Speakers & Panelists in 2020 Include

Meet the Speakers

Ady Williams

Ady Williams

BBC Berkshire Commentator & former Captain of Reading FC

Born in Reading, Ady a former professional footballer for over 22 years. Captained Reading football club for many years, and is the only player ever in the history of the club to play in every position, including goalkeeper. Ady also played for Wolves, Coventry, Millwall and Swindon and also been capped many times at full senior level for his country Wales. Since retiring from football Ady has become an established BBC sports broadcaster/radio presenter and has also been seen on the TV many times. Ady has hosted numerous awards ceremonies, charity gala evenings and is a regular presenting at The Pride of Reading Awards’. 

Alex Aitchison

Alex Aitchison

Director of Development, Lincoln Property Company

Alex Aitchison is Director of Development at Lincoln Property Company UK. He has been in post since July 2018, shortly after Lincoln Property Company acquired the Station Hill site in June of that year, as part of a joint venture with MGT Investment Management. Prior to this Alex was Head of Development at Boultbee Brooks Real Estate and Development Director at McLaren where he worked on a range of different development projects across the UK including luxury Mayfair apartments, industrial sheds and office schemes. 

David Bardon

David Bardon

Partner, Vail Williams

David’s experience in the Thames Valley market and strong reputation in the field of commercial lease advice is demonstrated by the institutional investors with whom he works: Segro plc, Aviva, Aberdeen Asset Management and Orchard Street Investment Management.

A recent notable achievement involved a commercial rent review for a national law firm. The project required presenting expert evidence to an arbitrator and setting up a team of experts and legal counsel, to dispute the effect on rent as a result of plant and machinery within the building.

David has the strong technical knowledge and experience required to contest complex lease events, and he works with many national corporates including: Hanson Aggregates, St John Ambulance and National Express Ltd.

In his spare time, he enjoys playing golf, cycling and is a supporter of Reading Football Club.

Matthew Battle

Matthew Battle

Managing Director, UK Property Forums (Joint Chair of the Judging Panel)

Matthew is the Founder and Managing Director of UK Property Forums. Established in 2004, UKPF enables conferences, events and networking opportunities across the Greater Thames Valley region including Oxford, Reading and Aylesbury. As part of the range of events which UKPF have created, he leads UK Prop Social, a networking club for 150+ members and also the Thames Valley offer at MIPIM UK and MIPIM Cannes, France. Having lived and studied in the Thames Valley, he is very informed about the region and passionate about the development of a group for all those involved in the Thames Valley property markets. 

Nigel Horton-Baker

Nigel Horton-Baker

Executive Director, Reading UK

Nigel has extensive senior management experience in Economic Development over the past 20 years and a career stretching back 25 years covering all aspects of regeneration, skills, job creation, foreign direct investment; small business and sector support services; tourism promotion and infrastructure development. Nigel served on the Board of Reading UK for three years while he was the Area Director for the South East of England Regional Development Agency covering Berkshire and Surrey. Prior to this Nigel was CEO of Surrey Economic Partnership, Vice Chairman of the South East Regional Assembly and  Head of Community and Economic Regeneration at London Borough of Hounslow. 

Elizabeth Corse

Elizabeth Corse

South East Entrepreneur Engagement Manager, Tech Nation

Elizabeth is the Entrepreneur Engagement Manager in the South East for Tech Nation where she provides free support to scaling digital tech founders. Tech Nation provides a peer-to-peer networking platform that provides founders with scaling support and connections across their regions. 

Elizabeth has always been involved in the tech sector starting her career as a European Channel Manager for a Desktop Publishing software company. Most recently, she spent a decade running an edtech company which then pivoted into AI and deep-tech. She experienced the challenge of building a digital tech business outside of London and the struggle that founders face to access finance and investment outside of the capital. Elizabeth speaks both French and English having been brought up in France. Keen to share her perspectives as a woman working in tech and as a working parent, Elizabeth wants to help make the tech sector more diverse and inclusive.

Antony Slumbers

Antony Slumbers

Antony Slumbers Consulting

Antony Slumbers has been a software development and technology strategist in commercial real estate since 1995. Now, he consults and works with real estate boards on Transformation, Technology and Innovation. A well known speaker in property, he is a globally recognised expert on PropTech, and #SpaceAsAService. For more go to antonyslumbers.com or talk to him on Twitter @antonyslumbers

Tim Vaughan

Tim Vaughan

Chief Executive, Moorgarth Group

Tim started Moorgarth’s UK business in October 2003, managing an existing real estate portfolio of 31 properties, and with funding to acquire new real estate assets such as Broad Street in Reading. Since then, he’s grown the group’s portfolio from £8 million to just short of £300 million, and diversified operations by creating two new trading formats: our serviced office operation, The Boutique Workplace Company, and our asset-based lending business, Reward Capital. Moorgarth has prided itself on its innovation, its ability to identify creative opportunities in the real estate market. In particular understanding and embracing change has embedded it to reposition its assets for the future. Before creating Moorgarth, Tim worked with Ernst & Young, and with Arthur Andersen, where he ran the regional real estate consulting practice. This involved advising on and completing property company acquisitions and disposals, general corporate sales where there was a real estate element, the asset management of property portfolios held through insolvency, and an advisory role in some inward investment strategies for companies and cities. 

