The Logistics Megadeal Advisor
Alison Abbey is senior vice president at Eastdil Secured focusing on pan-European logistics transactions, and has been at the heart of some of the world’s largest real estate deals in the past few years.
Abbey has 16 years of logistics real estate investment experience, including 12 years working across Europe. Eastdil advised Blackstone in its €12.5B sale of Logicor to CIC in November. In this capacity, she played an integral role in the largest private real estate M&A deal on record. Abbey has managed and advised on large-scale logistics transactions totaling more than €20B, including GIC’s purchase of P3 for €2.4B in 2016.
Before joining Eastdil in early 2016, she was vice president of transactions for Prologis.
Abbey is an explorer by nature and enjoys travelling in her spare time. She developed her own travel app and in 2017 travelled to all seven continents, completing a 12-day expedition to Antarctica at the end of the year.
The Queen of Sheds
Ekaterina Avdonina is managing director of the DCAM team. She was instrumental in establishing the business in 2012 and has grown it into one of Europe’s leading logistics real estate businesses, with joint venture partners including Blackstone.
Previously, Avdonina was with ING Real Estate in the Netherlands and before that was with GVA in Moscow, where she focused on the execution of development projects.
A keen linguist, she is focused on improving her Dutch and Italian language skills, having already mastered Russian, French and English. She also works with several charities.
The Private Equity Chief
Jo Allen is chief executive of Frogmore, a manager of U.K. private equity real estate funds. She joined the firm in 1994 and is responsible for the day-to-day running of the business.
She is a member of the company’s investment committees, oversees all asset management activities post-acquisition and plays a lead role on Frogmore’s equity-raising team, which involves pitching to potential and current investors worldwide.
Allen started her career in real estate in the West End of London office of Richard Ellis (now CBRE) in 1988.
Out of the office she likes nothing better that spending time with her husband, Justin Brand, at their home in Norfolk, scuba diving (warm water only) and keeping fit. For her 50th birthday in 2017, Allen completed the London Marathon, raising £155K for the Willow Foundation.
Sherin Aminossehe recently joined Lendlease as head of offices, taking the helm of some of the company’s largest regeneration projects, including the £2.4B International Quarter London in Stratford.
Previously, she held the dual role of chief executive at the Government Property Unit at the Cabinet Office and head of property profession for the Civil Service, a position she likened to playing with the largest Lego set around.
An architect and master planner by trade, Aminossehe has worked on some large-scale and complex projects across countries such as Saudi Arabia — where she swam in floods — United Arab Emirates, China, India and Russia, where she had the unenviable task of introducing design codes for the first time in St. Petersburg in front of a hostile audience of 30 Russian architects.
When she steps away from her Lego set, Aminossehe picks up her pens and sketchbook and can be found drawing buildings and cityscapes in a quiet corner with a cup of Earl Grey tea by her side.
The Debt Fund Doyen
Amy Aznar is responsible for LaSalle's U.K. and European debt platform, which takes in investments in structured debt and equity, performing and non-performing debt, private real estate operating companies, large-scale joint ventures and corporate sale and leasebacks. She has been responsible for completing £2B of debt and structured equity investments in 52 transactions since 2010. Aznar is also on LaSalle Investment Management’s U.K. management board.
Aznar rejoined LaSalle in 2008, having previously spent five years at JLL. Prior to this she was managing director of global principal investments at Merrill Lynch in London, where she was responsible for transactions across Europe and led numerous deals, including the acquisition of a €13B portfolio of non-performing loans and a loan-servicing company from Banca Intesa in Italy.
The Olympic Games Were Brought To You By ...
Lorraine Baldry has held many roles in her 45 years in business and government, with arguably the highest-profile being board member and chairman of planning at the Olympic Delivery Authority. Her experience spans a wide range of industries including technology, broadcasting, distribution, healthcare, utilities, real estate and financial services.
She is chairman of London & Continental Railways, Schroder Real Estate Investment Trust, Inventa Partners and Hydroxyl Technologies.
Baldry was chief executive of Chesterton International and prior to that held various senior positions at Prudential Corp., Morgan Stanley and Regus. She is an honorary member of the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors and a past president of the British Property Federation.
Outside work, her main interests are in the arts and staying in country house hotels with her husband, Don, and their fox red Labrador, Bear.
The Managing Partner
Trish Barrigan is the managing partner and one of the co-founders of Benson Elliot Capital Management, a pan-European private equity real estate firm with more than €2B of assets under management. Prior to Benson Elliot she was chief strategy officer and head of global real estate investments for the Dubai Investment Group, overseeing growth in the firm’s portfolio of direct investments from $500M to $3B. Prior to that, she spent 10 years at Goldman Sachs, based in London, Paris and New York, primarily in real estate principal investing and portfolio management.
In her spare time, Barrigan enjoys spending time with her family and competing in triathlons of varying distance from sprint to middle distance.
The Institutional Lender
Lorna Brown joined LGIM Real Assets' private credit business as head of real estate debt in January. Her role will be to develop the existing real estate debt business and expand its scope for internal and external clients.
