Our panel is made up of industry-leading experts who will choose the most worthy winners across the 21 categories.
Bola Abisogun OBE, chief executive, Urbanis
Abisogun was awarded an OBE in 2019 and qualified as a chartered quantity surveyor in 1999. As chief executive of Urbanis he has successfully delivered in excess of £8bn in real estate projects across a broad range of sectors, with a public sector bias.
He is a fellow of the RICS, an APC assessor and committed to nurturing aspiring chartered surveyors. Approached by the University of Cambridge in June 2020, he is an appointed National Digital Twin ambassador delivering the business case for digital twins, with a UK/global focus.
He currently chairs a unique, pan-London project called Moving on Up (MoU), a multimillion pound initiative targeting employment outcomes for young Black men, supported by the mayor of London and jointly funded by Trust for London & City Bridge Trust. Phase two of the joint WIN/MoU initiative is focusing on employer engagement across three specific sectors: construction, technology and finance.
Mark Allan, chief executive, Landsec
Allan has been chief executive of Landsec since April 2020. Prior to that he spent a combined 14 years as chief executive of FTSE 250 real estate businesses Unite Group (student accommodation) and St Modwen (regeneration, logistics and housebuilding). As a result of these roles, he has a broad range of experience from across the property sector.
Landsec strives to connect communities, realise potential and deliver sustainable places. As one of the largest real estate companies in Europe, Landsec’s £12.8bn portfolio spans 24m sq ft (as at 31 March 2020) of well-connected retail, leisure, workspace and residential hubs. Its aim is to lead the real estate industry in critical long-term issues – from diversity and community employment, to carbon reduction and climate resilience, and to deliver value for shareholders, great experiences for customers and positive change for communities.
William Beardmore-Grey, global head of occupier services & commercial agency and London offices, Knight Frank
Beardmore-Gray is global head of occupier services & commercial agency and London offices at Knight Frank. Appointed in 2013, he co-ordinates Knight Frank’s network of agents, who represent landlords and occupiers in all key markets around the world. Specialising in London, he also acts for major corporates and landlords, helping to develop their property strategy.
Ciaran Bird, divisional president, advisory services, chief executive UK & Ireland, CBRE
Having previously worked at Fletcher King and Clive Lewis & Partners, Bird joined Dalgleish in 1992. Following CBRE’s acquisition of Dalgleish in 2005, he became head of UK retail within CBRE, advising on a wide range of projects for many of his clients, including Marks & Spencer, Arcadia, New Look, Deloitte and Westfield.
Bird was appointed divisional president, advisory services, chief executive UK & Ireland in January 2013 and has responsibility for the management and growth of the UK & Irish business, while continuing to advise his key domestic and international occupier and investor clients on their property strategy, both within the UK and Europe. He also sits on the EMEA executive committee and is responsible for retail and client care.
Sue Brown, managing director, Real Estate Balance
Brown is the incoming managing director for Real Estate Balance, the advocacy organisation campaigning for gender diversity at senior levels in real estate.
From April 2020, Brown will lead Real Estate Balance’s campaign to address the gender imbalance in property, working to secure a future in which women represent half the industry’s senior leadership positions. She brings to Real Estate Balance three decades of business, property and economic development experience.
Brown joins Real Estate Balance from London First, where she has been executive director with responsibility for property, planning, the environment and development since 2016. She started her career in government, serving as a senior adviser in a variety of high-profile roles, before going on to establish her own real estate consultancy.
Brown was a driving force behind the launch of MIPIM, the world’s largest real estate investment conference that takes place each year in Cannes. She is the co-founder and co-chair of REWIRE, the network for women in property. She is also an active member of the Women’s Network Forum based at Buckingham Palace.
Paul Browne, creative director, Oracle Creative
Browne is the creative director and partner at Oracle Creative in London. He works predominantly with private developers and housing associations to create brands and marketing campaigns in the property sector.
He knew from an early age he wanted to be a graphic designer, excelling at drawing and typography, and always had a strong interest in cities and the built environment. He has been designing for more than 30 years and has spent the past 20 years at Oracle, eventually becoming joint owner.
