James Young

Head of Investor Services, EMEA • United Kingdom

James Young
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James Young

Head of Investor Services, EMEA • United Kingdom

Role & Responsibilities

James is Cushman & Wakefield’s Head of Investor Services in Europe, Middle East & Africa.  In this role he is responsible for the growth of the company’s business with investors, funds, landlords and developers across five key divisions – Capital Markets, Agency Leasing, Valuation, Asset Services and Project & Development Services. 

In addition, he maintains a role in the London market, where his specialism is Office Agency. He provides strategic advice to a number of major clients concerning their London property holdings. He is an expert in both disposal and leasing work for landlords and acquisition work for occupiers, having developed a reputation for delivering complex solutions for clients seeking business critical advice relating to their real estate portfolios.

James is a member of C&W’s EMEA Executive Committee and European Leadership Team.

Experience & Qualifications

James has been with C&W for 29 years, joining in 1990, having gained a BSc (Hons) in Estate Management from Oxford Brookes University. He is a Member of the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors and a Master of Corporate Real Estate from CoreNet.

He became Partner in 1997 and Equity Partner in 2003.  He joined C&W’s UK Board in 2006 and the European Executive Council in 2013.  Post-merger with DTZ he became an International Partner, joining the European Leadership Team in 2016 and the EMEA Executive Committee in 2019. He was also made an Executive Partner in 2019.

James is on the Court of the Worshipful Company of Chartered Surveyors, one of the modern livery companies of the City of London and is vice-chair of its Marketing & Communications committee. He is also a Freeman of the City of London.

Key Assignments

  • James has advised the global investment bank Citi for over 15 years, dealing with the disposal of approximately one million sq ft of space across London. This role culminated in the acquisition of Citi’s HQ in Canary Wharf, the largest single-asset transaction in the UK market in 2019.
  • He has been responsible for C&W’s work in Europe on behalf of WeWork, leading to over 25 transactions. In addition, he led one of the highest profile transactions in 2019 - WeWork acquiring the European Medicines Agency’s headquarters in Canary Wharf.
  • James undertook the largest pre-let transaction in East London in 2017, the 300,000 sq ft disposal of 14 Westfield Avenue, Stratford to HMRC on behalf of Unibail-Rodamco-Westfield.
  • James and team dealt with one of the largest City of London pre-lets (600,000 sq ft) to Amazon at Principal Place in the City of London, on behalf of Brookfield Office Properties. CoStar’s City Deal of the Year 2015.
  • Acting for Canary Wharf Group, one of the firm’s key London investor clients, he dealt with the disposal of Becket House, Waterloo (145,000 sq ft) to Bouygues. CoStar’s Southbank Deal of the Year for 2016.
  • James advised EY on the acquisition of their Canary Wharf office at 25 Churchill Place (207,000 sq ft) which included negotiating a take-back of 145,000 sq ft of surplus space.This was one of the most complex and largest London deals of 2014. CoStar’s Docklands Deal of the Year for 2014.
  • James’s City of London team were hand-picked by J.P. Morgan to deal with the strategic disposal of their legacy portfolio of buildings, following the bank’s move to Canary Wharf in 2012.The disposal of almost 750,000 sq ft of space was an unprecedented achievement in the challenging, post-financial crisis landscape.
  • He has overseen the strategic direction of the office portfolio of Sainsbury’s, the major UK retailer. This involved building acquisitions and the right-sizing of their portfolio across the UK, including their HQ at Holborn.
  • James’s landlord portfolio includes some of the world’s top investors / developers, including Brookfield, Blackstone, Canary Wharf Group, Unibail-Rodamco-Westfield, Union Investment, Pembroke, Derwent London and Great Portland Estates.
  • James has an impressive track record of advising blue-chip occupier clients, including Citi, MSCI, O’Melveny & Myers, DTCC, Westfield, Sainsbury’s, VTB Bank and many others.