In each episode we meet a leading name in the property and construction industry and, utilising our best interview skills (but not as we know them!), our aim is to delve deeper, past the ‘career’, and learn more about the personality behind the achievements.
New Guest Addition
Personalities in Property meets Priya Aggarwal Shah
Another inspirational episode, this time featuring Priya Aggarwal Shah who is the Founder and Director of BAME in Property. Seemingly, not prepared to sit still for too long, we’ve been lucky enough to track Priya down and find out what a difference someone with strong views and a passionate belief in a topic can make to an industry.
Confident and prepared to take more of a risk-taking approach than most, Priya emphasises the benefits of embracing diversity as well as the importance of being prepared and willing to engage with multiple stakeholder groups in our industry, to achieve progress. Tenacious and driven, Priya appears to be on a bit of a mission!
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Another inspirational episode, this time featuring Priya Aggarwal Shah who is the Founder and Director of BAME in Property. Seemingly, not prepared to sit still for too long, we’ve been lucky enough to track Priya down and find out what a difference someone with strong views and a passionate belief in a topic can make to an industry. Confident and prepared to take more of a risk-taking approach than most, Priya emphasises the benefits of embracing diversity as well as the importance of being prepared and willing to engage with multiple stakeholder groups in our industry, to achieve progress. Tenacious and driven, Priya appears to be on a bit of a mission!
In this sprightly podcast, Tarek demonstrates how he personifies energy and enthusiasm! His zest for achievement and desire to keep learning help explain the success he’s had in his career to date and the opportunities he’s created for himself. Born in Syria and having grown up in Saudi Arabia, Tarek explains why the UK held appeal and how he considers himself to be so fortunate in landing a leadership role on the Earls Court development. It’s clear he has ambition and this podcast has us wondering where his future development will lead…
We catch up with Paddy to find out how his new role at Colliers is progressing and what he’s currently focusing on. In characteristic form, we find out that he’s got plenty on and much that he wants to achieve! Additionally, he explains what ‘drives’ him and explains a bit about the roles that have helped to shape his career path to date. We also hear about Paddy’s leadership role in the ‘Pathways to Property’ initiative, his involvement in mentoring younger professionals and the importance of reducing barriers to entry into the Real Estate sector in order to encourage young talented people from all backgrounds.
Having entered the industry from a less conventional background than some, Grace quickly demonstrates the benefits of diversity and talks enthusiastically about all the opportunity she can see ahead of her. By simply demonstrating the value of self-belief, Grace has looked to make the most of an industry which she believes offers vast opportunity and at the end of this inspirational conversation we hear about Grace’s proudest moments and achievements as well as her future ambition.
Amelia talks about her good fortune in gaining an entry point into the property sector and discusses her views on how we can make the industry even more attractive to potential new entrants. She emphasises her feelings about the benefits of reducing the barriers to entry into our sector and, as a member of the REB NextGen, she explains the principal reasons for her participation. Last but not least, we hear about Amelia’s great role model and her inspiration.
With a career that started in banking, Ed talks about his entry route into the Residential sector and the benefits that stemmed from running his own business as a ‘young entrepreneur’. He displays and explains the benefits of pursuing some entrepreneurialism and the importance of going at a quick pace, being prepared to step outside your comfort zone and simply ‘acting like a sponge’. Ed makes it very clear as our interview progresses that business is his ‘thing’ and we have no doubt that he’s going to be very successful at it!
Richard’s dedication and commitment to his employer shine through in this podcast episode when he explains how an ability to work well with people as well as deal with complexity have both helped him to successfully navigate his career. He shares with us how his preparedness to ‘put himself out there’ and ‘go the extra mile’ have helped him to make the most of opportunities that have come his way. Additionally, he describes his approach to modern leadership, how he responds to the challenge of being a leader and highlights the importance of participating in mentoring/tutoring and volunteering. On top of this, we also hear about how Richard divides his free time between being a family man and an enthusiastic marathon runner.
Hailing from a less orthodox background, Jason brings his infectious enthusiasm and charisma to this episode and offers encouraging insight on how to make progress in the world of real estate. Considered by many to be a ‘natural broker’ he reflects on what it takes to thrive and survive in a large Canadian advisory firm. He discusses the challenge of leadership as well as the approach and style he adopts to try and attract and retain the future talent that our industry needs. Additionally, we learn about the benefits of having a lucky break and Jason’s idealised vision for the future.
A seasoned podcaster and prolific networker, Toby takes on the intimidating challenge of giving Susan some of her own medicine! In typically charming and humble fashion, Susan unveils some aspects of her make-up which others may not be aware of and shares with us how she became attached to a sector she fell into by accident! Ranked as one of the Top 10 Most Influential Online Commercial Real Estate People in 2018, Susan explains what it takes to be a good networker. She also speaks to us about her involvement in the tech sector, her motivations and what else remains on her list of future ambitions.
