August 28, 2013
The British Institute of Facilities Management has announced that it is to withdraw with immediate effect from the merger discussions it had entered into in May with its fellow trade associations, Asset Skills, CSSA and FMA. The decision to pull out was taken at a BIFM board meeting last week. According to a BIFM statement, the plans were not felt to be in the best interests of BIFM members. The decision comes as something of a surprise given that the week before the decision, BIFM was saying that it was delighted with progress, although some commentators including our own Simon Heath had already expressed their reservations about the whole thing.
At the time the merger was announced Gareth Tancred, Chief Executive Officer of BIFM, had said: “This is an excellent opportunity for BIFM and its members. In the last year we have seen a marked rise in global demand for our services. We recognise that merger and acquisition activity is a way to achieve our strategic development objectives to ensure we meet the needs of our individual and corporate members. The intention of these discussions is to form an organisation that is more influential and with increased delivery capability, to reflect the growing scope of facilities management and support services.”
What he now says is: “The [BIFM] board’s first priority is to ensure decisions such as these are in the best interests of its members. Right now it has been decided that we must focus on the delivery of our strategy and continuing our current success. This does not rule out any future discussions about merger and acquisition opportunities and nor does it rule out working with other like minded bodies for the benefit of our members, the FM profession and the wider support services industry. Anything that serves to strengthen the representation of our industry and its services must be a good thing and BIFM wishes to support Asset Skills, CSSA and FMA in their future endeavours. But we do not believe the involvement of BIFM in this merger is right for the institute at the current time. This is a difficult decision, but it has been taken for the best interests of our organisation and its members.”