The Jockey Club has announced Stewart Mitchell as its Managing Director of Group Property (MDGP), replacing outgoing Director William Gittus.
His main responsibility will be to coordinate a strategy for maximising value from ‘non-core racing assets’, with resulting proceeds channelled back into horse racing for its ‘long term good’.
This will involve management of the Jockey Club’s real estate across 15 racecourses, including Cheltenham, Epsom, and Grand National host venue Aintree, as well as The National Stud.
Mitchell commented: “I’m honoured to be joining The Jockey Club with its iconic sporting stages which through its multi-billion-pound real estate portfolio I am excited to be leading the real estate team and strategy to reinvest all profits back into British horseracing.
“As an avid sportsman with a passion for the real estate industry, I see endless opportunities across an array of sectors within our fantastic portfolio.
“Having visited several assets, met a number members of the team including some members of the Board of Stewards I’m really impressed and look forward to joining the Executive Team led by Nevin and his very capable wider team to deliver both existing projects and future strategies of this wonderful sports business.”
The Jockey Club approved Mitchell’s candidacy due to his experience in asset and development management, stakeholder engagement, investor relations, corporate financial governance and ESG.
He also brings a ‘vast network of contacts’ across ‘use classes’ which the Jockey Club has highlighted as being important to the future of its real estate portfolio and objective of reinvesting in British horse racing.
Mitchell’s prior roles include a tenure as Head of Asset Management at FTSE-listed NewRiver REIT, concluding a 12 year career with the firm in this role, also responsible for the group’s third party asset management and southern shopping centre operations as a member of its Executive Committee.
Before joining New River, Mitchell worked at BNP Paribas Real Estate in the Capital Markets team, where he advised UK pension funds and poverty companies on retail investment.
He is also a member of the RICS and Revo Asset Management Advisory Panel and a number of Business IMprovement Districts (BIDs) across the UK, and is a past member of the British Property Federation Insolvency.
Replacing the aforementioned Gittus, the new MDPG will report directly to Chief Executive Nevin Truesdale.
Truesdale said: “I am delighted to welcome someone of Stuart’s calibre to the Jockey Club. I know he will bring a significant amount of experience to this role while setting out a long-term property strategy which maximises new and existing opportunities to contribute to our vision of creating a thriving horseracing industry for the benefit of all.
“I would also like to express my huge thanks to William Gittus, to whom we all owe a debt of gratitude for his tireless and hugely committed service to the Jockey Club over many years, delivering on a number of key objectives on the Property agenda. I wish him all the best for the next chapter of his career.”