Following Andrew Lunt's receiving of the PFM Lifetime Achievement Award, PFM editor Amanda Vlietstra sat down with him for a full interview. Read the full interview over on the PFM website here, or read an excerpt below.

Andrew Lunt with PFM Awards 2022 host Sir Trevor McDonald

All about Andrew

Author: Amanda Vlietstra, Editor, Premises & Facilities Management

15 December 2022

Andrew Lunt, the Group MD for Salisbury Group, was the winner of the Peter Middup Lifetime Achievement Award at this year's PFM Awards. Nominated because of his pragmatic, low drama approach to the industry, he has nonetheless become an extremely well-known and influential figure within it.

So, how did it all start for Andrew? Perhaps ironically, it was never Andrew’s intention to work in FM. After graduating with a surveying degree from Nottingham Trent University in 1995, with a recession in full swing, Andrew looked at the opportunities that were available and went to work for Turner & Townsend on an FM contract. “I took that role and started in Manchester, looking after three buildings on a Government portfolio. I basically spent that whole summer putting fans together, as it was so hot…I thought “what have I done!””

By 1997, Andrew had been promoted and was asked to move to London. He went to work on a contract for the DTI to write an environmental management system for them, which they achieved in 1998. Around this time, the part of Turner & Townsend Andrew worked for was acquired by a Japanese investment bank. Andrew went off to do PFI-style deals and due diligence, working on a bid to acquire the Millennium Dome, among other things.


In 2003, he was headhunted by outsourcing and property investment business Mapeley to go and work in business development. “I essentially became the internal client for the FM supplier who worked for Mapeley. It didn’t really work in terms of suppliers, so in 2012, we launched Salisbury by insourcing all of their work.”

He continued: “I wrote the business case for Salisbury, we pitched it to the private equity people who owned Mapeley, got the investment that we needed, and I was appointed Group Managing Director of Salisbury in 2012.”

Clearly, it’s been quite a journey – but of course it didn’t end there. Indeed, it was just the start of Salisbury’s journey. “We invested a lot in new people, the CAFM system, marketing, and so on. We then started picking up new work in 2017 – and in 2019 it really took off.”

Emerging player

In 2022, the company then became part of the Atlas FM group. “The same people have owned the business for 35 years and they care about it. They have a very customer-focused culture.”

He says that Atlas takes a very different approach from some of the more bureaucratic FM companies. “What we try to do is make sure everyone gets senior airtime. I still make a point of giving business cards out with my mobile telephone number so clients can get hold of me at any time. We do things in a slightly different way.”

What will it mean for Salisbury in the long term? “It’s very positive. The reason Atlas acquired Salisbury was to develop TFM capability. Atlas can now offer TFM to all their clients, using Salisbury’s capabilities.”

However, the company going from working alone as a £40million a year turnover, to being part of a £200million a year organisation with almost 10,000 staff, opens a lot of doors.

Unique oversight

There’s no doubt that Andrew’s career has given him a unique oversight into the FM industry and the direction in which it may be travelling. He points out that, during the pandemic, it was FM staff who were on the frontline, and under a good deal of pressure to keep the country up and running.

“We’ve got to be really careful we don’t damage our people,” he said. This is particularly important as many people in FM are on hourly contracts and may feel they have less financial security than other industry sectors.”

Positive approach

Looking forward, he says that technology will be the big driver of future changes, particularly around sustainability. “We’re proud that we achieved Net Zero a couple of years ago,” he said. “The industry is in a good place to lead on decarbonisation.”

People, he states, are what FM is all about. “The industry has a responsibility to put food on people’s tables, at the end of the day,” he said. “If you’re not doing that, you’re not doing it right.”

Read the full article by going to the PFM website here: Premises & Facilities Management - All about Andrew (