New shared ownership for AR Demolition
Senior managers at one of the UK’s most innovative demolition contractors have completed on a change of ownership of the company. The change comes as part of planned rebuild following periods of turbulent growth.
New managing director Mike Henderson and finance director Matt Munro, with founder and CEO Richard Dolman, will lead Leicestershire firm AR Demolition forward as a joint partnership.
The establishment of the new triumvirate at the multi award-winning business comes in the wake of disappointing results in 2018/19, before an upturn in performance during 2020.
Mr Henderson has worked in the construction industry for 18 years and joined the company, based in Carlton, near Nuneaton, as part of the senior management team in late 2016. He said that the exceptional growth of the company to date had not been matched by the necessary development of the business and consideration of management structure.
“Since I joined AR Demolition we have had a number of challenges regarding management of the business,” he said. “The company has grown exponentially several times, based on Richard’s talent and reputation, but we’ve not looked after the growth as well as we might have done.
“That’s culminated in a disappointing year in 2018/19 and, in December 2019, just before Christmas, Rich, Matt and I sat around a table and we realised we were at a point of reckoning where the management of the company needed a change in direction, which ultimately led to a change in ownership.
“Since then we’ve set out a plan to return the business to its core values. We’ve now steadied the ship and managed to put in the building blocks for the future removing management tiers and appointing additional technical competence where necessary.
“At the same time we’ve created the underlying systems the company needed to ensure that the three of us have the requisite control of our operations and an empowered workforce to deliver our exacting standards consistently.
“As a result performance, since enacting the plan, has been exceptional and the green shoots are clearly there. This is all in the backdrop of one of the most challenging times for businesses in our lifetime, with the impact from the pandemic.
“The next step is to focus on our core competencies without deviating from our specialisms just because opportunities present themselves – we have a well-earned reputation for excellence and innovation and it is important to maintain that.
“Further down the line, we will look to maximise the value of our services and branch into other areas. But we’re never going to chase turnover if it means compromising quality – otherwise we risk disappointing our customers and demotivating our staff.
“For now, between Richard, Matt and me we bring all the necessary skills to the table. We’re a formidable team and we’re ready to take the business to the next level.
“We want to be working with good people for good people, doing best projects we can, helping people out with our technical expertise. It doesn’t matter how we’re judged against competitors in terms of size or turnover, as long as we’re doing the right work for the right clients.”
Mr Munro, who joined the business in 2017, said: “It is a privilege to be a part of this partnership with Richard and Mike. I feel our team dynamic is incredibly exciting and will unlock a world of future opportunities. There is still a lot of work to do to get to where we are aiming, but our progress so far, particularly through a pandemic, is testament to the skills and resilience that the three of us bring to the table. The business has always had a lot to offer, great people and a great reputation, we’ll be using this as a launchpad to firmly carve out our place in the marketplace.”
AR Demolition was founded in 2007 by Richard Dolman and Andrew Thompson, who will continue his involvement with the family of businesses as the managing director of the newly rebranded, Leicester-based aggregates recycling firm Aggrecycle.
Mr Dolman said: “Our story over the past few years demonstrates the difficulties that growing small businesses can have in terms of effective management of that growth.
“Everyone who’s worked for the company over the years has wanted what’s best for our business, our customers and the people we employ. But sometimes definitions of success differ. So it’s good to be working in a small team of directors who share the same values and aims, with two people in Matt and Mike who I trust to make the necessary decisions to ensure the future prosperity and success of the business.
“We have an exciting opportunity at AR Demolition – a reputation to be proud of, a growing list of satisfied customers and an important role to play in an industry which is modernising its way through challenging times for all construction businesses. The company’s in good hands and is well set for the coming years.”