Cannon primed and pointed at growth for property firm

Malcolm Cannon, Managing Director of Property Services at Simpson & Marwick

Business transformation big gun has new role at Simpson & Marwick

A BUSINESSMAN who transformed an ailing welly boot brand into a global fashion success is bringing his Midas touch to one of Scotland’s oldest property firms.

Malcolm Cannon, who most recently helped restructure Scotland’s Institute of Directors (IoD), has now taken up a new role as Managing Director Property Services with Simpson & Marwick in Edinburgh.

With a CV which includes rebuilding and reviving the fortunes of the ESPC and Scottish Cricket, it was his reinvention of Hunter Boots which is most remarkable, encouraging celebrities like Kate Moss to wear its boots, sparking a turnaround in fortunes.

Now the 58-year-old says he is relishing the opportunity to deliver the next stage of success for residential property, estate agency and conveyancing firm Simpson & Marwick, which has been one of the most trusted names in the capital since 1886.

Father-of-two Malcolm said: “What a privilege it will be to be part of a name like Simpson & Marwick. Highly-respected in the property market and with a committed and experienced staff, it has the opportunity and ambition to expand geographically and through its range of customer services.

“The scale and infrequency of the transaction makes selling a house different from any other personal business, and it is vital that every customer feels reassured by the experts handling their affairs. 

“Clients expect a different relationship nowadays, and we will use state-of-the-art technology to engage better throughout the sales and purchasing journey while keeping our sellers and buyers better-informed.”

Rob Aberdein, Managing Partner of Simpson & Marwick said Malcolm’s appointment was a major step in its planned development.

He added: “In the Scottish business community Malcolm is widely recognised as an effective change agent. He has worked in five different sectors, including food and drink, the legal sector, fashion, property, and sports, and has held CEO roles in four of these. 

“His credentials are unrivalled and those are the skills he will bring to helping us successfully navigate the changes which are coming to the residential property market.

Simpson & Marwick Chairman, Richard Loudon added “We have a very talented team in place and they will all benefit from Malcolm’s insights and wisdom. We are understandably delighted to have him on board as the firm readies for significant growth and development.”

Malcolm Cannon’s most recent role was as National Director for the Institute of Directors Scotland, where he oversaw a complete restructure of the 115-year-old institution.

Previous property experience includes four years as CEO of ESPC, steering that organisation through a turbulent period following the banking crisis. He engineered a swift exit from non-core business areas, helping it to regain its prominence in Scotland’s key property market.

The sports fanatic also spent four years as CEO of Scottish Cricket which he restructured with a new Board and a new approach to grass roots and international cricket. His tenure saw improvement on and off the field, and a rise through the world rankings to number 11, with wins for the men’s team over test nations England, Sri Lanka and Zimbabwe. 

One of his most notable successes was for wellington boot maker, Hunter. With virtually no budget he managed to reposition it from a functional product worn either on farms or while fishing, to the high street fashion brand of today. 

Malcolm said: “We had to use creative methods to get the brand out there. In targeting celebrities with gifts of boots ahead of Glastonbury, we were fortunate enough to get Hunter wellies trending through being photographed on fashion icons like Pixie Geldof, Lily Allen, Angelina Jolie and Kate Moss.”

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