Browne believes in the importance of brand positioning and placemaking. He relishes creating a unique image and story for his clients’ products and services.
Étienne Cadestin, founder & global chief executive, Longevity Partners
Cadestin founded Longevity Partners in 2015. Prior to that, he worked at Knight Frank, JLL and the United Nations Environment Programme.
He has more than a decade of experience in sustainable property investment and strategy. He currently advises the largest property investment companies in Europe.
In 2019, Cadestin won the EG Future of Real Estate Award. Before that, he was nominated as one of EG’s Rising Stars and nominated for numerous awards as one of the most active young leaders in the sustainability and real estate industries. He regularly speaks at high-level events, giving his vision for smart cities, carbon-neutral buildings, wellbeing in the work place and the future of the real estate industry.
Simon Carter, chief executive, British Land
Carter was appointed chief executive of British Land in November 2020. Previously chief financial officer, Carter has been instrumental in shaping British Land’s strategy, strengthening the company’s financial position and driving forward the company’s ambitious sustainability and social agenda.
He has extensive real estate and financial markets experience: prior to becoming CFO of British Land, he was CFO at Logicor, the European logistics business. He joined Logicor from Quintain Estates & Development, where he was finance director during the sale of the business to LoneStar.
Carter previously spent more than 10 years at British Land, working in a variety of financial and strategic roles. He was a member of the executive committee from 2012 until his departure in January 2015. He previously worked in fixed income at UBS and is a qualified chartered accountant.
Adina David, director of urban living, Greystar
David is director of urban living at Greystar, tasked with consolidating Greystar’s global strategy around the development and acquisition of urban living assets.
She was most recently vice-president of investments at The Collective. She was previously with Greystar’s UK investments team, focused on build-to-rent in the UK. Prior to joining Greystar in 2016, David worked in acquisitions and asset management for Dermot, a residential company in New York. She started her CRE career with Knight Frank in Bucharest, Romania, in 2010.
David holds an MSc in Real Estate from NYU and a BA from Emory University. She is an active member of CREW and ULI and founder of LiRE. She was an EG Rising Start candidate in 2020.
Ghislaine Halpenny, director of strategy and external affairs, British Property Federation
Halpenny has been director of strategy and external affairs at the British Property Federation, the representative body for the commercial real estate sector, since 2015. She joined the BPF in 2009 as part of the policy team, and led the its work on planning and development, before starting the now well-established industrial committee and the regional programme.
She is responsible for the BPF’s strategic relationships with government – both Whitehall and regional – and leads the work on reputation. She also leads on the extensive diversity and inclusion programme, including BPF Futures, a network of 1,400 junior professionals.
Kat Hanna, masterplan strategist, Euston OSD, Lendlease Europe
An experienced urbanist and researcher, Hanna has worked in London politics, planning, and policy for almost a decade. Her interests include urban economies, transport, and the relationship between technology and the built environment. She has authored a number of reports and articles on urban development in London and regularly appears as a commentator on urban affairs across a range of publications, media, and events.
Hanna joined Lendlease in April 2019 as masterplan strategist for the 60-acre Euston over-site development. Her role focuses on developing the masterplan vision and ensuring both the plan and the project itself respond to trends and innovations in urban development, transport and technology.
Emily Hamilton, head of ESG, Savills IM
Hamilton has spent the past 13 years working in ESG with a focus on advising and promoting sustainability within the real estate sector. She joined Savills IM in September 2020 and is head of ESG globally at Savills IM.
Hamilton was a board director at the Better Buildings Partnership from 2017-2020, is a trustee of the National Park City Foundation and a mentor at the charity, Heart of the City.
She is a full member of the Institute for Environmental Management and Assessment and holds a MSc. Environment, Science and Society from University College London.
