The Court 2018/19
Digby was born and grew up in Norfolk attending Gresham’s School. He gained his earliest surveying experience with Long & Beck in Fakenham undertaking a diverse range of residential, commercial and agricultural work as well as selling at the firms weekly auctions.
Having graduated from North East London Polytechnic in 1985 he joined Baker Harris Saunders in the City which became the first publicly quoted surveying business.
In 1995 he joined Hillier Parker May & Rowden which following a series of mergers and acquisitions became CBRE. Digby became head of the City Agency Team and a member of the UK Board.
In 2012 Digby joined Cushman & Wakefield initially as Head of London Markets before becoming CEO of Cushman & Wakefield UK. When Cushman merged with DTZ Digby was promoted Chair of the firm in the UK and Ireland. Digby is a member of both the firms UK and EMEA Leadership Teams.
Spanning more than 30 years in the Central London Property Market his career and has been divided between advising developers on the design and leasing of their major projects and occupiers on their property strategies and the implementation of these strategies. He has been involved in many major development projects which have shaped the modern city and its skyline including Bankside, Cardinal Place, New Street Square and 20 Fenchurch Street (The Walkie Talkie), South Bank Place and Principal Place. Digby has advised occupational clients including State Street PwC and a number of leading law firms including CMS Cameron McKenna Nabarro Olswang, Berwin Leighton Paisner, Freshfields, Ashurst, Mayer Brown and Dechert putting property at the heart of their business planning and development.
Digby is a Governor and member of the Property Committee of The Royal Star & Garter Homes , Surveyor to the Armourers and Brasiers Company, a member of the Sounding Board of the NLA and a trustee of the Built Environment Trust.
Digby is a keen sailor, skier, fly fisher and shot and is a member of the Royal Ocean Racing Club, Flyfishers’ Club and the Piscatorial Society.
He is married to Fiona and has one son, Henry , who is reading Material Science and Engineering at Swansea University.
John grew up in Exmoor, son of a country doctor, and was educated at Clifton College. John undertook his BSc in Building Surveying at Southbank Polytechnic and then, whilst working, completed a MSc in Property Investment at City University.
John joined Watts and Partners in 1988 and qualified as a Chartered Surveyor with them in 1990. In 1991 he joined Malcolm Hollis and since then has overseen the expansion of the business from the 15 people to the 430 that work in the firm today across the UK, Ireland and Europe.
Whilst working at Malcolm Hollis John has also been closely involved with RICS. He chaired the RICS dilapidations working group from 1994 -1999. He was also the first chair of the RICS Building Surveying Faculty (2000 – 2002) and oversaw the transition of the Building Surveying Division to the new Faculty structure that took place at that time. John joined WCCS in 2000 and having finished his spell as Faculty Chairman his focus shifted to Chartered Surveying Company matters, joining the Court in 2005.
John comments; ‘The Worshipful Company of Chartered Surveyors offers the ability to give something back. To some extent it is a club of where you can enjoy the company and comradery of likeminded people; but where it is different from a club is that you don’t join it if you aren’t going to give something back. That is something Livery companies have always done. Over the 40 years or so the WCCS has existed it has done many good things. One of the most important is giving opportunities to young people to join our profession who otherwise wouldn’t get that opportunity. Each year 20-30 people have benefitted in this way. Our new ten year business plan wants to really move this on and, once established, be in a position to help 100’s of young people in this way each year. Our industry faces skill shortages, and diversity and inclusion issues. Through the educational and charity work we do we can make a real difference. For my part I would like to use the skills I have to help make this plan a reality.’
John is a keen sailor and enjoys clay and game shooting.
John is married to Jenny and they have four children; Archie, Angus, Annabelle and Johnny, all of whom are currently at University.
Ken is a first generation chartered surveyor, married to Maria, an accountant who also works in the property world. They live on the Suffolk/Norfolk borders with their two dogs but both work in London.
After graduating from Leicester Polytechnic, now de Montford University, in 1988, Ken joined Royal London Insurance in Colchester. In 1989 he moved to London and joined the then nationalised Electricity Supply Nominees, looking after a portfolio of properties in the pension scheme and completing his TPC in 1991. He moved with the group when the investment mandate was taken on by Foreign and Colonial and remained with them for 11 years.
At the beginning of 2000 he founded Aston Rose along with Tim Richards, John Williams (both fellow Liverymen) and James Coulling. All had been actively involved in the RICS London Junior Branch – Tim, Ken and John all being successive Chairmen. Ken later went on to be Chairman of the national Junior Organisation in 2002.
At Aston Rose, Ken heads the investment team acting for a varied client base built up since the inception of the firm and advising on primarily commercial acquisitions and disposals.
Ken is a member of the East India Club in St James’s where he sits on the main Committee and chairs the Property Committee overseeing an average annual spend of £600,000 on the upkeep and improvement of the grade II* listed property on St James’s Square.
Outside of work Ken is a keen game shooter, also working his Labrador, Pyper (trained by Maria!), and manages to get some fly fishing in during the season. He has a very keen interest in wine and holds a diploma in wines and spirits from the Wine and Spirit Education Trust. Ken also enjoys his walking which has taken him to places such as the mountain ranges of northern and southern Spain and the Virunga Mountains of southern Uganda.
James grew up in the outer London suburbs and after school carried out a 6 month internship at Jones Lang Wootton in the valuation team surveying acres of industrial estates. Following receiving a BSc (Hons) degree in Urban Estate Surveying from Trent Polytechnic, which included a year placement with JLW, he joined the Hillier Parker graduate scheme successfully qualifying a year later.
In 1993, James was part of the newly created Shopping Centre Investment team and continues to specialize in Shopping Centres advising a range of clients on sales and acquisitions.
After 17 years at Hillier Parker (CBRE), James founded HP Four, a niche firm of Chartered Surveyors specialising in investment transactions.
Notable transactions have included advising the five investors who funded the development of Liverpool One; advising Hermes on the sale of their 7.5% share of Bluewater; advising intu on a number of key acquisitions including intu Merryhill; intu Milton Keynes and intu Derby and advising Criterion Capital on the acquisition of The Trocadero.
James is a member of the Investment Property Forum and Revo, and previously carrying out committee work. James was the Commodore of the Chartered Surveyors Sailing Association and a Trustee of the Chartered Surveyors Training Trust. He is a member of the 1894 Club.
Outside of the world of Surveying, James has previously been the Vice Chair of Roehampton Rangers and Chair of the Shrewsbury House School Parents Association. He is currently the Treasurer of the Sandown Park Ski Race Club, has recently become a Level 1 (Assessed) Field Hockey umpire and a Harlequins rugby supporter.
James is married to Hermione with four children, two boys, Toby and Guy, and two girls, Lucy and Kitty. Apart from regularly spectating school and club matches, James is a keen sailor (racing in the Squib fleet); skier; golfer and trying to keep fit through either swimming, walking or running when possible.