Former Arcadis directors launch consultancy

A new consultancy focusing on residential-led markets was set up by former Arcadis and EC Harris partners.

Mark Farmer, Joe Thornton and Neil Brearley launched Cast to provide commercially independent consultancy advice with a focus on build-to-rent, student accommodation, senior living and the high end London market.

Cast will continue to work closely with Arcadis, offering specialised advice to existing clients while enabling its new business to benefit from the extended UK expertise Arcadis has across the built environment.

Mark Farmer, chief executive officer of Cast, said:

“We welcome the ability to collaborate with Arcadis and to tap into their vast network when our clients need it but also to have the freedom to focus our new business in niche areas that we think will grow in importance.”

The consultancy will provide commercial advice around development and investment, ranging from viability analysis and financial modelling, supply chain and procurement advisory through to cost and project management delivery services.

With ongoing change in the construction sector, Cast believes there is huge opportunity for evolution in the way development and investment clients interact with the construction market.

Farmer continued:

“We want to be at the forefront of delivering innovative projects that are both viable and don’t create undue risk for our clients. As a sector, we need to embrace new approaches to deal structures, building design, procurement and of course construction. But ultimately these choices must be driven by delivering a better result for our clients and their customers.”

Simon Light, UK client development director at Arcadis, said:

“Mark has made a significant contribution to the business over the years, and we wish him all the best with his new venture, specialising in an exciting area of the market. We have enjoyed a long working relationship with Mark and continue to share our passion for client delivery, so I’m pleased that our professional connection will continue as we look to collaborate on a number of existing and future client projects.”

Richard Meier, partner at Argent, said:

“We at Argent Related are committed to delivering a housing offer that meets a wide range of housing needs in our future projects. One such offer will be purpose designed, professionally managed, scale, rental housing. Mark and his team are very well placed to support our business in this field and their exciting new venture is great news for the industry.”

Ray Theakston, construction director at Essential Living said:

“Mark and Joe have played a crucial role in supporting us during our first three years and no one has a better grip on the financial and development challenges faced by build to rent companies than Cast. The kind of tailored advice they provide will continue to play a big part in helping drive forward our plans to build 5,000 homes for rent across London.”