Interviews with dating gurus brent
Slough Estates was deemed too unsexy a name (don’t laugh) so they came up with Segro (Slough Estates Group, but I bet someone charged a fortune for it). Sleath runs a company with a market cap of £3.3 billion, which receives rental income of about £300 million annually, made profits last year of £130 million, and has nearly six million square feet of property in its portfolio, much of it around London. The fact is that, unglamorous as it may seem, Segro sits bang across two of the brightest sectors there are: property and the internet.Sleath is dead posh, a descendant of the earls Rivers. Sleath grew up in Swansea and went to state school there. I didn’t want to be a career accountant.” He left in 1998, before the Enron scandal blew up in the US, seriously damaging the firm: “I got my partnership out in the nick of time. It was the seven-year itch.” Thn he joined Wagon Automotive, a manufacturer and supplier of car parts for Europe’s carmakers. I’m fascinated by old ones, new ones, electric ones. It was fantastic, being finance director of this pan-European automotive parts business.” Sleath, 54, is still crazy about cars.The first earl was Edward IV’s father-in-law, and his granddaughter married Henry VII to become Queen Elizabeth. After that, it was Warwick University, then a traineeship with Arthur Andersen in Birmingham. They’re his main hobby — he used to be a competitive swimmer but today concentrates on collecting and repairing them at his house in Warwick (married, with three children, he lives in Marylebone during the week).
“We’ve got a couple of others being kitted out as very high-end West End apartments because the developers want something to test the fittings on.” Even the flash, uber-prime residential boys need a shed.“But they’re not all going to be working in Canary Wharf and the City.There’s a very big case for preserving industrial land, not just to provide the jobs but to provide London’s distribution.” Historically, Slough Estates focused on the West. “The vast majority of our portfolio is weighted towards that side.“What we found was that in a lot of places we went, people just couldn’t pronounce, let alone spell Slough correctly, particularly the Americans.Slough is still a very important part of our business and we’re very proud of it.” Sleath laughs: “In my interview with Ian, I said ‘I think you’ve got the wrong guy because I don’t know anything about property’. The product we’re building, the sheds, are a combination of the very big centralised distribution centres and edge-of-town warehousing space.
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“If you look at London as a whole in the last 25 years, the amount of industrial land has halved.