It was the year 2006. NASA launched the first space mission to Pluto, Twitter hit the social media stage, Google took over YouTube, and the LCI odyssey began.
During this time, Mergers and Acquisitions were all the rage as a means for stagnant businesses to level up in the progression plan stakes. Two Melbourne-based LCI Directors, Yogesh Raju and Ciaran Mooney, joined a roundtable discussion during a national industry conference in Adelaide.
Following a blue-sky brainstorming session with key colleagues, Yogesh and Ciaran emerged with a Business Plan in hand. Touting their wares around the globe, the two leaders left a trail of hungry firms in their wake, eager to join as equity partners to bolster their existing offering.
A chance encounter in The Big Apple heralded the dawn of LCI. With financial backing from a seed funder, Yogesh and Ciaran joined forces with Val Lehr of Lehr Consultants International (LCI), New York. In 2007, as a new year commenced, LCI Australia was born. Starting as a consultancy firm from humble beginnings, LCI was one full-time employee strong, operating from a desk in the corner of the seed funder’s office in Melbourne, Victoria.
As with any entity enjoying New York City connections, the LCI merger benefited from Val Lehr’s marketing and technical support, as well as his international exposure. Within 8 short weeks, the firm achieved full compliance, and by April it had doubled in size. The first pay cheque rolled out in April, and by the end of that month, LCI Australia had grown sixfold.
It was time for a brand-new office space.
LCI Australia’s meteoric expansion continued, boosted by LCI New York’s support in winning numerous strategic projects. With an ever-strengthening reputation, the firm began targeting high-value projects. The successful bids dictated the need for a 50-strong staff pool, and LCI Australia rose to the occasion.
By 2008, the Victorian-based business was ready to expand Nationally. In 2009, LCI Queensland emerged with full Australian ownership. This move sparked an idea that ignited an ownership vision fundamental to the longevity and success of LCI. Staff would become shareholders of LCI, building a tight-knit family with accountability and motivation to provide the best service possible.
In a strategic move, the Directors bought all existing shares from non-staff members and slowly divested ownership to key members of staff. By 2010, LCI achieved its mission: becoming a 100% Australian staff-owned and operated entity.
The company’s progress, however, did not stop there.
In 2012, the LCI team upskilled to include Fire Engineering, ESD, BIM Modelling, and Facility Management Advisory.
By 2013, LCI had grown to 100 staff, servicing projects across Australia, Asia Pacific, UAE, Europe, and supporting the US.
In 2015, two Melbourne staff members traveled to NSW, commencing ground operations in Sydney.
In 2017, a team of specialist Directors, (former colleagues of the founding members), joined LCI’s board. LCI Sydney was official, boasting a spectacular rate of expansion towards a 60-strong staff pool within 2 years.
In 2019, LCI opened a Canberra office. This was followed closely by the acquisition of a Perth business in 2020.
After 14+ years of operation, LCI has matured into a truly home-grown Australian entity with traditional family values. Today we’re proud to own five offices across Australia, serviced by 180+ staff. Over 40% of the staff are owners, and this proportion increases annually.
The success of LCI’s story is a testament to the dedication, aspirations, and vision of its staff. With a business built on the foundations of trust, respect, diversity, culture, knowledge, customer service, and loyalty, we look forward to many decades bringing many more successful design solutions to our Clients.
We cultivate a challenging and courageous culture
We are a transparent company
Colleagues are our family
Every idea counts
We do what we say
We innovate and take pride in everything we do
We act ethically, with integrity and honesty
We listen, collaborate and nurture long term relationships
We celebrate success