Property Movers & Shakers February 2022

25 February 2022

PrimeResi brings LonRes the monthly headlines on key property recruitment and business moves from February 2022.

Buying Agents

Prime Purchase

Savills-owned buying agency Prime Purchase has bolstered its London team with a new director for the London team. Lucy Worcester (née Yorke-Long) moves from super-prime developer Finchatton, having previously worked at VanHan with Thomas van Straubenzee and Rory Penn, and at Chelsea estate agency Maskells.

Middleton Advisors

Buying agency Middleton Advisors has made a move on the London sales market, recruiting James Moran from Winkworth to expand the firm’s services beyond acquisitions. Moran spent two decades at Winkworth, latterly as sales director covering RBKC and Westminster.


Former Foxtons director Igor Griskin has set up an eponymous London buying agency, specialising in high net worth Russian-speaking clients. Griskin worked at Foxtons for seven years, rising to become a director in the top-end Prime department.

VanHan & Finchatton high-flyer joins Prime Purchase

Middleton Advisors hires former Winkworth director to lead London sales

Ex-Foxtons man Griskin launches buying agency

Estate Agents

Strutt & Parker

Strutt & Parker has named West Country dealmaker Oliver Custance Baker as the new head of its National Country House Department. Eton and Royal Agricultural-educated Custance Baker joined S&P in 2011, as a sales negotiator in the Exeter office. He swiftly moved up the ranks to become a Director, covering Devon and the South West. The 33-year-old holds the record for being the most successful advisor within the residential agency business.

Knight Frank - Christian Lock-Necrews

Knight Frank has named new sales chiefs in Knightsbridge and Marylebone, a new lettings boss for the Southbank, and a new head of resi valuations. Christian Lock-Necrews is moving from the Marylebone branch to lead the flagship Knightsbridge sale operation on Sloane Avenue in April. He’ll be taking over from Stuart Bailey, who has been running things since the departure of Harry Dawes last year.

Knight Frank - Ali Mathews

Ali Mathews will step up to run Marylebone sales, five years after joining KF’s Baker Street base from Marsh & Parsons’ Pimlico branch.

Knight Frank - Oliver Hepplewhite

Oliver Hepplewhite is now Head of Lettings at KF’s Southbank brand, stepping up four years after starting out as a negotiator in the firm’s Battersea & Riverside office.

Knight Frank - Katie Parsonson

And Katie Parsonson has been appointed a new head of UK Residential Valuations, 14 years after joining KF’s graduate scheme

Savills - Rory McMullen

Savills has also made a bunch of appointments, including launching a new North American desk, opening two ski outposts, recruiting branded residential specialists, and hiring its first resi apprentices. Rory McMullen, a Director in Savills’ Private Office who has been with the firm since 2014, is now running a dedicated North American Desk, acting as “a conduit for both US inward and outbound investment”. He’s previously worked in the London Residential Development and Cross Border Investment teams, as well as in the Private Office.

Savills - Jennifer Wadsworth

The firm has added two new senior faces to its global residential development consultancy department. Jennifer Wadsworth was previously part of JLL’s Asia Pacific Capital Markets team based in Singapore. Now in London, she is now tasked with building Savills’ branded residential transactions business. Rico Picenoni joins Savills in Dubai from hotel giant Accor, where he was head of residential development in the Middle East and Africa region.

Savills - Patrick Moseley

Savills’ Development Director, Patrick Moseley, has stepped up to become Head of Strategic Land, taking over from Mike Shaw (who remains a “key member” of the team).

Savills - Helen Asteris

Savills has also recruited Helen Asteris to lead its new homes team based in Southampton, Hampshire. She moves from Southampton-based Fox and Sons, where she ran the new homes team with a network of 20 offices spanning Hampshire, Dorset and Wiltshire.

Savills - Apprentices

And Savills has hired its first set of resi apprentices; seven participants will complete a Junior Estate Agent (level 2) Apprenticeship. Along with on-the-job learning, each will get training from an external provider and be independently assessed through “scenario based tasks, professional discussions and a portfolio of their work”.


Foxtons star Stuart Bennett is moving on from the estate agency after 24 years. He started out at the firm's Notting Hill branch in 1998, working his way up to Area Director level in 2014. Confirming the news via social media, he gave no hint as to his future plans, but said he would be “bowing out on an absolute high”.

