“This long term attitude has enabled us to do things which a shorter term trader developer company might not be able to do.” Edward Benyon
Not many people can trace the start of their property portfolio to the 1600s. Yet his family initially bought a farm in the 1640s which then covered Islington, De Beauvoir and into Kings Cross.
By the 1930s the estate owned just about every freehold in the 1930s. Since then the estate has shrunk thanks to bombing, leaseholder reform, compulsory purchase, and, most significantly, death duties.
In this podcast we discuss:
– The history of the De Beauvoir and Benyon families;
– The rise and fall of Hackney’s fortunes;
– Investing for the long term;
– Rental reform and so much more.
Horses were an early passion in life and Edward briefly considered a career in eventing and show jumping before quickly realising that it was a challenging way to make ends meet. Instead, he turned his mind to property.
His first job was in Connaught Square, W2, working for the Irish property investor and former Olympic equestrian, Alfred Buller – who went on to invest heavily in Clerkenwell, on the fringe of the City, not far from De Beauvoir Town. Edward then set up an offshoot of the firm that focussed on rural property from an office in Hungerford, Berkshire.
Later on, Edward ran a property department for a small finance house in St James putting together deals until the family and its trustees decided that The Benyon Estate could no longer be property managed and required asset managing. Edward was brought in to lead the team as Estate Manager in 2007.
“So, my wife and I moved from Peckham to De Beauvoir Town to oversee this change,” explains Edward. “It’s been an amazing experience – somewhat nail-biting at times as we’ve invested a lot of money into the Estate – but I am pleased with what we have started in terms of bettering the Estate with community in mind and I am determined to keep it going. Both the family and trustees have been, and continue to be, extremely supportive of what we are doing here which is about looking after our tenants and really understanding this area and its needs.”