Commercial Manager - Julian
Name: Julian Lord
Job Title: Commercial Manager
Company name: Balfour Beatty Ansaldo Systems Joint Venture Sdn Bhd. (Indonesia & Malaysia)
Brief description of current role
Client facing recovery of claims and variations for the electrification and signaling of a new 325km railway.
Brief description of previous experience
When I approached Maxim Recruitment for my next role I was on the Board of WSP Civils, a very successful division of what is now WSP Global. I had previously worked extensively overseas and my interest was in dispute resolution and delivery of expert witness commissions.
How did you start your career and transition to where you are now?
I started as a civil engineer with Kier at Sizewell B power station and after a spell on nuclear projects became involved with the commercial and contractual management of large projects overseas. I was later admitted to the Bar and spent a few excellent years at Turner and Townsend in the UK before joining WSP, another excellent company. Due to family reasons I had to move to Indonesia in 2011 and was casting around for a new role within weekly traveling distance. Malaysia has an active rail investment programme and is only three hours flying time from my family in Indonesia and so it was an obvious target.
How did Maxim Recruitment help you?
Once I talked to Maxim I found them very knowledgeable and with good contacts in the market I was targeting and knew how the industry worked locally. Initially I was told of a specific role addressing claims and variations that was under offer but Maxim kept me informed and when it became available again swiftly arranged a series of telephone and formal interviews and the role was mine. The company had been searching for six months for a key individual and Maxim successfully put us together.
What do you enjoy most about your current role?
The construction industry in Malaysia is undergoing rapid change and Adjudication has arrived. It’s an exciting place to be for anyone interested in dispute resolution.
What led you to pursue a career in your industry?
I like to work with my hands, sadly now just a pen.
What advice do you have for others entering your industry?
Qualify and specialise in something you enjoy and where you will eventually get paid well, but be flexible.
What are the main challenges for you and the industry?
The industry has a severe worldwide skill shortage in specialist areas
What are your professional aspirations, for example what do you think you’ll be doing in five years time?
In five years time I will be back in UK with a large dispute resolution practice.
Where are you based (place and country) and what is it like living and working there?
I am based in Indonesia but work each week in Malaysia. Both countries are comfortable places to live but the construction industry is more developed in Malaysia and more welcoming to skilled expatriates.
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