Equity Partner
Davis Langdon

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00:02 My name is Donny M, I am an Equity Partner in Davis Langdon, a multi national, international firm of property consultants, project managers, course managers. Working all over the globe and from Scotland.

00:16 As, as a quantity surveyor you, you, if you take, you, it’s a combination of having a very sound technical knowledge, in other words understanding the building process, how it was built. You then bolt onto that a whole load of other skills, contract law, understanding law contract, commercial skills, understanding the finances and economics of building and that’s across a wide range. And then you go, you take these and then go into the further commercial opportunities of actually the property development field, housing development field.

00:52 No, my father worked on the railway he was, he was very much from an engineering background and I, I just really had the choice, there was not particular parent, there was no particular focus, parental focus, it was a case of I really did what I wanted to do.

01:09 Yeah I think I wanted to be a civil engineer at one point when I didn’t really understand what a civil engineer was. But I knew that I want, I did not want to work day to day in an office.

01:19 One of my friends at school his dad was a quantity surveyor. I went along and talked to him and thought, yeah this sound like a good idea and that’s how I got into it.

01:28 I, that was probably around in my fifth, sixth at school I was around about 17 and I, there was no University courses at that time it was further education college in Glasgow and yeah I did a 4 year course there, came out, joined a small firm, a small firm which I eventually become senior partner in.

01:49 When I started with the small firm there was 7 of us in a room where the senior partner had a hole in the carpet and the photocopier used to go on fire regularly and it was my job to go and put it out. In those days we were doing renovations of industrial premises and re-roofing factories and so on. That was how I started out now I run a team doing international work.

02:21 When I worked with BBC on the new BBC Scotland headquarters I was one of the first people to be appointed, it was basically the Director of Property at the BBC identified in me someone who could help him. So it was very early days structuring that’s what I specialise in is early days ventures, new projects, funding of projects and structuring them and then getting them to a stage where they are live projects.

02:50 I now spend a lot of my time raising equity, raising finance and working with banks. Raising for projects, now that is not what I originally trained as but the base training that, that, that, that, you know the, the core skills that you develop through training as a quantity surveyor can lead into all sorts of different avenues, I think that’s the importance.

03:14 The most single turning point in my, my career looking back was when I had qualified with the small firm that I’d been in, left and got into contracting and then the senior partner of the firm asked me if I’d like to go back and join them again, which I did and then very quickly I, I was a partner in there at the age of 31 and the reason for that was I, I had found through this small firm the opportunity to do my own thing.

03:51 END

Donny M is an Equity Partner in Davis Langdon and a qualified quantity surveyor. His first job was for a small firm whose photocopier regularly caught fire. One of his jobs was to put it out. Now he works for an international company of property consultants, spending a lot of his time working with banks to raise money for major building projects.

More information about Quantity surveyors

average salary

The UK average salary is £29,813

average weekly hours

There are 37.5 hours in the average working week

89%  male 
11%  female 

The UK workforce is 47% female and 53% male

Future employment

Future employment?

? Quantity surveyors advise on financial and contractual matters relating to, and prepare bills of quantities for, construction projects and provide other support functions concerning the financing and materials required for building projects.
Entry is through professional training and membership of an appropriate professional organisation. Entry to professional examinations will require GCSEs/S grades and A levels/H grades, a BTEC/SQA award, a degree or equivalent qualification. Candidates usually undertake a period of probationary training and professional assessment.
  • Liaises with client on project costs, formulates detailed cost plan and advises contractors and engineers to ensure that they remain within cost limit;
  • Examines plans and specifications and prepares details of the material and labour required for the project;
  • Prepares bills of quantities for use by contractors when tendering for work;
  • Examines tenders received, advises client on the most acceptable and assists with preparation of a contract document;
  • Measures and values work in progress and examines any deviations from original contract;
  • Measures and values completed contract for authorisation of payment.
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