Canadian Construction & Consulting Engineers Inc
MONTREAL – WSP Global chief executive Pierre Shoiry says that when he presents the company’s strategy for the next three years at the shareholders meeting on Thursday, it’s going to look a lot like the plan set out in 2012.
“It’s going to be much more of the same, ” said Shoiry at the engineering consulting firm’s headquarters in Montreal.
This is a modest statement, considering that in this time the organization has grown from about 9, 000 people under the name Genivar, to a more than 31, 000-person strong company that is one of the top three pure-play consultancy firms in the world, with projects in 39 countries.
When Shoiry joined the company in 1989, it was based in Quebec City and called Groupe-Conseil Solivar Inc., with 89 employees who worked on local projects.
“You run it like a small business with all the benefits of a large organization. We like to keep things simple and pragmatic, ” Shoiry said.
“We’ve always believed in having a very straightforward plan.”
WSP recently released first quarter results with a net revenue of $1.025 billion (up 132.6 per cent from 2014), driven primarily by the acquisitions of Focus (a $366 million purchase in April, 2014) and New York-based transportation infrastructure specialist Parsons Brinckerhoff, which it bought for .31 billion in October, 2014.
“WSP has done a phenomenal job of taking themselves to the next level via its acquisition strategy. They are now truly a global company, ” said Laurentian Bank Securities analyst Mona Nazir, who chose the firm as her top pick for 2015.
Acquisition hasn’t been the company’s only expansion mechanism, though: Organic growth has climbed from one per cent in the first quarter of 2014 to 11.8 per cent in 2015, augmented by a favourable exchange impact with the strong U.S. dollar.
WSP’s services span the engineering realm, working on buildings such as New York’s One World Trade Centre and the Shanghai Tower, a 155-kilometer upgrade of the Pacific Highway in Australia and environmental services for Abu Dhabi’s Masdar City.
“The biggest opportunity we have today is that we have access to knowledge that comes from every part of the world, ” Shoiry said.