Montagu Evans appoints BTR specialist Kate Brennan

Planning and development consultancy Montagu Evans has appointed Kate Brennan as a Partner and Build to Rent (BTR) lead in its Alternative Living sector team. She will join the firm in June 2021 following eight years at CBRE, where she is currently a Director in its Valuation & Advisory Services team specialising in the BTR sector.

With 18 years’ experience in residential real estate, Kate is an expert in BTR having been involved in the market since it began. Her clients include three of the largest specialist funds in the market: Grainger BTR Portfolio, L&G and M&G as well as Lendlease, Aberdeen and Hearthstone Funds.

At Montagu Evans she will be lead Partner for BTR, with a strategic focus on identifying locations, securing sites and planning, as well as capital markets activity including valuations, funding and sales.

Craig McPhail, Partner at Montagu Evans and head of its Alternative Living sector team, said: “Specialist advice is essential for unlocking BTR sites and funding mechanisms, and Kate will be a great asset to the team in this area. Her technical expertise is backed up by a much wider grounding in residential markets, ensuring that we successfully link in with the firm’s wider sector activity as well as offering strategic consultancy for institutional investors and specialist funders/operators seeking to increase exposure.

“We’re focussed on growth across all areas of the alternative living lifecycle – from PBSA/Co-Living through to Senior Living – and are looking forward to bringing in more people to work with our specialist team over the coming months.”

Kate Brennan, incoming Partner at Montagu Evans, added: “The BTR sector has huge potential and in recent times has demonstrated great resilience – not only in its own right but as a bigger part of wider residential-led and town centre regeneration projects – helping to address the challenges of urban housing supply and providing new opportunities for institutional and private investors. Montagu Evans’ approach and its focus on cross-sector collaboration was particularly attractive and I’m looking forward to working with the team and building its expertise within this space– it’s a very exciting time to be joining the partnership.”

Kate has been a Fellow of the RICS since 2015. She is a Supervisor and Counsellor for Graduates undertaking APC Assessment and Qualified APC Assessor for the RICS. She is also a mentor for the CBRE Women’s Network and sits on CBRE’s Family Friendly Board and Diversity Group.


Planning and development consultancy Montagu Evans has announced its 2021 promotions.

Five associates have been promoted to the role of Partner:

  • Eleanor Cook (Development & Valuation Consultancy) – who specialises in valuation and consultancy on complex jobs with valuation at their core focussed on the public and third sector. She is deputy head of the firm’s healthcare group.
  • Gareth Fox (Planning) – specialises complex regeneration schemes in inner London and the South East. He is deputy head of the firm’s Central London group.
  • Anna Russell-Smith (Planning) – works with public and private sector clients across London and the South East specialising in healthcare and housing delivery.
  • Paul Surgeon (Rating) – is the northern lead for the dedicated landlord and developer team and specialises in providing strategic business rates advice to large landlord clients in both the public and private sector.
  • David Taylor (Historic Environment & Townscape) – specialist in strategic planning and design matters in relation to development in the historic environment or with sensitive receptors.

In addition, Rosie Adamson (Planning), Jonny Goldstone (CAA), Rachel Lambert (DVCR), Harry Wackett (DVCR), Annie Wilkins (DVCR) and Gregor Wilson (DVCR) have all been promoted to Associate.

Matt Boyd, Harry Charman, Evan Corcoran, Joanna Hayward-Cook, Max King, Hugh Mitchell and Hannah Williams, all from the firm’s DVCR team, have been promoted to Senior Surveyor. Alex Rowley in its Planning team has been promoted to Senior Heritage Adviser.

Rob Bower, Montagu Evans’ Managing Partner, said: “This is our largest cohort of Partner promotions for some time and reflects our commitment, even during challenging circumstances, to investing in the next generation and their professional development. Their skillsets also mean we can offer clients more specialist services within our sector groups as we help to unlock planning and development opportunities nationally.

