Former Segro UK managing director John Heawood is to join Warner Estate Holdings to head the Ashtenne Asset Management division, which is responsible for the £820m Ashtenne Industrial Fund.

Heawood will oversee management of 360 small, multi-tenanted industrial estates as head of a 100-strong asset management team.

Heawood was UK managing director for Segro from 1996 until last year, when he left and joined legal firm LG – formerly Lawrence Graham – where he was operations director in the real estate team.

Mike Stevens, property director at Warner Estate, said: ‘John Heawood’s vast knowledge and experience of every stage of the property cycle will undoubtedly play a key role in driving the fund’s performance forward at this time. The portfolio is inherently flexible which will give John a lot of space to manage liquidity and maximise tenant engineering opportunities.’

Heawood said: ‘This is an excellent opportunity to work with an established and highly skilled team with a national network and a very occupier-focused management approach. Responsiveness that results from strong relationships with customers is vital, particularly in this economic climate.’

Ashtenne’s former managing directors – James Havery and Mark Ovens – now work at Hansteen Holdings, the AIM-listed company run by the founders of Ashtenne, Ian Watson and Morgan Jones.