When discussing Middleton, non-executive chairman, Rupert Bradstock glows like a proud headmaster talking about a pupil who’s just delivered a set of straight As.
As co-founder and former Investment Partner of Lennox Investment Management, which manages two prime central London residential investment funds, his role is to stand outside Middleton’s day-to-day business and give honest feedback both good and bad.
“I learned early in my own career the value of putting objectivity before profit if you want to be a trusted advisor and not just an agent,” he says.
“A client of mine was all set to ignore the advice I’d given him not to buy a particular property. I told him that if it were my money I wouldn’t buy it. He rang me at the eleventh hour and pulled out, but for the next fifteen years he wouldn’t do a property deal without me. The same commitment to building long-term trust is a core value for Tom, Mark and the rest of the Middleton team and I’m very proud of everything they’ve achieved.”
Rupert is equally proud that Middleton’s way is to benchmark themselves, not against local, rival buying companies, but against the world’s best service companies.
“The Complete service that they’ve developed is absolutely outstanding and is a great example of the desire to keep on pushing the boundaries of what they do. The research and invaluable information in these reports really is a massive value-add for clients, and just shows the eye for detail that Middleton has.”
“The report is produced after exchange and before completion of contracts. In other words, the key tasks for which Middleton is generally retained – finding a property and negotiating terms – have already been delivered. The fact that they go to this much trouble after that point is absolutely a reflection of a really world-class service ethic.”
“You can only maintain that by hiring the very best people and continuously developing them, and I think that Middleton have been very successful at that. The team they’ve built – both client-facing and in the back office – never fails to impress me.”
For his own part, Rupert draws on a range of experiences to provide wise counsel at monthly board meetings and at mentoring sessions with Middleton’s executives. These include twenty years in residential property buying, ten years in property investment, and shorter stints as an agent for Rolls Royce in Hong Kong in the early 1980s and another with his family’s manufacturing business.
“I’ve seen the buying business evolve from something that barely existed twenty-five years ago,” he says. “And as it matures, there are of course, hundreds of competitors now, especially in London. Independence and trust are the key differentiators, and I genuinely believe that what we call ‘the Middleton way’ will continue to make the business unique.”