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12/06/18

Q&A Driver Trett Mainland Europe

Hugo-Frans Bol – Director, Driver Trett mainland Europe talks to the Digest about the Group’s Regional presence and growing cross-continental collaboration.

What does the current mainland Europe business look like?

It is perhaps not known by many of our international clients, but the Driver Group is very active on the European continent with offices in France, Germany, and the Netherlands. From these offices, our clients are assisted with the traditional Driver Trett contracts and claims services, as well as expert services via our Diales brand.

One of the factors that makes these offices distinct, is that we assist clients who are active in the international construction and engineering market as well as those clients who work domestically. Our mainland European based team all have experience in both markets, live in the respective countries and, very importantly, can communicate with our clients and undertake work in English, the local language (i.e. French, German and Dutch) and also, if needed, in other European languages such as Spanish, Italian, or Russian.

This capability means that we assist and support our clients not only when they are working in their own language, but also when they are working in English and there may be a need to understand certain documents or to communicate with certain people in the local language.

Is that ‘local’ element important to your clients?

Yes, our local presence means that our staff understand the various different cultures that exist in mainland Europe and how this impacts the way our clients undertake their business. This capability is further extended by the fact that our business has a worldwide network of offices, meaning that we can assist our clients who work outside of mainland Europe as well as those located further afield who work in mainland Europe. This is an important and appreciated part of our service offering.

The growth of our German and French offices in recent years shows the appetite for a local knowledge base. The Munich office was established nearly five years ago with the Paris office opening nearly four years ago. Both operations are now sizeable and well established in their local markets, and have their own specialisms. The Munich office works extensively in the power and plant and offshore wind businesses, with the Paris office kept very busy providing training in commercial awareness, FIDIC, and NEC contracts alongside contract management on various French language projects and undertaking expert appointments. Founded almost twenty years ago, the Dutch office is very well established, and has developed its own (inter)national client base, which it serves with the Group’s full array of services.

What does all this mean for the future of the mainland Europe business?

More recently, the three offices have started to increase cooperation to improve and align the service offering to our clients as they often operate throughout the various European countries. Our aim is to provide our clients with the best possible service that they need, at the various levels of their organisation, wherever they operate in mainland Europe and abroad. An important step towards this was taken recently by the organisation of a mainland European team conference in Strasbourg where we focussed on increased cooperation, integration of our service offering, and knowledge management. This will enable us to continue the current growth in our home markets and develop new exciting ventures on the mainland of Europe through our unique service offering and established client base.

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