Rick de Blaby

Executive Vice Chairman at Get Living London

Rick de Blaby graduated with a BSc Estate Management in 1980 from Oxford Polytechnic (as Oxford Brookes University was then called). He is has had a variety of roles withing the real estate sector and is currently Executive Vice Chairman at Get Living London. Rick has been an active member of the Mentoring Scheme since it started in 2013.

Why did you choose Real Estate?
I knew from quite an early age that I would have a career doing something with buildings. I thought I wanted to be an architect, but in the end realised that being a developer drew together my interest in design, building, place-making, deal making, finance and team management. I like the puzzle of solving complicated challenges and joining all the dots.

What did you enjoy most about your time at Oxford Brookes?
Oxford Brookes (Oxford Poly as it was then) was the pre-eminent practical estate management course (now the BSc Real Estate management) and Oxford is a lovely place to live and study. I most enjoyed the friendships I formed and still keep.

What have you been doing work-wise since you graduated?
I have had three major careers; the first at Trafalgar House PLC in the 1980s, becoming one of the youngest property directors, then Countryside Properties PLC where I was a divisional Managing Director and then MEPC where I was the Chief Executive. I am about to become Executive Vice Chairman at Get Living London.

What do you enjoy most about your job?
I am recently started as Executive Vice Chairman at Get Living London. I most enjoy the engagement of a vast range of people who influence the process of urban regeneration, seeing the physical manifestation of one’s endeavours and then finally seeing people live and work and enjoy the buildings and places we make. Lots of challenges every day!

Why did you decide to take part in the Mentoring Scheme?
I have a passion for improving the prospects for young people and seeing latent talent develop. It is nice to be able to give something back to an industry that has served me well.

What kind of support did you offer your mentee?
I helped my mentee with his CV, his dissertation and some of his course work and generally tried to offer wise counsel on an ad hoc basis. Our communication was through several meetings, e-mail, phone calls and texts. We were in pretty regular contact and I also gave him references for the job he secured. I have enjoyed seeing my Mentee secure his first professional role enormously. The networking with fellow mentors has also been good.