DG Jones and Partners Adding Real and Unique Value
DGJones and Partners celebrated its 60th anniversary this year. Who was DG Jones and what happened in 1962?
In 1962, our founder Donald Georges Jones, FRICS, who was a British Chartered Quantity Surveyor, established his construction consultancy company in Bliss Street, Beirut, where he had moved with his family two years earlier. Having received his formal education and professional training in London, he taught Quantity Surveying courses to graduate architects and engineers at the American University of Beirut, offering them an innovative and concentrated precis of the profession. With a vision to provide the world with cost-effective solutions to their construction needs, he set up his own practice as DG Jones and Partners exactly 60 years ago. In the early years of the practice, he was based in Beirut and visited the Middle East with the assistance of George Younis, who became the Chairman in 1992 after Jones’ retirement.
The past decade has been a significant period in our history. In 2013, with myself as Chairman and Elia Kfoury as CEO, the company expanded and established its presence in 16 countries in the MENA region and West Africa and has now executed projects in 70 countries around the world. The size and scope of the projects that the company works on has also evolved. What started out with small building projects budgeted at hundreds-of-thousands of dollars has since evolved to encompass high-profile multi-billion-dollar projects. They include international airports, masterplans for islands and cities, state-of-the-art research universities and hospitals, luxury retail and residential developments, high-tech industrial facilities and government buildings, sports and leisure facilities, national infrastructure projects and built asset projects in many other sectors.
What prompted you to open an office in Cyprus? What is your vision of the future?
Following the unfortunate unrest in Lebanon almost 50 years ago, a regional office for DG Jones and Partners was opened in Nicosia in 1973 and it was responsible for the development of management systems appropriate for an expanding international consultancy company. At the time, Cyprus was chosen as the place for our management offices largely because of its convenient location in relation to the Middle East, Africa, Europe, the USA and Asia and its excellent international communication facilities. DG Jones and Partners now intends to move into its new headquarters in Cyprus as part of our expansion plan and to widen our existing base by tapping into the island’s human capital. Like Cyprus, DG Jones and Partners’ new headquarters will act as a bridge between the three continents of Europe, Africa and Asia.
What makes DG Jones and Partners stand out among your competitors?
We are a multilingual and multicultural company: our staff speak at least four languages (English, Greek, French, Arabic) and all our employees are professionally qualified, with multi-disciplinary skills and international experience in the construction sector.
DG Jones and Partners has become a global business, built on diversification and adaptation to changing market demands, as the construction sector has evolved over the years. We have established ourselves as consulting specialists, not generalists. By building structured teams capable of handling all client sectors and by focusing upon the dynamics of different markets, we have consistently added real and unique value to the projects in which we have been involved. This ability sets us apart from our competitors and has enabled us to maintain strong long-term relationships with our clients.
Can you elaborate on the high-level services DG Jones offers its clients? How are these tailored to your clients’ specific needs?
From the beginning to the end of the built asset lifecycle – from strategic definition, design and construction to handover and in-use management – DG Jones and Partners provides a comprehensive suite of integrated services. Our core services of cost management and project management add value and reduce risk. They are augmented by specialist services, which include strategic advice, in-use management, support throughout the dispute resolution process, and technical advisory services. In addition, our DGJ Academy provides training services.
Give us some details of your main service areas.
Let me summarise six of the main ones: (1) Cost Management Consultancy: Clients require reliable project cost data for a wide array of functions. We provide clients with accurate lifecycle cost assessment from project inception to completion and operations, thus enabling them to make sound financial and contractual decisions. (2) Management Services For Projects: We support the client throughout the design and construction phases of a project, to deliver the right quality, to budget and on time. In addition to Project/ Programme Management, Design and Construction Management, we also provide Development Management and other specialist services. (3) Dispute Resolution: We have built a reputation for impartial and independent professional advice on dispute resolution, to support our clients in reaching their goals. Our in-house claims experts have the knowledge and experience to provide the required guidance and technical support to clients or their legal teams at any stage of the alternative dispute resolution process. (4) In-Use Management: We advise on every aspect of Facilities Management, from the earliest concept stages through to disposal. Key operational decisions need to be made at the start of the project – not on its completion. (5) Technical Advisory Services: We support our clients in addressing the many and varied challenges and opportunities in today’s construction environment. (6) DGJ Academy:
Our Academy offers innovative training programmes to support professionals at every level in the built asset environment. The courses are designed around
real-world market situations and delivered by industry experts.
What are the main current challenges in your sector and how are you addressing them?
The biggest challenge of our time is the ongoing war in Ukraine. This war has increased the series of supply shocks that have hit the global economy and elevated inflation. I believe that the current crisis will lead to a recession, resulting in an increase in the prices of oil and raw materials and creating shrinkage in the construction industry, worldwide. Consequently, our expansion plans will inevitably be affected by these economic challenges and the expected recession. Cyprus will suffer like the rest of the world so it will doubtlessly face higher construction costs and a fall
Finally, how has the company celebrated its 60th anniversary this year?
All members of the Board, all our shareholders and friends of the firm in Cyprus including high ranking officials from the public and private sectors, were invited to a Gala Dinner in Limassol, at which we marked this major milestone in the company’s history.