Who We Are
We’ve been where you are. We are a team of consultants made up of former in-house directors and advisers to an impressive list of companies. We know, inside out, the needs of a demanding business, and are uniquely placed to offer advice from our own industry experience.
Our global team includes consultants based in Europe, North America and the Asia Pacific region.
We’re well connected. We also work alongside a network of trusted partners to bring businesses exactly what they need, through corporate real estate, workplace and project management.
Get to know the Senior Team
Director: Real Estate and Workplace
Simon Ward, MRICS
Simon is a respected Senior International Corporate Real Estate industry leader and chartered surveyor. He has been at the forefront of developing and executing client and supply-side strategies, both in challenging growth and cost containment environments, world-wide.
Simon has previously held Senior Leadership roles at Cisco, Deutsche Bank and Barclays, plus Cushman & Wakefield and JLL. With experience as a Global Head, Director and Partner, Simon is an expert in business development, client relationship management, portfolio & workplace strategy, as well as governance and risk – he is a former Chair of the Global Property Sustainability and Health & Safety Committees at Barclays.
An active member of CoreNet Global since 2000, Simon is also a previous member of the Buildings and Estates Committee at the Royal College of Art and is a former President of the British Council for Offices (2005-2006).
Simon enjoys acting as an adviser and change agent, building and leading high performing teams, but most of all delighting customers and clients through delivering solutions to their challenges.
Director: Real Estate, Workplace & Project Management
Stephen Pannell, MRICS
Stephen is Joint Founder of Director Group.
He has extensive corporate and real estate experience with over 3 decades in advisory and client-side roles. He has held senior positions in major Plc, public and charity sector organisations including 10 years leading the international operational and trading property divisions at a FTSE250 PLC.
Stephen has led major business location and workplace projects in the UK and globally and has held director positions in leisure, investment and development companies, including joint venture vehicles.
Operational property experience has included corporate disposals, carve outs, and due diligence on Plc takeovers. He has overseen the effective integration of diverse functional estates, the development of large industrial and commercial projects as well as the acquisition and disposal of multiple real estate assets. Stephen has led multi-discipline teams and successfully delivered both P&L and operational objectives within various business environments.
Stephen is a Member of the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors and is a Trustee on the Board of a Housing Trust.
Director: Workplace & Project Management
Julie Kortens, FIWFM
A key figure in the FM industry, Julie was Chairman of the Institute of Workplace and Facilities Management IWFM (2014-2016) and is the immediate past Chair of Judges for their industry Impact Awards. She has won numerous industry awards, including FM of the Year, Women in the City Woman of Achievement (FM) and the PFM Lifetime Achievement Award.
Julie left the corporate world in 2016 after heading Channel 4’s Corporate Services Division where she established Workplace, Facilities Management and Indirect Procurement Departments. She was also responsible for their property portfolio and multi-million-pound refurbishment programmes.
She is a qualified and experienced coach and executive mentor and an accredited Myers Briggs practitioner. She has an MA in Employment Strategy and is a qualified Chartered Fellow of the CIPD.
Julie is an independent consultant and qualified and experienced Non-Executive Director. She is at her best when she works with individuals and teams to improve performance and to influence cultural change.
Real Estate & Workplace
George Hauch, MBA
George has over 20 years’ experience leading across the full range of corporate real estate services. He manages our North America presence from Chicago, IL USA. George has an operational expertise in developing value-driven solutions and he takes a holistic approach to achieving clients’ goals and objectives.
For five years George was the Global Lead of Cushman & Wakefield’s Commercial Solutions Group for Occupier Services. There he focused on the formation of service line strategies along with commercial deal underwriting to execute Transactions, Lease Admin, Facility and Project Management services for major enterprise accounts of Fortune 100 companies.
Throughout his career, George has led globally in building out highly active teams in the areas of project, program and portfolio management services.
George holds a MBA in Real Estate Finance & Investment along with a Bachelor of Science in Architecture.
Real Estate, Workplace & Project Management
Ingrid is an expert in project management, workplace transformation, the real estate implications of M&A transactions, contract negotiations, lease administration, construction and vendor management. She is a recognized leader and innovator in strategy, sourcing and governance of third-party supplier and outsourcing relationships that are vital to helping manage clients’ portfolios and facilities.
As a global real estate strategist and portfolio platform builder, Ingrid offers deep expertise in emerging markets, from new region entry to navigating complex matrices of international law and real estate practices.
Before SIREAS, Ingrid served as Global Head of Real Estate for health products leader Covidien, where she oversaw 16 million square feet of leased and owned research, commercial, office and manufacturing facilities globally. She generated more than $75 million in real estate savings for Covidien through strategic consolidations, market intelligence, workplace transformation, and strategic sourcing.
Earlier in her career, she integrated international real estate strategy with business unit planning on an international scale for Fortune 100 multinational United Technologies Corporation, whose portfolio encompassed 100 million square feet across more than 5,000 locations.
SIREAS LLC was co-founded by Ingrid in 2015 and is a Director Group trusted partner based in the USA.