Having qualified as a chartered surveyor in 2000, Brown has worked at DTZ, RBS and most recently at Blackstone. As a managing director at Blackstone she was responsible for sourcing, evaluating and asset managing real estate investments across Europe.
Brown is an advocate for the Women in Finance Charter, which aims to improve gender diversity and Legal & General’s ambitions of a 50/50 leadership team gender split by 2020. She said she is pleased to be part of a forward-looking company that embraces strong women in business whilst recognising the importance of balancing work and family life.
As a mother of two boys, Brown spends her spare time with her family and working on her golf swing to improve her handicap.
The Pension Fund Manager For 350,000 People
Jenny Buck joined Tesco in October 2011 and has responsibility for the property and alternative portfolios of the company’s £10B pension fund. The pension fund’s property portfolio invests in direct property in the U.K. and unlisted property funds to gain global real estate exposure. The alternatives portfolio includes private equity, hedge funds, infrastructure funds and various other investments.
Her career started at Grosvenor and ran through Erstye Bank before joining Schroders. Between 2001 and 2010, Buck was responsible for Schroders’ property fund of funds business. Over this time, she grew funds under management from £150M to £1.8B, and the business developed from a U.K.-centric one to a global division with offices in London, Amsterdam and Hong Kong.
Outside of work she enjoys travel and has an ambition to have visited more countries than her age — she is ahead of the run rate. Off-the-beaten-track locations include Pakistan and Ethiopia.
Giulia Bunting is a planning director and former board member at GL Hearn (part of Capita), prior to which she was head of planning at Drivers Jonas. She also has five years’ experience in local government.
Bunting is one of the U.K.’s leading planning consultants, with more than 35 years’ experience of delivering some of the U.K.'s largest urban regeneration projects, including Liverpool One, and has been responsible for securing consent for several major London developments, including the iconic extension to Tate Modern. She is particularly active in the Vauxhall Nine Elms Battersea Opportunity Area.
She is immediate past president of Revo, the organisation representing the retail property industry, where access, diversity and inclusion was a key theme of her tenure. She sits on Revo's Operating Board and Strategy Board, the BPF Development Committee, the New London Architecture Sounding Board and the Government's Distressed Property Taskforce.
Bunting enjoys spending time with her family, splitting her time between London and Dorset, where she enjoys walking and cycling, and is a keen skier.
The Outlet Mall Pioneer
Julia Calabrese is McArthurGlen's chief executive, responsible for the operation of the company's portfolio of 24 designer outlets across nine countries in Europe and Canada. The company pioneered the concept of outlet retailing in Europe, opening its first centre — Cheshire Oaks — in 1995.
As part of its strategy to grow its portfolio of retail space to 9.7M SF by 2020, the company is underway or in planning on four new designer outlets and has a pipeline of expansions across its existing centres.
Calabrese joined McArthurGlen in 1998 as chief operating officer and became CEO in 2002. She was previously senior managing director at global real estate services company Cushman & Wakefield. Before this, she worked with Joey Kaempfer, McArthurGlen’s founder and chairman, at Kaempfer Management Services, specialising in high-rise office development in Washington, D.C.
Just ask Francis Salway how influential Alison Carnwath can be — she gave the former Landsec chief executive six months to save his job when she became chairman. Carnwath was appointed to the board of the U.K.'s largest REIT as a non-executive director in September 2004 and became chairman in November 2008. She worked in investment banking and corporate finance for 20 years before pursuing a portfolio career.
During her banking career, Carnwath became the first female director of J. Henry Schroder Wagg & Co. and was also a senior partner at Phoenix Securities and a managing director at Donaldson, Lufkin & Jenrette.
Carnwath is chairman of the U.K. private equity firm Livingbridge (formerly known as ISIS Equity Partners), a non-executive director of Zurich Insurance Group Limited and Paccar Inc. (a Fortune 500 company), and a senior advisor to Evercore Partners.
Amanda Clack is an executive director at CBRE, where she is head of strategic consulting and a member of the U.K. board and executive committee.
She is the immediate global past president for the RICS and had the longest tenure of any president since the late 19th century. She was only the second female president in the organisation’s 135-year history.
Clack is a programme and change expert for business, particularly within the built environment. She has been a partner in the Big Four, most recently EY, where she was head of infrastructure advisory and, prior to that, PwC where she led the consulting business across the South East and worked on real estate and infrastructure. She has been an advisor to the Government in several capacities, including reporting in to No. 10 in bringing high-risk programmes back on track.
Her interests including sailing, in which she has competed in races around the world as a qualified skipper, and music — she trained as a classical pianist and briefly studied at the Royal School of Music. She designed and built her own house.
The Investment Agent Supreme
Sue Clayton has worked in commercial property investment markets for more than 30 years, and is recognised as one of the U.K.’s most successful investment agents. She is an executive director at CBRE and a former managing director of capital markets in London. She has sat on CBRE U.K.’s executive and management boards and the CBRE Group board in the U.S. She now leads some of CBRE’s biggest client relationships. She is chair of CBRE’s U.K. Women’s Network, now in its 12th year, which recently won the Corporate Award from diversity champion Women of the Future.
