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Client Director - Highways England Portfolio

  • Job reference: TR-003017
  • Sector: Infrastructure, Mass Transit, Roads & Bridges, Transportation
  • Location: London, Birmingham, Manchester, Bristol
This vacancy has now expired

Why not...

We’re looking to recruit a Client Director – Responsible for our engagement and win business strategy across a number of the Highways England’s directorates. Highways England’s capital budget will double during the next road investment period. We want to ensure that we are appropriately positioned to help our client deliver their programme of work. Furthermore, our client is transforming, and this is leading to a significant opportunity for us to sell new propositions and bring new commercial and delivery models to the market place.

Our business is won and delivered from close, trusted client relationships and built from a broad capability base. This approach has been successful across a wide range of sectors. Looking forward, we want to secure our future by continuing to be recognised as creating the vision for our sector, being part of project teams delivering the most iconic infrastructure projects across the UK. This opportunity within the Strategic Highways Market, part of our Transportation division, is exciting, as we want to strengthen and grow our market position.

Within the Strategic Highways market we have three Client Directors who work across Highways England, our second largest client in Atkins. We have client directors who work with the Operations and Major Programmes directorates. This role will work alongside these and lead all engagement across the remaining directorates (Safety & Engineering Services including innovation, Strategy and Planning and IT).

You will be an innovator who possess the ability to shape our vision and offer in line with our Client’s strategy, ensuring we are supporting them in their delivery of their key outcomes. You will be able to establish trusted relationships with clients and partners and have a track record of leading major pursuits in the UK infrastructure sector. To be successful in the role, you must have the ability to remain focused on our client’s success and develop sustainable, long term partnerships. You will feel as comfortable working across your client contacts, as with supporting our own delivery teams, seeking opportunities to make connections for mutual benefit.

We’re looking for a leader who can make a significant difference, who gets a real ‘kick’ out of developing and winning new business. You will be excellent at quickly establishing rapport and trust with others. You thrive on making connections between people, instinctively making links and introductions to create greater value – for yourself, for the organisation and for the client.

People are at the centre of what you do, focusing on and listening intently to what people say comes naturally to you. In response you provide winning solutions from across our teams that all parties want to buy in to, influencing others round to your way of thinking because it adds real value.

This is a key leadership position within our Strategic Highways market team and will work with the Market Director as part of the senior leadership team.

Key Accountabilities

First and foremost we want to recruit the right person to the team. We will then always aim to work with individuals to make sure that their role plays to their natural strengths.

You will:

• Build winning positions across Highways England’s major projects from within the Strategic Highways market.
• Establish a strategy to grow the business for the Directorates within your portfolio.
• Build a trusted senior level client network.
• Be a team player, a strong voice within the team and provide visible leadership across our matrix organisation.
• Identify how Atkins can bring innovation to the sector, specifically focusing on supporting operational efficiencies within our client base. For example, identify opportunities to leverage our digital design and analytics initiatives.
• Bring tangible benefit to our clients – supporting them to deliver their key outcomes.
• Bring intelligence from local client teams back into the business.
• Ensure that bids are resourced with suitable Bid Directors and Bid Managers, and that win work practices are applied and be ultimately accountable for bid quality (including pre-positioning).
• Where appropriate fulfil the role of Bid Director on priority bids.
• Contribute to the business plan for the for the Strategic Highways market, pipeline review and priorities.
• Secure must wins, agree and achieve targets.
• Provide insight which allows our resource owners in practices to plan resourcing.
• Ensure our digital capability is fully leveraged as a differentiator in our business across Strategic Highways.
• Support the creation of new value propositions, bringing a deep understanding of the client.
• Operate across the community of specialists within Atkins (UK&E and global) to ensure that you are bringing client insight to bear, shaping the agenda to influence development of group capabilities.
• Engage and optimise the use of our Global Design Centre where they can add value and support our bid strategies and delivery


Candidates will have significant knowledge of the highways sector to be able to demonstrate their ability and experience of developing strategic relationships with clients, finding ways to add significant value to the client’s agenda.

They will also have a good understanding of Key Account Management and first class service provision, being able to demonstrate expertise and experience in the following areas:

• Degree level education/ or Chartered
• An inspirational, pragmatic, pro-active and engaging leader.
• A team player, collaborative whilst decisive and entirely at ease working within a matrixed organisation.
• Significant understanding of the market, partners, competitors and challenges faced by the industry, bringing a vision and passion to further develop it.
• Proven track record of building effective networks and identifying/securing new opportunities through new value propositions and partnering with clients.
• Significant experience in operating within a target driven environment, successfully.
• Ability to communicate using a wide variety of mediums and at all levels throughout the client and Atkins organisation.
• Demonstrable experience of operating successfully within a matrixed environment.
• Ability to communicate using a wide variety of methods and at all levels throughout the client and Atkins organisation.
• Ability to influence wider teams to engage positively in support of your goals and objectives.
• High level of commercial acumen.

This role may require security clearance and offers of employment will be dependent on obtaining the relevant level of clearance. If this is necessary it will be discussed with you at interview.

If applying to this role please do not make reference to (in conversation) or include in your application or CV, details of any current or previously held security clearance.

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