PrimeResi brings LonRes the monthly headlines on key property recruitment and business moves from April 2022.
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National buying agency Heaton & Partners has recruited a former Knight Frank and Savills agent to cover the southern region, including Berkshire, Hampshire and Wiltshire. Patrick Bishop has spent the last two years with Knight Frank in Hampshire, having previously been with Savills in Newbury for six years.
Prime Central London property consultancy Aldersley London is expanding its business, launching a top-end estate agency to run alongside buying agency and development services. The move into property sales has been prompted by “increasing demand, coupled with a sustained period of growth,” explains founder Edward Aldersley – who hopes to recruit “some of the leading property professionals within the prime central London market” to the team.
Foxtons’ Chief Operating Officer, Patrick Franco, has left the business and stepped down from the board. CEO Nic Budden has taken over COO duties. “Cost control continues to be an area of focus,” explained Chairman Nigel Rich, “and over the last six months the company’s actions have included simplifying its Executive and Senior Management structures.”
Strutt & Parker and its parent company BNP Paribas Real Estate UK have set up a London-based Private Clients department, bringing in Alexander Millett to advise high- and ultra-high-net-worth folk on real estate matters across the UK. Millett set up an eponymous boutique residential property agency in 2017. He previously spent six years with Knight Frank as a Partner in the Knightsbridge office, and 12 years with JLL (formerly WA Ellis). Existing AM clients are moving with Millett to the new S&P offering.
Strutt & Parker has also made senior appointments in two key regional offices. In Cambridge, former Chestertons Director Lawrence Brown joins as Director and Head of Residential Sales, while Becky Eeles has been recruited as Associate Director and Head of Residential lettings.
And in Edinburgh, David Law has joined Strutt & Parker as Head of Residential, having spent the last 15 years with Foxtons in London. A new Senior Associate Director has also been appointed in the Scottish capital; Judy Shields joins S&P having previously worked at McEwan Fraser and Rettie & Co.
Savills has hired Chanelle Gray as head of diversity and inclusion (D&I) for its UK business. Gray joins the agency after 13 years in the Civil Service. Her new role involves working with the management team and employees across the business to lead, deliver and evolve the firm’s D&I strategy, which includes overseeing its six D&I groups covering disability, gender, ethnicity, LGBTQ+, socio-economic and age.
One of the biggest property firms in Nigeria has chosen London as the location for its first international office. Jide Taiwo & Co, which counts over 41 offices and a team of 400 including 60 chartered surveyors, will be opening a bricks-and-mortar operation in the UK capital this month. Services will include sales, lettings, investment, valuation, development and property management; Olawunmi Olashore, Head of International Markets, will be managing the team.
Boutique agency House Collective has expanded with a new office on Holland Park Avenue, covering the Notting Hill and Holland Park patch. Will Vaughan is at the helm, having recently joined after a nine-year stint running John D Wood’s office in Notting Hill.
A well-known Wimbledon agent has launched a new boutique firm targeting the neighbourhood’s high-end property market. Mark Beim has founded Wimbledon Homes after spending more than two decades living in the local area and working for premium agencies including Robert Holmes, Knight Frank and Coombe Residential. The lettings arm is being run by Lisa Gentry, formerly of Coombe Residential.
Celebrity real estate brokerage Nest Seekers International has launched a new “London Desk” in New York, to funnel wealthy American house-hunters towards prime property in the British capital. The American firm expanded into the UK a couple of years ago, under the watch of Daniel McPeake. Nest Seekers’ new NY-Lon operation – known as the Brooks Division – aims to “bridge the gap between the New York and London property markets”, tapping into the “buoyant” UK market. It’s being led by two established Nest Seekers brokers: Rubens Brotto and Arthur Kotliarovas – both based in the firm’s European HQ on Piccadilly.
Tech-led Irish auction house BidX1, which described itself as “Europe’s leading digital property investment platform” has appointed estate agency and PropTech impresario Grenville Turner as Chairperson. Turner is a former CEO of Countrywide Plc, Founding Director of Rightmove, and a past Director of Zoopla.