“It’s really important to our Partnership that people can follow their own career paths here, so  we have focused in the past few years on strengthening career progression alongside other initiatives, making it more transparent and supportive, and offering training in key areas.

“So while we are continuing to recruit senior lateral hires – and are very pleased to announce four new names in the last six months – internal promotions are a particular source of pride and I’m looking forward to seeing what these talented people do next.”

Alongside these promotions, Victoria Boateng and Ben Monks have joined the firm’s rating team and Guy Bransby has taken on the newly-created role of Head of Central London Planning. Neil Worrall joins as Montagu Evans’ new Head of Property Management in May.

Montagu Evans appoints new Property Management Head

Planning and development consultancy Montagu Evans has appointed Neil Worrall as head of its property management team.

Neil will become a Partner at the firm starting on 4 May 2021 having formerly held the role of Head of Investor Facilities Management at JLL. Throughout this time, Neil has also maintained a keen focus on the importance of mental health, wellbeing, inclusion and sustainability within the industry.

Montagu Evans’ property management team includes nine Partners and a wider team of over 150 staff and centre managers across the UK, including a specialist finance team in Edinburgh. Major clients include the Government Property Agency (GPA), Patrizia, DEFRA and numerous local authorities. Its current head, John Tinley, will retire after seven years with the partnership.

This is Montagu Evans’ fourth Partner appointment since December, with Victoria Boateng and Ben Monks both joining the firm’s rating team and Guy Bransby taking on the newly-created role of Head of Central London Planning in April 2021.

Rob Bower, Montagu Evans’ Managing Partner, said: “Property management is under enormous pressure for change, especially in the last year, and we wanted someone with a strength and depth of knowledge, combined with management and leadership skills, to help our team and clients navigate these challenges in a positive way. Neil’s leadership, energy and vision are exceptional and we have no doubt that he will build on our work so far and drive it further forward.

“In doing so he will stand on the shoulders of our outgoing property management head John Tinley, who is retiring from the partnership. We’re grateful to John, not only for the transformation he has led over the last seven years and his work with the GPA more recently, but for extending his original retirement date to help clients through the immediate challenges of Covid-19.”

Neil Worrall, incoming Head of Property Management at the firm, added: “Fundamentally, my aim at Montagu Evans is to help create inspiring places to live, work, communicate and connect. This means a complete focus on customer experience, improving performance, productivity and wellbeing by harnessing human interaction with technological efficiency. It also means getting involved at every stage of the planning and development process – from concept, through adaptation and change, to future operation and optimisation of each client’s objectives and purpose. I’m thoroughly looking forward to working with our sector teams as they help unlock these opportunities.”

Neil is a Fellow of both the RICS and ACCA (the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants).


Illuminated River nominated for prestigious planning industry award

Illuminated River has been named as a finalist in the category for Excellence in Planning for Heritage and Culture at the Royal Town Planning Institute (RTPI) Awards for Planning Excellence 2021.

The RTPI Awards for Planning Excellence are the most established and respected awards in the UK planning industry. Running for over 40 years, they celebrate exceptional examples of planning and the contribution planners make to society.

Illuminated River is a long-term art installation transforming the Thames at night with an orchestrated series of light works that span nine bridges in central London.  Designed and programmed by internationally renowned New York-based artist Leo Villareal, working with British project architects Lifschutz Davidson Sandilands, the artwork respects the natural environment and local inhabitants, creating a sensitive and site-specific interplay with the river. Once complete, at 3.2 miles in length, Illuminated River will be the longest public artwork in the world.

Illuminated River Foundation said:  “The project is the result of one of the most detailed and extensive pan-London planning processes the capital has ever seen (without an Act of Parliament), with 30 planning permissions and 18 listed building consents granted. It has been developed in consultation and collaboration with over 50 organisations on and around the river and is supported by the Mayor of London. In the midst of the pandemic, the calming subtlety of this open-air artwork takes on an even greater significance; an encouragement to Londoners and visitors alike to take a pause in their stressful lives and reflect on the beauty of the city and its bridges.”

