Irvine Sellar. Developer of the Shard.
Chairman: Anne Ashworth
The UK property market attracts investors from around the globe. This attraction is driven by the stability of the UK market, achieved through strong regulatory control, transparency and liquidity which is often not seen elsewhere. These safe-haven qualities have helped drive the strong signs of recovery seen in the market, initially in London but now slowly starting to expand into the regions. The Property list includes the key players and influencers of these qualities – ensuring that investment demand for the UK market, and thus the recovery, is maintained.
Anne Ashworth is the Assistant Editor and Property Editor of The Times. Her section, Bricks & Mortar, is the Property Supplement of the Year and Ashworth herself is the Property Columnist of the Year. Ashworth has also written for the Daily Mail and The Mail on Sunday as is considered to be a popular and trusted media authority in property discussions.
Charles Ellingworth. Founder Property Vision.
In 1983 Charlie Ellingworth founded Property Vision, offering specialist advice to property buyers. For fifteen years, Ellingworth cultivated the business before it was sold to HSBC. In 2012 the management bought it back and it has become one of the most sought-after property search firms in the country. The eldest of six siblings, Ellingworth read history at Oxford and worked on oil rigs to support himself through university. For Ellingworth, it was “buyers in property, getting a bad deal” that inspired him to establish the company. The brand is now recognised across the world and boasts a broad international client base combined with vast experience of the market in which it operates.
Sir George Iacobescu, CBE. Chief executive Canary Wharf Group.
The chairman and CEO of the Canary Wharf Group, George Iacobescu fled Communist Romania in 1975 where he had been working as a structural engineering. Determined to escape the country, Iacobescu relied on Western contacts to help him break the Iron Curtain. Arriving in the UK in 1988, Iacobescu was appointed to supervise the Canary Wharf project. Since this time he has played a part in the development of the second tallest office building in the UK, One Canada Square; not to mention the global, European or UK Headquarters of HSBC Bank, Citibank, Barclays Bank, Clifford Chance, Morgan Stanley, KPMG, Thompson Reuters, Credit Suisse, the Financial Services Authority and McGraw Hill. Canary Wharf Group also provides free office accommodation to a number of charities.
Harry Handelsman. CEO Manhattan Loft Corporation.
The founding father, developer and CEO of Manhattan Loft Corporation, Harry Handelsman is renowned for his revolutionary and innovative eye. Once ignored London districts such as Bankside, Clerkenwell and King’s Cross have been rejuvenated at the hand of Handelsman. His projects include the impressive restoration of the St Pancras Renaissance Hotel, The Edison and Manhattan Loft Gardens. Born in Germany, Handelsman’s parents were both holocaust survivors, and Handelsman himself lived in Belgium, France, America and Canada before establishing himself in London. It was in America that Handelsman cultivated his love of property and modern art. After experiencing the accommodation of New York hipsters hanging out in their loft apartments, Handelsman decided to recreate the idea in the UK; thus loft-living was born to London.
Ian Hawksworth. Chief executive Capital & Counties.
As the chief executive of Capital and Countries, Ian Hawksworth is tasked with driving the firm’s performance and defining its strategy. Capital and Countries is often described as one of the biggest companies that you have never heard of, it is one of the largest listed property companies in central London with its key assets including both the Earls Court and Covent Garden estates. At the helm of the company, Hawksworth offers over 25 years of global experience to the role. With bold and dynamic ideas, he is credited with pushing the company forward and adding innovation to the industry.
Irvine Sellar. Developer of the Shard.
Irvine Sellar is credited with reforming the Londons skyline, as the revered developer of the Shard. Western Europe’s tallest building juggles both residential and commercial property. Its connection and proximity to London’s transport infrastructure aims to demonstrate the significance of constructing high-density structures around main transport networks. Sellar has very little formal education to his name. He left school at the age of 16 to take over his father’s glove shop. Sellar made his way selling clothes on market stalls around Essex and London and eventually opened his business, Mates by Irvine Sellar, before jumping into property.
