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East Midlands-based Independent Property & Facilities Management (FM) Consultants Opex Consulting has completed its merger with Aptare, an Asset Management Consultancy based in Yorkshire. By combining professional resources that include consulting to the Estates and Property Markets including, Strategic Reviews, benchmarking, contract and compliance auditing, contract rescue/ remobilisation and lifecycle modelling, the merger offers the marketplace an expanded pool of Facilities Management and Asset Management expertise, augmented by new Management Consultancy services featuring pragmatic commercial and operational specialist knowledge.

Opex Consulting, headed by Director Steve Mitchell, brings almost three decades of experience to the new business structure. Opex is renowned in the FM sector for its hands-on operational expertise and specialist consultancy services, including its lead in Public Private Partnership (PPP) and Private Finance Initiative (PFI) projects – the company has consulted on more than a third of all built environment UK PFI/PPP projects in particular around audit and assurance.

Established by industry expert Ben Crossley as a vehicle for his team’s FM expertise, Aptare provides a focus on contract compliance and asset lifecycle modelling services. The team majors on Facilities Management commercial and business. It has a proven track record in contract dispute and delivering FM consultancy services at all levels of PPPs and PFIs with notable success in supporting the managed close of an £11bn PFI contract.

A core element of the service provided by the newly restructured firm is the provision of bespoke solutions to property and asset management issues. “We are frequently called in ‘after the event’ to help organisations turnaround failing contracts, typically where the chosen FM supplier becomes unable to deliver on contractual obligations explains Steve Mitchell. “All too often, we see landlords and holders of large property portfolios wasting time and money by firefighting poor FM outcomes. While we expertly handle these issues to take the pain away, our stated goal is to create solutions that prevent the FM delivery degrading to a poor standard in the first place,” he adds.

To that end, the firm has set up a proactive professional service that gives organisations a practical pathway to select proven and dependable FM suppliers and contractors. Using its broadened resource base, the company combines specialist advice, its FM contract audit expertise, lifecycle modelling, and a wealth of invaluable historical FM knowledge accumulated over the past 25 years to provide transparent and trustworthy options to its clients.

The complementary experience and expertise brought together in the merger also provides new opportunities for dedicated initiatives. Among these is a whole asset management and assurance service that operates at all levels, from individual equipment compliance to entire property portfolio management, aimed at top-tier stakeholders including large landlord businesses, banks, property investment funds, investment houses, as well as all other asset-owning entities.

“As a new kind of multi-level asset manager with industry-specific management consultancy expertise at its heart, we have a compelling proposition that’s already delivering building assurance solutions. We tailor each to the client’s exact needs across the education, health, industrial and commercial property sectors as well as government departments like the MOD, DWP and NHS,” says Director Ben Crossley “We’re a safe pair of hands.”