Montagu Evans Planning Partner, Jon Bradburn said: “The Illuminated River project is an excellent example of collaborative working cross a number of boroughs and several consultees.  The team has worked hard to deliver a truly public-facing project running through the heart of London, and it has been a pleasure to be able to provide planning support on delivery of this iconic scheme.”

The winners will be announced during a ceremony held virtually in the Awards Room on Evessio at 4pm on Thursday 29 April 2021.

The RTPI champions the power of planning in creating prosperous places and vibrant communities. It is the only body in the UK that confers Chartered status to planners, the highest professional qualification sought after by employers. It supports its members – over 26,000 worldwide – throughout their careers.

Montagu Evans reaches 100: Turnover up as investment in people continues

Releasing its latest report and accounts, planning and development focused consultancy Montagu Evans reports turnover growth and continuing investment in its people as it begins its centenary year.

In accounts published this week by Companies House for the financial year ending 31 March 2020, the partnership sets out:

  • Turnover of £50.4 million compared to £49 million the previous year.
  • Continuing staff investment costs at approx. £1.5 million (however, the way staff costs are structured and reported has changed – see end note[i])
  • LLP profit of £18.1 million, compared to £19.5 million last year.
  • Net assets standing at £14.2m, up from £13.6m, with strong positive cash generation. No bank debt.

Rob Bower, Managing Partner at Montagu Evans, said: “Weathering last year’s storm has involved a tremendous effort from the whole team. Their commitment to our clients and the business, under challenging conditions, is testament to the way our partnership has evolved over the last five years.

“As the partnership turns 100, Montagu Evans is moving into a stronger position – building on major wins as well as maintaining strong relationships with longstanding clients. These financial results reflect both our strategic goals and the scale of investment we are making in our business for the long-term, with significant support for senior lateral hires, promotions, graduate recruitment, and learning and development all continuing.

“Looking at this financial year, the business is holding up very well and is ahead of budget to end December with strong cash generation. We anticipate the Covid-related market and economic impact to affect fees and profits to a small degree, although furlough funding taken in the first lockdown has been entirely repaid. We are focussed on supporting our existing client base – whether that is creating extra resilience or exploiting new opportunities in rapidly shifting markets.

“We’re looking out for our people too, investing in IT and training to make sure agile working is efficient and sustainable. Improving diversity and inclusion remains a priority. We have just launched our Women’s Leadership programme and an apprenticeship scheme over the course of the year to bring more people into the business and support those who are already embedded in our teams. Our new ME100 programme for this year means we will also be supporting young entrepreneurs and the next generation of talent. 

“Underpinning everything is our sector-led approach, bringing together expert teams from across the firm to meet clients’ needs. Private/public partnerships will support economic recovery and are an important part of our strategy. Retail and town centres remain key – partly due to the disruption they face – along with housing and healthcare. London, no doubt, will be the first to stabilise and we’re pleased, officially at least, to have taken occupation at our new head offices in the heart of the City as our centenary year begins.”

[1] Montagu Evans Partners have three bands: Equity Partners, Participating Partners and Salaried Partners. In the financial year 2019/2020 Salaried Partners moved from being classified as Members to being classified as Employees to better reflect their basis of remuneration. The figures associated with their salaries moved sections within the report and accounts, affecting headline salary numbers, members’ remuneration charged as an expense and year-on-year comparisons in these areas.

Montagu Evans launches young entrepreneur programme to mark centenary year

Planning and development consultancy Montagu Evans is this week launching The ME100 Awards – a programme that will invest in two budding property sector entrepreneurs, giving them the partnership’s sponsorship and support for one financial year as they build their ideas and develop their business. The initiative is one of the first elements of the firm’s centenary celebrations that will be running throughout 2021.