Steve Woodford

Steve Woodford

Managing Director, Haslams Estate Agents

On leaving school Steve joined an estate agent’s business in Wokingham in 1982. Progressing to an Area Director role he then bought Haslams Estate Agents in 1995.  At that point the business had 7 staff with a turnover of £100,000. Now a full-service agency it has over 1,000 properties in its lettings portfolio, sells more homes in Reading* than any other agents office and has a new homes business that is the envy of much larger estate agency chains.  Since Steve formed the new homes division in 1998 the business has represented a range of developers from local small builders to some of the UK’s largest residential developers. Steve’s business acquired a new office in 2015 which is a landmark showroom for his business with nearly 4,500 sq ft of space.  This new space has seen a significant growth to the business with our lettings portfolio, turnover and team numbers close to doubling in size in the last four years.

Meet the Judges

David Bardon

David Bardon

Partner, Vail Williams

David’s experience in the Thames Valley market and strong reputation in the field of commercial lease advice is demonstrated by the institutional investors with whom he works: Segro plc, Aviva, Aberdeen Asset Management and Orchard Street Investment Management.

A recent notable achievement involved a commercial rent review for a national law firm. The project required presenting expert evidence to an arbitrator and setting up a team of experts and legal counsel, to dispute the effect on rent as a result of plant and machinery within the building.

David has the strong technical knowledge and experience required to contest complex lease events, and he works with many national corporates including: Hanson Aggregates, St John Ambulance and National Express Ltd.

In his spare time, he enjoys playing golf, cycling and is a supporter of Reading Football Club.

Matthew Battle

Matthew Battle

Managing Director, UK Property Forums (Joint Chair of the Judging Panel)

Matthew is the Founder and Managing Director of UK Property Forums. Established in 2004, UKPF enables conferences, events and networking opportunities across the Greater Thames Valley region including Oxford, Reading and Aylesbury. As part of the range of events which UKPF have created, he leads UK Prop Social, a networking club for 150+ members and also the Thames Valley offer at MIPIM UK and MIPIM Cannes, France. Having lived and studied in the Thames Valley, he is very informed about the region and passionate about the development of a group for all those involved in the Thames Valley property markets. 

Hugh Blaza

Hugh Blaza

Hugh enjoyed a highly successful career as a commercial property lawyer, leading one of the major real estate firms in the country. Having graduated from University College Oxford and trained in the City, Hugh returned to Oxford in 1986 where he now works as a consultant to the property community. He believes that whilst there is much to admire in recent developments, the plans which are being forged to harness and accommodate the activity in the region will make the next few years the most exciting in the region for decades.

Kate Dean

Kate Dean

Project Director, BasingView

Kate is a Chartered Surveyor with over 25 years experience in the commercial property sector. She is currently the Project Director of Basing View. Prior to this Kate held roles with a number of corporate organisations including HSBC, Kier Property and SEGRO.

John Fisher

John Fisher

Managing Director, TA Fisher

TA Fisher was established in 1895 and John is fourth generation to take the helm. During the 1990s the company became a leading provider of commercial business space on out-of-town developments in the Thames Valley. Numerous commercial and mixed-use developments were to follow, and the company has now developed into a multi-faceted property group with interests in residential and commercial development, property investment and also serviced apartments/apart hotels. John was quick to spot the emerging serviced-apartment sector in the wake of a plethora of US tech companies who were setting up operations in the Thames Valley. Healthy levels of demand emerged for high-quality, short-stay accommodation from a growing transient work force and in 1997 House of Fisher was incorporated. John is Managing Director of the Group Holding Company which is now a highly regarded commercial organisation within the Thames Valley region. 

Andy Jansons

Andy Jansons

Managing Director, Jansons Property

Andy has been in property since 1983, working for various surveying practices before forming a commercial agency, Jansons and Partners, in the ’90s. After selling out to Colliers CRE, Andy formed Jansons Property in 2003 as a joint venture development company with the William Pears Group.Andy has a formidable reputation from years of experience and brings his tenacity, initiative and drive to getting positive results.

Mike Righton

Mike Righton

Managing Director - Thames Valley, Rider Levett Bucknall

Mike is Managing Partner within the UK practice of Rider Levett Bucknall (RLB) with overall responsibility for leading the strategic direction of the Thames Valley office based at Winnersh Triangle. RLB is an independent global property and construction practice specialising in Quantity Surveying, Project Management, Building Surveying and advisory consultancy services in the construction and property sectors.

RLB’s Thames Valley office has had a presence in the region for over 25 years and offers a wider range of sector expertise with scheme values ranging from £1m to £1bn from working alongside some of the most prominent and well-established names in the industry.

Mike has strong connection with the Thames Valley region having completed his MSc in Construction Cost Management at the University of Reading back in 2005 and subsequently setting in the area.

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