EG’s Rising Stars of 2015: meet property’s next generation


Don’t let their fresh faces fool you, this lot will be running the show before you know it. Introducing the EG Rising Stars of 2015. Portraits by Will Bremridge

One of the 15 people profiled below left school at 16. One used to be Formula One star Sebastian Vettel’s team mate. One funded his first property venture with a £1.8m bridging loan leveraged against his parents’ home.

What they, along with the 12 others in this bright-eyed but formidable group, all have in common is that they are Estates Gazette’s Rising Stars of 2015.

In association with Capstone Recruitment, we have spent the past six months searching for the 15 most exciting under-35-year-olds rising through the industry ranks, rewriting rules and changing perceptions as they go.

The Estates Gazette 15 of 2015 is proof that even in a world as traditional as real estate, fresh blood can come from anywhere. Underestimate them at your peril. They could be hiring you one day…

Roz-Allen-2015The lady of leisure

Roz Allen

29, senior surveyor, Soho House Group

What the judges said: “A star in the making – and if anyone knows how to pick the cream of the crop, it is Soho House.”

Allen is one of a team of two managing the massive global expansion of Soho House, one of the trendiest private club and restaurant brands around.

What should the property industry expect to see from you next? “We are always looking for new restaurant sites. Our team in the design and development department is seeking venues for pop-up restaurants. Dirty Burger, Chicken Shop and Pizza East are all expanding brands.”

Finish the sentence: “Youth is… being a career sponge, working hard and keeping an open mind.”

Who inspires you? “Karren Brady.”


James-and-Thom-Elliott-2015The street-food siblings

James and Thom Elliot

29 and 31, co-founders of Pizza Pilgrims

Find them in: Soho, London and, for the summer, on the roof of Peckham’s Bussey Building

What the judges said: “The Pizza Pilgrims boys are proof that with the right idea you can make it in a tough, overcrowded, cut-throat market. Start-ups, street food or otherwise, watch and learn.”

Proud owners of a three-wheeled Piaggio Ago (maximum speed 18mph), the Elliot brothers launched their business three years ago – after a tour of Italy learning about authentic Italian food – from a £10-a-day pitch on Berwick Street market. They opened their first bricks-and-mortar restaurant in August 2013, a second in 2014 and are now on the hunt for more.

Two restaurants with more on the horizon… you guys have come a long way in four years:
“We call it our four-and-a-half-pint idea. We were in the pub and we both hated our jobs and thought, screw it, let’s go and start a little pizza van. But there is still a long way to go. There is nothing sadder than having ‘risen’. Always be rising, that’s what we say.”

Finish the sentence: “Youth is… a useful asset in the restaurant business. There are a lot of late nights and early mornings!”

Who is your role model: “Honestly? Dolly Parton. She has weathered the hard times while consistently churning out the songs of a generation.”


Warwick-Hunter-2015The developer

Warwick Hunter

34, senior development manager, Qatari Diar

What the judges said: “Warwick’s appointment at Qatari Diar will see him shoot to the top of contact books industry-wide.”

Hunter is directly responsible for the sovereign wealth fund’s American Embassy site at Grosvenor Square, W1, and Shell Centre on the South Bank, SE1. He says: “The ability to be involved on that scale is pretty rare in the industry and it’s a challenge. Historically Qatari Diar and, to some degree, other Qatar vehicles have had a mixed reception in the UK. But there is a lot more clarity now. And more commitment to delivery and to London.”

In a word, what has been the driving force behind your success? “Ambition.”

Finish the sentence: “Youth is… something the young try to shrug off and the experienced try to cling to. Not sure where I sit.”


Will-Tindall-2015The emerging markets innovator

Will Tindall

32, founder of Emerging Crowd

What the judges said: “We have heard of frontier markets. We have heard of crowdfunding. Bringing the two together like this is something we have never seen before. True innovation on a global scale.”

