Speaker Profiles


David Parker

Director & Head of Rating at Savills


David Parker is Head of Savills national Rating team, which specialises in advising on the mitigation of business rates liabilities. He provides expertise to corporate occupiers across all sectors, including developers and investors.

Savills is a global real estate services provider with a network of more than 33,000 people in over 700 offices across the Americas, Europe, Asia Pacific, Africa and the Middle East. A FTSE 250 company (LON: SVS) headquartered in London, Savills advises corporate, institutional and private clients who are seeking to acquire, lease, develop or realise the value of residential and commercial property in the world's key locations.

Avis Sayer

Owner at Service Charge Analytics AssetAltText

Avis has over 30 years’ experience working in the property management industry. She has worked on both the client-side and as a managing agent for large commercial property companies in London.

During that time, Avis spent 8 years at Savills in the Service Charge Consultancy team working with industry leader Peter Forrester, advising clients on all aspects of service charge management and administration.

Earlier this year Avis established her own consultancy, Service Charge Analytics, to provide advice for clients on a wide range of service charge issues including, pre-contract advice, service charge reviews and analysis, due diligence, service charge set-ups, budgets, reconciliations and certification, lease-end reviews, dispute resolution and best industry practice.

Steve James-Royle

Co-Founder of The Yard CreativeAssetAltText

Steve is Co-Founder of The Yard Creative (TYC), a leading UK strategic retail design studio based in South London. TYC works with challenger brands who want to change a sector or create something remarkable. That means he is always looking for innovation that truly changes aspects of our day-to-day lives and that gives us stories to tell.

His background in retail design has seen him work with the likes of Westfield, Hammerson, BP, TfL, JD, Harrods, Eurostar, Models Own and most recently World Vision, with the creation of The Story Shop.

Steve regularly works with business leaders to help shape strategic direction and drive success through evidential design and research.

Darren Yates

Head of EMEA Retail Research at Cushman & WakefieldAssetAltText

Darren has over twenty years’ experience in property market analysis and has covered a wide range of sectors and markets.  He recently re-joined Cushman & Wakefield after six years away to become the head of EMEA Retail Research & Insight. 

Cushman & Wakefield is a leading global real estate services firm that helps clients transform the way people work, shop, and live. 45,000 employees in more than 70 countries help occupiers and investors optimize the value of their real estate by combining our global perspective and deep local knowledge with an impressive platform of real estate solutions.

Darren and his team focus on analysing trends which drive the retail and retail property markets.  They have access to a wide range of in-house databases which include economic, consumer and property data.  In addition, they have a strong capability in mapping and catchment analysis.

Darren began his career with Healey & Baker in 1996 as a European Retail Analyst which focused mainly on site-specific work and shopping centre feasibility analysis around Europe.  His role developed to encompass more investment and strategy work, as well as broader sector coverage.

After fourteen years, Darren left Cushman & Wakefield to join Knight Frank where he was head of Global Capital Markets Research, before moving to Carter Jonas as Head of Research.

Darren has a degree in Modern Language Studies and speaks French and Italian.  Away from the office he keeps fit through rowing and running and enjoys being outdoors.

Alex McCulloch

Associate Partner at CACI AssetAltText

Alex heads up the Property Consulting Group's technical offer and works with companies to help them better understand their shoppers. He believes that putting the customer at the heart of analysis to truly understand how they shop and behave is the key to brands meeting their customers' needs and creating a retail offer that engages them.

CACI offers a range of data, marketing and IT solutions to a wide range of industries across both the public and private sectors.

Ben Dimson

Head of Retail Business Development at British LandAssetAltText

Ben Dimson is Head of Retail Business Development at British Land, having joined the company in 2011 as a Strategy Executive. He looks after Insight, Marketing and Commercialisation, and regularly works with emerging technology. Ben was previously a strategy consultant with Bain & Company, having completed an MBA at London Business School. Ben also sits on the board of Broadgate Estates, a property management company owned by British Land. Outside work, Ben has invested in several startups.

David Ellis

Director – Head of London StudioAssetAltText

David joined Benoy in 1995 and became a Director in 2001. He is Head of Benoy’s London Studio.

David has exceptional knowledge of the Retail and Leisure sectors and has incorporated this expertise into his work on Town Centre Regeneration. His portfolio is broad and embraces the masterplanning of city quarters to the remodelling of existing retail developments.

David has led some of Benoy’s key projects in the UK and internationally, which include Val D’Europe Mall in Paris, Inorbit in Mumbai and the award-winning Design and Masterplanning of Woking Town Centre.

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