In Focus: Bryan Laxton

BL_Small_InFocusThis month, we focus in on one of RREF's earliest supporters and former UK CEO at Cushman & Wakefield, Bryan Laxton.

By Lindsey Keys, Alumni Relations & Events Assistant, RREF

Following his recent retirement from Cushman & Wakefield, this month, we focus in on one of RREF's most active supporters and former UK CEO at Cushman & Wakefield, Bryan Laxton. Bryan graduated from the University of Reading in 1981with a BSc in Land Management going on to join the UK branch of Cushman & Wakefield after graduation, staying with the company over the course of his career, eventually becoming CEO of Cushman & Wakefield's UK operations before retiring as a Partner in 2015.

Here Bryan shares some reflections on his time since first deciding to come to Reading.

What attracted you to a career in Real Estate?
Property is so real and tangible; you can see it and feel it. I liked the fact that it is absolutely everywhere and it is hugely important to us all and it really fired my enthusiasm. It is an unusual mix of things that whilst don’t move, they still have a life of their own and I could see that it was also a very people-centric industry.

How do you feel your time at Reading prepared you for your future career?
Reading gave me a real flying start even though in my day, we had virtually no industry speakers or site visits so today’s students have a real advantage at Reading with such an array of industry opportunities open to them whilst at university. I think the alumni group of people from my year and those above and below have been a very valuable source of friends and work colleagues. I am still working regularly with many of those people I first met well over 30 years ago.

During your career what was a highlight, or significant period?
Being CEO of the UK firm at C&W was not only the highlight, but also the toughest job I have ever done. Managing a firm during the depths of the recession was something of a challenge!

How do you feel a career in Real Estate has changed/evolved since you started out?
Information of all types is now so much more readily available, from Google Earth to public documents on the internet, there seems to be very little that isn’t easily available. However, the personal relationships are still really important and trust is still a key ingredient in how a person is judged both by their client and their peers.

As a RREF Trustee, how important do you feel it is to give back and support current students?
Giving back is a personal decision, but I now fully appreciate what an education at Reading has meant to me and my career. It gave me the very best possible start and I had a distinct advantage over many others who entered from other establishments. Reading was top of the tree when I was there and I am keen to do my bit to ensure it stays there and continues to set the industry standard. I hope others will feel the same way and give back something to help those who follow in their footsteps.

What are your plans going forward?
Having spent 12 years living away from my family during the whole working week my number one priority is to make up for that lost time.

I am passionate about what RREF is doing especially the Pathways initiative to bring bright, keen and enthusiastic students from disadvantaged backgrounds into our wonderful industry so I will continue my work on the RREF Pathways Board. In addition I am a Trustee of Turn2Us which is a charity fighting poverty in the UK. More locally I have joined the board of Notcutts, a Garden Centre company so lots of excuses to be out and about!

Bryan became a RREF Trustee in 2007, acting as chairman until 2009. He chaired the Events committee from 2011 until 2015, and has been a Pioneer level supporter since 2010. Bryan was fundamental to the launch of the mentoring programme in 2008 and has been recognised by RREF as an Honorary Patron. We are delighted that he was able to take the time to answer our questions on his time at Reading, career highlights and plans going forward.

If you would like to learn more about how you can get involved with RREF, or would like to nominate yourself or others to feature in our profiles, please contact us at  


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