This week’s exclusive senior management one-on-one is with Jonathan Ivory, who takes us through the career path to his current position at property investment and management specialists Atlas Residential.
Hi Jonathan, please tell us a little about yourself, Atlas Residential and your role there.
Atlas residential is an owner operator of multi-family / build to rent (BtR) properties throughout the US and UK. I am the managing director, my primary responsibilities include deal origination, capital raising and execution but I also oversee our operational platform.
Can you tell us about your career path, from education to training, work experience and previous roles?
I am a graduate of Bristol University. After leaving I joined Legal & General investment Management where I worked in the fund management side of the business before leaving to join a privately owned property development business called The Raven Group (now Raven Russia Ltd) which during my tenure there specialised in the development of high end London residential, regional office, assisted living and even UK second homes. Before setting up Atlas Residential’s UK business I worked for a New York headquartered real estate brokerage called Carlton Group.
Are there any projects and/or mentors in your career to date that have been particularly inspiring?
Having begun my career in a very institutional setting, to then work for an entrepreneur like Anton Bilton, founder and executive chairman of The Raven Group was particularly exciting and a very rewarding experience which has guided my career choices ever since.
What is it about your current role that you most enjoy?
I enjoy the excitement of doing a deal. Seeing the result of six months hard work come off, sometimes against the odds, is a very satisfying feeling. Equally the low one experiences when a deal aborts after you have invested significant time and capital is one I am keen to avoid.
Are there major HR differences in working for a company with a US connection?
Our UK business takes inspiration from our US colleagues in terms of work ethic, professionalism and commitment to customer services but from an HR standpoint we are consistent with other UK companies.
Do you have any particular ambitions for your career path ahead?
To aggregate a UK BtR portfolio of over 10,000 homes.
With national new homes targets increasing, what are the career prospects at Atlas?
We have an acute supply demand imbalance in the UK. Homeownership for middle earning 25- to 34-years-olds has fallen from 65% to 27% in 20 years. Our society had created a generation who will never experience homeownership, which is why it is even more incumbent on us as BtR practitioners to create communities that feel like homes and provide customer service levels worthy of these future residents. Due to our US and UK track record, Atlas is extremely well positioned to build and manage the rental homes our country so desperately needs.
Does Atlas look for particular personal and skills qualities in applicants for jobs there?
Hard work, passion for what we do and willingness to get stuck in.
What’s your advice to those considering or applying for a job in UK housebuilding right now?
There has never been a greater need for talent to help us solve the housing crisis. This requirement exists throughout the value chain.