Movers & Shakers: February 2018

We look at who’s changing jobs in the new homes industry.

Lucy Bird, Lendlease

Lucy Bird of LendleaseProperty and infrastructure group Lendlease has appointed Lucy Bird as director of town planning. Bird joins Lendlease from the Berkeley Group where she was head of planning for its St William division (a joint venture between Berkeley and National Grid) and previously for its Berkeley Homes North East London division, leading planning for a significant number of complex regeneration sites and redevelopment projects across London and the South East, including 5,500 homes at Woodberry Down.

An experienced professional with over 13 years’ experience in town planning, Bird has also held senior planning roles at the Greater London Authority, where she worked on numerous high-profile schemes for the previous mayor including the Olympic Legacy Communities Scheme.

Commenting on Bird’s appointment, Jonathan Emery, managing director of property at Lendlease, says: “We are delighted to be welcoming Lucy to the team. With a wealth of experience in managing complex, mixed-use developments, Lucy was a natural fit for the role – and joins Lendlease at a time of unparalleled growth.”

Ben Cook, Keepmoat Homes

Ben Cook of Keepmoat HomesKeepmoat Homes has appointed Ben Cook as regional managing director for the South West division. The move follows the homebuilder’s plans to open a new business unit in the region, with plans to deliver 400 homes per year in the south-west within five years of launching the division.

Based in Bristol, Cook has more than 20 years’ experience in housebuilding, having previously worked in land and commercial director roles for Taylor Wimpey, Barratt Homes, St Modwen Developments and, more recently, Crest Nicholson. In his new role, Cook will be responsible for driving business growth and overseeing the successful delivery of developments across the South West.

Speaking about his new appointment, Cook says: “I look forward to driving the South West region towards our target of delivering 400 plus homes a year within the next five years, but more importantly, creating a sustainable business that delights its customers and becomes the partner of choice for landowners and councils to deliver first time buyer homes for the south-west market.”

Andrew Potter, Hastoe Group

Andrew Potter of HastoeHastoe Group, which owns or manages over 7,500 homes across southern rural England, has announced that Andrew Potter has been appointed as the Group’s next chief executive. Potter has been chief executive of Lewisham Homes since 2007, managing 18,000 homes on behalf of the local council. He will join Hastoe in late April 2018 following the retirement of current chief executive Sue Chalkley, who has led the group since 2007.

“I am so excited by this opportunity to join Hastoe,” he says. “It is a truly unique organisation with a great sense of purpose and I am keen to build on Hastoe’s success in supporting rural communities by working with them to provide much-needed affordable rural homes.”

Ed Buscall, chair of Hastoe, says: “We are delighted to have secured such an experienced and well-regarded chief executive. Hastoe is an ambitious organisation that is passionate about the delivery of quality affordable housing in rural England, and Andrew’s energy and enthusiasm means he is well equipped to deliver this.”

Rebecca Warren, Crest Nicholson

Rebecca Warren of Crest NicholsonCrest Nicholson has announced the appointment of Rebecca Warren to the position of planning director, at the group’s Strategic Projects division. Warren will play a key role helping expand the division and supporting wider growth within the Crest Nicholson business.

She brings with her over 20 years’ experience working in property planning and a unique insight into the challenges facing the UK housebuilding industry, as well as extensive experience on large-scale residential projects. In her new role as planning director, Warren will lead the Strategic Projects planning and promotion team, helping to develop a sustainable build pipeline to meet the business’ wider growth plans.

Andrew Dobson, managing director, Strategic Projects at Crest Nicholson, says: “We are delighted that Rebecca has joined the team at Crest Nicholson and have every confidence she will be a great success, helping us tackle the challenges the industry is currently facing.”

Ian Featherstone, Davidsons Homes

Ian Featherstone of Davidsons HomesDavidsons Homes has appointed a new construction director to oversee the company’s continued growth. Ian Featherstone has joined the Ibstock-based housebuilder from Avant Homes, and brings with him almost three decades of experience in the industry. Featherstone joined Avant – then known as Ben Bailey – as an apprentice joiner and rose through the ranks to become construction director in 2008.

In his new position, he will be responsible for all of Davidsons Homes’ live developments, working closely with the health and safety department and customer service team.

“When the opportunity to join Davidsons arose I felt it was too good to turn down,” he comments. “The team around me is very passionate about the business and that’s reflected in the quality product produced. During my time as construction director at Ben Bailey we increased our output and grew our brand exposure as a result. It’s something I want to repeat, and by working with the departments we can create an in-depth growth strategy to increase the volume of homes being built.”

Three promotions, Cameron Homes

Darren Abley, Steve Cassie and Emma Macdonald of Cameron HomesMidlands housebuilder Cameron Homes has strengthened its board with three promotions. Emma Macdonald steps up to the position of design and planning director at the firm, which is expanding its operations throughout central England. With over 25 years’ residential property experience, she has spent the last three with Cameron. “I have been proactive in supporting the growth of the company and my primary role now is to retain our reputation as creators of high-quality, desirable developments as we progress towards larger schemes, together with reinforcing our identity in the market,” she says.

Meanwhile Darren Abley has been in the construction industry for 30 years, working for a range of national names where he progressed to the position of construction manager. He moved to Cameron a year ago and was recently promoted to the role of production director.

Steve Cassie is the third new board member, stepping up after 15 months with the firm. A former commercial manager and quantity surveyor with several other companies in the Midlands construction sector, he now becomes technical director at Cameron.