Coming originally from accountancy background, Olivia joins us to share her journey to becoming Chief Executive of Dolphin Living, a charity which owns, manages and develops affordable housing for some of London’s workers on more modest incomes. Amongst other things, Olivia emphasises the attributes that have enable her to succeed in her role including the importance of communication, having an inquiring mind and not being limited by ‘boundaries’. On top of this, we also learn about the tougher aspects of the role, how she manages to source the necessary inspiration for the job and how she feels she has changed as a person as her career has progressed.
Bill joins us to share his perspective of the real estate sector including his thoughts on how our industry can attract the very best talent. He also reflects on the characteristics which have helped him to steer his career successfully and indicates his sources of inspiration as well as highlighting the proudest moment of his career. Last but not least, he surprises us with his varied interests outside of work.
Originally commencing her career as a lawyer, Jane explains her rationale for a change in career direction to become a strategic consultant and run her own business before more recently joining Canary Wharf Group. Always aiming to be ‘purpose driven’, Jane highlights the importance of being curious, enthusiastic to network and the benefits of being a quietly confident individual. As someone who strives to achieve ‘balance’ in her life, Jane explains her range of interests including art and boxing and speaks enthusiastically about the next generation and the opportunities that lie ahead for those with the right attitude.
In typically modest style Alistair tells us how as the son of a farm manager he saw the excitement in joining the property sector and has never looked back! He emphasises the importance of human interaction despite the digital technological advancements that this industry is rapidly making, and advocates a ‘work hard, play hard’ approach to everything he does. His ‘sleeves rolled up’ approach to business leadership has always paid dividends and he advocates never underestimating the importance of hard work.
In this episode we talk to Graham Harle, Chief Executive Officer of Gleeds, overseeing a global advisory business with a turnover of £200 million and over 1800 staff.Starting his career as a Quantity Surveyor, Graham shares with us what attracted him to the world of construction and property, his dedication to a single employer and what have been some of the toughest and proudest moments of his career. He also talks to us about how he believes he’s changed as his career has progressed, how he tries to maximise his contribution to the business and how he spends his time outside of work.
In this episode we meet Matt Bennion, Chief Executive Officer at Reds10 (the offsite modular construction business) and former senior advisor to the industry at Arcadis (former EC Harris) and Davis Langdon. Coming from a contractor background and now highly regarded as an industry innovator and game changer, Matt shares with us what attracted him to the industry initially and explains his ongoing enthusiasm to create spaces more fitting for the modern age.He talks to us about why modular construction lends itself well to the current world that we live in and how it contributes to the climate agenda. To add to this, we also learn about the toughest period of Matt’s career, what he considers to be the true definition of success and hear more about his passion and enthusiasm for sport.
In this episode we talk to Ian Crockford, Founder Director of Project Solved and Project Executive at the clean energy technology business, Powerhouse Energy Group. With a reputation for leading projects which have changed the London skyline (including the London Eye, London 2012 Olympic Stadium and Google’s new London HQ), Ian talks to us about what he believes is required to corral, motivate and lead people to achieve demanding objectives.He also talks about his unusual path to ultimately being awarded the CIOB Gold Medal Project Manager of the Year for Millennium Projects 2000 and we learn about the characteristics which have helped him the most throughout his career, how he became accustomed to the demands of leadership and how he has changed as a person as his career has progressed.
In this episode we meet Colin Wood, Chief Executive for Europe and India at AECOM. Before joining AECOM, Colin held a range of senior positions including Managing Director at Air Tanker, CEO for the Defence Infrastructure Organisation (DIO), Head of Olympic and Paralympic Games Readiness for Transport for London (TfL), and Airside Operations Director at Heathrow Airport. He also served for 19 years in the Royal Air Force as an air traffic controller and aviation specialist.Colin presents his views on leadership and cultivating the right sort of environment for people to perform at their best, as well as his thoughts on how to make an impact in organisations. We also get his perspective on how to cultivate an environment of leadership and followership as well as hear about some of the toughest and proudest moments of his career.
In this episode we talk to Amos Simbo, the Managing Director and Founder of Winway Services and also the Founder and Chairman of BPIC Network (Black Professionals in Construction).Amos shares with us his route into the construction industry and presents some thoughts on how the industry could promote itself more widely and increase its appeal. He also explains his involvement in diversity in the industry, some of his main aims and lets us know some of his secrets on how to cultivate a live and fruitful network.
