Operational executive

Chris Balmbro

Chris Balmbro

Group IT Director

With a degree in philosophy from the University of Birmingham, Chris decided to embark on a career in IT and is a member of the British Computer Society. During the 20 years he has spent in real estate and construction, he has acquired significant experience in change projects and integrating IT systems following acquisitions. Following 14 years at Knight Frank LLP, Chris joined Currie & Brown in 2013 as group IT manager, becoming group IT director in January 2016 before being appointed to the operational executive in January 2021.

Kim Berry

Kim Berry

Chief Operating Officer, Asia Pacific

Kim joined Currie & Brown in Hong Kong in 1982 when the business was known as Widnell. He became managing director of the Hong Kong and China offices in 1987 and in the ensuing years led growth in Asia Pacific from 10 people to over 700 at the present time. Kim trained as a quantity surveyor in Edinburgh, Scotland, and in addition to his qualification as a chartered surveyor he is a graduate in English law from London University. His professional focus is contract drafting, procurement, contract administration and claims advisory work.

James Grinnell

James Grinnell

Group People Director

James joined Currie & Brown as group people director in August 2016, following the acquisition of Sweett Group plc where he had been group HR director since November 2013. Prior to his time in this post, James operated in a variety of senior posts both inside and outside the HR function. These have included management of large-scale change programmes, linked to acquisitions and organisational change. James’ career has concentrated predominantly within the sectors of construction, engineering, support services and property. He is qualified to master’s level, and is a fellow of the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development.

Alan Manuel

Alan Manuel

Chief Operating Officer, Europe and UK

Alan started his career with an apprenticeship in quantity surveying, becoming chartered in 1987. Having worked for a number of Scottish businesses, he ran his own quantity surveying/project management practice before joining Cyril Sweett as a director in 1999. Alan was appointed chief operating officer of Currie & Brown’s UK and Europe businesses when Currie & Brown acquired Sweett Group in 2016. During his 30+ years’ post-qualification experience he has played a key role in a variety of high-profile schemes for private and public sector clients. Alan is also a member of the RICS QS Leaders Forum and a committee member of both REVO and the Institute for Collaborative Working.

Aileen McEwan

Aileen McEwan

Group Marketing and Communications Director

Aileen joined Currie & Brown in 2008 to set up the graduate training programme for APC candidates, for which she still retains group responsibility. She has been Currie & Brown’s group marketing and communications director since 2012, following two years as international marketing co-ordinator for the company. After graduating from the University of Glasgow with an MA (Hons) in German language and literature, she started her career in an advertising, marketing and public relations agency. She has also worked in the education sector and held a voluntary monitoring role for two government establishments for several years before gaining a graduate diploma in law.

Ian Robinson

Ian Robinson

Chief Operating Officer, Middle East

Ian joined Currie & Brown in October 2020 to take up the reins as chief operating officer of the Middle East business in January 2021. As a fellow of the Chartered Institute of Building with an MBA, he has specialised in project management during his career, which spans more than thirty years, mainly in EMEA. Ian has led numerous major projects across infrastructure, investments and construction - both on the consulting and contractor side. Ian’s previous roles include holding the position of managing director for EMEA of Lendlease Europe’s consulting group, and serving on the management board of Gardiner & Theobald.

Satyakumar Shetty

Satyakumar Shetty

Chief Operating Officer, India

On completion of his degree in engineering from Mumbai University, Satyakumar started his career as a junior engineer with the Mumbai developer, Lokhandwala Group of Companies. In 1999 he joined Currie & Brown as a senior quantity surveyor. Having helped to expand the company in India and built up a wealth of experience in projects, cost and contract management, he was appointed as the region’s chief operating officer in 2010. A fellow of the RICS, Satyakumar has led Currie & Brown's operations in India where the company is recognised for its expertise across the full range of industries, but particularly in commercial and residential property, hospitality and leisure, retail, education, healthcare and industrial developments.

Paul Wood

Paul Wood

President and Chief Operating Officer, Americas

Paul Wood joined Currie & Brown as president and chief operating officer of the US business in August 2015. After obtaining a BSc in quantity surveying from the University of Westminster, Paul was admitted as a member to the RICS. Paul, who is also a member of the Association of Cost Engineers, is experienced in all facets of the service industry, including strategic planning, contracting, engineering, architectural design and consultancy. His expertise has been gained across a range of business sectors, including high-tech, pharmaceuticals and life sciences, transportation, energy and infrastructure, often for Fortune 100 clients.

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