Capital & Regional appoints Blackstone’s Hutchings as CEO

The UK-focused real estate investment trust (REIT) has appointed former Blackstone executive Lawrence Hutchings as chief executive, following 12 months of succession planning.

Capital & Regional, the UK-focused real estate investment trust (REIT), has appointed Blackstone managing director Lawrence Hutchings as chief executive.

He replaces Hugh Scott-Barrett, who will become non-executive chairman, following the recent retirement of John Clare.

Hutchings joins after four years at Blackstone in Australia, including two as managing director. He has over 20 years' experience in the property industry, including 11 years in senior positions operating in the UK and European retail real estate markets.

Prior to Blackstone, Hutchings worked for Hammerson, the London-based REIT, for four years, the last three as managing director of the firm’s UK retail business. He also had a seven-year stint at fellow UK property firm Henderson Global Investors, where he served as director of European retail real estate.

A spokesman for Capital & Regional said the changes to its management came as a result of 12 months of succession planning, due to Clare’s impending retirement following seven years of service. The spokesman also confirmed the positional changes will become effective on June 13 this year.

“Lawrence not only brings a deep understanding of UK retail from his senior management roles at both Hammerson and Henderson Global Investors but a real passion for the sector,” said Tony Hales, senior independent director. “His skills and expertise, together with his experience at Blackstone, will be very valuable for the future growth of Capital & Regional, building on the significant momentum achieved by the company over the past few years,” he added.

“Capital & Regional is a highly entrepreneurial and well-regarded business with a strong track record of delivering accretive asset management and development initiatives,” said Hutchings. “The company also has a great portfolio which offers many opportunities and I am extremely excited to have the opportunity to lead the company as it enters its next phase of growth.”

London-based Capital & Regional, which specializes in shopping and leisure centers, and is one of the UK’s largest listed property companies, has two main divisions: asset management and fund management.