John Burton, OBE. Development director Westfield.
The director of development at Westfield, John Burton, was the director in charge of Westfield’s Stratford City project. This functioned as a gateway to the Olympic Park and at £1.45 billion stands as the company’s single largest investment in a project. Westfield’s £200 million redevelopment of Guildford’s The Friary Centre and the £320 million Bradford development have all been led by Burton. With a wealth of international expertise in commercial property, Burton contributed to Westfield’s prospective entry into the Japanese shopping centre market and participated in various shopping centre redesigns in the Australian market.
John Whittaker. Chief executive Peel Holdings.
Real estate magnate John Whittaker is the chief executive of Peel Holdings, one of the principal property investment companies in the country. Peel was heavily involved with the creation of MediaCityUK, which serves as the BBC’s new headquarters despite competition from a number of other venues. Another of the company’s landmark creations was the Manchester shopping mall, the Trafford Centre, which was sold in 2011 for £1.6 billion. A private man, Whittaker himself directs an impressive 312 companies, almost all of which are subsidiaries of the Peel conglomerate.
Joe Montgomery. Chief executive Europe Urban Land Institute.
Joe Montgomery is the chief executive of Europe for the Urban Land Institute, the body that supplies guidance and authority on using land responsibly. It focuses on the provision of generating and sustaining prosperous communities around the world. Montgomery, who became the European chief executive in 2011, has spent nearly 30 years as a specialist in urban regeneration. He has vast experience in public-private collaboration and as a former director general at the UK Government’s Department for Communities and Local Government, Montgomery has played an integral role in informing government and advising policy.
Mike Hussey. Chief executive Almacantar.
Mike Hussey is the chief executive of the property investment and development company, Almacantar. When asked about his influence, Hussey states: “I have always been interested in built form. My inspiration: my parents in terms of personal values. Paul Reichmann and Sir George Iacobescu mentored me in the art of the possible when it came to real estate transactions and development ambition. I have been fortunate enough in recent years to be able to inject a little of my own personality into the schemes I have worked on and with the assistance of wonderful professionals who have helped me create them.” Hussey’s creations have led him to be recognised as an expert in the industry.
Mike Ingall. CEO Allied London.
Mike Ingall began his property career managing various parts of the Crown Estate whilst working for Drivers Jonas. His CV now boasts over 25 years of corporate and real estate development expertise. He is currently the CEO of Allied London, the private property investment company, having led their privatisation in 2000. The firm is now one of the most accomplished private real estate development companies in the UK. Allied London is now a key player and expert in the complex City Centre redevelopment area, thanks to Ingall’s diverse and noteworthy skills.
Nick Candy. Property developer.
Nick Candy used to work in advertising until, with a £6000 loan from his grandmother, he and his brother Chris bought a flat in Earls Court. The pair moved in and renovated the property, and when they sold it eighteen months later they had made a £50,000 profit. For the next four years the duo began renovating flats, pushing themselves further up the property ladder, to the extent that in 1999 they quit their day jobs and established Candy & Candy, now a global, award winning interior design house. NoHo Square and the prestigious One Hyde Park development all feature in Candy’s impressive portfolio.
Peter Wynne Rees. City planning officer City of London.
The head of planning at the City Corporation, Peter Rees, is cited as the custodian of the square mile. It was in 1985 that Rees joined the City of London Corporation. In this role, he guides the Department of Planning and Transportation and oversees the preparation and authorisation of the City’s planning policies. He also negotiates with developers over key planning applications. Raised in Swansea, Rees began his career as an architectural assistant in the historic buildings division of the Greater London Authority and has risen through the ranks ever since. Throughout his lengthy career, the City has seen dramatic transformation, and Rees has been a key character in its change.
Simon Reuben. Joint CEO Reuben Brothers.
