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COVID-19 crisis accelerating the rate of boardroom change across the property sector

46% increase in executive board changes during the six months to September 2020

Research by New Street Consulting Group shows the coronavirus crisis has accelerated the rate of change in the boardroom at UK listed property companies. The research was covered in City AM and you can read the full article here.

Our analysis of announcements by UK listed property businesses shows that there was a 46% increase in executive board changes during the six months to September 2020 compared with the same period in 2019.

Property businesses listed on AIM are making changes at an even faster rate. There were 21 executive and non-executive board changes at AIM listed property businesses in the six months to September, up from just two changes during the same period last year.

The fallout from the coronavirus crisis has put property businesses under huge strain. The average property business collected 76% of their expected rent due during the second quarter of this year. Property businesses in the Retail and Leisure sector have been hit even harder, collecting an average of just 54% of their rent that quarter.

These board changes are partly due to property businesses are having to restructure and adapt business models to survive in the current climate, leading to new areas of expertise being required in the boardroom.

Directors with previous experience in restructuring are now likely to be in high demand. Executives and non-executives that have prior experience in helping to lead a business out of a period of crisis are also likely to be highly sought after.

Some board executives are now viewing the challenges of the current economic crisis as the right time to move onto other projects.

Among the most notable boardroom changes to occur at property businesses so far this year were the departures of Chief Executives Chris Grigg and David Atkins, from property giants British Land and Hammerson respectively.

The race is now on for property companies to ensure they have the right expertise in place to deal with the continuing uncertainty and difficulties that the coronavirus crisis is causing.

For advice on executive search, interim management and leadership consulting for your business, contact us.