During her career at CBRE, Clayton has bought and sold a number of major portfolios, including the £675M Industrious portfolio, which she bought on behalf of Brixton plc. She created some of the early limited partnerships enabling joint ownership of real estate assets, including the Woodside Limited Partnership and the £250M Heathrow Big Box Fund. She also created a £300M property portfolio for the BBC Pension Scheme.
Clayton is passionate about ensuring a career in property is open to all and that women are able to fulfill their potential and reach senior levels in the real estate industry. She is a founder of Real Estate Balance and a trustee of the Reading Real Estate Foundation. In recognition of her work in promoting gender balance, Clayton regularly attends Duke of Edinburgh Award Women’s Network Forum meetings at Buckingham Palace, hosted by HRH the Countess of Wessex.
Clayton is married to former England rugby player Marcus Rose and has two children. She is keen on sport and is a regular spectator at Stamford Bridge and Twickenham and plays golf at Royal Wimbledon and Liphook golf clubs.
The Mega-Sovereign Fund Manager
Madeleine Cosgrave is responsible for the investment strategy and real estate portfolio in Europe for one of the world's largest sovereign wealth funds, Singapore's GIC. She is also a member of GIC RE’s global investment committee. On her watch, from her London base, the fund has been a big investor in portfolios and operating platforms, like pan-European logistics firm P3, which it bought for €2.4B in late 2016. She sits on the boards of P3 and French office investor Cegereal.
Prior to joining GIC in 1999, Cosgrave spent 10 years at JLL, joining the graduate scheme and rotating through valuation, fund management and capital markets. During her time there she worked both in London and as a development consultant in Sydney.
The Banker and Adventurer
Since starting in real estate 17 years ago, Selina Dicker has worked in a diverse range of institutions, starting at Rothschild Bank, followed by Capmark, where she was responsible for senior debt and also set up the Continental Europe Real Estate JV equity investment platform.
In 2010 she moved to Ireland to take up the role of corporate finance team leader at the National Asset Management Agency, the Irish real estate agency set up in the wake of the property crash. After two years restructuring the largest of NAMA’s debt exposures, she returned home to London to set up a new mezzanine debt fund for Europa Capital.
She is now a director at Lloyds Bank, where she is responsible for institutional clients. Over the years she has financed and restructured assets ranging from Winnersh Triangle Business Park, the Albert Dock in Liverpool, various London five-star hotels, Cititower in Canary Wharf, various high-end retail assets in Mayfair, high-end residential developments in the Alps and South of France, supermarkets and large shopping centres in Germany, PRS and hotel developments in the U.K. and golf courses in Portugal.
Outside work, Dicker is an active sportswoman, competing in sailing events around the world on behalf of Great Britain. More recently she took up mountaineering and during sabbaticals made two attempts to reach the summit of Mount Everest, which sadly ended in well-publicised major disasters from which she said she was very lucky to escape in one piece.
The Victor in Victoria
Kaela Fenn-Smith has had a career spanning 25 years in the property industry and has worked as both an agent and a principal. As head of commercial at Landsec, Fenn-Smith delivered a 3M SF leasing and marketing programme across London and was a driving force behind Landsec's transformation of Victoria.
In Victoria, Landsec developed 1.5M SF of new retail, office and residential development, including the Nova Food Quarter, and the scheme is now home to global businesses such as Deutsche Bank, Jimmy Choo and Egon Zehnder.
Fenn-Smith spent nine years in Canada with CBRE and prior to joining Landsec in 2010 acted as leasing director at both CBRE and JLL in London, where Landsec was her biggest client.
She is married and has two daughters aged 9 and 11. She is an avid skier and has a passion to travel the world with her family. This year she is re-prioritising her time to be with her family and is focusing on her role at Great Ormond Street Hospital, where she chairs the property and development committee, monitoring the redevelopment of the hospital.
Fenn-Smith has been passionate about gender diversity throughout her career and enjoys mentoring women. She is also focusing on talking to people across the industry to influence the further success of women in the property sector.
Margaret Ford started her career in brownfield regeneration in 1979 as a raw graduate, as the steel works closed in Glengarnock in her native Ayrshire. She is still at it, nearly 40 years later. Many of her roles have been as a principal for Government, delivering, amongst other things, the first privately financed prison in Scotland and the then-largest acute hospital and university complex at the Royal Infirmary of Edinburgh. Taking on the chair of English Partnerships, she oversaw the regeneration of the English coalfields and the sale of the Millennium Dome, as well as driving the merger of the Housing Corp. and English Partnerships that created the HCA.
Returning to her brownfield roots, Ford delivered the physical legacy from the 2012 Olympic Games as the founding chair of the Olympic Park Legacy Co. She has also served on the boards of some large listed property companies, such as chairing Grainger plc, Taylor Wimpey plc, Segro plc and NewRiver plc. To prove there is life beyond property, she is chair of STV plc. She is also chair of the Challenge Board, which is overseeing the 10-year renovation of Buckingham Palace.
Ford and her husband are renovating a Georgian estate in Ayrshire and her foundation is building a lifelong-learning centre there for young adults with epilepsy and autism. She is the national president of Epilepsy Action, chair of the STV Children’s Appeal and a trustee of the British Olympic Association.
