Chris Jukes, director of retail and leisure complex Liverpool ONE, on how he got started in property, his top TV and podcast picks, his best and worst purchases and his number-one travel destination

Chris Jukes

Chris Jukes

How did you join the property industry?

Through the joys of audit during my time at Deloitte – Hammerson was my main client. Once I decided to leave the audit profession, the property industry was the obvious destination.

What does your job entail?

As director for Liverpool ONE, the Grosvenor-developed and now managed retail and entertainment destination, I am ultimately responsible for all aspects of its performance. This means ensuring all property and asset management activities are running effectively and the scheme is delivering for the benefit of all stakeholders – occupiers, customers, investors and the wider local community alike.

What do you like most about the property industry?

That we create and curate places and buildings that directly affect people’s enjoyment, health and wellbeing.

And what do you dislike most about it?

That certain agenda-driven groups tarnish all landlords with the same brush.

What would you change about the property industry?

I would like to see people from a greater diversity of backgrounds; and I am very encouraged by the steps that Grosvenor and other property companies are taking to address this.

What barriers or challenges have you overcome?

Having held a series of finance roles during my 17-plus years at Grosvenor, I risked being forever labelled a ‘numbers man’, but I have consistently strived to understand all aspects of the activity behind the numbers. It is this curiosity and keenness to learn that have put me in a position to take on a property role.

What are you most proud of in your career?

Getting the role that I currently hold. When I joined Grosvenor, it was in a management accounting role in which one of the main tasks was to set up the accounting for the Grosvenor Liverpool Fund, the vehicle that was then funding the development of Liverpool ONE and would eventually be holding it for investment purposes. Having moved around Grosvenor working on other fascinating areas and projects, here I am – back where I started but now responsible for the lot.

What do you value in people?

The Grosvenor values of respect, integrity and trust are all dear to me; but if I were to pick a fourth, I would go for curiosity. I want people to love what they do and, for me, that comes from having a deep understanding of the world in which they work.

What advice would you give someone starting a career in the property industry?

There are so many people who love what they do and are rightly very proud of the projects they have worked on/are working on. My advice would be to find every opportunity to spend time with people, as they are invariably only too happy to talk about their experiences. This has two benefits: one can learn so much from them, and that curiosity will get noticed eventually.

Cultural recommendations: 

Something to watch: 

I like the TV series Lost for three reasons. First, it landed on our screens when my wife and I got married and started living together, so it will forever be associated with that period of our lives; second, it was still in the era before catch-up TV or streaming were a thing, so we would have to enjoy/suffer the anticipation of having to wait a whole week between episodes; and third, and most importantly, it was a brilliant piece of television that was gripping from the start – with the pilot episode reportedly being the most expensive pilot ever produced.

Something to listen to: 

I am a big football fan so I listen to a few football podcasts, the standout one being That Peter Crouch Podcast. While football based, it is not just about football matches but is also about all the things that go on off the football field. Crouch is a great raconteur and, while it can be (unashamedly) crude at times, it is an insightful and very funny listen.

Best and worst thing you’ve spent money on:

The best thing I have spent money on is my Shokz headphones. They use some baffling tech that transmits the sound through one’s cheekbones so they do not actually sit in the ear but just away from it. This means they are very safe to use when running and cycling. The worst is any time I have to spend money on cars. I am not into them at all and would prefer to get around only by running and cycling, but that is not possible with a wife, three kids and a dog.

Top travel destination: 

My number-one travel destination is Australia. I spent eight months there before university – six months teaching in Sydney and two months travelling – and would love to go back. The distance and work commitments have meant doing so has yet to be achieved, but I hope to address that in the not-too-distant future.