A year as CEO


Chris Cant, CEO of Metnor Group, reflects on a year overseeing the upwards trajectory of the company. 

Tell us a bit about Metnor Group, and how the company has evolved over the last five years?

Founded in the 1960s, Metnor Group is a far cry from the business it was. It now has three main operating divisions: construction, mechanical and electrical contracting, and the supply of pressure testing equipment to the oil and gas industry.

When I was appointed managing director of Metnor Construction in 2015, our biggest contracts were worth £5m to £10m but are now between £20m and £50m, which is remarkable. It shows how far we’ve come.

Now, as CEO of the Metnor Group, I’d like to continue on the upwards trajectory building on what we have achieved. To do this, we need to be flexible, adaptable and constantly reviewing the business’s infrastructure, ensuring that all divisions of the group are working cohesively for the benefit of our clients. To manage that process you need great people and I’m exceptionally proud that we have attracted and retained what, in my opinion, are the region’s best staff.

How would you describe Metnor Group’s core values?

We have four core values at Metnor Group, which have been created in collaboration with our staff. We knew early on that if they were to mean anything, our staff had to take ownership of them.

‘Challenge yourself ’ encourages our people to continue to grow and develop and to step out of their comfort zones to provide better experiences and outcomes for clients. ‘Be stronger together’ centres on building close and connected relationships with our clients and teams because we believe that when we work together, we grow together too.

‘Embracing change’ is also a key part of who we are. It’s important we are agile in our thinking and not afraid to try new things. Our last value is about each of us taking responsibility to ‘play your part’, doing more than just turning up but being accountable for our job and taking ownership for the impact we have.

Where do you see the company in five years?

Having worked for the company for over 17 years, I’ve seen a lot of change, but my vision for the future of the business remains the same. I wanted to build on solid foundations established over the years – such as completing our projects on time, within budget and to an exceptional quality.

Our challenge will be unifying all the divisions under the group brand as we continue to grow. We also want to harness the collective expertise of the divisions in order to offer a total solution for our clients. Overall, we remain relentlessly focussed on delivering the highest standard of work to our key sectors, including student accommodation, care homes, and data centres.

You’ve been CEO for just over a year now, what qualities do you think it takes to be a good leader?

I’d like to think I bring drive, energy and enthusiasm to my CEO role. You need to have confidence and a ‘can-do’ attitude backed up with technical ability and tenacity to see things through. Patience is also vital and keeping that razor-sharp focus on the long-term vision of the business. Not everything will happen overnight – but it will happen.

Mentors and role models are important too. My biggest inspiration is and always will be my mum. Her philosophy is simple – work hard and be nice to people. I think that really resonates with who we are at Metnor.