Grosvenor Group announces succession plans

Grosvenor Group announces a number of leadership changes to be implemented through a process of transition which will become fully effective on 31 December 2020.

  • Craig McWilliam, Grosvenor Britain & Ireland Chief Executive, will become Grosvenor Group Chief Executive on 31 December 2020
  • Current Group Chief Executive, Mark Preston, will continue as Executive Trustee of the Grosvenor Estate (becoming Executive Deputy Chairman of Grosvenor Group) and Head of the Family Office
  • Grosvenor Europe Chief Executive James Raynor will become Grosvenor Britain & Ireland Chief Executive on 30 September 2020
  • Sara Lucas, Grosvenor Europe Executive Director, becomes Grosvenor Europe Chief Executive on 30 September 2019
  • Group Executive Director Peter Vernon retires from the business on 30 September 2020  ​

Grosvenor Group, the privately-owned international property group which develops, manages and invests in property in more than 60 cities around the world, announces a number of leadership changes to be implemented through a process of transition which will become fully effective on 31 December 2020.

They include:

Group CEO:

After 12 years as CEO of Grosvenor Group, the last four of which also fulfilling the role of Executive Trustee of the Grosvenor Estate and the last two as Head of the Family Office in addition, Mark Preston will step down as Group Chief Executive to focus on these other roles. Current Grosvenor Britain & Ireland CEO, Craig McWilliam, is promoted to Group Chief Executive, effective 31 December 2020. Mark Preston will take on the role of Executive Deputy Chairman, remaining a member of Grosvenor Group’s board.

Group Executive Director:

Peter Vernon, Grosvenor Group’s Executive Director responsible for overseeing the activities of Grosvenor Britain & Ireland, Grosvenor Americas and Grosvenor Asia Pacific will retire from the business, as planned, in September 2020.

Grosvenor Britain & Ireland CEO:

Craig will be succeeded as Grosvenor Britain & Ireland Chief Executive by James Raynor, the current CEO of Grosvenor Europe. The appointment is effective on 30 September 2020. James will begin his transition into GBI from 30 September this year, initially taking on the vacant role of Executive Director of the London Estate.

Grosvenor Europe CEO:

Sara Lucas, Grosvenor Europe’s Executive Director with responsibility for portfolio management is promoted as James Raynor’s successor to the role of Grosvenor Europe Chief Executive, effective 30 September 2019.

Commenting on the announcement in his capacity as Executive Trustee of the Grosvenor Estate, Mark Preston said: “Both personally and on behalf of the Trustees, I am delighted to see Craig succeed me as Group Chief Executive. He has demonstrated first rate leadership skills in his current role and foresight in developing Grosvenor Britain & Ireland’s 20 year vision to help to sensitively, yet ambitiously evolve the London estate, building our pipeline of activities elsewhere in London and the UK while championing the continual improvement of London’s West End.”  

“Craig’s appointment will allow me to focus on the role of Executive Trustee to further promote and develop the Grosvenor Estate’s increasingly diversified activities, supporting Grosvenor Group, Wheatsheaf Group and the Family Office (directly leading the last of these) to achieve our purpose of delivering lasting commercial and social benefit.”

“Peter’s contribution to Grosvenor has been outstanding. He has brought leadership, drive and invaluable insight to his current role and as CEO of Grosvenor Britain & Ireland previously”.

Peter Vernon, Executive Director Grosvenor Group, added: “Grosvenor has always been a values-led organisation determined to deliver commercial success and a positive impact on society. Every generation of leaders has sought to nurture this approach in all our people.  That is why, after 15 years, I am delighted to be able to hand over to such talented internal successors with the expertise to take the business to a new level and the commitment to keep Grosvenor’s values front and centre.

Commenting in his capacity as Group Chief Executive on the appointment of James Raynor as CEO of Grosvenor Britain & Ireland and of Sara Lucas as CEO of Grosvenor Europe, Mark Preston said:

“I am equally delighted to see James and Sara take on their respective challenges of developing our Britain & Ireland and Europe businesses. Along with Craig’s, their internal promotions ensure leadership continuity, will bring forward fresh ideas and are a testament to our wealth of talent and ability to nurture it.”

Commenting on the prospects for their new roles:

Craig McWilliam said: "Grosvenor Group's longstanding commitment to London and communities outside the capital, and our significant international activities in over 60 cities, built over almost 70 years, make me incredibly proud to take up this opportunity next year.

