Duncan Owen, chief executive at listed fund manager Invista Real Estate Investment Management, is a shock candidate for the top job at British Land.

Owen is understood to have been 'identified and approached', according to a source close to British Land, about the role and is even thought to have been asked if he would accept the chief executive job if it was offered. However, the source added that this should not necessarily be interpreted as a job offer, 'as the situation is reasonably fluid'.

It is understood that Andrew Jones, the head of retail at British Land, is still in the frame. Rumours persist that Toby Courtauld, the Great Portland Estates chief executive, could still get the job, even though he would likely ruffle feathers by bringing in his own team. Mike Hussey, London head at FTSE-100 peer Land Securities, has also been frequently linked to the role.

Independent of Sunday, The Times