UK Parliament – Managing Director (Strategic Estates)

The Brief

The UK Parliament were looking to recruit a Managing Director of Strategic Estates to oversee estates and capital investment projects for this iconic UNESCO World Heritage site and surrounding property portfolio.

They were looking for a candidate with significant experience in leading the delivery of large capital investment programmes across a complex property portfolio with expertise in project management and estates management.

The Managing Director of Strategic Estates would sit on the Commons Executive Board and strategically manage the Parliamentary Estate. They would also work closely with the Restoration and Renewal statutory bodies and be involved in the integration of the R&R sponsor back into Strategic Estates.

The successful candidate would drive change within the function and lead a shift in team culture. They wanted candidates with senior leadership skills and the ability to manage and influencing complex stakeholder relationships.

This person needed to be confident, resilient, and able to lead cultural change, in addition to having extensive experience planning capex investments and managing construction delivery.

The Process

Research began by compiling a list of target companies; consisting of client organisations that had complex estates and significant capital investment programmes, and consultancies who advise these clients.

Additionally, we utilised our extensive internal database and networked relevant clients to ensure that all suitable candidates in the market were identified.

An advertising campaign was run adjacent to the search. Most of the suitable candidates we interviewed were sourced through direct approach.

The client gave their feedback on a longlist of suitable candidates before any approaches were made.

Using competency-based interviews, the most suitable candidates were assessed against four leadership skills and four key areas of required experience. Internal candidates were also interviewed and assessed by us as part of the process using the same criteria.

During the process, we found that some candidates were not attracted to the role due to the public sector compensation package compared to their current salary. Nevertheless, this position attracted many candidates due to the unique challenges of the iconic estate. The role was considered a highly visible, prestigious opportunity and therefore, interest in the role itself mitigated the salary issue for many candidates.

The Outcome

From a longlist of 100 candidates, we compiled a shortlist of 7. They selected a candidate with over 20 years’ experience in the infrastructure and capital investment sector, with a balance of capital projects and estates experience.

There was a very competitive process due to the number of interested candidates, and a great success for our client and the selected candidate. They recently started in the role and have transitioned well into UK Parliament.


Director General (Operations), House of Commons:

This was a good experience, and we were well supported throughout the recruitment process. Newsom provided a great deal of industry specific knowledge. The advice and support at the early stages of the process, and specifically helping us define our candidate spec to get what the business really needed from the hire, was invaluable.