Bloc Team
Furse and Matthews worked a combined 24 years at Hollis. Credit: Bloc

Ex-Hollis pair start afresh

Neil Tague

Martyn Furse and Chris Matthews, formerly partner and associate respectively at the firm, have founded a start-up building consultancy called Bloc.

Furse left Hollis, formerly Malcolm Hollis, in February this year after nearly sixteen years, the last five of which he spent as partner and head of the Liverpool office.

Matthews left the firm at the same time following an eight-year stint, which culminated in him managing the dilapidations and tenant alterations teams in Manchester.

Furse told Place North West: “The last 18 months have enabled many of us to take a step back and reflect on our lives and what matters most. Challenging times often present new opportunities and both Chris and I felt there was an emerging gap in the market for a fresh, agile new consultancy that is able to break the mould.

“I really enjoyed my time at Hollis but I needed some new challenges – challenges that can only come from establishing and running your own business.”

Matthews added that “the local North West market is particularly buoyant and clients are looking for a dynamic, experienced advisor, who can act quickly and efficiently. Bloc is well-positioned to offer clear, succinct, director-led advice – we are personable people and our clients like that.”

The pair said that although institutional and commercial landlord work will be vital, the firm will aim to advise not just property-focused clients, but also those occupiers that are heavily reliant on property for their business operations.

Furse said: “Over recent years it has become quite clear that there is an ever-increasing demand from occupiers, particularly those with no in-house property expertise.

“They have successful businesses in their own right, however, their property requirement is a by-product of that success. Many occupier firms are still relatively young and whilst they need professional help relocating to facilitate future growth, they simply cannot afford to pay the fees often associated with the larger surveying firms. There is a real gap in the market and Bloc aims to fill this.”

Bloc is based at Piccadilly Place, Manchester. At this point, no new hires have been made.

Furse told Place: “Growth aspirations are fluid but we are keen to ensure any growth is managed correctly, and not dilute the Bloc approach to service delivery. We enjoy working with our clients and neither Chris nor I wish to become detached from that.

“We are focussing on technology, and future growth may well come not just from experienced surveyors joining the team, but also from employing support technicians who can assist the surveying team in delivering our future technology and digital service aspirations.”

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