Knight Frank appoints Mark Dunford as new Kenya MD

Mark Dunford

Mr Mark Dunford. PHOTO | POOL

Real estate management firm Knight Frank Kenya has appointed a new managing director after the current boss took up a new role within its parent firm in London.

The appointment will see Mr Mark Dunford taking over from Ben Woodhams who is   moving to Knight Frank’s headquarters, in London, to run the Africa desk and the company’s Africa Capital Markets service line effective April 1.

“I look forward to moving back to East Africa and it is an honour to be taking over from Ben as the leader of Knight Frank Kenya,” Mark Dunford said in a statement Tuesday.

“Knight Frank is a truly global firm with the benefit of a very talented and experienced local team based in Nairobi. I am excited by the prospect of collaborating with our partners in Kenya and across Africa to continue moving our business and iconic brand forward.” 

Mr Dunford has worked in the strategic advisory and commercial real estate sectors and is currently a partner -Head of Investment and Commercial, Cavendish Maxwell.

He is the former Head of East Africa at Jones Lang LaSalle (JLL).

He has also worked as the Vice President, Hotels and Hospitality Group, Sub-Saharan Africa, JLL.

Mr Dunford is joining Knight Frank Kenya at a time the Covid-19 pandemic has upended demand for office space as more companies observe remote working, while a tough economy has also hit the retail space —especially malls — due to reduced purchasing power among consumers.

Nedbank head of property finance for Africa Gerhard Zeelie told the Business Daily in a past interview that there is uncertainty over the long term prospects of demand for office space across the continent while retail demand exists only in pockets such as Rwanda and Uganda.

In Kenya, he said, industrial developers are actively upgrading industrial warehousing property, which has over the years become fairly outdated, hence this is an exciting focus area for financiers.