IAMC Member Spotlight
As an organization, IAMC fosters relationships that turn into both business partnerships and long-term friendships. The path to corporate real estate varies widely, and our members come from a variety of professional and personal backgrounds.
We thank Jane Leedham, estates director for GKN Aerospace, for sharing hers!
- Tell us a little bit about you.
I grew up in the Midlands area of the UK and studied Estate Management at Nottingham Trent University, although it is now quite a long time ago!
- Tell us about your path to corporate real estate.
My destiny always seemed to be a pathway into real estate, growing up in a family in the real estate business!
After childhood days of reading leases on the floor of my Dad’s office, to going out carrying out viewings and rent collecting, I started my professional career in commercial development and investment for a couple of broker/consultancy firms. I then moved into the Landlord side of life working as a leasing and investment surveyor for a large commercial investor/developer in the UK. I then moved into the occupancy side, working for GKN in a global estate management role, completing the real estate circle of all angles of the job.
- What is the scope of your responsibilities at your organization?
Global role with the majority of properties in the USA and Europe. I spend a lot of my time on USA and Mexico projects at the moment.
I am responsible for sourcing new locations for new projects, negotiating new leases, sub lettings, freehold sales, new development as well as advice on landlord and tenant responsibilities under our leases and reviewing and implementing our lease strategy and lease administration.
- What is your favorite part of your role, or the industry as a whole?
I love the social aspect. I deal with a wide range of people in different roles across the globe and I really enjoy the buzz of this variety and social interaction. The nature of my role also means the work is varied and each project is different so it keeps me engaged, especially when you see a new site come into operation and see how appreciative the team are for the contribution I have made.
- What is one skill specific to your job could you share with the rest of the membership?
As with many other people in my role, the key skill can be learning how to read and communicate with the diverse range of people and levels of role that I have to deal with to achieve a successful project. There are numerous interactions for each project, and it all has to be managed carefully to achieve the right result in the right time.
- Tell us about a CRE or FM project in which you played a role of which you were particularly proud.
A new development project in Japan where we needed a brand new building. We had to identify find available sites, identify the right location, develop the design specification we needed then negotiate with the developer to secure acceptable design, costs, program and lease. This was particularly challenging due to the geographic distance and the difference in culture. I worked closely with my operational project team on their requirements from the building and site, local brokers to provide the in-country advice and face of negotiation, some interface with the Japanese developer direct and co-ordination within my business with the sider teams of finance, legal, health & safety, insurance. I was also a key party in the internal approval process for the new site, its costs, and the lease commitment.
- What led you to join IAMC?
I joined IAMC shortly after I had moved into the global occupier role. The opportunity to meet other surveyors in the same global position was incredibly helpful to finding my feet with the overseas element of the role. I found all members to be very supportive and open to providing advice and sharing experiences. One of my first challenges in the new role was to set up a lease administration database, something I had had no previous experience of at the time. It was a great benefit to be able to discuss the different sourcing options and debate the pros and cons with other corporate members and service providers, knowing it was an impartial discussion.
- Fun Fact: Tell us about one thing you have on your bucket list.
I have always wanted to go to Moscow and St Petersburg for the architecture, but that is now replaced with attending World’s Strongest Man Final live!