Latest News | 14 January 2021

New era for JSA Architects following MBO

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A new era has started at JSA Architects after the Derby firm was sold in a management buy-out.

Justin Smith, who founded the firm in 2002, which is based at Sadler Bridge Studios, has sold his shares to two existing staff members.

The deal sees chartered architect Georgie Rathbone and chartered architectural technologist Chris Wood become co-owners and directors of the business, while Justin will remain as a consultant to the new management team.

According to Justin, the change has been a couple of years in the making and is designed for the long-term continuity of the practice.

Justin said: “I am really pleased to be able to transition the business to two very talented individuals who have proven to be a very good fit for the company.

“I am also pleased to ensure long-term continuity for our clients and their projects with Chris and Georgie in charge and having spent a significant amount of time developing and implementing robust processes and knowledge bases.”

Having joined JSA as an associate director, Chris Wood has been in full control of the practice’s technical, project management and delivery services.

He has brought with him a new direction for the practice and a more diverse portfolio, including hotels, care homes and student residential developments, as well as ongoing commitments with EasyHotel, Bowmer & Kirkland and regional developers.

Chris said “I’m delighted that the process has been concluded following a well-considered transition programme, which all started with a management restructure and name change in 2018.

“Nobody could have predicted the current economic challenges but the recent record-breaking financial year and increasingly robust client-base demonstrates this is still the right time to see in the company’s new chapter.”

Georgie has led planning and concept design at JSA on a diverse range of projects since she joined from CPMG Architects.

She said: “Since joining, I have been amazed at the passion and collaborative efforts of the team, which have resulted in some incredible projects and a great service.

“Both Chris and myself feel proud and honoured to have the opportunity to continue to shape the direction of the practice and build on its progressive values.”

According the firm, it will be very much business as usual for its team and clients as the firm looks to pursue new B2B relationships.

Chris said: “JSA has years of success in which to build and we’re both relishing the opportunity to further develop the design-rich portfolio of exciting projects.

“It promises to be an exciting journey ahead for JSA, our partners and our clients.”

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