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FirstPort senior appointments signal continued business growth

Updated 30 June 2020

FirstPort, the UK’s leading residential property manager, has bolstered its senior team with two new appointments.

David Young (pictured left) joins the business from Centrica in a new role of Chief Operating Officer, while Michael Venus (pictured right) takes up the role of Director of HR.  Both David and Michael will sit on FirstPort’s executive board, supporting Chief Executive Nigel Howell.


The appointments come as the business continues to pursue its growth agenda. The organisation announced on 25 June 2020 a transaction which will see it combining with leading property and asset manager, Mainstay Group.  Last year FirstPort announced that Equistone Partners Europe Limited had become the company’s new investors, and also added 22,500 more homes to its management portfolio and future pipeline, from new business development and the acquisition of Barratt Residential Asset Management (BRAM).

David joins the business with 14 years of senior leadership experience, most recently during a decade on the board of British Gas and Centrica where he led innovation in energy efficiency, smart metering and carbon reduction.  His record of delivering strategic change, values driven leadership, revenue growth and regulatory compliance make him perfectly suited to a business concentrated on achieving significant expansion.

As FirstPort’s new COO, David will lead on the ongoing implementation of the organisation’s comprehensive digital programme – part of its five-year business plan focused on continued business growth and high-quality customer service.

Michael has a wealth of experience in senior positions across the construction, media, event, digital media sectors, and HR consultancy focused on HR management support, training and development.  Most recently working at construction giant Multiplex, he brings expertise in transitioning businesses’ human capital programmes to align with their digital and data-driven commercial strategies.

In his new role as Director of HR, Michael will focus on enhancing employee experience and enabling colleagues to grow the skills and expertise the business needs for the future.

Speaking about his appointment to the FirstPort board, David Young said:

“I’m delighted to be joining FirstPort at a time of major innovation for the business, the sector and wider society.  As the UK’s largest property manager, FirstPort is an organisation that has the expertise, scale and capacity to continue leading by example. 

“FirstPort’s growth and continued delivery of top-class customer services is a testament to the senior team’s commitment to the strategy in place.  With a strong track record for winning new business, I know we have the potential to do even more in the years ahead.”

Michael Venus, FirstPort’s new Director of HR, commented:

“Property management is a people business focused on one of the things that matters most to our customers – their home.  The response of colleagues to the health crisis during COVID-19 has shown me just how dedicated and determined the FirstPort team is.  I’m proud to have joined the organisation during such an important period. 

“It’s the digital transformation underway at FirstPort that attracted me to the new role.  Giving talented people the right tools to do their jobs is crucial and will be key to enabling continual improvement and navigating change.  It’s great to be joining a team that so clearly recognises this.”

Nigel Howell, chief executive of FirstPort, said:

“David and Michael join us at an important time as we look to expand our offer, move into new areas of the market and continue to support brilliant places for people to live.   With their joint experience in expanding businesses, they both have a huge role to play in our growth and change programme.  It’s a pleasure to welcome them both to the FirstPort team.”