Sanjeev Gupta’s GFG Alliance has added to its fast-growing energy, metals, engineering and financial services business with the unveiling this week of JAHAMA, its new property arm, which has global assets and is already the fifth largest private landowner in the UK.
The new entity will be responsible for managing and developing GFG Alliance’s substantial UK and international portfolio of industrial, commercial, agricultural, leisure and residential property portfolios. In addition to its extensive British holdings, the Alliance already has assets in the UAE, India and Thailand and will shortly complete the purchase of a major property portfolio across Australia.
Sanjeev Gupta, Executive Chairman of the GFG Alliance said: “With the rapidly growing scale of our global property interests, it became imperative that we launch a dedicated property pillar within the business. This will make responsible stewardship and development of our estates and property holdings, for the betterment of all stakeholders, a key priority.”
To mark the launch, JAHAMA announced the appointment of Duncan Mackison, former chief operating officer for the largest British private landowner, the Duke of Buccleuch and Queensberry, as Chief Executive of JAHAMA Highland Estates, a key division of JAHAMA. This comprises around 114,000 acres of land neighbouring Fort William, including the foothills of Ben Nevis, Britain’s highest mountain.
Mr Mackison, who will also act as general ambassador for the GFG Alliance in Scotland, will lead discussions with Scottish Government, local authorities, public sector agencies and local communities to develop major industrial, agricultural and recreational projects for the Alliance. He will be heavily involved in GFG Alliance’s economic redevelopment around Fort William, which includes building a largescale alloy wheels manufacturing plant and multiple projects across adjoining lands covering renewable energy, outdoor sports, tourist facilities, forestry and new agricultural activity.
The new Chief Executive, a former Royal Marine, spent many years working in outsourced Government services as managing director of Serco’s defence business before joining the Duke of Buccleuch’s 240,000-acre estates, most of which are in Scotland. He said his work with a substantial public-private partnership combined with his experience running the country’s largest private rural estate equipped him perfectly for his new role at the helm of JAHAMA Highland Estates.
He said: “I am looking forward to this challenge because we have an opportunity to create an exemplar for the running of a large Highland estate; combining traditional rural activity with sustainable industrial activity. We also want to build on the excellent level of partnership with government, public agencies and communities that has not been seen before on this scale.”
Jay Hambro, Chief Investment Officer for the GFG Alliance warmly welcomed Mr Mackison to his new role in Scotland which he described as a ‘pivotal project in JAHAMA’s global strategy.’
“We see our Scottish property assets as a sleeping giant whose potential we intend to realise fully and we aim to bring the same principles of good stewardship and sustainable development we’re employing in the Highlands to our portfolio across the world,” he said.
He added: “We are fortunate to have an excellent team, including the Harrison Rural Consultancy, running this prized portfolio already and now welcome Duncan to the family, whose experience and leadership with no doubt be pivotal in transforming this magnificent estate for the benefit of all stakeholders especially local communities.”
The GFG Alliance chief investment officer added that JAHAMA intended to expand its property assets across the world substantially over the coming years.