The Woman Who Knows Everyone
Susan Freeman is a partner in the real estate department at law firm Mishcon de Reya, and is known as one of the best-connected lawyers in the sector. She is also the business development partner for her department.
She is a member of the Mishcon Technology Group, which has recently launched MDR LAB — an incubator programme for tech startups in the legal space. Freeman has also mentored for the Pi Labs accelerator programme for PropTech startups and is a regular speaker on the PropTech circuit. Other key interests are retail, travel, politics and the New Forest.
Freeman is an active member of a number of property-related organisations, including London Chamber of Commerce Property and Construction Committee. She is also on the advisory boards of Seaforth Land and Work.Life.
The First Lady of the Last Mile
Teresa Gilchrist is a director and head of investor relations and new business at industrial specialist M7 Real Estate.
A founding partner of M7 in 2009, she has been part of a team that has grown the business from 10 to more than 200 people working across 17 offices in 13 countries. Gilchrist has worked in the industry for more than 24 years and prior to M7 held positions at GPT Halverton, INVESCO Real Estate, PwC and Chesterton.
A keen runner, Gilchrist has completed marathons in her 20s, 30s and 40s and is focusing on upping her golf game.
The Leasing Agent Extraordinaire
Emma Goodford is a partner at Knight Frank and is a leading authority on the South East office market. Her career at Knight Frank spans 30 years and she now heads the national offices team.
She has advised on more than 3.2M SF of disposals during her leasing career. From 2014-16 she managed the EMEA tenant representation business, dealing with corporate occupier teams across the region.
Recent key deals Goodford has been involved in include the letting of 200K SF to Legal & General at City Park Hove and the development consultancy and leasing for Abstract Securities’ 100K SF Renaissance Croydon scheme.
She chairs the Respect Diversity and Inclusion initiative at Knight Frank and champions diversity within the business.
Goodford and her wife, Becky, have 4-year-old twins and three whippets. Fascinated by sharks and a keen scuba diver, she loves flat racing, trees, her 15-year-old Porsche and the Lake District, where she walks reluctantly. She has recently taken up cycling in the Chiltern Hills and plans to take part in the Legal & General PedElle, a 400-kilometre, three-day ride from Copenhagen to Berlin.
The Chief Exec Leading The PRS Charge
Helen Gordon is chief executive of Grainger, the U.K.’s largest listed residential landlord.
Gordon was appointed chief executive of Grainger in January 2016 after a stint at Royal Bank of Scotland, where she had been global head of real estate asset management since October 2011, dealing with portfolios across the world but particularly the U.K., Germany, Ireland and the U.S.
Prior to that she was director of Legal & General Property, responsible for the main Life Fund and one of the largest portfolio of shopping centres in the U.K., the development of Central Saint Giles and the Walbrook Site. She was group property director of Railtrack and managing director of John Laing Developments.
Gordon sits on the board of Derwent London as a non-executive director and is a board director of the European Public Real Estate Association and junior vice president of the British Property Federation.
Outside of work, Gordon enjoys sailing, walking and the theatre.
The Thrice-Listed COO
Sandy Gumm has been chief financial officer and then chief operating officer of Prestbury since December 1997, having left Burford with Nick Leslau in 1997 to establish the company. Her tenure has spanned the listing and profitable exits of Prestbury Group Plc and Max Property Group Plc and the listing of Secure Income REIT Plc in June 2014. Subsequent placings have seen SIR grow from a £293M market cap at listing to around £830M today, together with many other acquisitions, disposals, demergers, financings and refinancings over that period.
An interest in baking, which results in Monday morning deliveries of cakes and biscuits to the Prestbury office, is necessarily balanced with frequent early morning gym sessions and gym-based challenges.
The Woman Shaping the City of London
Annie Hampson is the City of London Corp.’s chief planning officer and development director.
Hampson leads a team of planners, designers, conservationists and archaeologists. Her department is responsible for managing and promoting development and safeguarding the historic environment. Its wide breadth of projects includes groundbreaking wind modelling work, award-winning delivery of green roofs, cycling promotion, protecting London’s viewing corridors and increasing the offer of high-level viewing galleries. She has been involved in some way in virtually every planning project in the City, including the redevelopment of over a third of the City and the reuse of many historic buildings.
During Hampson's tenure as chief planning officer, the City Corp.’s planning department has won several awards including Local Planning Authority of the Year and the prestigious Mayor’s Prize for Planning Excellence at the 2017 London Planning Awards.
Her interests outside work are her family, her dog, travel, culture, architecture, walking and cycling, including a number of charity cycle rides.
The Build-to-Rent Bigwig
As senior development director at Greystar, Michela Hancock leads the development business in the U.K. She oversees execution of current projects including financing, amenity and unit planning, design, entitlements, construction and lease-up efforts on multifamily and student developments. In addition, Hancock is helping to secure a pipeline of 10,000 units in the next three to four years, one of the biggest development programmes in the U.K residential sector.
She is vice chairman of the Urban Land Institute’s U.K. Residential Council, a member of the British Property Federation Build-to-Rent Committee and a board member, treasurer and chair of the events and marketing committee of the United Kingdom Apartment Association.
