Chief Executive

You joined Frogmore 24 years ago. What are the biggest changes that you’ve seen in the property industry since then?

 

The effects of being part of a global economy on investment in the UK and technology affecting occupiers’ use of space. It’s difficult to keep ahead of the game and predict trends.

 

You have played a fundamental role at Frogmore, particularly in the fundraising drive, which has seen the business secure c.£1bn of committed equity to date. What advice would you give to other businesses when it comes to securing equity?

 

There is no substitute for hard work on this one. You need stamina, patience and resilience; there will be setbacks along the way.

Frogmore has carried out over £7bn of transactions since 1995. Are there any projects that you’re particularly proud of?

 

South Place Hotel in the City – a plan B strategy in response to the global financial crisis hitting demand for office space. We secured a pre-letting of a hotel on a long lease; constructed an attractive building and sold the resulting investment having seen the hotel trading figures stabilise.

 

How is Frogmore’s portfolio split between residential, commercial, industrial, and office?

 

We invest across all sectors in the UK; not just the traditional asset classes you list but also alternative strategies such as student housing; retirement homes and even a data centre. We adopt a stock picker approach choosing deals from the pipeline where we can underwrite our target returns with conviction.

The property sector is generally very male-dominated. As a woman in a leadership role, what more do you think can be done to create more of a gender balance within the sector?

 

It’s a question of awareness and that is improving. Women should have more confidence in their abilities and speak out whilst men must help them find their voice. Balance and diversity is not simply a gender issue. The industry must work to ensure it truly represents society particularly given that we greatly influence the urban realm in which society functions.

 

You sit on the Fundraising Committee of Land-Aid, a charity that harnesses the property industry’s expertise to support projects working to end youth homelessness in the UK. How long have you been working with the charity and why is it important to you?

 

Frogmore has been a Land Aid Foundation Partner for many years. They are just one of many charities we support. It’s important to ‘give back’. Morally we all have a duty to help correct unfairness in society. Youth homelessness is a shameful tragedy which we must all help to end.

 

What has been the game-changing moment in your career so far?

 

Every year of the 30 years I have worked in this fabulous industry has been game changing. I look forward to more of that.

What has been biggest challenge you have faced as an entrepreneur?

 

Negativity – people who start every sentence with, “The problem is….”

What is the best piece of advice you ever received?

 

My Mum always told me “The World doesn’t owe you a living – you have to go out and earn it.”

Finally, a bit of fun – please can you tell us your favourite app, book and holiday destination?

 

WhatsApp (for keeping in touch with my friends).

How to Win Friends and Influence People – a great guide for life both in and outside the office.

Anywhere with my husband, Justin (Brand).