In this episode we talk to Nick Sanderson, the Founder and CEO of Audley Group, a leading UK developer and operator of private retirement villages. Nick has acted as an advisor to public and private sector organisations and he is also Chairman of the Associated Retirement Community Operators (ARCO).Nick shares with us what attracted him to the property sector, what career he would have pursued if he hadn’t gone down this route, his background, the toughest period of his career and his own definition of success!
In this episode we talk to Peter John, an experienced civil law barrister at Five Paper, formerly Leader of the Southwark Council for a decade. Awarded an OBE for his political services and services to local government, Peter is also a member of the Board of the Old Vic Theatre, a Trustee of the St Olave’s and Bermondsey United Charities and Chair of Governors at a Southwark primary school.Peter sheds light on what his experience was like to work in the property sector, how his previous career before the involvement in Southwark helped him to succeed in his leadership role and what his advice would be for the young graduates entering the property sector.
In this episode we meet Liz Peace, formerly CEO at British Property Federation and now pursuing a multi-faceted portfolio career with a range of advisory, non-executive and charity roles in the built environment. Awarded a CBE for services to the property industry, Liz is also a founder member and Chair of Real Estate Balance.She shares with us her route into the industry, her perspective of the property sector, as well as the tougher periods of her career and how she’s chosen to adapt. A chance to listen to the views of an experienced leader and hear what makes her tick.
In this episode we talk to Sadie Morgan, a Founding Director of Stirling Prize winning architecture practice dRMM. Sadie chairs the Independent Design Panel for High Speed Two (HS2) and is a commissioner of the National Infrastructure Commission (NIC) and the Thames Estuary 2050 Growth Commission. Sadie lectures internationally on the work of dRMM and the importance of infrastructure which connects back to people and place.Sadie sheds light on what was the reason behind her involvement in the industry, her achievements, beliefs, inspirations and the toughest period of her career.
In this episode we meet Mark Richardson, Director of Delivery for U+I and previously a senior Director at Laing O’Rourke, an organisation he remained with for almost 37 years. Mark has worked on some of the capital’s most recognisable projects, including One Hyde Park, The Francis Crick Institute and Leadenhall.Coming from a farming background, Mark shares with us what attracted him to the world of construction and property, his career route and which role he enjoyed the most during his time at Laing O’Rourke including some of his own highlights and achievements as well as his own definition of success.
In this episode we talk to Mark Farmer, CEO and a Founding Director of Cast and former Equity Partner of EC Harris. Mark has 30 years experience in construction and real estate and is a recognised international commentator on a variety of industry and policy related issues. He has been admired for authoring the review of the UK’s construction labour model entitled ‘Modernise or Die’ and was appointed as the government’s independent champion of Modern Methods of Construction in Housebuilding in 2019.Mark sheds light on his route into the industry, the proudest moment in his career, motivations and what it takes to succeed.
In this episode we talk to Vivienne King, a prominent business leader with an outstanding breadth of experience across the real estate industry spanning 30 years. Former Director of Business Operations and General Counsel for The Crown Estate and more recently CEO of Revo and Soho Housing Association, Vivienne is also a founder and chair of Real Estate Balance, a membership organisation campaigning for gender diversity at senior levels in real estate.We hear about Vivienne’s challenges, inspirations and successes during her career, learn about the characteristics which have helped her in her roles and find out how she became accustomed to the demands of leadership.
In this episode we talk to Richard Crosby, Director of Blacc, a pioneering organisation which specialises in advising on, managing and delivering Modern Methods of construction (MMC). Richard has successfully helped to deliver programmes such as the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games and established the Department for Education’s offsite component frameworks which influenced the government’s decision to favour offsite construction in procurement.
Richard shares with us his route into MMC and how he likes to challenge the basic process in construction.
In this episode we talk to Jonathan Goring, currently working with Systra on High Speed 2 and previously having worked with U + I, Lovell, PA Consulting and Capita Defence and Infrastructure Organisation.
Jonathan shares with us his route into the industry and how he has got to where he is today, he picks out some of his particular highlights and explains some of the challenges he’s faced along the way.
In this episode we talk to Robert Bould, who followed a 40 year stint with GVA / Bilfinger GVA with ‘going plural’ and, along with running his own consultancy Bould Consulting, works with a range of companies including Coyote Software, IPSX, LandAid, IC Fiera Real Estate and BHT Energy.Rob sheds light on his route into the industry, what he loves about the ‘work’ (although he wouldn’t call it that) and whether there’s anything he’d have done differently along the way.
In this episode we talk to Emma Cariaga, currently joint head of the Canada Water Development for British Land, as well as being a Non Executive Director for Assura Plc and TEDI-London.We hear about how she got to where she is, the highlights and challenges along the way and how she likes to spend her time away from work.