If you’re looking for advice on a particular type of property – buying an island in the Seychelles perhaps, or selling a polo estate in Argentina – you need the Savills Private Office. David Forbes set up the department 10 years ago with the goal of guiding clients directly to the right Savills expert. After three decades spent solving the property needs of the wealthiest from around the world, David knew that such clients tend to be discreet. And for good reason: property prices can rocket as soon as a famous name is rumoured to be involved. This is why a code of what David calls ‘ultimate discretion’, coupled with his gilt-edged contacts book, became the formula for success.
Private Office has since evolved into a global network of experienced operators dedicated to working under the radar. It includes prominent figures in many of the residential markets in which Savills operates: Jean-Claude Caputo in the Côte d’Azur, Jacqueline Wong in Singapore and Alex Shatalov in Moscow, along with the head of the English country estates team, Crispin Holborow. Julien Ward is the team’s private banking expert, while Alex Christian and Barbara Allen specialise in prime central London property, and Ned Baring in new build. Completing the line-up is a three-strong team focused on serving high-profile media, sports and entertainment figures, while the office has recently expanded into commercial property, too.
It’s a diverse, experienced team. So, if you’re looking for first-class guidance on buying or selling that ultimate house in the Bay area of San Francisco, give them a call.
Asking David Forbes about his clients is rather like asking the Queen to reveal which Prime Minister was her favourite – a shocking faux pas. He looks alarmed at the question. “My army background taught me not to talk about anything unless you really need to,” he replies with a grin.
But he is able to share one story, as it has since appeared in the press. “A client wanted to sell a magnificent house and grounds in north London for close to £100m,” David says. “But they made it very clear that, if any word of the sale leaked before completion, they would end the deal. To make the job harder, they would only allow us to show the house to one potential buyer, and for just one single viewing. We had one shot.” And the Private Office achieved success, selling the house to an overseas buyer.
For more information on Savills Private Office, please contact David Forbes