Development Practice

Our Development Practice at Holtby Turner Executive Search specialises in filling challenging, senior level roles within property companies and developers throughout EMEA. Rich knowledge of the sector, its key players and the challenge of attracting and retaining great business leaders have seen us become one of the foremost, recognised executive search practices in the field. A selection of our completed mandates from the last 18 months are listed here. 

The solutions we provide can have a significant impact on the businesses we represent, on lives and careers. We take those responsibilities seriously, handling relationships with clients and candidates with great care – we pride ourselves on our discretion, consistently honest advice and the results we deliver.

To discuss your executive search needs, contact Toby Turner on + 44 (0) 203 371 6680 or email 

Multiple Development & Project Director roles for a FTSE 100 Property Company

Development Manager – Residential Developer

Project Director – Boutique Leisure developer

Head of Projects – Hotel Developer

Residential Development Director – FTSE 100 Property Company

Commercial Development Executive – London Property Company

Director Projects & Development – Boutique Residential Landlord

Pan European Development Director, Private Equity

The Brief

The client, a leading global private equity business, wanted a Dutch, German, French and English speaking Development Director to lead intelligent asset management on a major European distressed portfolio that they had recently acquired under a joint venture partnership.

Our Process

We worked closely with the client to develop a detailed person specification, identifying priorities on key skills and languages. We mapped suitable organisations where talent may be found in the UK, Germany and Netherlands and spent two weeks conducting interviews locally overseas. We gave our client a strong shortlist, with a variety of candidates who all ticked the box.

The Results

Successfully facilitated the relocation of a Dutch Development Director to the UK in order to assume the role. The chosen candidate was able to bring local knowledge, multiple languages, a solid understanding of financials and expertise in development and capital projects, thus fulfilling the brief. 

Development Director, London

The Brief

The client, a leading FTSE 100 listed Property Development business, needed to appoint a Commercial Development Director at a time when competition was high and these individuals were greatly in demand.

Our Process

We collaborate with our client to develop a detailed person specification and prioritise key skills. We defined the unique selling points of the organisation, identifying compelling facts of which the wider market might be unaware. We mapped suitable organisations where talent might be located throughout the UK. Travelled throughout the UK interviewing over thirty prospective candidates.

The Results

We provided a strong shortlist to our client, with a variety of candidates all of whom fulfilled the criteria.  We successfully completed the assignment, providing a candidate who had three other offers but elected to join our client. The chosen candidate is now running a £600m development in the heart of London.

Project & Development Director, London

The Brief

The client, a boutique development business, had just secured significant investment and a joint venture partnership and needed a “big hitter” to translate the JV’s vision into reality. It was a glorious role for an ambitious visionary who delivers with real punch.

Our Process

We developed a detailed person specification working with our client to prioritise key skills. We narrowed down a very wide field of possible talent sources to identify businesses where people with the relevant skills really lay. We assessed over 40 candidates during the course of the search, looking at personality, intelligence and experience. We provided a strong shortlist rich in variety of candidates who each fulfilled the criteria.

The Results

Cultural fit was of paramount importance in this small entrepreneurial business. We successfully completed the assignment, securing a very high profile individual who would not otherwise have considered this as an option. The chosen candidate is now leading a team and helping drive the business forward as they move through a period of rapid growth.

“We worked with Holtby Turner in relation to a senior role within the organisation. We appreciated their professional, confidential approach, and the interest they took in getting to know the organisation before embarking on the search. We would give Holtby Turner repeat business as they delivered what we required and are happy to recommend them for senior recruitment.” Julia Bellingham, Howard de Walden Management Limited, Major London Property Company
“As a prospective executive hire Holtby Turner provided a high level of professionalism from both the practice leader, Alexandra Sturdy, and her personal assistant. Alexandra had real depth of knowledge about the industry and the company I have now joined. This gave me confidence during the recruitment process that this was a recruiter I could trust and ultimately that this was the right move to a new company.” James Hanson, MD, Global Construction Consultancy, Navigant
“The team at Holtby Turner are determined to find the right person, not just any person.” Alan Froggatt, ex-CEO, CBRE, EMEA
“We appreciate Holtby Turner’s knowledge about the market and positive, passionate way they approach assignments, from senior search and workshops on business strategy and values. They always deliver above and beyond and provide us with a real return on our investment.” Michael Woodhead, CEO HCP
“It’s not easy to score three out of three excellent candidates for an Executive Board role here, but Holtby Turner managed it.” Director, Property & Infrastructure Consultancy