Ever since the nominations started coming in for Forty Under 40, we knew it was going to be a fantastic list - and it is, as our coverage attests.
But we didn’t think it would be quite so tough to compile. We had more than 120 nominations, all high calibre. Some were nominated by colleagues, some by their bosses and some by people who didn’t even know them - but knew of them.
To whittle the list down, I solicited the opinion of my new editorial advisory board and consulted other leading industry figures as well as the Property Week team. I wanted a list that spanned the breadth of the industry and age range - everyone from your 20-something entrepreneurial disruptors to your 30-something principals in the worlds of agency, development and investment. We looked beyond property too, to the rising stars working with the industry rather than in it. The emphasis was on people in the ascendant rather than those who had already made it, although it would have been wrong not to include some of the latter. Plus, I’m not ageist: this is Forty Under 40, after all, not Forty Under 30.
Umm, actually, on that point, teeny confession: as the eagle-eyed among you may have noticed, our counting is a bit off - there are 43 people on our list. We, ahem, didn’t factor in the three people who couldn’t attend the special celebratory event, hosted by sponsor Irwin Mitchell. Epic fail I know, but who am I to deny them their moment of glory because of a mistake we made? So they’re on the list… Deal with it.
You won’t find it difficult. Sometimes this sort of feature can be a bit dull but worthy. Not this one. I’m sure you will find their stories as inspiring as I did. Most who made the cut weren’t born great, nor have they had greatness thrust upon them; they have achieved it - before hitting 40. And look how diverse - dare I say, unexpectedly diverse - the list is. It makes me genuinely excited about the industry’s future.
Dream come true or nightmare?
Big businesses will be more anxious than excited about the future after George Osborne’s pledge this week to allow councils to keep the £26bn of business rate revenue they collect. The “biggest transfer of power to our local government in living memory”, as he described it, sounds like a dream come true. But experts warn it could be a nightmare for businesses with operations spanning several local authorities, because of the complexity involved in dealing with so many varying business rates.
There is also the matter of the redistribution mechanism being phased out, which would leave the likes of Westminster in clover, while “half the other councils in the country would go bankrupt”, as Gerald Eve’s Jerry Schurder starkly put it. Let’s hope he’s right and the changes aren’t as radical as suggested.