Meet the decision makers

Chairman of Prestbury Group

Leslau set up Prestbury in 1997, after his previous vehicle, Burford, took off after the early 1990s crash. Leslau has a 51.4% stake in Prestbury, which has gross assets of £2bn.He is cited as one of the ‘smart entrepreneurs’ who have emerged well placed amid the slowdown. His PropertyWeek column is a must-read in the City.

Founder and chairman of Chelsfield Partners Consummate dealmaker Bernerd undertook a £1.9bn management buyout of quoted developer Chelsfield in 2004. Last year, he and Sir Stuart Lipton, along with Bank of Scotland Corporate, teamed up with Milestone Capital, a Paris-based investment manager, to set up a £216m fund to buy property in the Paris region and other key French cities.

Chairman and chief executive of Scarborough Property Group Sheffield-born entrepreneur McCabe sold the bulk of his companies, Scarborough and Teesland, to Australian-listed company Valad at the peak of the market last year, netting £150m. Retaining a £500m UK- and China-based portfolio, and the Scarborough name, it is now a family affair, run with sons Simon and Scott.

Founder of Parkridge, and vice-chairman, Europe, of ProLogis Known as the ‘godfather’ of sheds, the Midlands-based entrepreneur was last year ranked the 229th richest man in the UK, worth £320m. He has twice sold up to ProLogis, most recently in February 2007 when he sold the logistics arm of Parkridge. Cutts and his family trust own 40% of Parkridge, which has £1.7bn of developments.

Chairman and chief executive, Stewart Milne Homes Former electrician Milne started his housebuilding business in Aberdeen in 1975.

Since then, it has grown to be one of the UK’s leading privately owned housebuilders. Milne is now believed to be the best-paid businessman in Scotland. He and his family trust own all the shares in the company.

Executive director, Moorfield Group After starting his career at Chesterton, Stanley worked for Provident Mutual, Hoare Govett, NatWest Markets and Goldman Sachs.

He joined Moorfield in 1996 where he restructured the business before taking it private with HBoS in 2001.

Chief executive, Bank of Scotland Corporate Cummings joined Bank of Scotland in 1973. In the late 1980s he was made head of corporate recovery. In 1995, he became director of corporate banking. In 2005, he was made deputy chief executive, Corporate. In 2006, he became chief executive of Corporate.

Head of property, Bank of Scotland Corporate

Before joining Bank of Scotland, Robinson was director of risk in the retail division at HBOS and, before that, managing director of the Intelligent Finance division. He previously worked for McKinsey. He has an MBA from Harvard and an MA and MENG from Cambridge.

Editor, Property Week

In 1989, Barrie took his first full-time journalism job at Estates Times. Two years later, he left the group to work on the Daily Telegraph. He became editor of PropertyWeek in 2003, and has won 10 industry writing awards. PropertyWeek is currently Business Magazine of the Year.

Chairman of Emerson Group

A former carpenter, Peter Emerson Jones entered the property business in 1958. The family-run business has since grown to one of the largest privately owned property development companies in the UK.

Executive chairman, Tonstate Group Wojakovski established Tonstate in 1996.

The family-owned development and investment business now operates out of offices in London and Edinburgh. In 2004, Wojakovski completed a doctorate in economics. In 2006, Tonstate bought the Hilton London Metropole and the Hilton Birmingham Metropole hotels for £417m.