A focus on regeneration and redevelopment

One of the UK’s leading real estate development and investment companies, the Chris Stewart Group has a strong focus on regeneration and redevelopment and offers a full service across the property spectrum, from acquisition to development, from interior design to asset management.

Chris explains how a hands-on approach from Johnston Carmichael’s senior team has benefitted his business.

“I wanted to work with Johnston Carmichael because we weren’t getting consistently good advice from other firms.

“Their local expertise is something I really value as well as their track record of working with entrepreneurial businesses. Their team has the breadth of knowledge we need and they understand the property sector.

The relationship got off to a good start and has continued to develop over the past few years.

“Our first meeting with Mark Houston was really positive and set the tone. He quickly grasped the issues at hand and set about implementing an agreed strategy.

“The hands-on approach which the partners across all specialisms take means they have a genuine focus on our business.

“Having access to those technical specialists who can offer top quality advice is really valuable as is Johnston Carmichael's experience of dealing with high profile Scottish entrepreneurs.” 

Chris Stewart

Owner, Chris Stewart Group

“The fact that their Capital Allowances teams consists of guys with a background in construction, engineering and surveying is also a big plus as it helps to bridge the gap between those industries and the accountancy sector

“It means guys like Michael Murray and Robert Winters can ‘speak’ both languages and that allows them to offer a different perspective from accountancy professionals. They understand what we are doing technically and advise accordingly.

“They both helped us integrate the Capital Allowance discussion into our development process.  We hold most of our assets so it was more important for us to understand the incremental benefit of specifying certain items from the outset.” 

As the scope and scale of CSG has developed over the years, JC has adapted to meet the business’ increased requirements.

“In nine years, we’ve gone from four people to a team of more than 30. JC have been able to elevate their advice to meet the increasing level of complexity of our business.”

A typical example would be the assistance JC provided on new investment into the business from US investment firm Proprium Capital Partners.

“That deal allowed us to continue to take on large scale projects such as Baxter’s Place and St Andrew Square and access new sources of finance/capital.

“The expertise provided was commensurate with the complexity of transaction.  Again, the hands-on involvement of partners was critical in slicing through the commercial issues. JC’s team liaised with our legal advisers and handled any resulting accounting and tax issues.

“Our growth strategy means we’ll continue to need advice which is in line with the increasing complexity of our business and rate of expansion.”

Chris confirms that JC’s approach of appointing a dedicated Client Relationship Manager has been a real advantage.

“That makes for a very positive, direct relationship with someone who knows the business and can brief the team if we need a quick turnaround on a piece of work.”

JC has provided extensive support for CSG’s work on the Glasgow George Square project.

“George Square is a very complex acquisition and required a large team from JC offering transactional support, structural advice and due diligence.

“As I’ve said, having such a proactive and hands-on approach from partners and high quality experts like Mark, Gillian and the Capital Allowances guys, backed up by access to other specialists as and when we need them is what makes the relationship work for our business.”

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