Property Movers & Shakers February 2020

29 February 2020

Your monthly briefing on the key recruitment moves across the UK's property sector is here, brought to you by PrimeResi. As always, links to each story can be found at the end of each section.

Estate Agents


Savills has named Claire Reynolds as the new head of its Mayfair & St James’s operation, replacing Prime Central London stalwart Charles Lloyd. Lloyd spent 13 years with Beauchamp Estates before joining Savills in 2006. He launched and ran the flagship North Audley Street branch in 2010; he’s now moving on to pastures new. Reynolds will continue to act as co-head of PCL (she stepped up alongside Phillippa Dalby-Welsh a year ago), but based in Mayfair instead of Marylebone. She’s been with Savills for 15 years, having started out in the Esher office in 2005. Nick Poppe and Alex Ross will be heading up the Marylebone office when Reynolds moves back to Mayfair. In addition, Wetherell’s Kitty O’Sullivan has joined the Mayfair sales team as a negotiator


Chestertons has recruited two industry heavyweights to boost its franchise operation. Jamie McMullan joins the estate agency as Chief Operating Officer for UK & Europe Franchising; David Russell has been appointed Chief Marketing Officer for Global Franchising & New Homes. Both have jumped ship from Sotheby’s International Realty, where they worked on building the firm’s global franchise model.


Tech-led lettings and management agency Rentify has made three senior appointments from Knight Frank’ ranks. KF’s former South Kensington chief Giles Barrett and Richmond office head Mathew Hahn both join as Sales Directors. Senior Property Manager Andrew Osborne has also moved from Knight Frank to Rentify. These appointments follow the arrival of fellow KF alumna Lucy Jones, who joined the eight-year-old firm last year.

Clifton Property Partners

Boutique property consultancy Clifton Property Partners has recruited Zoe Mercer from Jackson-Stops. Mercer was previously Jackson-Stops’ London Director of Residential Development. She joins Clifton, a development consultancy and sales agency launched last year by Wetherell alumni Rob Windsor and James McManus, as Associate Director.

Keller Williams

American real estate franchise Keller Williams has signed up Savills veteran Tanya Blake to its UK operation. Blake was previously Director and Head of Country Lettings at Savills, based in Henley-on-Thames. She has now launched a new KW UK “market centre” in Oxfordshire, called KW Oxygen. Former Chancellors sales manager Paul Dunford-Brown has teamed up with Blake, launching another KW arm in Devon, while another ex-Savills agent, Ryan Toms, has joined Blake’s venture to cover the Buckinghamshire market.

UK Sotheby’s International Realty

UK Sotheby’s International Realty has hired an American hospitality and sales specialist to bolster its Cobham-based country team. Scott Cook will be working with UK SIR’s country sales and lettings director Jason Corbett in the mid- to upper-range market across Surrey. He’s previously as global director of sales for international tech company DHISCO, and director of sales for Interstate Hotel Management Company.

Read in full - Estate Agent stories


Portals & Marketing

Knight Frank and Zoopla

Well-known property market guru Gráinne Gilmore has left Knight Frank, where she was a Partner and Head of UK Residential Research, to join Zoopla as Head of Research. Cambridge-educated Gilmore had been with Knight Frank for nearly 11 years, and previously worked for the same amount of time at The Times, including as Deputy Personal Finance Editor and Economics Correspondent.

Four Communications

Marketing agency Four Communications has boosted its 60-strong property unit with a senior hire. Lindsay Castellana has joined the as Managing Director, PR, following stints at luxury agencies Luchford and Socrates. Four’s clients include Clarion Housing Group, Grosvenor UK & Ireland, St George, Network Homes and Southbank Tower.

Read in full - Portals and Marketing stories




High-end property developer Octagon has hired a new finance director. Nick Riggs joins from Deloitte, where he spent the last 23 years, rising to director level.

Get Living

Build-to-rent operator Get Living has recruited the former Chief Executive of Savills, Jeremy Helsby, to its Supervisory Board as Non-Executive Chairman. Get Living is a joint venture between Qatari Diar Real Estate Investment Company, DOOR (Oxford Properties and Delancey’s flagship client fund, DV4) and the Dutch pension fund asset manager, APG. Helsby spent some 40 years with Savills, with 11 as Chief Executive, until he retired from the firm in 2019.

Read in full - Developer stories



New Chancellor of the Exchequer

Sajid Javid quit as Chancellor of the Exchequer with less than a month to go before 2020’s Budget speech. Chief Secretary to the Treasury Rishi Sunak has been installed by the Prime Minister to fill the role, marking a meteoric rise for the MP for Richmond in Yorkshire (a former hedge fund manager and Goldman Sachs alumnus, who’s married to the daughter of an Indian billionaire). The Budget is still due to go ahead on 11th March.

New Housing Minister

Christopher Pincher has been named as the new Housing Minister, following the sacking of Esther McVey in Boris Johnson’s post-Brexit Cabinet reshuffle. The MP for Tamworth becomes the tenth MP to take on the role in as many years… Pincher was previously Minister of State at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, and served as Deputy Chief Whip, Treasurer of HM Household. Former GMTV presenter and one-time Tory leadership hopeful McVey was only in the position for just over six months.

New Deputy Mayor of London

Sadiq Khan has announced that Lewisham Councillor Tom Copley will take over from James Murray as London’s Deputy Mayor for Housing & Residential Development. Murray left his post to successfully run as the MP for Ealing North in last month’s General Election. Copley has served on the London Assembly since 2012 and is chair of the London Assembly Housing Committee.

Interim Chief Planning Officer

The City of London Corporation has named Gwyn Richards as its interim chief planning officer. Currently in the role of assistant director of design, he’ll be stepping up in March to lead the 40-strong development management team – including planning, design, conservation, archaeology and transport officers. Richards’ predecessor, Annie Hampson OBE, announced her retirement last month.

Read in full - UK Government stories