MVPs group Q1 2019

MVPs: Disruptors you should know about

Who is making waves in the property transformation game? PlaceTech editor, Paul Unger, names his Most Valuable Players.

Jill Guthrie Willmott Dixon

Jill Guthrie

Willmott Dixon

Jill Guthrie is Willmott Dixon’s digital manager for the North, and both non-executive director and national co-chair for the BIM Regions and the UK BIM Alliance Communities group. Now responsible for digital strategy and implementation across the independent construction company, Jill’s career spans 15 years in both the UK and Australia, across architecture and BIM consultancy.

Simon Cox Prologis

Simon Cox


Industrial heavyweight Prologis is one of the early wave of developers prepared to talk about its tech plans and position itself boldly as an adopter of innovation. Installing sensors in its warehouses to drive energy efficiency and make building performance more measurable. Prologis shares its working-outs in detailed research papers for the rest of the industry to follow. As vice president, Simon is at the helm of much of this work.

Sheraz Dar CreditLadder 1

Sheraz Dar


Sheraz Dar is the CEO of CreditLadder, one of six winners of the Treasury’s Rent Recognition Challenge last year. The contest was aimed at helping tenants get onto the property ladder through the reporting of on-time rental payments for credit improvement. Sheraz has worked at and invested in UK digital businesses including PrimeLocation, Quidco and OpenRent, the latter being the UK’s biggest letting agent by volume.

Simon Navin

Simon Navin

Ordnance Survey

Ordnance Survey, Great Britain’s national mapping agency, carries out the official surveying of GB, providing the most accurate and up-to-date geographic data, relied on by Government, business and individuals. Ordnance Survey is supporting a range of technologies to aid the UK’s smart mobility future, such as Zoomstack and Mobileye.

Jonathan Carthy

Jonathan Carthy

Glenn Howells Architects

Jonathan has overseen a tech revolution from paper to iPads at Glenn Howells Architects, the UK architect with offices in Birmingham and London. He describes his role as “helping designers become more creative. We’re here to tell stories, elicit emotions, design beautiful buildings, and ultimately fulfil the needs of our clients. Without the time to design, that doesn’t happen.” The firm’s projects include the Royal Wharf development on the north bank of the River Thames in Newham, Eleven Brindleyplace, Birmingham and One St Peter’s Square, Manchester.

Patrick Van Hoof Arcadis

Patrick van Hoof


“We are serious about being a digital frontrunner in our industry, and therefore we have to develop certain value propositions ourselves, as well as co-create and buy into what happens at the frontier through early stage ventures.” Van Hoof sets out the stall for Arcadis, which has backed up its words with action in the past three months including a 2030 city accelerator in Amsterdam and takeover of digital infrastructure mapping specialist EAMS.

Giles Perkins

Giles Perkins


Giles Perkins is head of future mobility at WSP and has over 28 years’ experience in the transportation planning and intelligent transport sectors. As part of global civil engineering giant WSP’s vast network of offices and clients, Giles helps with everything from government research to pilot projects for changing energy needs and the impact of smart mobility on placemaking. One of the big advisory groups changing transport planning from the inside.

Cleo Sham

Cleo Sham


Five-year-old Spanish firm Spotahome said it will move its HQ to London in the coming months and hire 200 staff as part of its growth. Spotahome says it is the first platform designed for direct booking of accommodation of 30 days or more. Cleo joined as chief operating officer in January after four years at Uber as head of operations in China and Europe. Spotahome operates in seven countries and 10 cities across the EMEA region, with a headcount of 300 people from over 30 nationalities. It has raised $72m, backed by KleinerPerkins, Passion Capital and Seaya Ventures as main investors. Investors also include Travis Kalanick (Uber), Drew Houston (Dropbox), Jeremy Stoppelman (Yelp).

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