THINKER, SPEAKER, ACTIVIST, CHAIRMAN

Career

Lawrence is a Fellow and Prizeman of the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors (RICS)*.
He began his career in property with Johnston Evans, surveyors, in 1959. In 1964 Lawrence joined DeGroot Collis, a major firm of surveyors and valuers, and in 1967 became a salaried partner, running their Holborn Office.

In 1970 he set up his own consultancy, Lawrence Bloom King & Co (subsequently Bloom King Main) in the City of London. It was the first of a ‘new breed’ of practice challenging the existing exclusive structure. Through a new and dynamic approach, the firm soon became the leading small agency in the City. During this time Lawrence acted for the IPC Group, Touche Ross, Legal & General, and many other major financial institutions and developers. He was a frequent keynote speaker at property seminars presented by The Financial Times and Investors Chronicle. He also sat on the Editorial Advisory Board of The Estates Times.

In the early 1980s he arranged the sale of Trust Securities, the owners of Stockley Park, a commercial park near Heathrow Airport, to the financial consortium that developed it into one of the most successful parks of its kind.

By the mid 1980s Lawrence was a director of Land Investors, where he was responsible for building the new headquarters of the National Bank of Kuwait in the West End of London, and the Bayerische Landesbank adjoining the Broadgate Development in the City of London. He then moved on to become Managing Director (and subsequently Deputy Chairman) of Land & Property Trust, where he managed a £150m property portfolio.

In 1990 Lawrence was headhunted by the new Japanese owners of the Inter-Continental Hotel Group, who appointed him to take charge of its worldwide property portfolio, then valued at US$2.9bn. He sat on the five-strong Executive Committee with the Chief Executive, Legal, Operational and Financial Directors. He prepared a paper for separating the asset base from the operational arm of the organisation, and was responsible for planning major developments.

In collaboration with the CEO John van Praag, Lawrence helped prepare an environmental manual with the group’s technical services division, subsequently endorsed by H.R.H. The Prince of Wales and adopted by all the major 5-star hotel groups worldwide. This initiative is now operational in more than 4.5 million hotel bedrooms globally and is currently being extended to new-build hotels.

In 1992 due to his support of CORE. a charitable initiative to assist in the healing of drug addiction, Lawrence invited them to hold their Charity Fundraising luncheon at The Mayfair Hotel (then owned by The Intercontinental Hotel Group.) acting as host at the function he was privileged to be seated at lunch next to HRH Princess Diana, who was the Charity’s Patron. The photo shows Lawrence greeting Her Royal Highness at the Hotel’s main entrance.

In 1992 he set up Forus Investments in partnership with Dieter Bock (who at that time was Joint Chairman and Chief Executive of Lonrho Plc) and arranged the joint venture with Lord Palumbo, which redeveloped No.1 Poultry in the City of London. After the completion of this project in 1995, Lawrence travelled extensively to further deepen his understanding of the issues surrounding a sustainable future for society and humanity.

* through its merger with the Chartered Auctioneers and Estate Agents Institute (CAEAI).

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