National property consultancy Vail Williams LLP has made a record number of promotions as the consultancy reaches its highest-ever number of staff at 172.
Established 35 years ago, the independent firm also recruited 32 new members of the team in its latest financial year – also its highest-ever annual intake.
Vail Williams operates 11 offices in Birmingham, Bournemouth, Brighton, Crawley, Heathrow, Leeds, London, Portsmouth, Reading, Southampton and Woking.
Matthew Samuel-Camps. Managing Partner and LLP Member, said: “Our commercial and residential consultancy services continue to grow apace, with the record number of promotions and headcount a reflection of the demand from clients for advisory excellence.
“Congratulations are in order for the newly promoted and new joiners as we look to the start of the new financial year with confidence, zest and ambition; growth opportunities abound.”
Joining the LLP Partnership is David Barden, who specialises in commercial lease advice and has been at Vail Williams since 2004, during which time his work has had a particular focus on the Thames Valley area.
David is also the new Regional Managing Partner (RMP) at the Thames Valley office.
Matthew said: “David takes over as RMP from David Thomas, who has done a cracking job over the last seven years.”
“We also have the pleasure of making three Partner promotions.
“The first two are Sus Lopez-Garcia (Valuation – Surrey) has been a long-standing member of the team, Adam Barnfield (Business Rates – Birmingham), who came to us through the acquisition of the general rating division of Ruddle Merz in 2017 and is our Head of Business Rates – Sus and Adam have done a great job.
“Our third Partner promotion is Alex Gauntlett (Agency – South Coast), who was a finalist in the Young Property Person of the Year in June, an award presented to rising stars under 35 at the annual South Coast Property Awards held in Southampton.
Harriet Hemstritch (Finance – South Coast) is now Management Accountant – Harriet is an inspiring internal story as she came to work for my team a long time ago as an account assistant and she has made her way up to become a fully-qualified accountant.
“Harriet has done a heck of a lot of work at home of her own volition, with our support all the way through, and she is now the number two in our finance team – Harriet is a great example of someone who has stayed with our business as it has prospered and grown, with career opportunities as a result for her.”
Matthew added: “We also have a slew of Surveyor appointments.
“These include Becca Houghton (Building Consultancy – Thames Valley Office), on our apprentice programme, is Surveyor (Level 1) and deserves the promotion, as does Claire Morrissy (Planning – South Coast) as Planning Technician.
“Claire joined us as a Projects Co-ordinator , having had a successful career with a national grocery retailer and she has, in a short space of time, brought exceptional skills to bear and is another example of where we have been able to promote transferrable skills in the business.
“Similarly, Matt King (Business Rates – Gatwick), now a Referencer, came to us from a retail background, without any property knowledge like Claire, and through his own diligence, and through the opportunities we have been able to create for him, he is now progressing a full career in the property world.”
Matthew also paid tribute to “great work” from other members of staff who have also been promoted.
They are Senior Surveyors James Newton (Agency – Thames Valley), Andrew Soane (Valuation – Surrey) and Nicki Rought (Building Consultancy – Surrey).
There are two Facilities Manager (Level 1) promotions in Property Asset Management on the South Coast: Zena MacDougall and Siobhan Martin, who both came across from University of Southampton Science Park in Hampshire.
Matthew also said: “It’s important to underline our continuing commitment to training our staff and to developing the stars of the future – attracting top talent, and investing in them, is hugely important to us here at Vail Williams.
“This is embodied through Investors in People Gold re-accreditation, our transparent journey to net zero by 2030, volunteering days and other learning and development initiatives.”
Financials for 2022-23 are due imminently, with “further year-on-year growth” anticipated, said Matthew.
Vail Williams reported increased revenues of £17.5 million for 2021-22, up by nearly 5% from the previous financial year; a key contributor to the record-breaking figure came from agency instructions generated by the post-pandemic flight to quality as companies sought workspace to attract and retain staff amid the UK’s severe – and continuing – labour shortages.