Sainsbury’s man to take reins as Hammerson chairman quits

DEVELOPER Hammerson has announced the retirement of chairman John Nelson, who is to be succeeded by David Tyler.

Mr Tyler, currently chairman of Sainsbury’s and a director of Burberry, will join the board with immediate effect, and succeed Mr Nelson as chairman immediately after the firm’s AGM in May, said Hammerson in an update to the stock exchange yesterday.

Hammerson announced last year that it was buying the Victoria Quarter shopping centre in Leeds in a £136m deal from real estate firm Kennedy Wilson on behalf of owner Bank of Ireland Private Banking.

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The developer is also behind the city’s Eastgate Quarters retail project, which is to house a John Lewis store. Detailed plans for Eastgate Quarters are expected to be submitted in spring and the first phase, known as Harewood, is expected to be completed in 2016.

Mr Tyler recently retired as chairman of Logica following its acquisition by CGI. Before embarking on a non-executive career in 2007, he was the finance director of GUS for ten years. Prior to that, he was the finance director of Christie’s and previously worked in the City.

He began his career in financial and commercial management in Unilever where he qualified as an accountant.

Mr Nelson said: “After nine years at Hammerson, and having taken up the chairmanship of Lloyd’s of London, I informed the board during the course of last year that I wished to retire at the next AGM.

“I am so pleased that David Tyler will be succeeding me; he is exactly the right candidate.

“Hammerson has a clear strategy with high-quality retail property, excellent built-in growth prospects, and one of the strongest management teams in the sector. I have thoroughly enjoyed my time at Hammerson and I wish the company well.”

David Atkins, Hammerson chief executive, said: “I want to thank John Nelson for his outstanding contribution to the board and company over a period that has seen significant change for our business. I’m delighted that David Tyler will succeed John as chairman. He has considerable experience of both retail and finance, which will prove invaluable as we continue our evolution to the best operator of retail property in Europe.”

Mr Tyler said: “I am delighted to be joining Hammerson. The company offers both investors and retailers a clear proposition: a focused, well-managed property business in the retail sector.”