Emma Harvey, programme director, Green Finance Institute
An experienced and passionate green finance specialist, Harvey joined the Green Finance Institute in 2019. She leads a portfolio of coalitions and projects, including the Coalition for the Energy Efficiency of Buildings, an industry-led collaboration with more than 200 individual members, focused on developing new financial products and solutions to help accelerate the decarbonisation of buildings.
Harvey previously worked across several areas within Barclays Bank, including product development, portfolio management and corporate debt structuring. Throughout this period she championed the green finance agenda, supporting the bank’s first green bond issuance and pioneering the Barclays green home mortgage.
Kirsten Hewson, head of real estate, Shoosmiths
Hewson is responsible for driving forward the strategy of one of the largest real estate legal practices in the UK. As divisional head, she manages more than 300 legal advisers, including UK-wide teams in core real estate, construction, planning and real estate litigation, allowing her an understanding of the local market dynamics across our cities and regions.
Hewson joined Shoosmiths in 2003, became head of planning in 2010 and was elected to Shoosmiths’ partnership council from 2015 to 2018, before joining the board as divisional head of real estate in 2018.
Jane Hollinshead, principal, IJD Consulting
Hollinshead is the principal of IJD Consulting, which provides strategic advice to Listed PLCs, REITs, advisory firms and industry organisations within the real estate sector.
She is a non-executive director of the G15 Housing Association, Notting Hill Genesis and a board member of the Moorfield Group. Prior to founding IJD Consulting, Hollinshead had a 20-year career in the City as head of the real estate sector at law firm Addleshaw Goddard, where she was also a member of its UK governance board.
Andrew Jones, chief executive, LondonMetric
Jones was a co-founder and chief executive of Metric from its inception in March 2010 until its merger with London & Stamford in January 2013. On completion of the merger, he became chief executive of LondonMetric.
Jones was previously executive director and head of retail at British Land. He joined British Land in 2005 following the acquisition of Pillar and served on the main board with responsibilities for shopping centres, retail park investment and asset management.
Jones was previously non-executive director of Unite, the UK’s leading provider of student accommodation, for six years.
Prasanna Kannan, co-founder, Native Finance
Kannan is a co-founder of Native Finance, the first tech platform in Europe for real estate finance. Since its launch in 2018, the platform has priced more than £800m in development and investment transactions, with around £100m in completions.
Backers include fintech VC Passion Capital and leading angel investors. Kannan is also a housing fellow with the Winston Churchill Memorial Trust, researching co-living globally. He was previously portfolio manager at the Elton John Aids Foundation, where he launched one of the world’s first social impact bonds. He started his career on the London trading floor at Goldman Sachs.
William Murray, director & founder, Wordsearch Place
Murray is a real estate strategist specialising in large scale mixed-use projects. He has worked at Wordsearch for 22 years, and been a director a part-owner for 12 years. During that time has worked on some of the world’s most prestigious buildings and developments.
Before Wordsearch he trained as a construction manager at the Bartlett School of Architecture, and worked as a construction manager at Mace. He was responsible for all marketing and communications for the Shard in London, for the development of the communications strategy and brand for One World Trade Center in New York, and was the main director in charge of the development of the branding and placemaking strategy, and communications materials for Battersea Power Station since 2008. He has worked on Barangaroo in Sydney, Hudson Yards and Central Park Tower in New York.
In 2017, he set up Wordsearch Place with David Twohig to capitalise on his global mixed-use project experience, and provide real estate consultancy and development services on complex, mixed-use projects. Since then, Wordsearch Place has advised and collaborated on more than 200m sq ft of property around the world.
Paul Nellist, managing director, Hana
Nellist is managing director of Hana, a subsidiary of CBRE, which specialises in monetising flexible office space on behalf of landlords. He has more than 25 years’ experience in the commercial property industry, having previously held global roles at Standard Chartered Bank and American Express.
At Standard Chartered he helped create a flexible working charter which ultimately led to more than 25% of the staff working remotely (pre-pandemic).
He is an advocate of people-centric design and believes a workplace should inspire as well as promote collaboration so it retains and attracts the best talent. He is a strong promoter of sustainability and social enterprise (partnering with Change Please on their first location outside London at Hana’s St Peters Square, Manchester) and the role that real estate plays in shaping people’s working life.
