John Burns has been named the New Londoner of the Year 2019, watch his speech here.
Peter Murray said on presenting the award:
‘It is my privilege now to announce our New Londoner of the Year – in recognition of their contribution to quality of design and business intelligence in the city.’
‘John Burns, with Simon Silver, set up Derwent Valley Holdings as a property company in 1984. John was the financial brain, Simon the creative. They found run-down industrial buildings and turned them into designer workspace. They led the market in building refurbishment, discovering areas of growth like Fitzrovia, Clerkenwell, City Road, Shoreditch, Portobello and Whitechapel before the rest of the market. They grew and rebranded themselves as Derwent London. Then, in 2007, John led the merger with London Merchant Securities, which set up Derwent London as the largest specialist REIT in the capital. LMS brought with it a pipeline of potential sites and the company moved more into new build.’
‘John’s selection as New Londoner of the Year 2019 marks his retirement from Derwent London as Chief Executive, although he will remain Chairman. We recognise his contribution to the delivery of high-quality design and his commercial brilliance, but most of all his — and Simon’s — dedication to and faith in London, its character, its villages, its emerging businesses —particularly in design and tech — and its people.’