The London Affordable Housing Pioneer
Olivia Harris was appointed as chief executive of Dolphin Living in April 2017, overseeing a portfolio of 600 homes and a development pipeline of around 200 more with a development budget of more than £60M.
Previously, she was finance director at Dolphin providing financial and commercial oversight on a wide range of property and related projects, including debt and fund raising. During her time at Dolphin Living, Harris has raised over £100M of debt including a retail charity bond, £53M facility from Canada Life and £26M from the HCA Build-to-Rent fund.
Since 2012 Dolphin Living has invested more than £160M in homes in London, and Harris has played an integral part in all acquisitions including the New Era estate in Hackney and most recently a site in Camberwell, as well as joint ventures with Berkeley, Thornsett, Argent and Barratt.
The Capital Connector
Sue-Lin Heng is a managing director at Eastdil Secured, and is part of the operating committee of Eastdil Europe. She has more than 15 years working experience in the real estate and hospitality sector in both investment sales and corporate advisory services and has sold more than $10B worth of real estate across Europe and Asia. She is head of European hotel transactions and alternatives (student accommodation, serviced apartments and PRS), managing client relationships with key Asian buyers and facilitating cross-border capital flows.
Key deals she has led include the sale of the LRG hotels portfolio for around £1.2B for GIC, Realstar and Silverpeak, the sale of IFC Seoul for around $2.2B for AIG, and she is working on more than £1B of PRS and student housing deals at the moment.
Her interests include kitesurfing (even in the U.K.), skiing and moseying out of town in her Defender.
The Woman Helping Fund Britain's Health System
Elaine Hewitt joined NHS Property Services in February 2015 and is responsible for overseeing a £3B asset portfolio, some 4,000 properties, 3,000 employees and an annual income of more than £700M. At a time of increasing demand for the NHS, the company is reducing costs, creating a more fit-for-purpose estate and generating vital funds to reinvest to support improvements in frontline patient care.
Prior to this role, as group property director at BT, Hewitt managed the largest corporate property portfolio in the U.K. and real estate across 70 countries. She delivered major portfolio and service transformation over a period of significant business change for BT.
As well as having considerable private sector experience, Hewitt also spent some time as crown representative for property and facilities management for the Cabinet Office.
The Co-Working Revolutionary
Gabriela Hersham is the CEO and founder of Huckletree. Inspired by New York’s co-working scene, in 2014 she founded Huckletree to bring together London’s most innovative startups, entrepreneurs and businesses. Now counting three workspaces in Clerkenwell, Shoreditch and White City, and a fourth in Dublin, Huckletree is one of London and Dublin’s fastest growing co-working communities.
Hersham is passionate about startups, technology and design and was a speaker on the Future of Work at TedxMorganStanley. She actively supports female entrepreneurs both in Huckletree’s community and beyond, and serves on the advisory board of several startups.
As Huckletree’s CEO, Hersham spends the majority of her time recruiting top-level talent to join her team. She believes in the power of creating a strong team culture, and takes great pride in seeing her team members enjoying their work environment.
She is a total adrenaline junkie. When she is not at Huckletree, she can be found sky diving, cliff jumping and playing with her dog and/or her toddler, Jack.
The Debt Fund Veteran
Natalie Howard has spent 30 years working in real estate debt starting in 1989 at Paribas and Charterhouse and then Morgan Stanley, where she was a founding member of their European CMBS business. She then moved to Barclays Capital, where she helped establish their CMBS programme and was responsible for the group’s real estate lending business; and Lehman Brothers where she was the managing director in charge of the firm’s real estate debt funds for Europe and Asia. For the past eight years she has built up AgFe’s real estate debt fund management business to £2.5B in assets under management.
She is a keen skier, reader and family person.
The Investment Guru
Anne Kavanagh joined the Patrizia management board in April and brings 30 years of industry experience. She joined from AXA Investment Managers – Real Assets where she spent seven years as global head of asset management and transactions. She was also on the management board and the global investment committee.
Prior to this, Kavanagh carried out leading management roles at a number of businesses including managing director at Lazard, head of real estate Europe at Cambridge Place Investment Management and international director in JLL’s European capital markets business. She is a trustee of the Urban Land Institute and a board member of the British Property Federation. In her spare time her hobbies include yoga, cycling and sailing.
The London Housing Honcho
As chief executive of Soho Housing, Vivienne King heads up one of the key housing associations looking to increase the amount of housing in London that people can actually afford. Founded in the 1970s, Soho Housing owns and manages 800 homes at social, discounted and market rents as well as a commercial portfolio of 30 units all of which are in central London. Income from market-rented homes and commercial units helps to subsidise the majority of homes let at social and discounted rents.
King was previously director of business operations and general counsel of The Crown Estate, where she was part of the senior team that led the transformation of The Crown Estate from a traditional estate to a modern progressive business. She is also a trustee of Women's Pioneer Housing and has over 25 years’ experience in the real estate industry, and the chair of Real Estate Balance, which promotes diversity in the property industry.
