British Land executives to set up firm
PROPERTY group British Land is set for a boardroom shake-up after it emerged that its star director Andrew Jones was quitting the group, taking two committee members with him to set up a rival firm.
Jones, 40, had already confirmed he was considering leaving but his decision to bring on board colleagues Valentine Beresford and Mark Stirling, will mean almost one-third of British Land’s executive committee is walking out the door.
The departure of Jones, head of the property firm’s retail division, could spark further defections from within his close-knit team.
Jones was once the bookies’ favourite for the top role at the head of the firm after Stephen Hester left to take the helm at bailed-out bank Royal Bank of Scotland.
But sources close to the situation said that Jones was “voting with his feet” after the board hired external candidate Chris Grigg.
Jones is said to believe that the majority of issues facing British Land are probably more due to its property portfolio than capital problems.
Jones was appointed to the executive committee in August 2005 and made an executive director on 14 July 2006. He joined British Land in July 2005 after the company’s acquisition of a firm run by property veterans Raymond Mould and Patrick Vaughan, Pillar Property.
Mould and Vaughan, now both in their sixties, last month bought £44m worth of property at Arsenal’s residential development through their Aim listed firm London & Stamford.
British Land yesterday confirmed that its shareholders had voted in favour of the group’s sale of its Broadgate Circus complex to Blackstone.