Former property investment director sets up Bentinck Estates in London

Bob Bowden, former property investment director of British Land, has started his own private property company, Bentinck Estates.

Bentinck Estates opened this week at 21 Bentinck Street, off Manchester Square in London’s West End.

Bowden, 64, a well-known figure in property investment circles, told Property Week that he left British Land to build up his own private property portfolio using his ‘own equity of quite a few million pounds’.

‘I will be looking at opportunities in central London and inner London suburbs, particularly in the retail and office sectors,’ he said. ‘I am a little wary of the residential sector.’

Bowden said it had always been part of his ‘own personal game plan’ to work for himself and build up his own property portfolio. The current unease in the property market made it the right time to set up by himself.

‘Bearing in mind the market conditions we are now in, it does seem an opportune moment to move on,’ said Bowden.

‘If we see some stress in the property market there may be some good opportunities above and beyond what we have today.

‘Needless to say, I’ve seen this before in my experience of the property market, which spans around 40 years. Hopefully, I will be able to recognise when it is the right opportunity to step in.’

Although he will be starting Bentinck Estates with his own money, he may turn to third parties for investment further down the line.

‘If I run out of my own equity, I will hopefully then tap up friends and acquaintances,’ he said.

As well as his work on Bentinck Estates, Bowden is chairman of Colliers Capital. The fund management arm of Colliers CRE announced his appointment at the beginning of last month.

He will also be continuing his role as non-executive director of Buccleuch Estates.

Bowden officially retired from British Land after 16 years with the company on 31 December.

During his time there, the value of its property portfolio rose dramatically, with the group buying Broadgate at Sheffield’s Meadowhall. He spent his last 10 years at British Land as an executive director.

His responsibilities have been assumed by Andrew Jones, 39, executive director and head of retail and Tim Roberts, 43, executive director and head of offices.