Douglas & Gordon

Foxtons’ sell-off of the Douglas & Gordon sales operation and branches has been rubber-stamped by shareholders. Just 0.2% did not vote in favour of the move, which sees D&G CEO James Evan take control of the loss-making business for a “nominal fee”, via his company Lochlan Holdings. Foxtons has already absorbed D&G’s profitable lettings division into its network, less than a year after acquiring the London estate agency.


Maskells is opening a new office on Kensington Church Street, recruiting two senior players to run the show. Gareth Jones was a Partner at Carter Jonas and worked in Knight Frank’s Super-Prime House department. Head of Lettings Tabitha Jones has spent the last ten years at Knight Frank, having started her. Career at Jackson-Stops & Staff.

The Country House Department

The Country House Department, an estate agency launched in 2020 by ex-Strutt & Parker duo Ben Bentley and Andrew Russell has added three new recruits. New regional director Ian Daniels has joined from Strutt and Parker; Holly Murray joins as an associate director after roles at Berkeley and JLL; Emma Etheridge has come on board as operations manager.

House Collective

New boutique agency House Collective has recruited two agents in London. Will Vaughan moves from John D Wood, where he spent nine years running the Notting Hill Office; he will be leading the HC’s “strategic expansion” into prime west London markets. Toby Andersson has joined from JLL’s PCL Lettings division, having previously worked alongside HC founders Ben Bryce and Richard Sloane at Aston Chase.

Winkworth - Mana Legha and Gabriela Legha

Franchised estate agency brand Winkworth has expanded its presence in South West London, opening a new outpost in Wimbledon. Husband-and-wife team Mana Legha and Gabriela Legha have taken on the franchise, hoping “to capitalise on the move to leafy parts of the capital.”

Winkworth - Jamie Moore

Winkworth has also opened a third new office in Norwich. This is franchisee Jamie Moore’s fourth Winkworth branch launch in East Anglia within four years. George Dix and Billy Bradford have been promoted from the Poringland office to run the new Eaton operation.


Savills-backed hybrid estate agency Yopa has named a new Chief Executive Officer, recruiting former Purplebricks exec Verona Frankish to the top job. Frankish replaces current Managing Director and former CFO, Freddie Cornes, who has decided to leave the business “to move onto a new opportunity”.

Leaders Romans Group

Leaders Romans Group, which acquired 15-branch London estate agency Portico last year, has been sold by its private equity owner to another private equity outfit. Platinum Equity, run by American billionaire Tom Gores, has acquired the firm from London-based Bowmark Capital for an undisclosed amount.

The Guild of Property Professionals, rebranded as “”

Epropservices, the parent company of the Fine & Country and The Guild of Property Professionals, has rebranded as “” and repointed its business to focus on its position as “one of the country’s leading proptech providers.”

Fine & Country

Fine & Country – the upper-end estate agency brand owned by freshly-renamed Nurtur Group – has expanded its coverage in Cambridgeshire. Business partners Francis Plant and Allan Harrison took on the franchise at the end of 2021, alongside their own East of England agency, Town & Country. Elizabeth Hammond is managing the branch.


Humberts has opened a new branch in East Sussex, after an existing franchisee picked up another patch. The new office is operated by Simon Lewis, who was one of the “Humberts originals” that bought the company out of administration in 2020. The firm now has nine branches across the UK.

Harding Green

Broker-model estate agency Harding Green has added another influential name to its ranks. Tom Frost, a former chair of The Kensington Business Forum, has joined as a sales consultant in Kensington.


Chestertons has set up a dedicated Global Citizenship Division, prompted by rising demand for “alternative residency and citizenship”. Immigration expert Sheldon Labuschange has moved from Astons to run the new division, based in Dubai.

Carter Jonas

Carter Jonas has recruited a new chief for its New Homes business in the East of England region, bringing in Jason Capel from Bidwells. In addition, Megan Cracknell has been hired as Senior Negotiator.


JLL has bolstered its resi research capability with a raft of new hires. Former LonRes research boss Marcus Dixon has been recruited as the agency’s new Director of UK Residential Research, in charge of producing “a wave of new housing market insight” to support the resi side of the business. Also joining the team is new Senior Analyst Meg Eglington, who has spent the last two years at Knight Frank specialising in the Student Accommodation and Private Rented sectors. And EG’s Residential Editor Emma Rosser has been recruited to boost JLL’s research output across the Living sectors, including Build to Rent, Student Accommodation and Later Living.

