Hugh Seaborn joined Cadogan as Chief Executive in 2008. Prior to this he was Chief Executive of The Portman Estate for 9 years, where he repositioned the business as an active and committed landlord and investor. Before heading up Portman, Hugh spent 10 years with CB Richard Ellis, latterly as Director and Head of Investment Management.
Hugh is a Chartered Surveyor, Chairman of TR Property Investment Trust plc and Chairman of the Knightsbridge Business Group. Hugh was formerly a member of the Council of the Duchy of Lancaster and past Chairman of the Westminster Property Association and the Estates Business Group. He was awarded a Commander of the Royal Victorian Order in the 2014 New Year Honours List.
Cadogan today manages over 90 acres of Chelsea and Knightsbridge, with a portfolio spanning residential, retail, leisure and office – their long-term stewardship aims to enrich the area’s unique character, while safeguarding its future vitality.
Q: Why do you enjoy working in the sector?
What was it Churchill said, “We shape our buildings, thereafter they shape us”? I firmly believe that we all make an emotional connection with the buildings, the streets and the neighbourhood we inhabit in one way or another. It is this potential, the ability to make a difference that attracts me to this sector. This is also why I have been immensely fortunate to lead Cadogan, because at the centre of our values is the aspiration to contribute to healthy communities in the very longterm.
Q: What was your first job and what was the worst job you have ever done?
One of my first jobs was being a mango buyer close to the Kenya/Somali border. I was not paid but I was very happy eating as many mangoes as I could. The most challenging job I have ever been given is to raise three sons, but it is without doubt also the most rewarding role I have played.
Q: Why did you choose a career in the commercial retail estate sector?
When I was being brought up in rural Yorkshire, many of my friends were farmers. Therefore, I happily went off to study estate management in Newcastle and was quite surprised to discover it was mainly about commercial buildings!
Q: What is a typical day like?