In the first of a new series: In the Spotlight, we interview business leaders across the capital. This month, Bill Moore Chief Executive of The Portman Estate talks about what makes London special, his plans if he was Chancellor for a day and where he would invest £1m in London.
Q: If you became Chancellor for a day, what would you change?
A: The speed of decision-making in the public sector.
Q: If we gave you £1m, where would you invest it in London?
A: In public realm schemes – to create better places for the whole community to work, live and visit.
Q: What major projects are you working on at the moment?
A: 1-9 Seymour Street (the former police station) – a vibrant mix of residential, offices, retail and community use. We have a pipeline of major development opportunities along the Edgware Road and Oxford Street which we are progressing, either on our own, or with partners.
Q: Describe your mission for The Portman Estate?
A: To attract and retain visitors and occupiers to the Estate.
Q: How do you increase communications in your office?
A: we have an end of month brief for all the team, which is always followed by a social event. Our wellbeing programme of yoga, physical exercise (such as boxercise or HITT), mindfulness and mental health awareness (next three months) also brings the team together. We aim to ensure that each of the individual team meetings has members from other teams to maintain cross fertilisation. We have an active social committee who are terrific.
Q: What has been your biggest success in the property world?
A: Enabling the home [residential] team to be more successful.
Q: Your favourite TV programme and why?
A: Game of Thrones; outrageous escapism
Q: What makes London special for you?
A: Its vibrancy and general high-octane atmosphere, combined with the historic character of places like Marylebone
Q: What is your favourite London restaurant and pub?
A: Restaurant: Bernardis (Seymour Place) – great food, helpful staff and at a reasonable price or The Roti Chai (Portman Mews South) – tasty food with terrific value. Difficult choice between the two.; Pub: The Three Tuns (Portman Mews South) has a great buzz.
Q: Where are the hottest areas to buy in London now?
A: Where you can afford it.
Q: What could you not live without?
A: My wife and my road bike (in that order)
Q: Any tips for anyone who is entering a leadership position for the first time in their careers?
A: Listen carefully to your team and get the culture right
Q: What was the biggest decision you have made in your career?
A: Iraq 2009; interceding between the Kurds and Arabs to prevent a clash that could have led to civil war. (In a former role he was Deputy Commanding General 1st (US) Corps Iraq).
• Our thanks to Bill Moore CBE for assisting with this interview. For more details on The Portman Estate, visit www.portmanestate.co.uk.