Strutt & Parker names new country house head

Knight Frank names new Knightsbridge sales boss

Knight Frank names new Marylebone sales boss

New head of lettings for Knight Frank Southbank

New UK resi valuations head at Knight Frank

New North America desk for Savills

Savills adds two branded residence specialists to its global resi development team

Savills appoints new head of Strategic Land

Savills recruits new homes head in Southampton

Savills hires first resi apprentices

Foxtons star moves on after 24 years

Foxtons shareholders rubber stamp Douglas & Gordon exit

PCL agency expands with new Kensington branch & key hires

‘Disruptive’ new country agency bolsters team after £80m year

House Collective recruits agents from John D Wood & JLL; plots west London expansion

Winkworth serves up new Wimbledon office

Another Winkworth outpost opens as regional expansion continues

Yopa recruits ex-Purplebricks director Frankish as CEO

American private equity firm buys Leaders Romans Group

Epropservices rebrands to; launches PropTech accelerator programme

Fine & Country expands in Cambridge

Humberts signs second franchise in East Sussex

Kensington business leader joins Harding Green

Chestertons launches Global Citizenship Division

Carter Jonas recruits Bidwells’ Capel

JLL ramps up resi research division

Developers & Construction

Taylor Wimpey

Jennie Daly has been named as the new CEO of Taylor Wimpey, making her the first woman to lead a major UK housebuilder. Daly, who joined the FTSE 100 firm in 2014 from Redrow and is currently group operations director, will be taking on the role vacated by Pete Redfern, who announced in December that he would be leaving after 14 years.

EcoWorld London & SevenCapital

EcoWorld London has recruited Matthew Dearlove – formerly Head of Design at Greenwich Peninsula and London’s Design District – as its new Product Director. The appointment is part of a “design and wellbeing push” by the property developer. SevenCapital has recruited a new Group Sales & Marketing Director, bringing in Simon Howard from Berkeley Group. Howard spent nearly a decade as Sales Director of Berkeley’s St Edward brand (which was set up by Seven’s MD Angus Mitchie). He’s now tasked with leading global sales at Seven – which recently signed a big joint venture deal to build the tallest tower in Kensington & Chelsea.

Galliard Homes

London-centric property developer Galliard Homes has opened a permanent sales outpost in Hong Kong, 30 years after the company first started marketing to HK buyers. Business Development Manager Chrissy Yan is running the team of five.


Some of the top names in London’s luxury construction sector have teamed-up to help small businesses develop and refine their environmental, community and governance credentials. PRIME provides a simple ESG framework and scoring mechanism, with six “principles” intended as a starting point for companies looking to improve their sustainability and social standing. Early-adopters include Ideaworks, Walton Wagner, Slender Winter Partnership, DOS & Co, Weldon Flooring, and Winch Design.

Taylor Wimpey picks new CEO

Berkeley Sales Director moves to SevenCapital

Ecoworld recruits Greenwich Design District chief for ‘design & wellbeing push’

British property developer opens permanent Hong Kong sales outpost

Super-prime construction leaders team up to build a ‘better business’ ESG framework

Finance & Recruitment

Précis Capital

One-year-old real estate lending platform Précis Capital has recruited a senior face to its legal team, bringing in Andrew Whittaker from Addleshaw Goddard LLP as Legal Director.


International property recruitment consultancy Deverellsmith has acquired Oxfordshire-based rival Broomham Recruitment. Former estate agent Nicola Broomham set up her eponymous business in early 2020, matching real estate talent with employers with a focus on estate agency and proptech.

J3 Advisory

Recently-launched insurance and finance firm J3 Advisory has recruited a new leader for its business development team. Daisy Neall was previously at London Belgravia Brokers (where J3’s three founders used to work).

Real estate lender Précis adds heavyweight legal chief

Deverellsmith buys estate agency & proptech recruitment specialist

J3 builds team with ambitious growth plans

Policy & Charity 

Housing Minister

Christopher Pincher has been replaced by Yorkshire MP Stuart Andrew as Housing Minister. Andrew is the 11th Housing Minister in 12 years, and 20th in 23. He’s been deputy chief whip for the last two years, having previously served as a junior defence minister and junior Welsh minister.

Arbon Trust

Arbon Trust, the charitable arm of estate agency trade organisation Propertymark, has installed a new chief. Lauren Scott, former NAEA Propertymark President and Managing Director of Trading Places Estate Agents in Whitley Bay, has taken on the role, replacing outgoing Chair, Aidan Reid. Reid will remain as a Trustee. ARLA Propertymark President, Phil Keddie, also steps up to become a new trustee.

Stuart Andrew becomes the eleventh Housing Minister in twelve years

Industry charity names new Chair