisure and public realm work including gardens, visitor centres and the aquatic centre.

It was fun to work from handover to delivery around such a prestigious event.

What are your personal goals for the year ahead?

On a personal level, continuing that transition from associate to partner, particularly looking at how I can support and mentor other people to help them get to where they want to be. For the business, everyone has seen exigere go from strength to strength in the past six years.

The depth and breadth of clients have been growing year on year and we are in a great place to push that on. I think everyone at exigere is proud of what they have achieved so far, but there’s plenty more to do.

There is a real desire for growth, but more importantly, there is planning for growth. It’s an exciting time to be involved.

Quick fire

Active: Social golfer, watching son’s football

Teams: Tottenham Hotspur

Travel: Rio de Janeiro

Album: Definitely Maybe Oasis

Restaurant: My local Curry House