Fergus Laird, a partner at the North East’s largest independent commercial property consultancy Naylors Gavin Black, has been elected by the board of Property Agents Independent (PAI) to replace Mark Tillson as its president this month.
Already on the board as a representative of Naylors Gavin Black, which has been a member of the organisation for 15 years, Fergus will take over from Mark as he stands down after eight years at the helm.
Commenting on his appointment Fergus said: “I admire everything Mark has brought to PAI during his presidency; his will be hard footsteps to follow. I’m honoured to have been offered the role.
“We have significant challenges ahead of us over the next 12 months given the ongoing situation with the Covid-19 pandemic. At its roots, PAI, which was formed in the mid-1960s, is built on face to face networking, which we have to accept won’t be something we can do until well into next year. However, we can use that time and expand our message and collective expertise into the market. We have expert working groups covering distinct industry areas and we are prepared for what the market may throw at us.
“We’re looking forward to our Autumn Conference, which this year will take place online, where Simon Rubinshon, Chief Economist of the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) will present his thoughts on how Covid-19 will impact on our sector.”
Keen cyclist Fergus, who is also an Assessment of Professional Competence (APC) panel chairman for RICS, as well as a trustee of Newcastle charities Centrewest and the Beacon Partnership, is an investment specialist, having spent a large part of his career as an office agent acting on high profile regional developments. He now acts on behalf of national funds, property companies and high net worth individuals in buying and selling property investments, and further areas of expertise include strategic asset management and joint ventures.
Each member firm of PAI is privately owned and locally based with many years of relationships in their respective regions, leading to a comprehensive understanding of the market that clients ultimately benefit from.
Membership comprises 29 firms, which collectively offer specialist advice in investment, agency, landlord and tenant matters, valuations, real estate recovery, property management, and building surveying. Covering the UK, member firms include Naylors Gavin Black, Galbraiths, Fisher German, Innes England, Cheffins, Vickery Holman, and Matthews and Goodman. A full list of member firms and their geographic coverage can be found on the PAI website.