Leith looks east with investment manager hire

The Preston-based planning consultancy has appointed Rina Sowler, an export consultant and Japanese and Mandarin language tutor, to the newly created role to attract overseas clients.

As Asia investment manager, Sowler will be responsible for helping the Leith Planning Group establish and build relationships with prospective clients in the Far East interested in the UK property market, and lead on cultural training and awareness of Asian business practices within the group.

She will also oversee a relaunch of Leiths’ company website to include Chinese and Japanese landing pages, alongside the existing English pages.

Sowler has worked as a freelance interpretator and Japanese and Mandarin tutor for schools and businesses across Liverpool for the past four years, and previously as a business interpreter, translator and export administrator at her family-owned agricultural company Tithebarn in Cheshire for almost 20 years.

Both Sowler and Leith’s planning director Paul Kallee-Grover are Northern Powerhouse Export Champions for the Department for International Trade and have worked together to establish extensive business networks across Asia. Sowler will seek to expand the Leith’s client base in Asia to further foreign direct investment into UK real estate.

Among Leith’s Asia-based clients are the Matharu brothers, who previously owned luxury hospitality firm the Grange Hotel Group – one of London’s largest privately held hotel companies – before selling it for £1bn in 2018.

Said Kallee-Grover: “The Leith Group already has a number of clients in Hong Kong, India and the Middle East. However, the strategic hire of Rina means we can now capitalise on the opportunities presented by the recent trade deal secured by the UK Government with Japan, and the potential of the Asia-Pacific free trade pact being promoted by international trade secretary Liz Truss – as well as increased interest in the UK property market from individuals in Greater China.”

Sowler added: “It is a huge honour to join the prestigious Leith family, and I look forward to assisting the group in achieving its investment goals in the Year of the Ox.” The Chinese new year starts today.

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