Former banker Will Tindall branched out with business partner Lucien Moolenaar last year to launch Emerging Crowd, the UK’s first global crowdfunding and investment platform focused on helping companies invest safely in emerging markets.

There are plenty of innovative young businesses out there. What makes you different? “We are giving normal, everyday investors access to markets they might not otherwise be able to penetrate. We are opening up a whole new asset class.”

In a word, what has been the driving force behind your success? “Can I have two? Bloody-mindedness.”

Finish the sentence: “Youth is… having the energy and time to dedicate to entrepreneurial ambition.”


Reza-Merchant-2015The savvy start-up

Reza Merchant

26, chief executive, The Collective

The judges said: “Dedication to disruption like we have never seen before. One of the most exciting
start-ups around.”

At 21, Merchant was fed up with struggling to find decent student accommodation, so from a university library he launched a lettings agency which has now blossomed into The Collective – a property development firm pioneering a new form of rented accommodation. The group is now moving into shared workspace development.

What’s next for The Collective?
“To deliver 5,000 units and to continue to grow our shared workspace offer. We are launching POP Brixton later this month, a new community campus for start-ups and small businesses made out of shipping containers.”

In a word, what has been the driving force behind your success? “Balls.”


Read EG’s in-depth article about The Collective >> 

Dominik-Jackson-2015The self-starter

Dominik Jackson

31, founding partner, Jackson & Jackson Developments

What the judges said: “One of the UK’s most promising future developers.”

Former BMW racing driver Jackson was once the team mate of Sebastian Vettel before he gave up the track for bricks and mortar in his early 20s. With no property experience, Jackson set up a buy-to-let residential business in Lincoln with his brother in 2009. Within three years they had created a portfolio of 240 units, with a value of £12m. Jackson is now working on his most substantial project to date – the 519-room, £35m Gateway student accommodation development in Lincoln.

What’s next for you? “Delivering a pipeline worth in excess of £20m over the next two years.”

Finish the sentence: “Youth is… all in the mind.”


Kane-Lewis-2015The occupier liaison

Kane Lewis

26, senior surveyor, central London occupier representation, Cushman & Wakefield; strategic partner at PiLabs

What the judges said: “The go-to man for access to the freshest occupiers. And to be such an integral part of the new PiLabs team at just 26? Impressive. A tech specialist to watch.”

When Lewis joined C&W he realised he would “never be satisfied with the normal service lines at consultancy firms” and wanted to push for innovation. So, on top of his role at C&W, he helped set up the agent’s proptech accelerator, PiLabs. Based out of Rohan Silva’s Second Home space in Shoreditch, it is the first of its kind in Europe and Lewis holds his own in a team of tech-set heavyweights including Juliette Morgan and Faisal Butt.

What makes your role so unique? “I work from Second Home, so I am lucky enough to see how new generations want to work. This means I can help transform the way both high-growth and more traditional corporate companies use and interact within workspace.”

In a word, what has been the driving force behind your success? “Flexibility.”

Finish the sentence: “Youth is… a healthy disrespect for the status quo.”


Read EG’s in-depth article about PiLabs >> 


Lauren-Harries-2015The overseas connection

Lauren Harries

24, quantity surveyor, Aecom, Dubai office

What the judges said: “To be given such a high-profile overseas role at such a young age will be career rocket fuel.”

The youngest person at former company Taylor Woodrow to become chartered, Harries is multidisciplinary giant Aecom’s new recruit in Dubai, overseeing some of the region’s biggest mega-schemes, including the delivery of Dubai Airport.

Finish the sentence: “Youth is… drive.”

Who inspires you? “[Actress] Emma Watson is a great role model. She has succeeded in her acting career and then decided to use her celebrity status to benefit the world in her new role in the UN.”



Tim-Lowe-2015The campaigner

Tim Lowe

27, Knight Frank investment surveyor and the man behind Lowe Cost Living

What the judges said: “Tim is proof of what it takes to be the voice of a generation.”

