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FB Roundup: Mowery, Grosvenor, and Schillings

Third-gen building firm leaves the family; Grosvenor build for ‘Generation Rent’; and Schillings hires three new partners
Don Mowery and David Cross

Third-gen building firm leaves the family

A US construction firm founded in 1925 has passed into the hands of its first non-family owner.

But the man taking the reins at Pennsylvania’s Mowery, David Cross, is no stranger to the business having been involved with it for more than 30 years. He was made president in 2015 as part of former third generation owner Don Mowery’s succession plan.

“This announcement means my family’s legacy that started with my grandfather over 90 years ago will not only continue, but will grow,” said Mowery.

“As president, David skillfully and strategically guided the growth and evolution of this company, and he will lead this company well into the future.”

Mowery said the business was performing well and now was the right time to sell. Last year, the company generated $146.3 million in revenue, up from $137.6 million in 2015. It also expanded its workforce by 15%.

Mowery planned to stay on in a consulting and client relations role. The financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.

The firm, founded by Don Mowery’s grandfather, specialises in large-scale builds like warehouses, universities and retirement villages.

Grosvenor build for ‘Generation Rent’

Grosvenor Britain & Ireland are planning to turn a former biscuit factory site into 1,500 rental apartments, in response to London’s housing shortage.

The £500 million ($652 million) planned investment at the almost 5ha Bermondsey site would be one of the capital’s largest build-to-rent projects, the company announced.

“London's housing shortage is too often creating polarised outcomes,” Craig McWilliam, chief executive, said.

“We are sharing our ambitions in Bermondsey to meet the needs of many on low and middle incomes who are locked out of London’s housing market.”

Plans show a neighbourhood with a new 600-place secondary school at its heart, more than 10,000 sq m of public spaces and almost 2,000 sq m of play space.

About 8,000 sq m of ground floor retail, food, leisure and culture would be added with shops, services and facilities open to the community.

The Grosvenor family’s property ownership history stretches back to 1677 when land to the west of the City of London, comprising swamp, pasture and orchards, came into the family. Today, these areas, Mayfair and Belgravia, remain part of the family’s £5.1 billion ($6.6 billion) assets under management.

Schillings hires three new partners

A family business specialist and a former Obama adviser are among three partners Schillings added to their top team this month.

The hires of Jeremy Eakin, Amy Pope and John Chase mean there are now 16 partners at Schillings – the 1984-founded firm renowned for aggressively defending high-profile reputations.

Eakin, pictured, is the former managing director and founding member of UBS AG’s global family office team, where he specialised in family business crises. Pope was a former adviser to former US President Barack Obama, while Chase joins Schilling’s London office following a career in crisis response and intelligence.

Chase had advised individuals, governments and multinational organisations on how to respond to kidnap for ransom, extortion and cyber threats.

Schillings employs a team of lawyers, intelligence and cyber specialists and helps its clients manage reputations and privacy. Past clients include Brad Pitt, Naomi Campbell and J.K. Rowling.

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