CHIEF DEVELOPMENT OFFICER, UK

Assignment ID VV819

The Company:

Our client is an iconic global brand owned by a leading multi million dollar investment firm.

The UK business is now adopting the Master Franchise model successfully deployed by other geographical markets.

Following significant new investment in the business from a consortium of Financial Partners the initiative has created a catalyst for aggressive growth in the UK estate.

An outstanding new Chief Development Officer, UK is now being sought.

The Position:

Reporting to the new UK CEO in this pivotal and business critical role, the Chief Development Officer, UK will be primarily tasked with delivering and executing their ambitious store expansion plan and strategy.

He/She will be a key member of their newly formed UK Senior Leadership team providing sound commercial and strategic property advice.

The Chief Development Officer UK will recruit, develop, motivate and manage a multi-disciplinary internal and external team as well as having accountability for the entire Property function from acquisitions to estate management, development and construction, design and FM etc.

Other key duties and responsibilities will include:-

  • Executing and delivering an innovative and profitable acquisition led property strategy to successfully roll out a variety of new sites in different formats for our Client in the UK that will enhance business performance and drive the growth of the company.
  • Leading the acquisitions programme, continually reassessing, formulating, articulating and delivering these key development programmes in line with business requirements.
  • Working closely with the Management Team and Investors and manage a multi-million pound Capex budget, whilst maintaining, reviewing and controlling costs within the disciplines to ensure margins are protected.
  • Developing a rigorous and tightly controlled approach to acquiring new sites and minimising ongoing property occupation costs through successful completion of rent reviews, lease renewals, rating appeals etc and supported by development of landlord relationships and leasehold risk management.
  • Conducting negotiations for site acquisitions to agree best possible terms and managing the entire process to lease signing.
  • Managing legal negotiations with external solicitors and dealing with planning and licensing and appropriate authorities ensuring deadlines are met.
  • Recruiting, inspiring, motivating and managing an internal Acquisitions, Development and Estates team to network extensively with agents, occupiers and owners throughout the UK to secure new sites and portfolios on and off the market.
  • Managing and overseeing the development of an effective network of alliance partners for Acquisitions, Estates Management, Development, Planning, Legals etc.
  • Managing the design, construction and project Management of new sites.
  • Reviewing, developing and implementing appropriate processes to meet business plan and profits targets.
  • Proactively managing the conflicts between cost, time and quality to ensure a strong performance is achieved in each of these three key areas.
  • Spearheading and leading a process of value engineering that reduces development costs without compromising on quality.
  • Contributing as an Executive Team member to the overall strategy of the business and undertaking any tasks, responsibilities or assignments upon request from the CEO or Investors.
  • Regularly reviewing competitor activity and advising the Board of all relevant trends and developments in the restaurant and leisure sectors.
  • Building the Development Function and aligning the Company’s growth requirements with all Stakeholders, both Franchisees and other internal departments.
  • Interface closely with the Executive, Franchisee and Operator Community with whom interaction will be a key component.

The Candidate Profile:

Operating at the leading edge of QSR/Casual Dining/Leisure/Licensed or Retail Property, Candidates are likely to have a Degree with an appropriate professional/property qualification, coupled with relevant experience at a senior level with an Acquisitions bias.

He/She must provide real evidence of achievement in a similar function and practical experience of delivering rapid expansion.
The other key attributes sought are:-
  • Team orientated, strategic thinker and leader who is customer focused with outstanding communication skills.
  • A person who provides strong leadership with vision and passion, coupled with well developed motivational and cross functional team management skills.
  • Experience of managing the entire acquisitions process from site finding, negotiation, purchase, legal and licensing processes etc.
  • Excellent geographical knowledge of London and the South East and the UK’s other major towns and cities.
  • Have a large and well established network of Leisure/Retail, Landlord, Agency and Developer contacts.
  • Have a strong commercial focus with the ability to manage key relationships internally and externally.
  • Must have the intellect, commercial instinct, record of career achievement securing deals and influencing through extensive networks.
  • Developmental focussed, ambitious and hungry with the desire to succeed and someone who is prepared to roll their sleeves up.
  • Passionate about their career and the difference they can deliver, have significant reserves of energy and resilience with a real desire to compete and win.
  • Empathy for the branded Restaurant/Leisure sector.
  • Ambitious to promote property as a valued contributor to the business.
  • Proactive, enthusiastic, numerate and IT literate.
  • Good organisational skills and able to cope with pressurised workload, conflicting demands and time constraints with a positive “can do” attitude to build a strong culture of results with focus and accountability.
  • Personally robust and mature, assertive, quick witted with good judgement and able to have an impact at senior level. Will be equally comfortable at the “coal face” as the boardroom.

Central to the new incumbents DNA will be the “ownership mentality” that runs through our clients organisations. They will need to demonstrate and understand the values of the organisation, respecting and embracing those values and lead others to do the same.

The Location:

Field based with extensive travel as and when required.

The Remuneration Package:

Industry leading reward package comprising of attractive base salary, bonus, equity scheme and other benefits etc.

The above are principal elements in a comprehensive package reflecting our client’s determination to fill this post with a first class candidate.

It is our policy to practice equal opportunities in recruitment and selection for all candidates. We have a responsibility to avoid unlawful discrimination.

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