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Knight Frank launches specialist leisure offer with new senior hire

Joining the group as partner and head of Specialist Leisure, John Rushby will lead the new service line to build on Knight Frank’s specialist property investment team

Global property adviser Knight Frank has launched a new specialist leisure offer with the senior appointment of John Rushby. 

Joining the group as partner and head of Specialist Leisure, Rushby will lead the new service line to build on Knight Frank’s specialist property investment team as it continues to expand its remit.

Joining Knight Frank from Colliers International where he was head of Specialist Leisure working across the valuations and advisory space, Rushby is said to have “valuable” experience of mergers, acquisitions and corporate strategy and security review work. 


He will be at the forefront of building the firm’s leisure offer, to concentrate on this rapidly growing part of the alternatives market, as investors “look to diversify their portfolios outside of the core property asset classes to seek further long-term income producing asset opportunities”.

Rushby has over 25 years of experience as well as “significant” expertise in advising operators, investors and lenders around esoteric leisure sectors such as caravan and lodge parks, golf courses, marinas, stadiums, marinas, and visitor attractions including aquariums, theme parks and most recently artificial surf parks. 

He has previously advised on high-profile assets including valuing the iconic all England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club at Wimbledon, Emirates Old Trafford, and over 250 golf courses ranging from individual private members’ clubs to the major UK golf operators through to world famous, signature courses and resorts.

Knight Frank’s specialist leisure team will form part of the firm’s specialist property offering, enhancing its capital markets and advisory teams, and drawing on its international network. The team will specialise in business, portfolio and operating asset valuations, deal origination, feasibility advice, business turnaround and security reviews in addition to operational and operator selection services and consulting and brokerage.

Shaun Roy, head of Specialist Property Investment at Knight Frank, said: “We’re seeing more and more clients need expertise in the leisure arena as our lives see increasingly blurred lines between work and lifestyle and leisure becomes at the forefront of consumers’ minds. We see this as a real growth area for the business as the leisure sector becomes increasingly sophisticated and the consumer continues to spend more and more on leisure whilst leisure assets become much more investible as long-term income producing assets.

“John’s appointment is hugely exciting and drives forward our strategy to provide our clients with the best market-leading insight and commercial opportunities internationally. He has an exceptional track record and unrivalled experience in this burgeoning sector and is the ideal person to launch and rapidly grow Knight Frank’s leisure capabilities.”

Rushby added: “As an emerging asset class, the specialist leisure market is increasingly growing as astute investors look to diversify their portfolios. Having worked in this field for a number of years I’m pleased to see the demand grow and this is an ideal time for Knight Frank to launch a dedicated team.

“I am looking forward to building on Knight Frank’s specialist investment and valuations credentials, working closely with my colleagues around the world to provide our clients with innovative and market-leading expertise and advice.”

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