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Business Leader - Savills/Argent

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Who was the company?

Since 2001, Argent has planned, managed and delivered the regeneration of King's Cross, the largest mixed-use development in single ownership to be developed in central London for over 150 years. The 67-acre site has a rich history and a unique setting–and it is adjacent to the best-connected transport hub in London. The project is reaching its busiest time in terms of construction and hence transactions, funding and tax.

What was the situation?

The principal management agent, Savills were seeking a Business Leader to take full responsibility for the Kings Cross Estate and to be the main interface between the team and Argent. They wanted an influencer who was able to give strategic direction and ensure the delivery of Argent’s vision of being the champion in customer, visitor, and occupier experience. Savills had previously searched for this role externally and were unable to find a credible candidate.

What was the methodology?

Nick led a retained search to find the best quality operator in the market to lead Kings Cross. Through internal interviewing and detailed research, Nick formed a clear understanding of Savills and Argent’s culture and the EVP. He defined the objectives of both companies, the role the successful hire will play, and the critical elements to their success. Nick also developed a detailed understanding of the role and responsibilities of the position, the core skills and personality traits required to deliver.

What was the outcome?

Nick’s search resulted in 150 candidates mapped and referred, 8 candidates interviewed, 2 candidates capable of offers and filling the role in the agreed timescale. There was the successful hire of Kings Cross’s General Manager, Nigel Buchanan. The candidate was a hospitality executive with skills that were highly transferable to real estate; he held roles including Global Chief Operating Officer of Yotel and Head of Hospitality at Manhattan Loft Corporation.

The career background and skill set of the candidate was found to be most suitable in achieving Argent’s vision of delivering the Kings Cross Estate’s values, culture and behaviours to all stakeholders. Nick was successful in filling all positions with the assistance of our data & research division.

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