British Land has chosen another banker to lead the company through the worsening property slump with the appointment of Chris Grigg, the former head of UK business banking at Barclays, as its new chief executive.

Grigg, a former Goldman Sachs banker and chief executive of Barclays Commercial, will replace Stephen Hester, who left in November to run the government controlled Royal Bank of Scotland.

Shares in British Land rose 29.5p to 565p yesterday.

The appointment process was watched closely given the debate about whether the UK’s second-largest property company after Land Securities needed a banking specialist to steer it through a testing time for the business, or a real estate expert to manage its existing estate and form a property-based recovery strategy.

Both property and banking candidates were considered for the role, including Toby Courtauld, Great Portland Estates’ chief executive who eventually ruled himself out of the running.

Financial Times, The Times, Daily Telegraph