William Newton, president and managing director, WiredScore
Newton is president and managing director at WiredScore. He began his career at McKinsey & Co, before moving to work in the cabinet office and then in the No.10 policy unit in Downing Street.
Newton joined WiredScore to lead the company’s launch as the capital’s official digital connectivity rating scheme in 2015 in partnership with the Mayor of London. Since then, he has led WiredScore’s expansion into 10 new countries and into the smart building arena with SmartScore, the certification for smart buildings.
Hanna Osundina, senior development manager, East Wick & Sweetwater and founder of Black Women in Real Estate
As senior development manager for East Wick and Sweetwater project, Osundina manages the feasibility, business planning, budget, design, programming and planning pathways of the mixed-use regeneration project which has more than 1,800 homes and 20,000 sq m of non-residential floor space, part of the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park legacy.
She brings her skillset as a MRICS-qualified planning and development professional to help achieve the vision for a community first neighbourhood.
Osundina is also the founder of Black Women in Real Estate, bringing together Black women in property with the intent for them to connect, empower each other and grow. She sits on the board of E16 CLT – a community land trust in Newham, helping to make strategic decisions on the management of newly owned ex-council properties and the feasibility of future opportunities.
In addition, she is the vice chair of the University of Greenwich’s construction, property and surveying practices – industry advisory board and sits on EG’s D&I content advisory panel.
Keval Pankhania, managing director, Sneller Commercial
Pankhania is the managing director of Sneller Commercial. Snellers provide expert advice across a range of property services including valuation, agency, asset management, lease consultancy, project management, building surveying, development consultancy and investment.
Alongside the day-to-day running of the business, Pankhania is responsible for business development across the entire firm and, more specifically, advising clients on a variety of building surveying and project management instructions.
Pankhania started with Snellers as director of building surveying in 2014. His specialisms include advising landlords and tenants on dilapidations, exit strategies, refurbishment and alteration projects on all property types.
Sarah Ratfcliffe, chief executive, Better Buildings Partnership
Ratcliffe has more than 20 years’ experience working in the property sector on sustainability issues. She is chief executive of the Better Buildings Partnership, a collaboration of the UK’s leading commercial property owners who aim to deliver market transformation through sustainability leadership and knowledge sharing across the property industry. The BBP has 40 members with combined assets under management of more than £250bn.
She is a visiting lecturer at The Business School (formerly Cass), a board director of the Sustainable Development Foundation and has contributed to numerous industry steering groups and committees.
Richard Rees, UK managing director, Savills
Rees is UK managing director at Savills and head of national development services. He has more than 25 years’ experience in the development, funding and agency markets.
Having joined Savills as a graduate in 1989, in 2012 Rees was invited to join the newly formed Savills UK executive committee and in 2013 he became head of national development services, now comprising more than 800 people across the UK. He specialises in significant development projects, providing consultancy and strategic advice across both the residential and commercial sectors.
Rees is an acknowledged expert in the development industry, with strong connections in the mixed-use sector. His projects range from government departments and ministries such as NHS through to key educational bodies such as Imperial College, Cambridge University and UCL.
He often leads the structuring and interface on complex joint ventures, linking landowners with commercial and residential property companies and developers such as Landsec, British Land, Berkeley Homes and Barratt Homes.
George Roberts, head of UK & Ireland, Cushman & Wakefield
As one of the top three global real estate advisers, Cushman & Wakefield acts for some of the world’s largest investors, developers and occupiers, priding itself on taking ownership for the delivery of solutions that create value for its clients.
Roberts’ role in the UK&I is focused on providing strategic leadership to the business so that it continues to develop and grow. He also takes responsibility for client relationships to ensure it is delivering services to a high standard for all.
With over 25 years of experience in the London office market, he has advised some of the capital’s largest occupiers in keynote transactions and advised on major office relocations, culminating in some of London’s most high-profile pre-leasing acquisitions.
