Who are you?

Stephen Lewis, Managing Director, HFD Property Group

What does your business do?

HFD Group is Scotland’s leading commercial property company, we develop, construct, manage and invest in property, predominately office developments. Over the last 30 years we have delivered in excess of £1 billion which equates to 2.8 million sq. ft. for more than 330 companies from new start businesses to large corporate occupiers like Scottish Power, Wood Group and Morgan Stanley.

The portfolio includes city centre offices such as G1 at George Square, 122 Waterloo Street in Glasgow and our out-of-town business parks at Strathclyde Business Park, Hamilton International Park and CityPark in Aberdeen. We are currently developing Glasgow’s largest office building at 177 Bothwell Street.

Where are you based?

Our HQ is at Strathclyde Business Park, our first major property project and our office has grown organically as the business has grown over the last 30 years. We also have an office in Glasgow to support the increasing workload that we have in the city centre

How did you get started?

I’ve worked directly at HFD for over 11 years but worked indirectly with the business before that for many years. Through that early engagement I witnessed first-hand the quality of projects HFD delivered and could see how I could support that.

What is your background?

I graduated in 1996 with a BSc in Land Economics which included a full years’ placement at Scottish Enterprise in Aberdeen. I learned so much during that time and it shaped who I am, professionally, today. Apart from some part-time work at University, I’ve always worked in Property.

What is your top tip?

Work hard, but enjoy it.

How long has your business been running?

30 years.

Has anyone helped you get started and how?

We formed a joint venture with Scottish Enterprise 30 years ago to start Strathclyde Business Park and although successfully exited in line with the business plan, the park has continued to provide a workplace for more than 6,300 staff. We continued to work with Scottish Enterprise, purchasing

Hamilton International Park and fully developing it, now home to over 80 businesses employing in excess of 10,000 sq.ft. More recently we’re working with Glasgow Chamber of Commerce, as a member but also in inputting to its Property Forum and other initiatives to support the growth and development of the city.

What was your first deal?

Strathclyde Business Park with the first occupiers being Scottish Power, Scottish Enterprise and Cable & Wireless (now Virgin).

Who was/is your mentor/or inspiration?

Professionally, I have always admired Richard Branson of Virgin. He has, and continues to be, hugely successful across such a wide range of businesses, yet his staff appear to adore him and he seems to have a lot of fun along the way.

Where do you plan your business to be in five years time?

We’ve doubled in size in the last 10 years and we’ll continue to grow the business, especially our IT and DataCentre businesses which are integral to our wider offering.

We’d like to double the size of the projects we’ve delivered, increasing from £1bn of development to £2bn over the 10 years.