Energy expertise key for growth, says chief exec

RUBY McGregor-Smith yesterday unveiled a strong set of results at her FTSE-250 listed outsourcing company Mitie while predicting that energy advice would help to fuel future revenue growth.

The trained accountant, with a reputation as a personable, effective operator, told City A.M. that government cuts had not dented its order book.

On the contrary, she said its services in advising organisations like the Royal Free Hospital in London on how to cut its energy bills without hitting services were proving a new avenue of growth.

“We see these energy services as very important. It’s all part of how money can be spent better.”

She takes pains to point out that more than 60 per cent of the company’s work is in the private sector, with services ranging from security guards to cleaning contracts. Meanwhile, acquisitions are on the agenda if the opportunity is right.

“We are mainly looking at organic growth but we would consider acquisitions or bolt-ons if they are right for us,” she said.

McGregor-Smith is the only Asian woman chief executive of a FTSE 250 company but emphasises she is a champion of diversity in the workplace among all groups rather than just women.

“We have been named as one of the top employers for women and I am very proud of that. But I take diversity to be about all groups, it’s not just a woman thing.”

Raised in London, she studied at Kingston Polytechnic before joining accountants BDO. She was recruited by outsourcer Serco in 1991, climbing up the corporate ladder with a variety of senior roles. She became chief executive at Mitie seven years ago, aged just 44.