He has advised clients from a broad section of sectors, including Amazon, Burberry, Ogilvy, Publicis and Thomson Reuters.
Adam Scott, founder & creative director, FreeState
Scott is an architect and designer who is the creative force and founder of FreeState, the pioneering experience masterplanning agency.
Based in London but working globally, Scott and his team advise some of the world’s most innovative brand-builders and city-makers – including Sony, Virgin Atlantic, Google, Lendlease, University of Western Australia, Melbourne Airport and Network Rail.
Scott takes a singular approach to the art and science of experience masterplanning, whether he’s working on commercial, transport or university campuses. It begins with translating the ideal experience into an “underlay” for everything that follows. That ensures every touchpoint – from architecture to interiors to technology to curation to hosting – meets the needs of the audience and gives them the greatest journey.
Scott is co-author of ReThink Design Guide (RIBA Press, 2021) and The Experience Book (Black Dog Press, 2021).
James Seppala, senior managing director, real estate – London, Blackstone
Seppala is a senior managing director in the real estate group and the head of real estate Europe, based in London. Since joining Blackstone in 2011, he has been involved in a number of Blackstone’s investments across Europe, including Logicor, OfficeFirst, Sponda and Mileway.
Prior to joining Blackstone, he was a vice-president at Goldman Sachs & Co, where he spent 10 years focused on equity and debt investment opportunities in Europe and the US on behalf of Goldman Sachs’ real estate private equity group.
He currently serves as chairman of Sponda, is on the board of The Office Group, and chairs the European Advisory Board of the Zell/Lurie Real Estate Center at the Wharton School.
Priya Shah, founder, BAME in Property
Shah is a communications consultant and founder of BAME in Property, an organisation to help bring more ethnic diversity in the built environment sector.
She has provided comms and stakeholder engagement support on successful planning projects, ranging from retirement living projects to strategic land sites.
Since launching in December 2017, BAME in Property has grown to become one of the leading ethnic diversity networks in the built environment sector. During the first 100 days of the Covid-19 lockdown, Shah reached more than 370,000= people on social media.
She has been listed as one of the RTPI Planner magazine’s Women of Influence since March 2018 and in September 2018 was shortlisted as one of EG’s Rising Stars.
Lynda Shillaw, chief executive, Harworth Group
Shillaw became chief executive of Harworth Group on 1 November 2020. She was previously group property director and a board member at London Stock Exchange-listed Town Centre Securities, where she led the management of its land and property and its development pipeline.
Before that, she was divisional CEO, property, at the Manchester Airports Group, where she was responsible for MAG’s investment portfolio and development land bank, including its Airport City joint venture. This followed a long career managing both investment and development real estate portfolios for BT and Co-operative Group before joining Lloyds Banking Group as global head of its real estate lending division. Shillaw is also a non-executive director of The Crown Estate and Vivid Housing Association.
Jason Sibthorpe, principal and president UK, Avison Young
Sibthorpe’s focus is on accelerating growth through strategic expansion into new UK markets for the benefit of Avison Young’s clients. He is a director on Avison Young’s global board and is a member of the global executive committee.
He is well-known for his passionate, people-centred approach to real estate – developed over 30 years in the industry – and is always seeking opportunities to deliver economic, social and environmental value to clients, stakeholders, and wider communities.
As part of the Property Advisors Forum (previously the Windsor Group), Sibthorpe collaboratively addresses issues that affect the ability of the industry to attract diverse talent. He is a dedicated advocate for social progression and change within the built environment industry, chairing Avison Young’s UK Diversity & Inclusion steering committee, and regularly speaking publicly about issues including social equality and mobility, diversity and mental health. He also champions mentoring as both a mentor to the next generation and mentee.
Sibthorpe joined Avison Young in 2016 as the UK managing director before assuming his current position post the acquisition and merger of GVA. He previously spent 14 years at GVA, where he was the chair of Bilfinger GVA’s retail, hotels and leisure group. In addition, he led the company’s transactional and capital markets teams, managed the firm’s London office, and was a member of the UK executive board at Bilfinger GVA.
