Meet the MD: James Davies of The Wigley Group

After starting out as a construction plant hire and building contractor in the 1960s, The Wigley Group has since branched out into a number of different sectors. BQ caught up with director James Davies to see how he goes about his day-to-day running of the group.

What is it you do?

As director of The Wigley Group, I oversee all divisions including commercial property, facilities management and risk. It’s my responsibility to drive growth and strategic change within the business and to work with the team to ensure we are delivering the highest quality service to all of our clients.


What is it the company does?

The Wigley Group has grown and diversified over the years to offer expertise in a number of key areas. There are currently three strands to the business – commercial property, facilities management and risk.

Our facilities management service was developed last year in direct response to client requests. I feel it is important to be able to listen and adapt to industry demands and after successfully carrying out FM work at our own properties, we thought it was the right time to extend the service.

We own and manage nine business and trade parks across the Midlands and we are always on the look out for additional development opportunities in the region.


What do you believe makes a great leader?

Someone who is a good listener and can support and inspire others to be the best that they can be. I also think it is important to be able to carry out the tasks you are delegating as it allows you to have a good understanding of what’s going on in the business underneath you.


What has been your biggest challenge in your current position?

The rebranding of the company has been a huge task. We rebranded as The Wigley Group in 2011 to bring the different strands of the business together to offer a complimentary suite of professional services. It was quite challenging to create that brand awareness but it has paid off and I am really pleased with its success.


How do you alleviate the stress that comes with your job?

I actually quite enjoy stress. My job doesn't feel like work because I absolutely love what I do. I still look forward to Friday nights but equally on a Sunday, I am looking forward to Monday morning. Sport is also a good way to alleviate stress and I enjoy running and rugby.


When you were little, what did you want to be when you grew up?

I wanted to be a farmer and I was one for some time. I grew up on a farm in Warwickshire and loved animals. We then moved to a farm in North Yorkshire where I lived for 10 years.


Any pet hates in the workplace?

Being unprepared is my biggest pet hate. I encourage all of our staff to ensure that they are well prepared when going into a meeting otherwise it can reflect badly on the company. I also don't like it when people eat lunch at their desk. We have a kitchen area so that people can get up and eat in a different environment


Where do you see the company in five years time?

We have been fortunate to achieve sustained growth over the last few years and I would like to see that continue at the same rate. Over the last two years, our focus has been on developing the different strands of the business and now I feel it is important to strengthen these areas.


What advice would you give to an aspiring business leader?

Be prepared to put your heart, soul, tears and everything into what you want to do. Don’t enter into anything half-hearted.


Where did you start your career?

After completing my degree in agriculture business management, I set up my own farming and agricultural business. Unfortunately, it wasn't as successful as I’d hoped but I learnt more than I could ever have imagined. 


Give us a brief timeline of your career so far.

I joined The Wigley Group as estates manager in 2008 and as the company expanded, the structure of the business did too. I later became head of estates and commercial management before becoming a joint shareholder of Wigley Commercial Services Ltd. I was then invited to become a director of Wigley Contracts (Barby) Ltd (the parent Company) last summer.