A Look at Joint Ventures


By Bob Prieto

Fluor Corporation 


 The use of collaborations in accomplishing strategic business objectives has grown considerably over the years with two thirds of the business leaders in a Bank of America Merrill Lynch research survey indicating that they had worked closely in collaboration with at least one other organization and 90% indicating that the future depends on even more collaboration.

These collaborations may take various forms and be driven by factors such as:

  • Scale
  • Complexity
  • Access to technology or intellectual property
  • Satisfying national or local participation goals.

The use of joint ventures (including special purpose vehicle (SPV) and limited liability company (LLC) structures) is a growing practice in the engineering and construction market, driven by the factors above but also by greater use of alternate contracting and project delivery strategies including design build and public private partnerships. While these joint venture structures are all established for finite objectives, the durations of many of them exceed the lifetimes of many companies.

In order to better understand the performance, challenges and areas of focus joint ventures represent, senior engineering and construction industry executives were surveyed to gain a deeper insight. Participants in the survey came from firms experienced in the use of joint ventures each with varying degrees of policies and practices to support their formation and operation.

This paper summarizes the survey findings and recaps with some thoughts on areas requiring added emphasis or effort.

Survey Demographics 

The survey was conducted in January of 2013 among senior executives that had key roles on recent major project joint ventures. These projects included 23 projects and detailed responses from 24 respondents. Projects encompassed the following sectors:


To read entire paper (click here)

About the Author 

bob prietoflag-usaBob Prieto

Senior Vice President


Bob Prieto is a senior vice president of Fluor, one of the largest, publicly traded engineering and construction companies in the world. He is responsible for strategy for the firm’s Industrial & Infrastructure group which focuses on the development and delivery of large, complex projects worldwide. The group encompasses three major business lines including Infrastructure, with an emphasis on Public Private Partnerships; Mining; and Manufacturing and Life Sciences. Bob consults with owner’s of large engineering & construction capital construction programs across all market sectors in the development of programmatic delivery strategies encompassing planning, engineering, procurement, construction and financing. He is author of “Strategic Program Management” and “The Giga Factor: Program Management in the Engineering and Construction Industry” published by the Construction Management Association of America (CMAA) and “Topics in Strategic Program Management” as well as over 400 other papers and presentations.

Bob is a member of the ASCE Industry Leaders Council, National Academy of Construction and a Fellow of the Construction Management Association of America. Bob served until 2006 as one of three U.S. presidential appointees to the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Business Advisory Council (ABAC), working with U.S. and Asia-Pacific business leaders to shape the framework for trade and economic growth and had previously served as both as Chairman of the Engineering and Construction Governors of the World Economic Forum and co-chair of the infrastructure task force formed after September 11th by the New York City Chamber of Commerce.

Previously, he established a 20-year record of building and sustaining global revenue and earnings growth as Chairman at Parsons Brinckerhoff (PB), one of the world’s leading engineering companies.  Bob Prieto can be contacted at [email protected].