VirginLand, the off-market site-finding platform of leading asset manager Ringley Group, has made three senior hires.
Steve Norman is VirginLand’s new Planning Director, Charlie Youngs has been appointed Land Director, and Oliver Wahlgren is the company’s new Director of Operations. The trio bring combined real estate experience of almost 50 years the business, which has included roles across the industry’s leading developers and planning consultancies.
Norman has over 30 years of experience in residential development and ran his own regional development consultancy for over 14 years. He will oversee the search and acquisition function at VirginLand and advise across all pre-planning application issues.
Oliver Wahlgren will be in charge of end-to-end operations at VirginLand, transferring his decade of investment, finance and operational experience with some of the largest PLC developers in the country. Following spells at leasing agencies and development consultants, planning specialist Charlie Youngs will specialise in identifying scheme viability and maximising developer and investor response rates.
VirginLand describes itself as an outsourced land department, working closely with SME and major developers and investors to identify and acquire off-market land opportunities. It uses a range of in-house technology and geospatial data solutions to bypass land agents, and provides expert guidance across the acquisition, viability and pre-planning stages. Its team is made up of land specialists, planning consultants, surveyors and tech experts.
The business was created in March of this year by Ringley Group, with CEO Dan Robinson working closely alongside group managing director Mary-Anne Bowring. Ringley Group is a multi-disciplinary property consultancy and asset management specialist – past and current clients include Berkeley Group, Curlew, Europa Capital, Gresham House, Grosvenor, Long Harbour, Moda and PATRIZIA. Its core services include full lifecycle asset management for the living sector, block management, leaseholder advice, and property services – including law, finance and valuation.
Dan Robinson, CEO at VirginLand said: “ The depth of experience and expertise provided by Steve, Charlie and Ollie will be of significant value to our existing and prospective clients. They will be instrumental in our mission to democratise the land market and in doing so play our part in addressing the chronic undersupply of housing.
“The largely opaque land market is stuck in its old ways and is ripe for transformation. Our combination of technology, data analysis and expert guidance, which is based upon boots-on-the-ground planning and development experience, has already struck a chord with both SME and major developers and investors up and down the country.”
Mary-Anne Bowring, Group Managing Director at Ringley Group said: “Living sector developers and investors are increasingly turning towards specialist partners that can execute its strategy at every stage of the asset lifecycle, from site-finding to stabilisation and exit. The appointments come at an opportune time for VirginLand, which is perfectly poised to capitalise upon this fast-growing trend, as well as a growing frustration around the way in which land is currently identified.”