Real estate firm Knight Frank Kenya appoints Mark Dunford as the new managing director

KENYA – Knight Frank Kenya, a real estate management firm, has appointed Mr Mark Dunford as the new managing director.

“I look forward to moving back to East Africa and it is an honour to be taking over from Ben as the leader of Knight Frank Kenya,” Mark Dunford said in a statement.

Knight Frank is a truly global firm with the benefit of a very talented and experienced local team based in Nairobi. I am excited by the prospect of collaborating with our partners in Kenya and across Africa to continue moving our business and iconic brand forward.”

Mr Dunford has worked in the strategic advisory and commercial real estate sectors and is currently a partner -Head of Investment and Commercial, Cavendish Maxwell.

He is the former Head of East Africa at Jones Lang LaSalle (JLL). He has also worked as the Vice President, Hotels and Hospitality Group, Sub-Saharan Africa, JLL.

Mr Dunford takes over from Ben Woodhams who is moving to Knight Frank’s headquarters, in London, to run the Africa desk and the company’s Africa Capital Markets service line effective April 1.

Woodhams has been the Managing Director at Knight Frank Kenya for 19 years, having joined the Kenya office in 2003. Prior to that he was the General Manager of the Tanzanian office for four years.

“It’s has been an honour to lead Knight Frank Kenya over the last 19 years. Throughout this time, I have been humbled by the commitment and hard work of our people, and their passion for creating a truly purpose-driven company,” Ben Woodhams said.

“I am very grateful to them, as I am to Knight Frank’s clients and the many other stakeholders with whom we have worked to build a long-term, sustainable business. The company’s incredible talent, professionalism, and dedication over the years has positioned us as the leading independent real estate consultancy in Kenya and for that I am truly grateful,”

Ben Woodhams has achieved remarkable results at Knight Frank Kenya during his tenure, growing the company’s revenue by 700% and successfully positioning the company as a respected and trusted real estate firm.

“Great care has been taken to ensure that Knight Frank Kenya remains in good hands, and I have no doubt in my mind that the company will continue to flourish in 2022 and in the years to come,” Woodhams commented.

Mr Dunford is joining Knight Frank Kenya at a time the Covid-19 pandemic has upended demand for office space as more companies observe remote working, while a tough economy has also hit the retail space —especially malls — due to reduced purchasing power among consumers.

Nedbank head of property finance for Africa Gerhard Zeelie in a past interview that there is uncertainty over the long-term prospects of demand for office space across the continent while retail demand exists only in pockets such as Rwanda and Uganda.

In Kenya, he said, industrial developers are actively upgrading industrial warehousing property, which has over the years become fairly outdated, hence this is an exciting focus area for financiers.

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