West London “off-market” property sales platform Invisible Homes has hired Matt Hallissey as COO. Hallissey moves from tech-led modular housebuilder TopHat, where he was involved from early start-up stage, as Head of Strategy, through to the business securing £75mn investment from Goldman Sachs and beyond.
Estate agency veteran and activist investor Robin Paterson has joined “iBuyer” start-up firm UPSTIX as a Partner and founding shareholder. The former Hamptons CEO is currently co-Chair of Sotheby’s International Realty UK (having acquired the franchise in 2014) and of serviced apartment firm Stayo, and lead partner of Catalist Partners – which is a vocal investor in Foxtons and had lots to say about Countrywide Plc. UPSTIX was set up by serial proptech entrepreneur Giles Mackay – who also founded property market analytics company Hometrack (now part of Zoopla) – at the end of 2021.
Knight Frank’s former Global Head of Residential, Lord Andrew Hay, has joined Sandy Mitchell’s Redbook Agency as non-executive Chairman. Hay was Global Head of Residential at Knight Frank until 2020, when he retired after 37 years with the firm. He’s now been brought in to help “affirm RedBook’s reputation for the highest quality of professional advice, and signals its ambition to expand its growing business in the UK and internationally.”
Interior design studio Angel O’Donnell has recruited a new director of sales. Ben Axton has joined the four-year-old firm from Accouter Group, having previously spent seven years at Alexander James Interiors, where he led sales across London & the Home Counties. Before moving into the interior design world, he worked at estate agencies Goldschmidt & Howland, Hamptons and Knight Frank.
Planning and design consultancy Barton Willmore has been bought by international engineering and project management business Stantec. Founded in 1936, BW claims to Britain’s largest independent, interdisciplinary consultancy.
Knight Frank has added six new faces to its London Planning team, as it announces a “major drive” to scale up the firm’s town planning offering. Anthony Childs is the most senior of the new recruits, joining as an Associate. He moves from Bidwells, where he was an Associate in the Planning team. The five other new Knight Frankers are: Senior Planner, Ellen Nicholson; Planner, Becky Anderson; and Graduate Planners Emily Brosnan, Julie Papouskova and Sophie Carty.
Rapidly-expanding housebuilding construction technology firm Modulous has installed its first UK Managing Director. Former Finance Director Jason Bennett-Meere has been promoted to the newly-created role, as the off-site building business prepares to close its Series A funding round and launch a software tool that promises to “enable the global delivery of high quality, sustainable, affordable homes at pace and scale.”
The Howard de Walden Estate has bolstered its executive committee with a trio of new appointments. David McArthur, Head of Investment; Andrea Merrington, Planning and Engagement Director; and Craig Clements, Director of Operations, have all stepped up at the organisation, which owns some 850 buildings across a 92-acre swathe of Marylebone.
Raffles Hotels & Resorts has brought in Andrew Broniszewski to oversee residential operations at The OWO, the Hinduja Group’s forthcoming super-prime scheme in Whitehall. Broniszewski’s was formerly Head Concierge at One Hyde Park, as well as holding roles at Lancelot Place in Knightsbridge, and most recently with Dorchester Collection and Clivedale at Mayfair Park Residences.
The Property Ombudsman scheme has appointed a new Deputy Ombudsman. Lesley Horton will work alongside the Ombudsman, Rebecca Marsh. Horton has previously worked at the Solicitors Regulatory Authority and at FTSE 100 tech company Sage. She’s also been on the Cumbria Police & Crime Commissioner’s Ethics & Integrity Panel for several years, and is an Independent Decision Maker for The Bar Standards Board.
Jackie Bennett OBE has been named as the new chairperson of the Residential Property Forum – the Bank of England-convened, industry-led group, which helps monitor the resi property sector in the UK. Bennett brings 20 years of mortgage industry experience to the table, and currently serves as a Senior Advisor for UK Finance.
The Association of Residential Managing Agents (ARMA) and the Institute of Residential Property Management (IRPM) have merged to create a new trade body, called The Property Institute. Former IRPM Chief Executive Andrew Bulmer is running the new TPI as CEO, with former ARMA Chief Exec, Dr Nigel Glen, as Executive Chair.