FRANCIS Salway, the long-standing chief executive of Land Securities, is stepping down after eight years at the helm of Britain’s largest commercial property company,
The industry veteran will leave on 31 March at the end of the financial year and will hand the reins to Rob Noel, managing director of the firm’s London portfolio.
Salway said he was leaving after a “wonderful” eight years at the helm to “fulfil my plan to take on a new challenge for the balance of my career”.
“When I took on the role of chief executive in 2004 and first stood up in front of our staff there were three things I wanted to achieve. To lead the sector on customer service, to deliver great buildings and to deliver consistently good property returns,” Salway told City A.M.
“On those three things Land Securities is seen as having been at the forefront,” he said.
The news came alongside a third-quarter trading statement, marking steady progress in lettings at its shopping centres and office blocks and increased occupancy rates across its its portfolio.
Land Securities conceded, however, that letting transactions were taking longer to execute, as expected in an uncertain economic environment.
The group also secured a new £1.05bn credit facility, which the company said would help it buy property being offloaded by banks.
“Overall, I think good execution operationally within the business and further strengthening over the balance sheet puts us in a strong position,” Salway said.
Shares slipped 1.4 per cent to 682p.