Ryden expands into London with Mason Philips merger

From left: Edwin Braim and Alasdair Munn of Mason Philips, with Ryden's Bill Duguid and Matthew Edwards. Picture: Contributed
From left: Edwin Braim and Alasdair Munn of Mason Philips, with Ryden's Bill Duguid and Matthew Edwards. Picture: Contributed
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Commercial property firm Ryden is gaining a foothold in the London market after agreeing a tie-up with investment agent Mason Philips.

The deal will see the merged practices operate under the Ryden name, with the Edinburgh-headquartered firm taking on the Regent Street offices of Mason Philips as its base in London.

London is the gateway for the majority of property investment in the UK

Bill Duguid

Ryden, which has six offices, 35 partners and about 110 staff, said the merger “significantly increases” the size of its business in England, where it already has a presence in Leeds following a tie-up with asset management firm Hill Woolhouse just over 18 months ago.

With a commercial property portfolio generating about £40 million in rent, covering some 2,100 tenants, Ryden added that almost half of its management income will come from south of the Border and about 20 per cent of its total turnover will be generated outside Scotland.

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Bill Duguid, managing partner at Ryden, said: “We have a large and growing number of English-based clients who know and value the service levels Ryden provides. It has been a cornerstone of our business planning over the last three years to continue to reinforce our market leader position in Scotland but also, beyond that, to grow the presence of our brand in England.

He added: “Ideal partners for us are small to medium-sized owner-led practices who have grown their business on an ethos of client care. Mason Philips is just such a firm with a small but strong and extremely effective asset management and investment business.

“London is the gateway for the majority of property investment in the UK and this move provides both firms with the opportunity to grow their client base and market coverage. Mason Philips’ Edwin Braim and Alasdair Munn will provide Ryden with a very welcome London perspective which will be extremely useful in assessing further potential growth opportunities in England.”

Braim, who is Mason Philip’s asset management director, said: “We are delighted to be merging with a firm which shares our own core values and feel that clients of both firms will benefit from our different but complimentary regional specialisms, which will provide an exciting basis for future growth.”

The deal is expected to see Ryden’s investment activity in England treble within the next two years.

Latest results show the firm generated a turnover of £12m in the 12 months to 30 April, down three per cent on the previous year, with profits before partners’ remuneration dropping 25 per cent to just under £4.1m.

Ryden said that the previous profits included a significant capital gain on the sale of its former HQ in Castle Street following its move to Exchange Crescent. Last year’s costs were increased by a number of one-off items, including the Hill Woolhouse merger.

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