Tom Morris, CBRE

Tom Morris of CBREThe Bristol office of global real estate advisor CBRE has announced the promotion of Tom Morris to Bristol managing director, effective as of Q2 2018. Morris will take over the role from property stalwart Garry Hicks, who after 15 years at CBRE, will be retiring from the firm at the end of 2018. Morris started his career at CBRE as a graduate in 2008 and in the last 10 years he has gained experience in both consultancy and agency. He will continue to work in the Capital Markets team, while carrying out his role as Bristol managing director.

“I feel very privileged and excited to be appointed to the role of managing director of CBRE Bristol, a position that Garry has carried out so successfully over the last 15 years,” says Morris. “We have an exceptional team in Bristol and I am looking forward to driving the business forward. I am passionate about both teamwork and putting client service at the heart of everything that we do, by understanding their needs, by knowing them well, and by delivering market-leading commercial solutions.”

Three appointments, Acorn Property Group

Acorn Property Group teamRegeneration specialist Acorn Property Group has strengthened its Bristol team with three new appointments. With 25 years’ experience in the construction sector, Tobyn Tribbeck joins the team as contracts manager following a move from Ikon Construction. Tribbeck will oversee the management of all developments across the Bristol region. He says: “Acorn is renowned for its different by design ethos and for delivering high-quality, innovative homes and I look forward to contributing to their continued success across the region.”

Luke Burwood joins the company as group buyer, after four years as business development manager at Velfac. Formerly a Royal Marine, Burwood brings 10 years’ experience in the construction industry to his new position, where he will be responsible for the cost-effective procurement of construction materials, ensuring Acorn continues to deliver profitable, high-quality developments. Acorn has also appointed a new quantity surveyor. Daniel Miles joins the team with 10 years’ experience and will be working with the commercial team to manage the financial aspects of the region’s projects.

Robin Squire, regional managing director of Acorn Bristol, says: “These appointments mark an exciting time of continued growth and success for Acorn Property Group.”

Charlotte Smith, David Wilson Homes

Charlotte Smith of David Wilson HomesCharlotte Smith, who until recently worked as a customer care specialist at David Wilson Homes, is now retraining as an assistant site manager. With an extensive career in customer service – from working with the ambulance service, and in the Citizen’s Charter Unit of the Cabinet Office, to teaching English in France – Smith joined David Wilson Homes in 2016. She received the David Wilson Homes customer excellence award within her first three months and was about to be promoted to senior customer care co-ordinator but, having got a flavour of being onsite through her job, she’s decided she’d rather take an active role in building the homes herself.

“My customer care background definitely helps because I’m empathetic with customers. Currently I’m on David Wilson Homes’ Accelerated Training Programme, with a view to managing the build process later on in my career. To anyone thinking of a career in site management, I would very much recommend it. You need excellent organisational and communications skills, patience, drive and commitment. Being a good negotiator, with a firm and assertive manner, is also a real bonus.”

Two appointments, Moda

Carl Wood and Anika Day of ModaModa, a developer and operator of private rented housing, has recruited two new faces to match its ambitions for increased delivery of new homes. Carl Wood joins Moda as project director from Turner & Townsend, the construction and project management consultancy. In his new role, Carl will be responsible for managing project governance across the development pipeline while also project managing the company’s Edinburgh scheme.

Anika Day joins as senior project manager from Select Property Group, where she worked as a development manager across both the company’s rental brands, Affinity Living and City Suites. Her new role at Moda will see her focus on its developments in Glasgow, Liverpool and Manchester. Chris Cheshire joins the company as the new head of creative from SoVibrant, a strategic creative consultancy. His new role will see him working alongside Lydia Eustace, head of marketing, to build up the Moda brand.

Tony Brooks, managing director at Moda, says: “Anika and Carl’s experience overseeing complex, high-value projects will prove invaluable, while Chris’s design expertise will help to strengthen and strategically position the Moda brand.”

Three appointments, PLATFORM_

Jonathan Rae of PLATFORM_A series of senior appointments has been made by PLATFORM_, a leading developer and operator in the build-to-rent sector. Jonathan Rae (pictured) has been brought on board as finance director, having previously worked at British Land, the FTSE 100 Real Estate Investment Trust, where he held a number of senior finance positions.

Johan Liebenberg joins PLATFORM_ as senior project manager. He previously worked at Quintain where he had roles as technical and project manager, where he oversaw the development of over 850 build-to-rent apartments under the developer’s rental brand Tipi. Chris Ray has also joined the as a project manager, having previously worked at Gulf Related and Jones Lang LaSalle Dubai.

Jean Marc-Vandevivere, chief executive of PLATFORM_, says: “As we prepare to deliver our first new-build project and secure additional sites, while still delivering great value to our existing customers and investors, the expertise of these new hires bring will prove invaluable.”

Sue Hunt, Peveril Homes

Sue Hunt of Peveril HomesPeveril Homes has added to its team experienced sales coordinator Sue Hunt, who joins the company at its Belper head office. She has over 30 years’ experience, with a number of roles across the East Midlands, including ten years at Bagshaw’s Auctions in Derby as business development manager then auction coordinator, and the final one of which was a three-year stint at Abode Estate Agents as a sales progression manager before this move.

Sue says the move to Peveril is a “no-brainer”, snapping up the role with enthusiasm and some knowledge of the opportunities the company offers: “I already knew a couple of the ladies at Peveril Homes and everything I had heard about the company before I joined was very positive. The staff are all lovely and friendly, and everyone has made me feel extremely welcome since I walked through the door – I am looking forward to what the future holds with Peveril Homes.”

The company’s director of sales and marketing, Alison Kendall, sees adding Sue to the team is a positive step for Peveril Homes as part of an already successful year of growth, and is looking forward to working with her. “Sue has an extensive background relating to property and customer service, making her the perfect fit for our team in order to help us to continue to coordinate all aspects of the sales process,” she says.

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