The ME100 Awards will include initial financial funding up to a value of £10,000 as well as mentoring with the firm’s industry experts and core business functions (Finance, BD & Marketing, HR and IT) and access to industry meetings, events and the firm’s business network. Covid-permitting, the chosen entrepreneurs will also have access to Montagu Evans’ new HQ in the City of London and its resources.

The programme’s selection panel are looking for new, innovative ideas and approaches from across the industry – which could range from creating new opportunities with technology to addressing the industry’s diversity and inclusion challenges in a new and engaging way.

Rob Bower, Managing Partner of Montagu Evans, said: “Reaching our centenary is a huge milestone but there’s still more we can do to create partnerships for good and a meaningful legacy for people and places.

“We should all be supporting younger talent more and it’s something we firmly believe at Montagu Evans. The last year has been challenging, and those with the potential to transform our sector have seen pathways unexpectedly closed off. Good support in the early days of a business can make an enormous difference to long-term success, so as well as providing financial backing we realised that with around 100 Partners we can offer experience, sector knowledge, contacts and mentoring skills meaning more holistic support and the chance to make a real difference. I expect that we will learn a huge amount too.

“We’re partnering with Young Entrepreneurs in Property, but we want to look even wider for applications too. The process is easy and the result could be life-changing.”

Anyone interested in finding out more and applying should visit or email for more resources and details of how to apply. The closing date is 8 March 2021.

Guy Bransby joins Montagu Evans as London Planning head

Planning and development consultancy Montagu Evans has appointed Guy Bransby as its Head of Central London Planning, joining the firm in April this year.

Guy moves to the partnership from JLL, where he worked for 18 years, most recently as Lead Director – Planning, Development & Heritage.

The partnership, which celebrates its centenary this year, currently numbers 95 Partners within its 425-strong team. In addition to this appointment, the firm announced former Colliers and EY Business Rates Director Ben Monk joining at the start of February and Allsopp’s former Head of Rating Victoria Boateng joining in December 2020. Other senior hires are anticipated and in December 2020 the firm moved from Mayfair to new offices at 70 St Mary Axe in the City of London.

Rob Bower, Montagu Evans’ Managing Partner, said: “Mid-Covid, post-Brexit and with such a fundamental shake-up of the planning system underway it’s a critical time to be helping clients unlock sites and bring forward new projects. London will be the engine of the UK’s recovery, however, and we are starting to see early opportunities coming forward. Guy’s leadership in this area is already well-established and he will be a very welcome addition to our team of talented planners and heritage consultants already embedded in major projects throughout the capital.”

Commenting on the appointment, Guy Bransby added: “Montagu Evans stands out for putting planning and development at the heart of its consultancy business and integrating these functions across all its sectors and geographies. It has ambitious plans for growth and London is an important area of focus – from major mixed-use schemes and landmark housing to sensitive and high-profile heritage and townscape advice. It is a hugely exciting opportunity and I’m looking forward to getting started.”

Montagu Evans Boosts Planning Team with Heritage Consultant

Montagu Evans have appointed Dr Paul Stamper as a Consultant in their Planning and Heritage team, specialising in change and development in historic parks.

Paul brings with him 40 years of experience in researching and managing England’s historic environment with the Victoria County History and English Heritage/Historic England. As an Inspector of Historic Parks and Gardens he revised c.170 register entries setting out the history and significance of designed landscapes of all types from early landscape parks to Victorian cemeteries. Later he had various roles dealing with the assessment and management of archaeological sites, buildings and landscapes.

Paul’s particular interests focus on the history of the English landscape. He is a Visiting Fellow at Leicester University’s Centre for English Local History and has published extensively on the topic. He was joint editor of the standard overview Medieval Rural Settlement (2012), and of the award-winning Legacies of the First World War (2018). Paul has regularly taught courses on the English landscape at universities including Oxford, Cambridge and Bristol, and has served terms as an officer for several of the country’s leading archaeological societies. He is a Fellow of the Society of Antiquaries.