The Advisor Who Helped Shape London
Katie Kopec is one of the U.K.’s foremost development advisors, having successfully delivered a wide range of complex commercial developments for some of the biggest property owners across the world.
With more than 25 years’ experience, she has built her reputation providing strategic land use, disposal and acquisition advice on large-scale inner-city urban regeneration schemes across the U.K. and in London and has been involved in Canary Wharf, King's Cross, Stratford and the Olympics amongst others.
She is advising British Land on its 46-acre site in Canada Water and was JLL’s London lead for providing a development strategy at Mayfield, a major 27-acre regeneration scheme, next to Manchester's Piccadilly train station.
Kopec is seconded to London & Partners, the official promotional arm for London, where she advises the Mayor of London on regeneration and development opportunities across the city to encourage inward investment.
In her spare time, Kopec rides horses, runs badly and is a mum to three big kids. Last year, with her husband, she holidayed in the Wild West of the U.S. doing 2,600 miles on the back of a Harley-Davidson motorbike.
The Voice of the Industry
Melanie Leech joined the British Property Federation in 2015, following nine years as director general of the Food and Drink Federation.
She began her working life as a police constable in the Metropolitan Police Service. She joined HM Customs in 1988 and subsequently held senior roles in the Department for Culture, Media and Sport, the Office of the Rail Regulator and the Cabinet Office. Her role is to champion U.K. real estate and to promote a sustainable partnership between governments and the sector to deliver a high-quality built environment.
Outside the office she provides a dog-walking, hotel and taxi service to her family.
The Star of the Stage
Lily Lin joined Vanke, the U.K. arm of Chinese giant China Vanke, in 2015 as managing director. It is part of the consortium developing the Stage mixed-use scheme in Shoreditch.
Previously she worked at UBS in London from 2006-14, where she held a variety of roles across U.K. and pan-European real estate funds, in both equity acquisitions and debt originations. Prior to that she worked on the investment team at Ascendas, Singapore’s ﬁrst and largest industrial REIT, in Shanghai.
The Most Important Job In U.K. Property Banking
Madeleine McDougall is head of the commercial real estate team at Lloyds. She joined in November 2014 as head of institutional, looking after private equity, pension fund and sovereign wealth clients before taking up her current position in August. Her role involves developing and leading the business across the commercial real estate market with a specialist team based across six U.K. locations. In 2017, Lloyds lent £8.6B into the U.K. market.
McDougall has been key in driving the franchise, which included lending on deals such as the HSBC tower, Atlas residential, O2, Nido portfolio and Embassy Gardens. The business has continued to innovate with a £1B green-financing fund, providing long-term financing through its Scottish Widows arm and now starting to use big data to further enhance portfolio analytics for clients.
She was previously head of international clients at PBB, and prior to this, she worked at Westimmo and Eurohypo.
McDougall has plenty to do outside work, taking her three kids to capoeira, fencing, cricket and skiing lessons among many other pastimes. She met her husband at the 2006-07 Ashes and as such has a sweet spot for cricket, albeit watching not playing, although she did not enjoy the last Ashes that much. She likes an adventure and has been travelling to some interesting places and ended up working as a diver on a coral reef conservation project for three months in Honduras. She has been anaconda hunting and piranha fishing in Bolivia, and her next holiday is avoiding bears whilst camping in Yellowstone. She also has a keen passion for dancing round the kitchen to cheesy music.
The Blue-Chip Fund Manager
With more than 20 years' real estate experience, Ainslie McLennan is head of U.K. balanced funds and fund manager of the Janus Henderson U.K. Property PAIF, alongside Marcus Langlands Pearse, for which TH Real Estate is the investment sub-advisor.
She joined the business in 2002 and has gained extensive experience running commercial property fund mandates investing both directly and indirectly in U.K. and European markets.
McLennan began her career in 1996 working in the investment department at Ryden Property Consultants in Edinburgh, qualifying as a chartered surveyor in 1998. In 2001, she joined PJ Leggate & Co where she was involved with acquiring and managing a portfolio of commercial property.
The Pioneer For A Canadian Giant In London
Joanne McNamara joined Oxford in June 2010 as the third employee in its then recently opened London office as a member of Oxford's European investment team, executing notable transactions such as the acquisition of 130-137 New Bond St. and 50 New Bond St. with joint venture partners Richemont.
Prior to joining Oxford, she worked at Hammerson in the development and new business team. She started her career in the corporate finance team at DTZ.
In her spare time, McNamara likes to spend time with her family. She has two children, aged 2 and 4, and enjoys nothing more than a weekend taking the kids for walks, going to the park and to the seaside in Wales.
She is also an avid rugby fan and being Welsh, spends a lot of time on the M4 travelling to the Millennium stadium to support the Welsh rugby team. It is something she has done all her life with her dad and brother and even took her daughter at two weeks old to watch the Welsh team beat the English at the Rugby World Cup in Twickenham in 2015. A day to remember.
She enjoys playing netball, skiing, running and spending time with friends.
The Happy Acquisition
Emma Mackenzie began her property career as a retail agent in 1990 with a niche retail practice in Edinburgh, where she qualified before moving to Hillier Parker in 1992.
