Colchester property management company PMS Group celebrates 30th anniversary

Terry Sutton, left, and Keith Puxley of PMS Group.
Picture: PMS

Terry Sutton, left, and Keith Puxley of PMS Group. Picture: PMS - Credit: Archant

A north Essex property management company has celebrated its 30th anniversary - just as its longest-serving employee completes 25 years with the business.

Keith Puxley in earlier days at PMS.
Picture: PMS

Keith Puxley in earlier days at PMS. Picture: PMS - Credit: Archant

Colchester-based PMS Managing Estates was co-founded by Terry Sutton who in 1992 recruited Keith Puxley, then aged 21. Mr Puxley had been made redundant by an accounting firm and happened to be doing some summer gardening work for a firm which provided services to PMS at the properties it managed.

Mr Sutton heard about his office experience, offered him an interview and now, 25 years on, Mr Puxley is the firm’s senior property manager.

At the time Mr Puxley joined the business, Mr Sutton – a former Mayor of Colchester – had been working alone, apart from the company of his dog Ben, an Alsatian-Doberman cross.

Today, PMS consists of two businesses managing a portfolio of more than 6,000 homes across East Anglia, London and the South East, operating from offices on the Severalls Business Park where it has been based since 2007.

Mr Puxley, who lives in Manningtree, said: “It was a lot different in the early years. I only managed a dozen properties but I would do all the work involved in the running of those sites. Compare that with today when we have more than 30 employees, and different departments playing their part in looking after each development.”

He added: “I had no industry experience when I joined. The moral of the story is never to turn work down even if it is not something you usually do.

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“Ben the dog was a popular company fixture. He had a lovely nature but could be a bit intimidating when visitors saw him for the first time. We used to joke that he was head of security.”

Mr Sutton, now company chairman, said: “Keith is a highly respected member of our team, with a wealth of information on the developments we manage. With long-term members of staff like Keith you know the company is in good hands.”

All PMS property management staff have achieved, or are working towards, relevant industry qualifications, with Mr Puxley now an associate of the Institute of Residential Property Managers.

He added: “The industry is unrecognisable from my early years; we are now members of several different bodies whose code we adhere to, plus all the industry legislation which has come into force. But the job has always provided plenty of variety, and I am lucky that I have a good relationship with all the staff at PMS.”