Ray Palmer, Shortlisted For “Property Entrepreneur Of The Year Award”

We are delighted to announce Ray Palmer, our Chairman at Palmer Capital has been shortlisted for this year’s Property Week awards.

Ray Palmer has been at the forefront of the industry for over 50 years having being a founding partner of Lambert Smith, the Chief Executive of Lambert Smith Hampton and latterly the Chairman of Palmer Capital.

In 1964, Ray st1656071_LSP_10th_Anniversary_March_1979arted his career in property at the age of 16 and worked initially for Edward Erdman, nowadays Colliers, and Allsops, before in 1969 becoming the CEO of the niche business, Lambert Smith, at the tender age of 21. When Ray joined the firm it only had 6 members of staff but over the following 20 years, with Ray as CEO, it grew to have more than a 1,000. The business also spread from just a single London office to having offices in the USA and continental Europe.  During these years, Ray is possibly most famous for selling the company three times, and buying it back twice. He also mentored the careers of Tony Gibbon (GM Real Estate) and Nic Byrom (LSH) amongst others.
In 1993 he left and set up Palmer Capital Partners Limited, a business investing in start-up property companies. Of the 10 companies he backed over the following years, he remains the chairman and shareholder in almost all of them to this day. These companies include some of the best regionally focused property companies, such as Wrenbridge Land, the leading South East developer. They also include some of the most innovative businesses, like Discovery Park, one of the UK’s most successful science parks. Over his two decades of backing property companies, Ray has helped to create more than a dozen property millionaires, over £75m of profit for Palmer Capital shareholders, and over £200m of profit for investors.

In 2015 Ray oversaw a large range of transactions – from the acquisition of a £180m portfolio from Morrison PLC as a sale and lease back, through to the acquisition of a £500,000 pub in Cambridge (and its profitable onward sale for residential development). In every transaction Ray has been at the heart of the managements thinking, whether the issue is big or small.  Ray has also led Palmer Capital into gaining greater residential exposure, with 25% of the assets under management at Palmer Capital being residential as part of a strategic refocusing that started in 2011.20110908_eg_0830

Ray has been described as having the “Midas” touch, which tells part of the story. He has an innate understanding of property and profit, but also of people. This has made him one of the industry’s best mentors for the next generation of industry stars, the type which Palmer Capital has backed over the last twenty years. His style of leadership is quiet and unassuming, but the quality of his judgement quickly leads others to follow.  He has always been generous in sharing and encouraging others to develop, and in passing on the skills he has learned over half a century in the industry.

When the time comes, Ray will leave a legacy not only for his own many achievements, but also for the achievements of the people whose careers he has created. No one else in the industry has had the same level of success as an entrepreneur whilst also creating other entrepreneurs.  Many entrepreneurs have made fortunes in the industry but few have enabled others to do so in 2015.