Property grandee Mike Slade has announced he will step down as chief executive of FTSE 250 developer Helical Bar next year after more than three decades at the helm.
Slade is one of the industry’s jolliest characters, who is as likely to be found racing his yacht the Leopard as he is in his company’s Mayfair offices.
He will step back from the day-to-day running of the FTSE 250 business after 31 years in charge and become the company’s non-executive chairman in June next year.
Helical’s current chairman, Nigel McNair Scott, will retire and Slade will be succeed by development director Gerald Kaye, who has been a member of the board since 1994.
When asked why he had chosen this point to step down Slade told City A.M.: “Property is a fun game and I will miss the banter and the day-to-day business. But I’m 70 (years old) and by god I can’t do this for the rest of my bloody life.”
He named 40 Berkeley Square in Mayfair, which is let to US private equity group Blackstone, as one of the developments he is most proud of to date: "That's a cracking building and to do something in Berkeley Square is pretty unique. Not everyone gets to do that."
Slade said he plans to retain his 11 per cent stake in a show of confidence in the business and the London commercial property market, which accounts for around 55 per cent of Helical Bar's portfolio.
The announcement was made alongside the company’s half-year results, in which Helical reported a 13.2 per cent rise in net asset value per share from March to 436p.
Last week, Helical struck its biggest deal to date, after exchanging contracts to buy the half stake it does not already own in The Bower office scheme on Old Street roundabout from Crosstree Real Estate for £248m.
The 3.12 acre site will be one of the largest office schemes to come onto the market in the tech-focused area when it is completed in 2017 and has already secured tenants including luxury online fashion retailer, Farfetch and CBS Interactive, an online content network provider.
Sooaring rental prices and record levels of investment has sparked fears the London commercial property market could be reaching its peak. However Slade believes the market is still “bloody good” for another three years, saying: “Noone know what is going to happen in six years time. But London is having a boom so let’s enjoy it instead of saying miaow all of the time.”