Lowe hit the headlines last year by being a human guinea pig trying to find affordable rental accommodation in London’s
Zone 2. His travels saw him bed down with rats in a guardian scheme, take freezing showers on a houseboat and pitch up in a horsebox. Now he is launching Lowe Cost Guardians, a live-in scheme keeping mansion blocks safe from squatters.

What’s next for Lowe Cost Living? “I would like to go global. I want to visit Holland, South Korea, Japan and the US to see what London can learn. After that, I want to campaign for government to reassess the minimum space standards and I think that is a movement welcomed by the PRS sector.”


Read more about Lowe Cost Living and watch the video diaries >>

Ross-Bailey-2015The pop-up pioneer

Ross Bailey

23, chief executive, Appear Here

The judges said: “A success story that needs to be seen to be believed. Don’t take your eyes off this one.”

Three years ago Ross Bailey launched pop-up retail start–up Appear Here. Now the group is growing at a rate of 500% year-on-year, averages 100 deals every 20 days and is securing 50-100% returns for property clients including British Land, Land Securities, CapCo and Soho Estates. It has more than 10,000 retailers, including Marc Jacobs, Coca-Cola and Net-a-Porter, and more than 750 property developers signed up to the site.

What has been the most important decision of your career so far? “Leaving school at 16.”

What’s next for Appear Here? “International expansion.”

Who inspires you? “Terence Conran, for proving that youth is a state of mind.”


Read an in-depth EG profile of Appear Here >> 

Krishan-Pattni-and-Robert-Luck-2015The sustainability gurus

Krishan Pattni (left) and Robert Luck

Both 33, creative director and managing director, Latis Homes

What the judges said: “An innovative, affordable concept and two exceptional business brains make these two a force to be reckoned with.”

Luck and Pattni sold half of their first development of 14 affordable eco-homes (controllable by energy monitoring and saving apps) in Hayes, west London, in just three hours last year. They halted sales, relaunched a month later and sold the rest for £20,000 more before exiting at £5.6m, making an overall profit of £1.7m. They now have a £100m pipeline of 415 eco-homes with a tech twist to launch over the next two years.

What can we expect to see from you next? “The launch of our apartments in Covent Garden. We have used the latest technology to provide these app-controlled homes. It allows people to turn lights, heating and hot water off and on from their phone or from a tablet anywhere in the world.”

Finish the sentence: “Youth is… a catalyst.”


Victoria-Lockhart-2015The wellbeing guru

Victoria Lockhart

30, wellbeing and sustainability specialist at Arup Associates

The judges said: “A true innovator, Victoria is one step ahead – working on ideas before the rest of us have any idea how important they are.”

Victoria Lockhart is dedicated to developing strategies and new technology systems that help to deliver buildings that
promote health and wellbeing

What can we expect to see from you over the next few years?
“I want to educate property on how technology can be leveraged to support healthier choices. Our buildings should refresh, support and revive us sadly, many sap energy, spread germs, block access to daylight and disrupt natural circadian cycles.”

Finish the sentence: “Youth is… fleeting! And an openness to change and experimentation.”

Who inspires you? “Mary Portas, for her work on revitalising recession-hit high streets.”


David-Whysall-2015The mega projects man

David Whysall

33, director, Turner & Townsend

The judges said: “Any property company looking at infrastructure – now, or in the future – should ensure they have this man’s number.”

Whysall runs the 160-strong commercial services team in Turner & Townsend’s infrastructure division, working on projects including Crossrail, HS2, Heathrow Airport’s transformation and for Transport for London.

What’s next for you? “There have never been so many
mega-projects as there are now. We are going to see London transformed. Someone at the Treasury was saying to me that it’s a golden age, a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.”

Who inspires you? “Sir Dave Brailsford, Jonny Wilkinson and Sir Alex Ferguson – they all recognise that incremental improvements can amount to transformational results.”