Hollis appoints Flower as interim CEO

Independent real estate consultancy Hollis has appointed Digby Flower as interim CEO. 

Flower will work alongside the existing board to establish a strategy to best position the business for its next stage of expansion. He will also oversee the process of succession planning as Hollis’ founding directors step back from the day to day running of the business.

Having become employee owned in October 2021, the consultancy has over 500 staff working out of 22 offices across the UK and Europe. It currently registers a turnover of almost £50 mln (€58 mln) and is targeting significant growth over the next decade.

Hollis chairman and founder, John Woodman, says: 'In the space of 30 years, the business has gone from three people with a minimal turnover, to 500 people nudging a £50 mln turnover.

'We have a group of directors who are the best in the industry at what they do as surveyors, environmental consultants, project managers and engineers. The business has become a market leader and a trusted provider on the back of this and they will ensure that we maintain this reputation going forward. To support them in growing Hollis further though, we need additional leadership whose expertise is in the management of growing businesses.

'Digby is not only someone who knows the property industry inside out, he also knows what makes Hollis tick. He has watched our journey closely as an industry peer, friend and often confidant, so has the perfect balance of understanding our business, whilst still having the objectivity of an outsider.'

As interim CEO, Flower’s key duty will be to establish and embed a new corporate structure within the employee owned model, as well as lead the search for a long-term CEO from outside the business.

Part of this new structure will see Woodman and managing director Alex Brown, stepping down from the management board, but continuing within the business in an advisory capacity.

Said Flower: 'I have always admired the way Hollis has managed to grow organically whilst staunchly retaining its independence and its ability to compete with its much bigger competitors simply by being the best at what they do and by constantly innovating.

'The board has a very clear vision and ambition; my job is simply to use my experience to ensure that they fulfil this.'


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