One of the best-known names in Birmingham’s financial scene has been given a top job at chartered surveyors Bigwood.
Trevor Foster, who was until recently the managing director of the UK subsidiary of Icelandic bank Kaupthing, will be starting as a non-executive chairman of the region’s largest auction house and surveyors.
He has a longstanding business relationship with Bigwood’s owners, Paul Bassi and Rory Daly.
The Icelandic government decided to nationalise Kaupthing, with the bank putting a share of the blame on the British government, which had taken its UK subsidiary Kaupthing, Singer & Friedlander into administration after the Icelandic economy collapsed.
Mr Foster moved on from KSF after the administration forced it to cut the Birmingham office, which employed 10 people, and consolidate around the London office.
He will take 33 years of banking experience into his new role.
Bigwood managing director Rory Daly said: “Since we acquired Bigwood in November 2006, we have built the business up and opened new offices in Colmore Row in the heart of the Birmingham business quarter.
“And since incorporating Bond Wolfe Auctions into our calendar, we now operate the largest auction house in the UK outside of London.
“The twin pillars of property management and a very active auction division are central to our business and we are seeing a gradual return to activity in the residential market, both lettings and sales.
Paul Bassi said: “Trevor brings an in-depth knowledge of the Birmingham corporate market.
“Both on the auctions front and on agency, we want to establish Bigwood as the natural first choice for the professional city centre advisers and in particular, given the current economic climate, LPA [Law of Property Act] receivers and insolvency practitioners in Birmingham and the wider Midlands region. We see opportunities for Bigwood in all areas of the market, not just via the increased number of insolvencies and repossessions we are seeing at present.”
Prior to working at KSF, Mr Foster was regional head of corporate banking for HBOS in the Midlands and East Anglia and was with Barclays in earlier years.
He is a non-executive director of Marketing Birmingham and has just completed a three year term of office as a director of professional services lobbying group Birmingham Forward.
He said: “I have known Paul Bassi and Rory Daly for many years and I was delighted when they approached me to discuss their plans for Bigwood.
“The next few years will see changes in the property agency market and there will be opportunities for companies such as Bigwood with a strong business plan and the backing of individuals like Paul and Rory.
“I am really looking forward to engaging in the Birmingham corporate market and helping to consolidate existing business and creating new opportunities for Bigwood.
“I think the next two years will be challenging but I believe Bigwood will emerge stronger from the downturn and well placed to challenge the biggest in the marketplace.”