July 20, 2024

Is Peverel looking for a £90,000 spin doctor with ‘personal integrity’?

peverelprCan this be our old friends at Peverel tarting up their image in leasehold management by recruiting an artful ‘Head of Communications” for £90,000 a year?

It sounds like it from the description …

“to restore the reputation of this multi-brand, market leading service provider with its customers, staff and the media”.

The job is based in London and New Forest and the new recruit will “need proven strategic, crisis and change communications experience in a highly customer focussed environment. You will also need to be able to demonstrate effective influencing skills, commercial awareness and personal integrity.”

Peverel has confirmed that it is appointing a new head of communications.

Splendid. Only Peverel has to hunt with the hounds and side with the hare: its key customer is still the Tchenguiz Family Trust that used to own it and which still controls up to 70 per cent of the freeholds it manages. The Tchenguiz brothers, who came to the UK in preference to a life under the mullahs in Iran, are after £300 million compo from British taxpayers for their arrest on mistaken evidence in March 2011.

Compared with these powerful freeholders, ordinary leaseholders are a minor and secondary consideration for Peverel and are hardly “customers”.

Peverel has never been a customer focussed business. It is the creature of McCarthy and Stone, which took in over and then dumped it in the early 1990s when there was outrage at sneaky service charges.

John McCarthy, pioneer of the retirement leasehold business model, launched an £800,000 libel case against the Daily Telegraph, which spectacularly failed. It is thought among journalists of the time that the case cost McCarthy a knighthood.

Peverel was sold off to the same venture capitalists, who own it now, and then sold on again to a management buyout, before being scooped up by Tchenguiz right at the end of the property boom in 2006.

Its business model has always been top down: given management contracts by developers not leaseholders. The McCarthy and Stone freeholds, now part of the Tchenguiz Family Trust, account for the bulk of these and then high-end London contracts followed during the boom from the likes of Barratt and the Berkeley Group – the latter also sold its freeholds to Tchenguiz.

The Tchenguiz, who still own one per cent of the country’s residential freeholds, brought them all under the management of Peverel in one guise or another. This was a shortlived union as the property crash – and the Tchenguiz arrests in March 2011 – pitched Peverel into administration.

Such is Peverel’s reputation that it has been dumped by Barratt, Berkeley and McCarthy and Stone. And residents at prime London sites – St George’s Wharf, Charter Quay, Chelsea Bridge Wharf, Marathon House – have also organised to get rid of Peverel.

It is unlikely that that top end business – for which ousted executive Lee Middleburgh had responsibility – is coming back. There are nuances to Peverel’s behaviour, however: it has not-resisted the right to manage at 288-unit Palgrave Gardens, near Regent’s Park in central London, in exchange for a one-year management contract. A similar arrangement exits at the massive 422-unit Metro Central Heights, south of the river at Elephant and Castle, which won RTM in November.

But the bulk of Peverel’s business is retirement leasehold and non-prime London odds-and-ends it picked up during the boom years. Both will continue to drain away as competitors that do not have a reputation in need of being restored enter the market and savvy leaseholders realise that there is an alternative.


  1. Its very strange that no UK Government Minister has stood up to defend the SFO which is hard pressed to do a good job for defending our country on a tiny 30 Mil pound budget.

  2. OMhostage says

    Strange? You do know that the Conservative Party has received six figure sums from the Tchenquiz Family Trust?

  3. If Peverel’s management business continues to drain away, we should as tax payers ask RBOS ( bank is 83 % owned by the Government and financed by the tax payer ) to smartly stop giving support to Peverel / Chamonix and Electra Partners.
    The rescue of “Peverel Group” from Administration was financed by:

    Electra Partners – GBP 33 Mil
    Chamonix – GBP 4 Mil
    RBOS – GBP 25 Mil.

  4. OMhostage says

    Oops. I got my goats and sheep mixed up the other day. Never mind.

    Imagine if the SFO had been funded properly, run a very tight ship and had gone aggressively after the banks and the people who hope now to stick the taxpayer with the bill for their failed gambles? We’d have saved a fortune.

  5. Lets keep passing on Campaign against retirement leasehold exploitation’s recommendation not to buy new leasehold property from M & S Retirement Homes. Their service charges ( managed under Peverel ) and including buildings insurance and warden flat rents are just too high.

    HBOS led a private buyout of M&S in 2006 for 1.1 Billion pounds and now the Sunday Times has reported that M&S is about to be sold again for about 500 Mil Pounds. Say NO to leasehold property from M& S .