Investing in the High Streets
April 29th 2021
Session 2 - Investing in the High Street - A £250bn Opportunity?
High Street Task Force
Mark is an award-winning entrepreneur and investor in town centres, having co-founded the developer Ellandi in 2008. At Ellandi, Mark has helped lead its mission to create the UK’s most inclusive and sustainable communities, raising over £1.5bn pounds to invest in more than 30 communities across the UK and Northern Ireland, from Enniskillen to Folkestone.
In a career over 25 years Mark has worked for both owners and occupiers of town centre properties and in 2019 was President of Revo; a leading membership body that represents the interests of owners, occupiers and local authorities in promoting thriving retail places. During this time, he successfully led an initiative to broaden the membership base to embrace the public sector and the launch of the Diploma in Retail and Leisure Place Management in partnership with Solent University.
Ellandi has sponsored the Great British High Street and Mark was a judge in 2019; over the years a number of Ellandi projects have enthusiastically entered and were proud to be shortlisted. Ellandi projects have also been recognised with numerous awards for diversity, design, customer service, marketing, community impact and sustainability on a national and international basis.
Mark is a regular commentator on town centre issues in both industry and national media, including The Times, FT and the BBC. He is an in demand public speaker often covering topics such as The Need/Opportunity for Change in Town Centres and Public/Private Partnerships.
Rebeca Guzman Vidal
Group Head of Retail Strategy
Leslie Jones Architecture
James Cons is an architect, he holds a Diploma in Project Management from the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors, a Master of Business Administration in Construction and Real Estate and is a member of the Royal Institute of British Architects.
As Managing Director of Leslie Jones, James provides leadership and project direction for both clients and colleagues alike. James is passionate about our town and city centres and the challenges that are being faced through the decline of retail in particular. He is heavily involved in the current debate on our urban futures, commenting: “Such speedy change is challenging the ability of our infrastructure, built environment, policies and occupational models to keep up. Town centres and their stakeholders must find ways to react to this change in the short and medium term such that their long-term strategies might be informed and able to accommodate the way in which we will be living, working and playing in the future.”
James is a keen exponent of collaboration, leading the Urbankind initiative which seeks to bring together appropriate skills focused on improving the futures of our urban centres. James comments further; “Those that succeed in rapidly re-defining their relevance to the changing world and the nature of the communities they serve will thrive.”
James joined Leslie Jones in 1993, having previously worked for the global retail design consultancy, Fitch. He became an Associate Partner of the practice in 2000, a Director in 2005 following incorporation of the practice and then Managing Director in 2013. With a heritage in retail design James has been an active member of this community having chaired the Revo Gold Awards in 2017, 2018 and 2019.
Morgan Stanley Real Assets
Shamik Narotam is an Executive Director in Morgan Stanley’s real estate private equity division (MSREI) having worked there for the last 12 years. Morgan Stanley Real Estate Investing (MSREI) is the global private real estate investment management arm of Morgan Stanley. As at the end of 2018 MSREI had $33bln under management and is one of the worlds largest investors in Real Estate. Prior to Morgan Stanley, Shamik was a structural engineer AKT and graduated from Imperial College. He holds an MBA from London Business School.
Managing Director - Retail, Shopping Centres & Retail Parks Portfolio Management
Bruce joined Landsec in December 2020 as Managing Director for Retail. Bruce has over 25 years of consumer brand experience where he’s developed his operational leadership and strategic management skills.
He brings a global perspective from his most recent roles; Chief Commercial Officer of Furla and prior to that as the VP Global Retail for Diesel, where he led the brand’s Direct to Consumer business through its transformation from a traditional wholesale manufacturer to a modern Omni-channel retailer.
Lord Bob Kerslake
The UK2070 Commission
Lord Kerslake is Chair of Peabody, Chair of Be First (Barking and Dagenham Council’s regeneration company), Chair of Stockport Mayoral Development Corporation, Chair of the London Collective Investment Vehicle (London CIV), Chair of Sheffield Theatres, Chair of Sheffield Hallam University, Chair of the Centre for Public Scrutiny (CfPS), Chair of the New Economics Foundation and President of the Local Government Association (LGA).
In addition to this, he chairs the UK2070 Commission, an independent inquiry into city and regional inequalities in the UK.
Prior to these roles, Lord Kerslake was Head of the Civil Service, Permanent Secretary of DCLG and served as Chief Executive for Sheffield City Council and the London Borough of Hounslow.
Keynote - The High Street Fund / The Levelling up Agenda – Lord Bob Kerslake, Chair - The UK2070 Commission
Keynote Presentation – James Cons, Managing Director - Leslie Jones Architecture - High Streets: “Integrated Placemaking – A step by step approach to a new Urbankind”
Panel session – The High Street – A £200bn Investment Opportunity? panel of 4 key investors
Despite the £8bn that government is putting into place initiatives, this is a fraction of the money required to deliver the scale of change needed, and the opportunity is enormous. Investing is our town centres is way down on the list of priorities for most investors, but represents a massive real estate opportunity? What is needed to give them confidence? What funding models could work? What type of capital is required? What further support is needed from government?