James Townsend, co-founder, Kontor
Townsend is a former EG Rising Star (2016) and has been directly responsible for the acquisition of more than 3.5m sq ft of office space across the UK, Europe and the US in the past 10 years.
Since co-founding Kontor in 2014 the business has gone on to become the leading consultancy in relation to flex office brokerage in the UK, winning the EG Offices Adviser of the Year award in 2017.
Since its inception, the business has carved a niche in advising rapidly growing start-up and scale-up businesses, acquiring more than 30,000 desks for occupiers and recently expanded their global reach with a new office in New York.
Townsend splits his time between New York and London and specialises in advising occupiers, landlords and operators on their real estate strategy.
Melanie Williams, head of global real estate, DWF
Williams has more than 20 years’ experience of working on the investment and funding of real estate development projects.
With a reputation as the go-to adviser for property work in the hospitality sector, she also leads the firm’s hospitality sector group and has particular expertise in the acquisition of hotels, development and refurbishment projects and real estate finance. She has a wealth of experience in handling asset management work for investors, developers and banks, as well as dealing with landlord and tenant matters.
Williams sits on the board of directors of the Colmore Business District BID, working with key business and community leaders to encourage investment in projects and services which improve the Birmingham business environment. She also sits on the board of directors for Citysave Credit Union.
Ed Warrick, managing partner, Applegarth Partners
Warrick has been managing partner at Applegarth Partners, an investment and asset manager with a focus on flexible workspace, leisure-driven regeneration and prime residential markets, since 2018.
Prior to this, he held senior roles at IWG, where he was head of asset management for the 7m sq ft UK flexspace portfolio, and the Wellcome Trust, where he was responsible for the £1bn mixed-use South Kensington Estate and a £100m co-investment in a pan-Asian commercial portfolio.
Warrick also holds links with the affordable housing market through eight years’ development experience with L&Q and Clarion and, in 2014, he co-founded Switchee, which provides real-time data analytics to more than 70 affordable housing providers and has raised more than £10m in external investment.
He holds an MBA from INSEAD, where he studied in France and Singapore.
Dominic Wilson, venture capital investor & proptech pioneer
Wilson is one of the leading global investors in the early stage proptech domain. He has invested in more than 50 companies, from Australia to Finland.
Until recently, he was co-founder & managing general partner of Pi Labs. He lead the firm, was a director on the board and a voting member of the investment committee. He is a non-executive director of Office App and he previously sat on the boards of Brolly, FalconDHQ and Qualis Flow.
Wilson has been instrumental in building the European proptech ecosystem. In partnership with EG, he was a founding member of the EG Tech Academy which supports entrepreneurs via institutional mentoring and support from the likes of L&G and KPMG.
Prior to founding Pi Labs, Wilson spent the bulk of his career in private equity real estate with Curzon Global Partners (now Tristan Capital Partners), AEW Europe and Savills Investment Management. Through this experience, he has directly or indirectly managed, advised or transacted on more than $3.3bn of real estate assets across Europe.
Wilson is a trustee for Centre for London; a not-for-profit think tank to help London build on its history as a centre for economic and social innovation while creating a fairer, more inclusive and sustainable city. He is also a member of EG’s Diversity & Inclusion Content Advisory Panel, which fosters equality of opportunity in the real estate industry.
Wilson has a law with French LLB degree from the University of Birmingham and an MBA from London Business School.
John Woodman, senior partner, Hollis
Woodman is senior partner at Hollis. He joined Hollis in 1991 and became senior partner in 1994.
His focus is on three key areas of the business: Driving the creation and delivery of the firms overall aims and objectives, leading the partner group and developing relationships with new and existing clients.
Beyond Hollis, Woodman is an active member of the wider property industry, particularly with the Worshipful Company of Chartered Surveyors, where he is the immediate past master and sits on the Court of the Company. He was the first chairman of the Building Surveying Faculty of the RICS. He is a BPF and IPF member, and a keen supporter of LandAid.