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15th Dec 2022

Lucas Janssen Joins Henry to Deliver Newly Created Advisory Services

Lucas Janssen is the latest senior recruit to the Henry Riley team and heads up three newly created services that falls within Advisory Services.

So where exactly do these services sit within the Henry Riley hierarchy? “It will work alongside all departments,” says Janssen. “Whether that’s Cost Management, Project Management or Health and Safety. These new dedicated services will complement our existing service offering, which we have streamlined by including our current Digital, Expert Witness, MMC and Project Monitoring services under the Advisory Services banner.”

Meeting strategic objectives

Traditionally, a client would have said to Henry Riley: ‘we have a problem and to solve that problem we need a new building.’ It’s at this stage the company would be appointed to work with the client during the design and construction phase. Now there’s an opportunity to get involved from the beginning of the strategic decision-making process and add a huge amount of value, as well as developing an even deeper understanding of a client's objectives and success factors. “It makes good business sense to get involved earlier on,” says Janssen. “And it puts Henry Riley in the best possible position to develop long-term relationships with our clients.”

Janssen wants to bring a new perspective, new thinking and new approach to current industry challenges. “I want to talk to clients about what keeps them awake at night,” he says, whether that’s estates transformation, government policies, digital, workforce or infrastructure. And then “provide the tools to help drive effectiveness and efficiencies, so they can meet their strategic objectives.” 

Three areas of expertise

The Advisory Services Lucas offers falls into three main categories: Estate Optimisation and Transformation helps organisations understand the environment in which they operate, and enables the development of service/clinical strategies, which drive the key enablers infrastructure, workforce, finance, digital and sustainability. “It’s all about the ‘where are we now?’, ‘where do we want to be?’, and how do we get there?’” says Janssen. 

Decision Support helps the decision-making process around investment within organisations to deliver the organisation’s strategic objectives and strategies. This includes areas such as programme and portfolio management, feasibility studies and options appraisal.

Technical Advisory underpins informed strategy development and investment decisions and supports the efficient and effective business as usual management of a client estate and may include utilisation surveys, risk management and technical due diligence.

Multidisciplinary service

Introducing these new Advisory Services to the Henry Riley offering at this time makes perfect sense. “The timing was right to invest in and develop the service further,” says Janssen. “We need to meet the challenges of our clients as they come out of the pandemic. And it’s a natural evolution of our multidisciplinary service delivery to consolidate and add focus.”

So why choose Henry Riley? “We have the built environment in our DNA,” he says. “This brings all the good work we’re doing under one banner. We’re in the unique position where we’re able to provide the services that all the big consultancies offer but benefiting from being an SME and giving it a more personal touch. This will enhance the value we add to our clients.”

Big picture thinking

Now based out of Henry Riley’s London office, Janssen started his career as a client, followed by time “on the tools”, working as a construction manager for a main contractor.

Born and raised in Australia to a German father and an English mother who both emigrated to Australia with their parents, as a kid Janssen would climb up the highest thing possible so he could get a good look at the overall big picture. This is something Janssen still does today. “I see myself as a big picture problem solver. I see the overall problem and challenges our clients face, and then work out a way to deliver a solution.”

So does he think he’s more German, Australian or British in his approach? “When I worked in Frankfurt, I just loved their directness. That’s how I work too. I like to cut through the noise and get to the crux of the matter.” So how would colleagues describe him? “Practical, pragmatic and passionate,” he says. “But I can be quiet, a deep-thinker and serious too.

Healthcare experience

Janssen joins Henry Riley after a successful 20-year career in the built environment as client, construction manager and consultant. To date, his career has taken him to Australia, Germany and Dubai, for the likes of Capita, Gleeds, Deutsche Bank and Arup.

More recently he has spent seven years working with the NHS across acute, primary, community and the integrated care system, working on a range of projects from master planning to backlog maintenance delivery. He was a key part of the delivery team of the Estates and Technology and Transformation Fund for the London Region of NHS England.

It’s this solid healthcare experience that will be invaluable to Henry Riley as the business continues to strengthen its service offering. And it’s a sector Janssen is passionate about. Going forward, Janssen’s industry knowledge, especially with the ICSs and the newly formed ICBs and the transformation of primary care, will be key. “Health has a direct impact,” he says, which is why he’s keen on “nurturing and growing a sustainable offering that makes a difference to the communities we live in.” An approach that adheres to Henry Riley’s ongoing commitment to be a diverse and sustainable business that benefits the local communities where it works.

Problem solving

Janssen is still getting his feet under the table but what is he most looking forward to in the months and years ahead as he builds a new team? “For clients, it’s about solving new problems and challenges and ensuring they have better outcomes.” And for his Henry Riley colleagues? “I’m looking forward to interacting with people who want to challenge how things are done. And, of course, being part of the Henry Riley family and all the history that comes with it.”

Overseas adventures

North London is now home but naturally, Janssen is a keen traveller and cites Moscow and Damascus as two of his favourite locations. But with two young children at home, he and his partner and more likely to opt for Spain or Italy for their next adventure. Will he be climbing the nearest high building to get a ‘big picture perspective’? “Absolutely,” smiles Janssen. “That’s always my starting point. And then I work from there.”

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