Derwent’s Paul Williams becomes Chair of WPA

  • Landsec’s MD of Central London, Marcus Geddes, appointed as Vice Chair
  • New Board members from Savills, Deloitte and Make Architects join the Association at a critical time for the economic recovery of Westminster

The Westminster Property Association (“WPA”) has today elected Paul Williams, Chief Executive of Derwent London as its new Chair. The membership body – which represents leading West End and Central London owners and investors – is also appointing three new members to its Board, with leading industry figures from Savills, Deloitte and Make Architects.

Formally elected at today’s Annual General Meeting (AGM), Paul Williams takes over as the organisation’s new Chair for a two year-term, supported by Marcus Geddes, MD Central London at Landsec, who becomes Vice Chair, also for two years. Brian Bickell, Chief Executive at Shaftesbury, will continue as Deputy Vice Chair for one more year.

Paul Williams said:

“I would like to thank the previous Chair, Olivia Harris, for her extraordinary leadership of the Association during a challenging year. I look forward to building on her achievements and working with our members and Westminster City Council in championing’s Westminster’s economic recovery and renewal.

“We have an ambitious programme planned to support building a more inclusive economy in Central London and leading efforts towards increasing sustainable development. There are challenges ahead but Westminster is well placed to bounce back as a greener and more resilient city. The West End is one of the most vibrant and diverse districts in the world, and WPA has a crucial role to play in shaping its future.”

Three new Board appointments have expanded WPA’s leadership at an important time for the membership, which is working with Westminster City Council to drive the recovery of the West End and achieve its ambition of making the area net carbon zero by 2040.

Deloitte and Make are new company appointments to the WPA Board, which will be represented by Katherine Lampen, a Partner who leads Deloitte’s UK sustainability and climate change team, and Katy Ghahremani, a partner at renowned architectural practice Make.

Richard Rees, Managing Director of Savills UK businesses, who chairs up the company’s Development Services Division, replaces the agency’s Head of Residential Development Dominic Grace on the WPA board.

Olivia Harris, Chief Executive of Dolphin Living and the outgoing Chair of the WPA, will continue to serve on the Board and form a part of the senior leadership as Immediate Past Chair.

Olivia said: “The response to the crisis over the past year by our members and the public sector has been hugely impressive, and we can take comfort from what has been achieved by working together during this difficult time. The WPA is well placed to continue advocating on behalf of Central London’s property industry under Paul’s leadership.

“The appointments of Katy, Katherine and Richard, who are leaders in design, sustainability and development respectively, will provide us with invaluable insight and expertise as the WPA works in collaboration with Westminster City Council to drive the economic recovery and implement plans to be net zero carbon by 2040.”

The WPA brings together property owners, developers, occupiers and professional advisers to inform policymakers and drive the economic prosperity of Westminster. Members include historic and landed estates such as Grosvenor Britain & Ireland, The Portman Estate, Howard de Walden and The Crown Estate, the major Real Estate Investment Trusts (REITs) such as Shaftesbury, Landsec, British Land, Derwent London and Great Portland Estates as well as smaller privately-owned property companies and professional advisors.

The announcement of Paul’s appointment as WPA has received media coverage in EG (£) and Property Week (£).

For further information:

Andrew Scorgie, FTI Consulting;

Notes to editors:

About the Westminster Property Association

The Westminster Property Association (WPA) is a not-for-profit membership body and advocacy group founded in 1988, representing more than 250 organisations from the leading property owners, developers, investors and professional advisors in Westminster. It provides a collective voice in order to inform policy and drive the economic prosperity of Westminster: the economic and cultural heart of the capital.