James Metcalf, Co-founder of the Crosslane Group
James co-founded the Crosslane Group with Michael Sharples in 2006.
James began his career in information technology at International Computers Limited (ICL) and then Tandem Computers. Following Tandem Computers, he managed and held shares in several businesses, taking the role of investor and non-executive director. Thereafter he joined the IT company Oracle Corporation, ultimately managing several business units across the UK and successfully implementing a new rental licensing model across Europe. Following this, James held positions of chairman and CEO in IT-based businesses before co-founding the Crosslane Group with business partner Michael Sharples in 2006. Since then James has dedicated significant time to the UK and European student accommodation market, developing the Crosslane Group’s asset management, property advisory, management and lettings and property development services gaining over 9 years’ experience within the PBSA sector.
James is the chief executive officer of Crosslane Investment Management Limited, a director of Crosslane Property Advisor Guernsey Limited (CPAGL) and also a director of the Victus European Student Accommodation Fund (VESAF)
Michael Sharples, Co-founder of the Crosslane Group
Michael co-founded the Crosslane Group with James Metcalf in 2006.
Michael has successfully operated a number of businesses during his career. Since 1991 he has been a successful entrepreneur, as founder, acquirer and seller of a number of diverse businesses in different market sectors. Prior to Crosslane, Michael co-founded the Hamsard Group plc which acquired three technology businesses between 2002 and 2003. The company operated in seven countries within two years and Michael, as CEO, successfully took Hamsard onto the AIM market in 2005 at a pre-IPO valuation of £18m. Under Michael’s stewardship Hamsard posted profit after tax of £1m for its financial year ending May 2005. Michael left Hamsard in 2006 to form the Crosslane Group which he co-founded with business partner James Metcalf. Since co-founding the Crosslane Group, Michael has played a prominent role in the successful acquisition, development, operation and disposal of student accommodation across the UK and mainland Europe gaining over 9 years’ experience within the PBSA sector.
Charlie Pogson – Director of Marketing
Following his retail degree and diploma with the Chartered Institute of Marketing, Charlie rapidly progressed within the supermarket sector, holding various marketing roles for Safeway, Somerfield and Kwik Save before moving to the health & beauty sector with Superdrug & subsequently Moss Pharmacy (now part of Alliance-Boots), as well as fashion at bonmarche and Littlewoods, before a stint heading up marketing at general merchandise value retailer Poundstretcher. Having gained over 15 years’ experience in all elements of B2C marketing for retailers with up to 900 outlets, Charlie decided to broaden his skill set and knowledge by moving to the B2B sector, becoming Marketing Director at Kwintet, Europe’s largest and the world’s second largest supplier of workwear. Over a 6 year period Charlie was responsible for a portfolio of brands, operating in a wide variety of market sectors, with different routes to market, across a number of countries, both within Europe, USA & UAE.
Charlie is not only a grounded and commercially focussed marketer, but has a much wider business understanding and strategic ability. This together with his proposition, brand & identity, business development and omni-channel approach puts him in good stead to support Crosslane achieve its future ambitions. And it is the entrepreneurial, ground breaking, market leading business initiatives being planned which encouraged Charlie to join Crosslane in September 2014 to be responsible for marketing activities for all its business activities, both in the UK and across the global markets in which it operates.
Andy French – Director of Information Services
Andy has developed his career in IT for the last twenty years and has extensive IT leadership, managerial and technical skills with a track record of successfully delivering complex IT projects delivering strong ROI and operational improvements.
His career started as a sponsored graduate with British Steel gaining an honours degree in Computer Aided Engineering & Design from Sheffield Hallam before joining Exxon’s IT department. From there Andy became a Network Consultant within Data General (EMC) before moving into senior management roles within Robert Mcbride Limited and most recently The TalkTalk Group.
At Crosslane Andy is responsible for all aspects of technology and IT service across the group and is a member of the senior management group within the business to shape and define the groups future growth and business direction.
David Smith – Group Finance Director
David is an accomplished, strategic and commercially astute Finance Director with a wealth of previous experience spanning over two decades, across diverse industry sectors, providing expertise to ensure delivery of sustainable and profitable growth, whilst adding shareholder value. This experience includes real estate and portfolio transactions, structuring and operational finance management within expanding and high growth businesses across international jurisdictions.
David joined Crosslane in December 2016 from McCafferty Asset Management where he was Finance Director for seven years, overseeing the management and transactions of 90 commercial real estate assets with a value of circa £775m and was integral to driving efficiencies within the business through the implementation of a web-based, fully integrated property management and accounting solution, resulting in annual cost savings of circa £350k. As part of this role David also acted as an interim FD for a £30m Channel Islands listed real estate investment trust prior to a successful reverse takeover by a £600m property fund.
Prior to this, David spent four years as Group Financial Controller at Opal Property Group which specialises in the student accommodation sector, where he was responsible for the delivery of growing the net assets of the business from £120m to more than £240m and monitoring a loan book of £775m across 12 lenders.
David has also held senior financial roles at Wilkinson Corporation Ltd and PIFCO Group. He is a qualified Chartered Accountant. At Crosslane he will lead all finance related matters, including transactional and reporting activities across the Group of businesses and network of offices in the UK and Europe, supporting Crosslane co-founders and Directors, James Metcalf and Michael Sharples, in driving the Group’s ambitious growth strategy.
Robert Sherville-Payne – Group Head of Legal and Compliance
Having trained at the international top-10 law firm Hogan Lovells in London, Robert joined the Corporate team of the firm in March 1997 focussing on transactional corporate and commercial work, with some Lloyds of London insurance based activity. In September 2000 Robert moved to AstraZeneca, a FTSE 10 global pharmaceutical company based in Alderley Park, Macclesfield. Initially focussing on a general commercial portfolio of work, he took on various increasingly senior legal roles covering business development, IT, commercial contracting, procurement, manufacturing, property and global supply chain, ultimately managing a team of 14 legal staff based in four countries. In September 2014 Robert joined Bupa on an interim basis as their head of legal for ‘Funding’, the BUPA private medical insurance and financial services business, leading a team of 12 staff based in Salford Quays.
Robert joined Crosslane as Group Head of Legal and Compliance in May 2015. As the first legal and compliance appointment within the Crosslane companies, Robert is tasked with establishing dual legal and compliance functions, while assisting the business in continuing to deliver business as usual and new projects. His aim will be to reduce reliance on external legal resource, control legal costs more effectively and build internal legal expertise, while also aiming to embed compliance principles and practice within the Crosslane business activities.