Planning and Heritage Partner, Dr Chris Miele said: “We are delighted to be working with Dr Stamper on a range of projects involving historic landscapes and registered parks and gardens. The planning process is increasingly alive to the ‘time depth’ in the English landscape. An appreciation of that is shaping the form and type of developments we are assisting clients in promoting, and he is also expert in the assessment of landscapes for designation purposes. Paul enhances our already distinguished heritage research and analysis function.”

Montagu Evans’ 70-strong planning team based in London, Edinburgh and Glasgow works with both private and public sector clients. Its strong profile in London and expert heritage consultants are complemented by planners specialising in residential, retail and leisure, industrial and logistics, offices education and town centre regeneration, working with project teams across the UK.

Montagu Evans rating team expands further with new Partner appointment

Planning and development consultancy Montagu Evans has appointed its first new Partner of 2021, with former Business Rates Director at EY, Ben Monk joining  its expanding rating team.

Monk brings with him with over 13 years’ rating expertise, with previous roles also including Business Rates Director at Colliers International where he specialised in Central London rating appeals looking after clients including Bupa, Blackstone, Watches of Switzerland, and CapCo, and jointly founded the London Rating Network. Prior to that, he was Associate Director at Savills, where his role focused on business rates as well as valuation.

At Montagu Evans, Monk will help build the partnership’s existing occupier-focused rating practice, specialising in City of London offices.

Last year, Montagu Evans’ rating team grew after welcoming four new appointments, with the most recent in December 2020 when Victoria Boateng, former Head of Rating at Allsop, joined as Partner. The other appointments include Abdul Khoshan, Alice Schorb and Christina Moore. In November, Head of Rating Josh Myerson also became President of the Rating Surveyors’ Association.

Myerson said: “Ben joins at a time when the market is facing unprecedented challenges, and we are pleased to welcome his extensive expertise and excellent track record. With more change still on the horizon for businesses, we are confident that his insight and wealth of experience will be a great asset to our team, while our new base at 70 St Mary Axe will be perfect for his focus on City of London offices.”

Montagu Evans named as one of the Best Places to Work in Property 2020

For the third consecutive year, Montagu Evans have been named one of the Best Places to Work in Property 2020 by Property Week.

As one of the top 28 companies in the UK, businesses were assessed on eight key factors:

  • overall engagement;
  • leadership and planning;
  • culture and communication;
  • role satisfaction;
  • work environment;
  • relationship with supervisor;
  • training and development; and
  • pay and benefits

The anonymous survey issued to 250 people identified relationships, engagement, communication and leadership as scoring particularly high. Open text comments allow individual the freedom to describe working at the firm in their own words, some of which include:

“Montagu Evans creates a very positive and stimulating work environment, they genuinely want to be a best in class employer and service provider to clients.”

“Every single person in the firm is treated with respect and seen as part of the family. There is a great deal of flexibility and a sense of pride across the firm. You come to work wanting to do a good job. There is an   approachable atmosphere and a sense of fun yet we all work hard wanting to succeed. Quite simply, a culture so good you wouldn’t mind working long hours, yet you are encouraged to actually have a proper work life balance.”

“You feel recognised and appreciated from all levels of management.”

“It is a friendly, open and collaborative environment where everyone is very willing to give up their time to help each other and share their knowledge and skills.”

Commenting on the news, Rob Bower, Managing Partner said:

“We’re truly honoured to be recognised again, and it’s a credit to everyone in the partnership, the openness and transparency throughout teams and our continued investment in our people. Over this year in particular we have all felt the implications to morale during lockdown, but I have honestly seen it as having brought our people and teams even closer together. Being more accessible, more conscientious and more supportive.

We value feedback, much of which forms the basis of a number of initiatives we run, and it is our aim to continue to be recognised. To strive to be a place our people enjoy, can learn from each other and thrive in their careers.”