Born in Bombay, India, Simon Reuben, along with his brother, David, moved to the UK with his family as a teenager. The boys were sent to a state school in Islington, but Simon never completed his formal education and instead started working in the carpet industry. Today, as joint CEO of the company Reuben Brothers, which he founded with his brother, Reuben has real estate interests all over the world. In the UK, properties include Connaught House on Berkley Square; Milbank Tower; and the John Lewis headquarters in Victoria.
Sir Stuart Lipton. Property developer.
Sir Stuart Lipton is perhaps most renowned for his significant contributions to the Broadgate development in the City, which was developed with Godfrey Bradman in the eighties. Margaret Thatcher once defined the development as The City’s greatest single development since the Great Fire of London reconstruction in 1666. Since this time, Lipton has grown in influence. Despite difficulties in the recession of the early 1990s, he has rebuilt his business. In 2013 he announced his intention to establish his own property development company with Peter Rogers. The firm, Lipton Rogers, targets residential schemes and focuses on promoting cost-cutting with regard to office construction.
Stephen Stone. Chief executive Crest Nicholson.
In 1995, Stephen Stone joined Crest Nicholson. The house-building company builds around 1,600 homes a year across approximately 45 sites around the UK, with a focus on sustainability. Stone has over 30 years’ expertise in the construction industry and is a Chartered Architect by trade. In 1999, Stone was appointed to the company’s Board and in 2005 he became the chief executive. Recognised for his understanding of the market, despite the various challenges that have faced the company following the disintegration of the housing market, Stone his still appreciated for his influence in the industry.
Anthony Pidgley, CBE. Founder and chairman Berkeley Group.
Founder and chairman of the Berkeley Group Tony Pidgley is recognised as being one of the most influential people in property. Pidgley was born to a single mother and later adopted from Barnardos by four travellers. His early years were spent living in a disused railway carriage, and he developed his business acumen cutting trees and selling logs. When he left school at 15, Pidgley could barely read or write. In 1976, he co-founded the Berkeley Group with Jim Farrer. Today, the company is one of the most prominent developers of impressive new homes.
Wang Jialin. Chairman Dalian Wanda.
Wang Jialin is the chairman of Dalian Wanda, the Chinese property conglomerate. Born in 1954 in the Sichuan Province of China, Jialin spent sixteen years serving in the People’s Liberation Army before entering business. Founded in 1988, the company, which is one of China’s largest real estate developers, has diversified from its residential real estate origins to include department stores, cinemas, hotels and karaoke centres. In 2013, Jialin announced that his company would build a hotel on the South Bank of the Thames, set to rival the Ritz. This would become the tallest apartment block in Europe.
Colette O’Shea. Head of development London portfolio Land Securities.
Colette O’Shea is cited as being one of the most powerful and influential women on the London development scene. As the head of development of the London portfolio at Land Securities, O’Shea’s responsibility includes all London office and retail. O’Shea is responsible for overseeing the largest development programme in London. She is accountable for deciding which projects are necessary for London’s landscape, and who will design and construct them. She is also tasked with executing the group’s £500 million portfolio. In an industry where there are 75% more men than women, not only is O’Shea a significant player in the sector’s female minority but across the sector as a whole.
Dame Alison Carnwath, DBE. Chairman Land Securities.
Alison Carnwath is the only female chairman of a FTSE 100 company. Beginning her career as a trainee accountant at KPMG in 1975, Carnwath now sits on the board of Land Securities, the largest commercial property company in the UK. In 1988 she became a director at the investment bank Schroders, a position so untouched by her gender before that they had to install female toilets especially. Becoming chairman of Land Securities in 2008 is considered by Carnwath to be her proudest achievement. In 2014, Carnwath was awarded a DBE in the New Year’s Honours list.
The Duke of Westminster, KG, CB, CVO, OBE, TD, DL. Head of the Grosvenor estate.