Agent to lead overhaul at surveyors’ trade body

Justin Young, who was COO at Knight Frank, takes the helm at RICS as it grapples with urgent reform.

RICS logo on graph

Estate agent Justin Young is to take over at the top of crisis-hit surveyors’ body RICS.

Justin Young, CEO, RICS

Young was COO at Knight Frank until last autumn, and replaces previous RICS chief Sean Tompkins, who departed after a critical report.

He had been chief operating officer at Knight Frank since 2017 after joining from law firm HFW.

RICS has been led by an interim CEO since Tompkins left more than 18 months ago. He was paid a reported salary of over £264,000.

An independent report led by Alison Levitt KC found that there was a power struggle within RICS, and four senior board members including Tompkins left.

A later review by Lord Bichard recommended RICS needed urgent change and must overhaul its governance structure.

Young was most recently MD at business consultancy Hattingley Associates, and was previously a serving soldier as a tank troop commander in the 1990s Gulf War.


“Operational excellence and people focus have been central to the leadership roles I have had throughout my career, as have projects to improve not only the service being delivered to clients, but also the experience for staff working in those organisations,” says Young, who will take up his new post on 5 July.

The complexity of the challenges we face have never been greater.”

Ann Gray, President, RICS

Ann Gray, RICS president, says: “The complexity of the challenges we face have never been greater, but this is matched with a truly unique set of opportunities given the contribution of the profession and its great potential.

“Justin has the passion, commitment, skills and people focus to help us lead, influence, regulate and inspire the next generation of surveyors and built environment professionals”.

Martin Samworth, Chair, RICS Board

Martin Samworth, chair of the RICS board, says: “Justin’s background in transforming teams and organisations is key to driving forward our agenda alongside our members and board’s input and expertise.”

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