Co-founder and Head of Land and Partnerships
Paul provides a focus on new business opportunities and the management of our partnerships with landowners.
He is a chartered town planner (MRTPI) and a chartered surveyor (MRICS) and is also a Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society and the Royal Asiatic Society and is a committee member of the Cambridge University Land Society.
Hi, I'm Paul.
Summer 2018, with a second child on the way, I made the decision to leave what was essentially a wonderful job to go and scratch an itch.
Until July 2018 I was Head of Development at GL Hearn, part of Capita plc. The role was a culmination of 18 years’ hard work and had me heading up a team of 55 professionals and with a seat on the board. In years preceding this I am lucky to have a number of roles in the property development industry, working as an advisor and client across the public and private sectors, including a nine month part time secondment into the Housing Estate Regeneration team at MHCLG.
Over the last five or so years most of my professional work has involved finding property development partners for land owning institutions; local government, charities, NHS Trusts and pension funds. It brought together all my experience of planning, procurement and major project delivery to seek to get the best for the respective stakeholders. Through these projects I worked with some of the best in the business - in private practice and all forms of government departments and agencies. (Whisper it, but the best were often doing great things in local government). But coming off the back of my secondment I began to feel that the private sector market place was not sufficiently deep where it was needed most - with too few development companies that really understood, and could meet, my landowner clients’ broader and long term social objectives.
I had reached a point in my life where I could have happily stayed gainfully employed but felt that I needed to take some time to properly consider what could be done.
Alongside some seriously luxurious weekday swimming, I started thinking about what a perfect property development partner would look like. I started moving outside of my normal circles and met and spoke to the likes of Big Society Capital, Good Finance and Big Issue Invest. I attended a course in Social Impact Finance run by the School of Social Entrepreneurs and was kindly accepted onto the Young Foundation’s Housing Innovation bootcamp. I holed myself up in the British Library and started to read more widely but most importantly ended up chatting to Richard who had by then recently stepped down as a Partner at Argent. Our relationship was built over the course of four years at Brent Cross South, where I was advising the London Borough of Barnet in their joint venture with Argent Related. I started to describe to Richard my train of thought and it turned out he was going through exactly the same process and was having the same conversations with James.
The rest, as they say, is history.