Ben Roberts, formerly head of office at Cushman & Wakefield Manchester, is to join the late Albert Gubay’s Derwent Estates as managing director.
Roberts was an investment agent and headed the Cushman & Wakefield office in Manchester before it was acquired as part of the takeover by DTZ in 2015. Following the takeover, when DTZ adopted the Cushman & Wakefield brand, Roberts became director of development and PRS.
He will be based at the Manchester office of Derwent Estates in Walkden town centre. Derwent Estates is the property arm of Derwent Group.
Gubay died in January at his home in Wilmslow, leaving an estimated £500m fortune and vast property and land portfolio. Derwent’s focus is on retail and leisure, which accounts for 80% of the 3m sq ft portfolio.
The company owns nine retail parks in the North including Edge Lane Retail Park in Liverpool, which it is on site redeveloping to designs by AEW Architects.
John Keyes, head of the Manchester office of Cushman & Wakefield, said: “We are sorry to see Ben moving on but congratulate him on such an exciting opportunity with Derwent Estates. Ben has played an important role assisting us through the recent successful merger. We wish him all the best in his new role at Derwent Estates and hope that we will continue to work together in the future.”
Roberts becomes the latest in a series of high-profile departures from Cushman & Wakefield since the DTZ deal. Ken Bishop, development advisor, left in September 2015 after 35 years to join JLL. Head of industrial agency Tony O’Keefe went to set up his own practice, LM6, later joined by colleague Phil Morley.