PrimeResi brings LonRes the monthly headlines on key property recruitment and business moves from July 2022.
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Knight Frank’s Head of London Sales, James Clarke, is stepping down from his role after two and a half years. Clarke was recently diagnosed with Motor Neurone Disease, an incredibly rare condition with only 1,100 people diagnosed each year. MND is, as yet, an incurable disease which damages and attacks the nerves, stopping signals from the brain reaching the muscles. Knight Frank said it would fully support him as he spends this year fundraising to help others with MND and is encouraging colleagues and friends across the property industry to take part in forthcoming fundraising challenges. Any funds raised will go to ‘My Name’5 Doddie’, the charity founded by Doddie Weir OBE, one of rugby’s most recognisable personalities who also suffers from Motor Neurone Disease. Clarke has been “incredibly successful” at the helm of the London sales division, said the agency, leading a record-breaking performance in the 21-22 financial year, with offices across the network producing their best performance to date. Rory Penn, who set up KF’s now-global Private Office in 2018, has taken over the role. He will also become Chair of the firm’s Private Office, which is based on Baker Street and caters for the agency’s wealthiest clients.
Simon Leadbetter has stepped down as Global CEO of high-end agency Fine & Country after less than a year. He took the reins at F&C last September after holding senior-level marketing roles at Countrywide, Knight Frank and Keller Williams UK. He is now off to “pursue other opportunities.”
Chestertons has also recruited Foxtons’ former Operations Director, Iain Bailey, as its new Head of Property Management. Bailey spent the last 17 years at Foxtons, managing several parts of the property management business, then stepping up to run the “Premier” team, before being promoted to Operations Director.
JLL has promoted Neil Short to Area Director of the Prime Central London Lettings division, nine years after he joined the firm from independent Docklands-based agency Alan Shelby & Partners (which was acquired by CBRE). In his new role, Short will also oversee the running of key offices including Chelsea, Knightsbridge, Mayfair and Marylebone.
Will Matthews has stepped up to run Knight Frank’s Farms & Estates team. Better known in the sector as Stan, he has taken over from Clive Hopkins, who retired in April after 34 years with the firm. Matthews joined the agency in 2003, initially focusing on the sale of prime country houses, before focusing on prime farm and estate sales.
Strutt & Parker has made a brace of senior appointments to its Estates & Farm Agency department, bringing in Will Banham and Chris Johnson to cover the South East and South West regions respectively. Banham returns to S&P as a Director, having previously spent three years with the firm’s Land Management team based in Lewes. Johnson joins Strutts as a Senior Associate Director, in charge of the South West Estates & Farm Agency team from the firm’s Exeter office. He’s spent the last four years with Carter Jonas on Bristol, but now returns to his Devon roots.
Winkworth’s Shepherd’s Bush operation is under new ownership, after Carl Burgess sold the West London estate agency outpost to business partners Rupal and Ravi Patel – who plan to acquire more offices – for an undisclosed sum. Burgess has been at the Winkworth Shepherd’s Bush office for 30 years, starting as a negotiator, then progressing to partner and then owner in 2012. He will remain with the business as a consultant. Rupal Patel has strong form in prime London estate agency, having previously worked at Savills, Benham and Reeves, Goldschmidt & Howland and Ellis & Co. He spent nearly four years at Savills, rising to become Head of the Little Venice and Maida Vale office. Ravi Patel’s career has been in IT, but the duo say it’s been “a long-held ambition” to own and run their own property business.
Acquisitive London estate agency Dexters has expanded its network in the capital again, picking up four-branch South East London firm Conran Estates. This is Dexters’ sixth agency acquisition in the last 12 months.
Yorkshire’s largest independent estate agent, Dacre, Son & Hartley, has opened a new operation in York, recruiting Nick Udovicic to run the show. Udovicic was previously Head of Sales at Savills in Book Green in West London, and a Sales Manager at Chestertons in Wandsworth before that. He moved to the North Yorkshire village of Huby with his young family last year.