A mother as well as career woman, Mackenzie trialled part-time retail agency with Chesterton before focusing on family life and stepped out of property to have four children. During that time, she founded her own private catering business before returning to property in 2008 as a retail asset manager with a private property company. In March 2013, NewRiver acquired three shopping centres and to NewRiver’s benefit, Mackenzie came with them.
She joined NewRiver as asset manager for Scotland and the North East portfolio and with her results-driven approach, she has been instrumental in helping drive NewRiver forward. Part of her role included the successful acquisition of the Swallowtail portfolio. On the asset management side, she has delivered pivotal lettings to Primark, Next and Dunnes Stores.
Mackenzie also works on the NewRiver pub portfolio, forging the same NewRiver ethos across the pub estate. With an inherent passion for NewRiver and as a charismatic public speaker, she embraced media engagement.
Outside work Mackenzie is disciplined at keeping physically fit, practicing Bikram yoga and running regularly. Her family is at the core of her interests with cooking and entertaining a constant normality. Meeting new people, reading and music also brighten her days.
The Tech Star
Juliette Morgan has worked in property for 15 years, specialising in the technology and biotech sectors. She joined British Land in 2017 to lead the strategic asset management of Regent’s Place, one of British Land’s three campuses in London.
Morgan started her career on Cambridge Science Park where she opened a co-working space, as well as attracting internationally significant tenants. She then worked in New York and Toronto, developing social spaces in large developments.
On returning to the U.K., Morgan was recommended to the British government to lead the development and property strategy for Tech City, where she worked with Hackney Council to develop the Tech City showcase during the Olympics. She continued as advisor to No. 10, the Greater London Authority, Tech City, property developers and investors to promote property used by tech companies.
Most recently, Morgan was the London lead for Cushman & Wakefield’s global technology practice where she led the development of PiLabs — Europe’s first PropTech accelerator.
She is passionate about technological trends affecting property and focuses on the future of the industry. She lives in east London, and can occasionally be found winemaking or attending circus school.
The Royal Appointment
Alison Nimmo's job is one of the most high-profile in property and comes with big responsibility — she runs the company that manages the £13B portfolio of property, countryside and British offshore windfarms that are kind of, sort of owned by the Royal Family but whose profit actually goes to the public purse via the Treasury. That profit has gone up every year of her stewardship, so she must be doing something right.
Nimmo has a taste for roles with a public purpose: She spent five years with the Olympic Delivery Authority, where, as director of design and regeneration, she was responsible for delivering the overall design and early delivery of many of the venues for the London 2012 games. Her previous roles have included chief executive of Sheffield One and project director of Manchester Millennium Ltd., where she helped to rebuild the city after the IRA bombing. She was awarded a CBE in 2004.
Outside of work Nimmo is a big foodie and likes nothing better than mooching around Maltby Street Market in Bermondsey, and yes, she does watch The Crown.
Read a full profile of Nimmo here.
The London Leader
Colette O'Shea is managing director of the London portfolio at Landsec, a role she has held since April 2014. Before being appointed managing director, she was head of development for Landsec’s London portfolio and has worked within the business since 2003. She was appointed to the board as a director in January.
In her current role, O'Shea has responsibility for Landsec’s £7.8B London portfolio, comprising some 6.5M SF of London offices, leisure, retail and residential property, both in development and asset management. She has led the London business through a 3M SF development programme in the City and West End, including the £2.2B transformation of Victoria.
Outside of work, O'Shea enjoys keeping fit by running and cycling.
The Woman Who Changed The Perception Of The Industry
Liz Peace ran the British Property Federation for 13 years until her retirement in December 2014. During that time she managed to change the Government’s perception of the commercial property industry, to establish it as a key contributor to policy debate, to dissuade the Government from legislating on commercial leases, to win innumerable changes to planning and tax legislation and, as part of a pan-industry alliance, to secure the introduction of Real Estate Investment Trusts.
She now has a portfolio/advisory career in the field of property, politics and the built environment. This includes non-executive or advisory roles at Howard de Walden Estates, RPS plc, and RDI REIT plc and Holtby Turner. She is chairing the Old Oak and Park Royal Development Corp. and the Shadow Government Property Agency. She is also a member of the Mayor of London’s Homes for Londoners’ Board.
Before the BPF, Peace spent 27 years as a civil servant in the Ministry of Defence.
Peace is a lifelong Trekkie — though she stops short of actually dressing up. She is also a fully paid up member of Greenpeace, which used to cause former Landsec Chief Executive Ian Henderson, who called her a "raving pinko", much amusement.
The Fund Creator
Alison Puhar joined Fidelity in 2007 and has created a strong record of outperformance for its flagship U.K. fund, which has grown to more than £500M. She has 25 years' industry experience and prior to joining Fidelity was head of U.K. institutional pooled funds at Savills Investment Management. She was fund director for The Charities Property Fund, which she grew from inception to £380M and she also launched the Cordea Savills Student Hall Fund. During her career Puhar has worked with some of the U.K.’s largest pension schemes, private family estates and charities.
Outside of work, Puhar is an investment committee member for Christ’s College, Cambridge, and finance committee member for The Coram Family charity. She is a keen hill walker and amateur runner.