Workplace & Project Management
Following an early career in FM operations and service delivery, Rebecca subsequently moved into FM procurement roles, before establishing herself in consultancy, focusing on business improvement, change and commercial optimisation. With experience both client-side at RBS and supplier-side at BaxterStorey, ISS and Interserve, amongst others, Rebecca has an appreciation of both perspectives.
Most recently Rebecca has been working with a client to merge 3 existing businesses, including development of strategy, employee consultation and transition, development of IT solution and procurement of associated services. Ultimately she thrives in complex, multi-stakeholder environments, facilitating collaboration to deliver client value.
Rebecca has a keen interest in realising the commercial value of diverse teams and developing inclusive practices. She has been a mentor for young people building start ups with the Prince’s Trust for nearly 20 years and is a Trustee for Back Up, a charity supporting people with spinal cord injuries. At RBS she also led the women’s network, with a global membership of over 10,000 men and women.
Real Estate, Workplace & Project Management
Emma Bailey, MBA, MSc, CIWFM, RICS
Emma has worked in senior leadership and director-level roles across a broad spectrum of industries including financial services, not-for-profit, healthcare, housing, and various FM service providers. She is an experienced consultant, PRINCE2® Practitioner, and interim professional with an extensive background in operational, transformation, procurement, and project management.
For three years, Emma held the post of non-executive Board Member of the British Institute of Facilities Management (now IWFM) and Communications Director for GlobalFM. Emma has completed an MBA, an MSc in Building Surveying, and is a professional member of RICs.
With such a broad range of professional experience, Emma makes a welcome addition to the Director Group consultant base.
Workplace & Project Management
Through his experience in building and civil construction, Milan has gained a wealth of knowledge in construction development and management, working with contractors, clients, architects and consultants.
Milan specialises in workplace and project management and he has an impressive background in architecture, design and construction, which give him a uniquely informed perspective on corporate real estate. In his words, “foreseeing a problem is the key to solving a problem”.
Based in Slovakia, Milan has studied and worked across the world, holding various positions in London, Dubai and Kuwait, and studying in Australia. Milan has a Masters degree in Building Structures and Civil Engineering, speaks four languages including his native Slovak, English, Hungarian and Czech, and is currently the owner of KENDU Office Design and Fitout Consultancy.
Milan’s interests include technology, photography, design and architecture, and he is a founding member of the Slovak Association of Interior Designers (SAID).
Real Estate, Workplace & Project Management
Jolyn is a building project management consultant, with a diverse professional background in business consulting. She works primarily with clients in various Chinese cities, serving both local and multinational companies.
With 15 years of consulting experience, and 10 years living in China, Jolyn’s expertise in navigating the Chinese landscape has been a valuable asset to client projects. She helps building owners and governments to build efficiently and effectively from pre-planning to implementation, with repeated successes in optimizing land use, space planning, and reducing project timelines.
Her cross-industry knowledge has facilitated her critical role in the building of the Shanghai Smart City whilst safeguarding the branding language of the development. More recently, her involvement in projects for the Chengdu Medical City – a collaboration between the Chinese and Holland governments, has extended her experience to G2G (gov-to-gov) liaisons.
Jolyn was also involved in managing property consolidations and acquisitions, workplace optimization and expansion. These programs help corporates improve the efficiency and effectiveness of their property portfolios and improve productivity.
Her role includes:
- End to end program management
- Client liaison and management
- Strategy, design and developing workplace change management
- Communication strategies and internal processes.
Her clients include:
- Shanghai Songjiang Economic and Trade Development Zone (Film and Media Hub and Smart City) – Client Liaison and Project Director
- Yanlord Land Group (Singapore-listed company) – project management across China portfolio, including the Nanjing Eco City
- Ascott Limited – spatial branding and project management
- Frasers Hospitality – spatial branding and project management
- China Citic Bank (Change management, Greenfield projects)
- Aviva Insurance (Change management and transformative workplace)
Jolyn is multi-lingual and has experience of working across many cultures within the APAC region with CRE Advisers.
Real Estate & Project Management
Samuel Chua Yao Quan, BSc, MRICS
Samuel is based in Singapore and brings with him 7 years’ experience in transaction management and internal CRE management. He has been responsible for developing and delivering real estate strategies, financial modelling and portfolio analysis from an in-house corporate perspective in Asia.
Samuel has a proven track record in developing and implementing CRE processes and analytic tools such as RACIs, business approval processes and cross-business line intelligence platforms.
Recent projects include:
- Collaboration with global portfolio teams to develop cross business CRE reporting functions.
- Delivering strategic portfolio analysis and financial modelling for real estate strategies for ~40 million sqft of commercial space; develop and maintain key client reports to drive process and performance standards for the delivery of real estate services.
- Client portfolio includes: ANZ Bank, Dell, Deutsche Bank, EMC, ExxonMobil, Hay Group, P&G, Rolls-Royce, SAP, Smiths GP, Standard Chartered Bank, and VMWare.
Samuel is multi-lingual and has experience of working across many cultures within the APAC region for US and European companies with CRE Advisers.