Nick Pollard

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Former CEO, Bovis Lend Lease UK

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A civil engineer by training, Nick was responsible for Network Rail’s change programme before he took over the construction company with projects ranging from shopping centres to hospitals and repairs to MoD housing. He looks at the lessons in leadership and turnaround, and also the real value in improving skills and integrating social responsibility into projects.


A civil engineer by training, Nick Pollard oversaw railway enhancements and led Network Rail’s change programme before becoming CEO of Bovis Lend Lease UK. He then moved to become CEO of the Construction Services division of infrastructure company Balfour Beatty.

Having worked for a number of infrastructure and construction companies, Nick became a director at Network Rail (and its predecessor Railtrack) and then at construction firm Skanska. He was then appointed CEO at Bovis Lend Lease, the international construction and project management firm. At the company Nick was responsible for projects ranging from shopping centres and hospitals to repairs to Ministry of Defence housing.

Nick’s hallmark became a focus on value across the entire design, engineering and project delivery process. An advocate of sustainability, which he specifically defines as business that brings benefit to society, the environment and the economy, he also sought to instil these values in every aspect of the company. He also took the view that up to 25% of costs could be saved by improved skills across procurement and design.

After Bovis, Nick went on to serve as COO at construction practice Navigant, the management consultancy dealing with projects across Europe, the Middle East, Africa and Asia-Pacific regions. He then led Balfour Beatty’s construction division charged with turning around the organisation in a sector still recovering from the financial crisis.

Nick now runs his own consultancy specialising in turning around struggling projects. In presentations he looks at broad themes of leadership and turn-around. He also considers areas specific to construction and the high-profile issues it has to deal with such as sustainability, operating incident and injury -free projects, consistently delivering solutions in tune with the environment, and providing long-term prosperity for stakeholders. Seen in terms of legacy, “we are accountable for what we take, what we create and what we leave behind.”

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