Stuart Hamilton joins former colleagues Ben Cox and Loftus Theron after being poached by start-up’s founder Paul Nicholls

New developer Real has appointed a third senior figure from Wates in the space of a few months.

The start-up, founded earlier this year by former Wates Residential managing director Paul Nicholls, has announced the appointment of Stuart Hamilton as regional construction director.

Hamilton joins the company from Wates, where he worked for more than three years as residential south project manager and then construction manager.

He is the third Wates figure recruited by Nicholls for his new venture in recent months.

Real this week confirmed reports in the summer that Ben Cox is Real’s new chief operating officer, after serving 16 years at Wates in a variety of commercial manager and director roles.

Another Wates alumni, Loftus Theron, has also been promoted to commercial finance director after joining the Real from Wates in April.

In other appointment news Shelley Allsopp has also been appointed as head of HR, following previous roles at Roche Diagnostics UK & Ireland and Sussex Partnership NHS Trust.

Real was formed earlier this year following a buy-out of eight contracts from Rydon by Nicholls and investor and former KPMG partner Dane Houlahan.

It focuses on brownfield and regeneration projects in partnership with housing associations and local authorities,.

Nicholls said this week that Real has an “opportunity pipeline “ of £1.4bn and has secured £100m of work since it was formed, either in contract or as preferred bidder.

However he said this will not translate into turnover of £100m for this year as originally expected.

He said: “We won more work than I was expecting, but on the schemes we have secured the conversion has been much slower than we would have anticipated.

“It means next year is going to be really good, we have got a pipeline that is far better than I would have hoped for.”

At-glance: Real’s key people and new appointment


Paul Nicholls: chief executive officer

Dane Houlahan; chair

Nick Standen: non-executive director

Viv Frankham: chief financial officer

Ben Cox: chief operating officer

New appointments

Ben Cox, chief operating officer

Stuart Hamilton, regional construction director

Shelley Allsopp, head of HR

Newly promoted

Simon Carter: regional construction director, south west

Caroline Saunders: head of legal

Mark Unsworth: regional director, London & South East

David Barton: regional commercial director

Loftus Theron: commercial finance director