Spotlight On... Adrian Wyatt, Quintain founder and chief executive
Friday 25 May 2012
Who's Adrian Wyatt?
He's the founder of the London-focused property developer Quintain, which is overhauling the run-down area around Wembley Stadium and on the Greenwich Peninsula. After steering the company through the financial crisis, the 64-year-old is handing over the reins to the "next generation".
Why did he call it Quintain?
Quintain is the old word for a target used by knights in lancing practice. Mr Wyatt stumbled across it as an answer to a crossword clue. He set up Quintain in 1992 after more than 20 years as a surveyor at Jones Lang LaSalle.
What will he do next?
He's been a big campaigner on green issues and building a low-carbon economy, with Quintain hosting a conference on the issue in 2007. He's likely to pursue these interests when he leaves in September.
Who's the next generation?
Maxwell James, a former real estate investment banker, who joined Quintain last year. In addition, finance director Rebecca Worthington takes on the additional role of deputy chief executive.
Any change of strategy?
Not really. Mr James says it's "all about delivery" now. This means ploughing on with Wembley – opening the new, four-star Hilton in time for the Olympics and filling up its London Designer Outlet retail offering. Down in Greenwich, a planning application for more than 600 homes at Peninsula Quays goes in next week.
What shape is Wyatt leaving the business in?
February's acquisition of Grafton Advisors has helped Quintain grow its asset management business to more than £2bn a year ahead of schedule. He's also strengthened the company's balance sheet, extending £373m in debt facilities to 2016.
What about the numbers?
Pre-tax losses were £43.5m in the year to 31 March, but this was due to sliding property values at Wembley. Stripping out property movements, profits increased from £3.6m to £5.8m. So not bad, despite a "testing environment".
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