"My focus in the meantime is to see the UK business continue to be more open, more agile and more willing to restore public trust and participation in the planning system that shapes our towns and cities. We can strengthen our creation of long-term value globally by empowering our local expertise and engagement."

James Raynor said: “Becoming Chief Executive of Grosvenor Britain & Ireland is a very exciting and motivating challenge. I join the business by means of a gradual and invaluable transition period; I look forward to furthering the evolution of our London estate so that it can be an engine of growth within London’s West End and to helping address the UK’s housing shortage by enabling new homes and communities to be created”.

Sara Lucas said: “Grosvenor Europe has a focus on Madrid, Liverpool, Paris and Stockholm with activities in the retail, residential and office sectors. I am delighted to be able to lead our efforts in building on our success in these markets and look forward to maximising the full potential and positive impact of our investments on their communities.”  


About Grosvenor Group

Grosvenor Group is a privately-owned international property company.

With a track record of over 340 years, we develop, manage and invest with a purpose of improving property and places to deliver lasting commercial and social benefit.

This is achieved by adopting a farsighted perspective, by being locally engaged and sharing and benefitting from our international experience. We call this our Living Cities approach.

Through the activities of Grosvenor Britain & Ireland, Grosvenor Americas, Grosvenor Asia Pacific and Grosvenor Europe we diversify the Group’s property portfolio by geography, sector, activity, currency and management teams. Our Indirect Investment business further diversifies the Group’s property interests by backing specialist third-party management teams. It invests Grosvenor’s capital in Australia, Europe and North and South America.

Follow us on:
Twitter: @Grosvenor_Group
Linkedin: Grosvenor Group

About Grosvenor Britain & Ireland

Grosvenor Britain & Ireland creates great places where communities, business and nature thrive. 

In London’s West End, we support 9,000 residents, c1,000 businesses and 50,000 workers every day. We also create and manage sustainable neighbourhoods in London, Liverpool and across the South East of England. 

We are one part of a global, family owned business that has been developing and managing land and property for over 340 years.  Thinking long term allows us to give equal weight to the environmental, social and commercial impact of everything that we do. 

About Grosvenor Europe

Grosvenor Europe invests in, develops and manages real estate assets in vibrant European cities including Paris, Stockholm and Madrid. As a part of Grosvenor Group, with a track record of over 340 years, our activities are designed to improve properties and places that will deliver lasting commercial and social benefit in the places we are active.

Our approach to delivering social benefit identifies five priority areas where we believe we can have the most measurable impact on social and environmental sustainability and in 2020 we launched our net zero carbon strategy, committing us to halving our total carbon impact by 2030. This target was approved by the Science Based Targets Initiative and verified in line with the most ambitious trajectory of the Paris Agreement, to limit global warming by 1.5oC.

As at 31 December 2020, we managed £1.7bn AUM, including a several residential development projects, a growing office portfolio in Madrid and Paris, and retail-led assets in Stockholm.

Follow us on:
Twitter: @GrosvenorEurope
Linkedin: Grosvenor Group
Instagram: @grosvenor_europe

About Grosvenor Estate

Grosvenor Group is one of three constituent parts of the Grosvenor Estate which encompasses all the activities of the Grosvenor family. Sharing the same values and a common purpose of delivering lasting commercial and social benefit, each has a distinct focus:

Wheatsheaf Group is an international investor in food and agriculture businesses. Wheatsheaf’s purpose is to rethink and re-shape how food is grown, produced, distributed and consumed, partnering with like-minded people to understand the complex interconnectedness of our agricultural ecosystem to manage its effects and enhance human health, our environment and enable producers to thrive.

One of the largest and longest established investment teams in the sector, Wheatsheaf adopts a far-sighted perspective with the aim of developing innovative business models and to harness the insights and power of technology to identify, develop and scale up lasting solutions.

To find out more about Wheatsheaf please click here.

The Family Office manages the Grosvenor family’s rural estates in the United Kingdom and Spain, their philanthropic activities through the Westminster Foundation, Realty Insurances, and other specialist functions – including ones largely focused on heritage and conservation.

It maintains a sustainable approach to the stewardship of land, property and the environment, and in optimising commercial and socially beneficial outcomes we aim to contribute to the economic, social and environmental wellbeing of the communities it is part of.

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