Former John D Wood director Jonny Dyson has taken on a new role at PCL property firm Obbard. He joins as a non-exec director to bolster its Chelsea Harbour-based acquisitions team. Dyson has spent over two decades in the agency business, and was recently running ten offices across the capital for John D Wood; he teamed up with fellow agent Terence Long to take over one of Winkworth’s key branches in west London last year, and his CV also includes board-level roles at Jackson-Stops and Hamptons.
The Chief Executive of the Planning Inspectorate, Sarah Richards, has announced that she will step down early this autumn, after six years in the role. An interim leader will be appointed later this year, to run the show while the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities runs a formal recruitment process.
Marcus Jones has been appointed Housing Minister at the Department for Levelling Up,Housing & Communities, replacing Stuart Andrew who left in last month’s exodus from Downing Street that led to the resignation of the Prime Minister. He’s the 11th Housing Minister in 12 years. Andrew’s predecessor was the scandal-hit Chris Pincher.
Luxury London property developer Northacre has announced plans for a global expansion following a major corporate restructure. As reported last month, former CEO Niccolò Barattieri di San Pietro recently stepped down from his post after nine years “to pursue a new business venture”. Now we’ve learned that UAE-based owner SHUAA Capital is combining its real estate-related investment management, development management and asset management businesses under a single platform, and setting up a separate new entity based in London. Under the new umbrella, Northacre will be developing a “diverse and unique” portfolio of projects across the UK and the GCC worth in excess of $3.6bn, alongside its investment and asset management platforms. Jassim Alseddiqi, MD of SHUAA Capital, has been appointed as Northacre’s Chairman; SHUAA’s CEO of Real Estate, Walid El-Hindi, is now Group CEO.
Former CBRE chief Martin Samworth has joined London-based property developer Dominvs Group as a Non-Exec Director. Samworth spent almost 40 years at CBRE, rising to become CEO of the EMEA region, then Group President & CEO, and then Chairman of APAC and EMEA. This is the Dominvs Group’s second heavyweight board hire this year, following the appointment of Martin Meech.
Mixed-use London property developer Rockwell has brought in a new Head of Marketing to promote its brand and projects. Sudipti Singh moves from branding agency FutureBrand, and previously spent four years with property PR firm Socrates Communications.
Cadogan has recruited placemaking guru Giles Semper as Head of Place, to drive a raft of new initiatives across Knightsbridge and Chelsea. Semper has joined the business, which controls 93 acres of PCL property, from Go! Southampton, where he played a key role in the city’s bid to be a UK City of Culture 2025.
Residential property developer London Square has launched two new regional operations, as the company ramps up its ambition to build 2,000 homes a year by 2028. Alan Edgar has joined as Managing Director of the new North London division. He moves from Mount Anvil, where he was production director following director level roles at Berkeley Homes West London and Berkeley, St Edward. Sean Gavin is now Managing Director of London Square South, joining the developer after 12 years as production director at Berkeley Homes and, before that, at Ballymore where he was UK construction director.
PR & marketing specialist Jenny Naylor has been recruited to work on a raft of new projects for super-prime developer Henigman and property management firm Rhodium, both run by Dean Main. Naylor has spent the past four years spearheading the marketing and PR of the Hinduja Group’s Old War Office building on Whitehall, and will continue to provide marketing and PR services in the lead-up to the grand opening.
HBA Residential has recruited William Bles to head up its Westbourne Grove-based London studio. He moved from boutique developer Residence One, where he was Head of Design; his CV also includes senior roles at 1508 London and PDP London.
The British Institute of Interior Design has installed its new president for the 2022-2023 term. Mathew Freeman is founder of luxury resi design practice Freeman Studio, having previously worked with HLM, 33 Interiors, and Goddard Littlefair.
Angel O’Donnell has hired Elizabeth Kelly as Procurement and Project Manager from contractor Cordles; she previously worked at design firm Church & Rose, and also managed the build of two 60-foot super-yachts for Discovery Shipyard.