A leading construction industry management consultant and investment banking firm is expanding its architectural focus. FMI, of Raleigh, North Carolina, purchased Advanced Management Institute (AMI), of Napa, California, in February, allowing it to target the architecture clients that AMI has traditionally served. 

The 55-year-old FMI has chiefly served contractors, but the growth of design/build has created a larger pool of architects and engineers who could benefit from its services, says Hank Harris, FMI’s president and CEO. “We think it’s going to be a great combination for the industry,” he adds.

AMI has offered leadership development, training, and consulting to architecture and engineering firms since its president, Louis L. Marines, founded the firm 19 years ago. Marines previously served as chief executive officer of the American Institute of Architects from 1984 to 1989.

With five employees and a stable of experts as consultants, AMI has served roughly 50 design firms on average each year. “Our aim has been to empower architects to add to their professional toolbox,” Marines says. “The FMI relationship gives us many more resources to do that with.”

Marines plans to stay on as a consultant at AMI, which will keep its trademark name. Including AMI’s five staff members, FMI now employs around 165 workers. It expects to open a California office within two years, likely in Walnut Creek near San Francisco, to replace its Napa office; it also has offices in Phoenix, Denver, and Tampa. Marines and Harris declined to discuss their private companies’ revenues or the purchase price.