The Big-Time U.S. Private Equity Buyer
As head of Kennedy Wilson's European private equity business, Mary Ricks has bought more than €2B of distressed European assets, floated them into a listed company and then taken that listed company private again. That is more than some achieve in a whole career.
Ricks joined Kennedy Wilson in 1990 and set up Kennedy Wilson Europe in 2011. During her career with Kennedy Wilson, she has headed up its commercial investment group as well as run operations in Australia and Japan. She is a founding board member of the Richard S. Ziman Centre for Real Estate at University of California, Los Angeles. She is also an advisory board member for MetroBank in London.
In her spare time, she enjoys playing tennis and helping her winemaking partner make fabulous Sonoma wines, holding the prestigious position of "chief grape crusher".
The Brand Manager
Lisa Ronson, the commercial director at Ronson Capital Partners, has spent the last 17 years working on the development of commercial and luxury residential buildings in London built by the family firm.
After graduating with a management science degree from the University of Manchester Institute of Science and Technology in 1990, she joined BZW investment bank in London and New York on their graduate programme, focusing in particular on the Pacific Rim stock markets. She then joined her father, Gerald Ronson, property heavyweight and CEO of Heron International, and subsequently Ronson Capital Partners, as marketing and commercial director. Developments she has helped deliver include the Salesforce Tower in the City, and the nearby Heron residential scheme.
Due to increasing demand from her clients, she has also developed Lisa Ronson Home, a turnkey, interior design and lifestyle service for global clients.
When she is not working on buildings and looking after her twins, Ronson is focusing on her charity work for their family foundation.
The Long and Winding Road
Has anyone had a more varied 20-year career in property than Lynda Shillaw, a chartered management accountant by profession? It takes in managing large corporate estates for BT, the Co-operative Group and currently Manchester Airports Group. Shillaw also ran the real estate banking divisions at Lloyds Banking Group and the £9B Real Estate Fund Management Business at Scottish Widows Investment Partnership.
Shillaw was part of the executive team that delivered the £2.4B sale and leaseback of the BT Estate to Telereal Trillium. At the Co-operative Group, she was the architect of the 4M SF NOMA scheme and the development of the 500K SF Angel Square HQ.
At MAG, Shillaw leads the property business where she is responsible for £603M of investment assets, the development land at the airports and MAG’s interest in the 5M SF Airport City Manchester joint venture.
Shillaw is also non-executive director for VIVID and The Crown Estate and chair of the LandAid charity’s North-West region. In her spare time she enjoys cycling, playing tennis and spending time with her family and friends.
The First Female Partner At The Foremost Developer
Anna Strongman is the first woman to achieve partner at property developer Argent, one of the best developers in the U.K. if awards and imitators are taken into account, and leads the asset management side of the business.
She oversees all asset management, estate and property management and regeneration initiatives at King’s Cross, as well as leading on retail, art and events curation for the 67-acre central London development. She is also the development and asset lead on Coal Drops Yard, the huge retail development on the scheme. Before joining Argent 10 years ago, Strongman worked for the planning and development team at Arup leading a number of projects for both the public and private sector.
Strongman speaks Japanese, plays hockey, looks after her twins, and is a trustee of Gasworks, the south London contemporary art organisation.
The Legal Eagle
Clare Thomas is one of London’s leading and best-connected real estate lawyers. She is a partner at CMS, the world’s sixth-largest law firm, which is also No. 1 for real estate in the U.K. and Europe. Prior to that she was a partner at Nabarro, which, with Olswang and CMS, undertook a three-way merger that went live on 1 May.
Her recent high-profile deals include the £450M acquisition by Chinese investors of 20 Canada Square in Canary Wharf and of WeWork's European HQ in the City for £271M.
Outside work, she used to spend her free time racing an off-road motorbike around her childhood home in the Welsh valleys, but these days she enjoys the slightly more sedate pastimes of yoga, gardening and Radio 4.
The Big REIT's New Head of Development
Having joined in October, Beth West is the head of development for the biggest division of the U.K.'s biggest REIT, putting her in charge of one of the biggest development portfolios in the country.
West recently left HS2 after over four years as commercial director. At HS2, she was responsible for commercial strategy, procurement, supplier management, land and property acquisitions and management, regeneration and economic analysis. Prior to joining HS2, West spent nine years at Transport for London.
West enjoys spending time with her young boys and husband, as well as running and enjoys all the amazing food and culture that London has to offer.
The Finance Wizard
Rebecca Worthington joined Countryside in 2015 as chief financial officer and a member of the executive committee.
Worthington qualified as a chartered accountant with Price Waterhouse in 1997, before going on to work at Quintain Estates and Development for 15 years, first as finance director and later as deputy chief executive — a role that saw her described in the media as "the most powerful woman in the listed property sector". Following that, she spent two years as chief executive of Lodestone Capital, a business advising on operational real estate assets. The beginning of this year also saw her join the board of British Land.
Outside of the office, Worthington combines family life in Berkshire — she has two children aged 13 and 11 with her husband, Paul — with a love of skiing and the occasional triathlon.