1959-early seventies: Listed at the stock exchange and further growth

From the mid-1950s, with no member of the Van der Wal at the head of the company anymore, BAM was strictly speaking no longer a family business. However, the company has always maintained a strong family culture, with a flat structure, multi-person Boards, and encouragement of employee initiative and participation.

In 1959, the Bataafsche Aanneming Maatschappij was listed at the Amsterdam stock exchange. In the prospectus, it was pointed out that the company now offered the full package of construction services, apart from roads and dredging. The issue of shares added to the financial strength of the company, which helped to cover the rising cost of labour.

Fair wages were not the only reason why the company’s employee retention was strong: people felt appreciated in an organisation that trusted them with a fair amount of responsibility, provided training and development and invested in technology. Despite lasting shortages in the labour market in general, the Bataafsche was always able to attract the numbers it needed for its continued growth. In 1965, the company introduced a profit-sharing scheme for its personnel.

By the end of the decade, however, the economic tide turned again, resulting in a buyer’s market. A strong strategic response was essential, not least because both autonomously and through acquisitions, BAM had become much larger than ever before.  At the time of its 100th anniversary in 1969, for instance, turnover had grown to 70 million guilders, from 20 million guilders at the beginning of the decade. BAM decided that ‘service’ was the key word: making life easier for clients by offering services such as project development, project management and industrialisation.

From 1971 onwards, the name ‘BAM’ was no longer just an acronym that could be used instead of the company’s full name. That year saw the establishment of a new company structure, with a holding company and a group of subsidiaries for the different types of construction (residential and non-residential construction, civil engineering, industrial construction, project development and others). The name of the holding company: NV BAM Verenigde Bedrijven.