On behalf of the global board, I acknowledge and thank Julian Anderson and Stephen Mee who step down from their roles as global board directors. Having commenced as cadet quantity surveyors more than 40 years ago, Julian and Stephen have played a leading role in many of our company milestones, and both have served as global chair. I thank them for always encouraging the board to think strategically to create value for RLB and towards a better world.
Julian and Stephen are recognised authorities in quantity surveying having consulted on flagship projects in the United States, Australia and abroad. They are true strategists who have proactively shaped the RLB we know today with their energy, technical skill, and focus on cultivating the best people.
During his time on the board, Julian continued the firm’s commitment to intercontinental expansion, technological innovation, and client service. Stephen championed the inception of the Global Employee Experience Programme (GEEP) and chaired the Global Digital Advancement Committee (GDAC).
What is the key strength of the global practice?
JA > “At its heart, I think it’s linking people from across the world. But not just to support customers anywhere, I know for me, it’s that personal experience – sharing ideas, seeing the different ways that construction is done. And of course, being exposed to different cultures. It really gives our team a broader view to find more creative solutions.”
What is the role of the global board?
SM > “It’s basically to represent the various regions in one forum. This way, we can make collective decisions – on building and expanding the brand, as well as keeping the RLB brand as a top-ranked brand globally.”
When did you start working for RLB? Tell us about your journey.
JA > “Mine started in 1976, in Brisbane Australia as a Cadet Quantity Surveyor. I then got the opportunity to move to the new Sunshine Coast office (also in Queensland, Australia) and later became office leader. In 1991, I took up the leadership role of our new Hawaii business (with a view to using it as a base for RLB’s expansion to North America). Along the way, I’ve learnt so much, bringing imagination to life on so many projects, worked with fabulous customers and designers and, really – I’ve been lucky enough to be surrounded by the best people in the business.”
SM > Well, I joined RLB in Sydney in 1983 as a cadet, directly from school. My qualifications as a quantity surveyor came later – from the University of Technology, and a master’s from UNSW. In the early 90s I worked on the ANA Hotel in Sydney’s CBD, before opening RLB’s Newcastle office – I stayed there for 5 years. Returning to the Sydney office, I became a national director and later the Managing Director in NSW.
What was your ambition as a global board member?
SM > “I found our real challenge is to unite our people – and for their skills to be shared from all parts of the world. One great example was when we facilitated a Global BIM Workshop in Hong Kong with 26 of our people from across the world. For me personally, it was very satisfying – it really highlighted the skills we have within the group.”
And your proudest outcome?
SM > “The unification of members regarding strategy and supporting positive ideas. I have a mutual respect for all global board members.”
What is your ambition now?
JA > “It’s the same as it was the day I became a shareholder – to contribute to the growth and evolution of the business – and to leave RLB in an even better position than when I joined.”
“Stephen is a leader and manager with a pragmatic approach and the end game in mind. However, it is not only about what Stephen achieves in the end. It is also about the journey there as he builds and fosters relationships, and mentors those alongside him. His contributions to various committees both local and global were thorough and done with enthusiasm. Stephen’s leadership, management and contribution style is exemplar and serve as inspiration to others (it has to me in any case). I have not once seen Smee dodge a responsibility, indeed he volunteered for many initiatives which were for the benefit of the group. His knowledge will be missed and in no doubt, he will be called upon for his council.”
“In 2016 Stephen Mee and the global board identified the increasing requirement to harness the power of BIM. Stephen was one of the main instigators for holding a BIM workshop hosted in Hong Kong that saw RLB BIM experts from around the world come together and share ideas. Off the back of this Stephen helped with the creation of the Global BIM Committee. He has been an active and contributing member to the committee as well as steering it and advising the committee to maintain momentum and keep in line with RLB’s global strategies. Stephen widened the scope of the Global BIM Committee in 2019 from a focus of just BIM to Digital Advancement generally, guiding the committee into what is now known as the Global Digital Advancement Committee (GDAC). Stephen’s advice, energy and general advocacy for GDAC and its deliverables has been a key contributor to its ongoing success. GDAC thanks Stephen for all his efforts with the committee and wish him all the best for the future.”
“Julian understands the success of RLB is founded on the fortitude and dedication of our staff. It is through them that we are able to ensure our clients achieve their desired outcomes. We are truly appreciative of the knowledge and candor that Julian brought to the global board; his business acumen and fortitude truly know no bounds.”
“Julian has cultivated a reputation for being an innovative thinker and thought leader in the world of construction. His prowess in the AEC field has inspired myself and so many others to bring the best versions of ourselves to the table. His time on the global board has without a doubt aided in the successes and wins we’ve had as a global practice. I’m sure I speak for everyone at RLB when I thank him for all that he has done for the firm; his ambition and knowledge has enabled us to bring imagination to life not just in North America, but as a global practice.”
Peter Knowles has been appointed as a global board director effective January 2023.
Chris Marais has been appointed as a global board director effective April 2023.