Justin Young will lead organisation as it seeks to move on from 2021 governance scandal

The Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) has appointed Justin Young as its new permanent chief executive.

Young, a former army captain who also has experience of senior positions in multinational real estate and law firms, will join RICS on 5 July.

He served in the British army as a captain between 1988 and 1994, commanding a tank troop in the Gulf War in 1990.

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New RICS chief executive Justin Young

Since then, his positions have included a nine-year stint as chief operating officer in south-east Asia for law firm Clifford Chance and chief operating officer for real estate giant Knight Frank between 2017 and 2022.

According to Young’s LinkedIn profile, the latter post saw him transform “all operational aspects of the firm” focusing on “enhancing the client experience through digital strategies and improved productivity by using technology, data and repeatable processes”.

Young will seek to further move RICS on from its governance scandal in 2021 which led to the resignation of chief executive Sean Tomkins, president Kathleen Fontana, governing council chair Chris Brookes and management board chair Paul Marcuse.

A spokesperson for RICS said that Young has “a strong track record in successfully leading and growing teams through a strong focus on culture and staff development” while “his experience in building alliances between firms in global networks…is something RICS will continue to strive to lead on as it cultivates partnerships across the built environment”.

A review into the governance scandal by Alison Levitt QC found that a power struggle at the RICS had led to the unfair dismissal of four members of the body’s governing council who had raised concerns about the handling of a financial report.

A further review last year by peer Michael Bichard made several recommendations to improve RICS, including shaking up senior roles and responsibilities, setting up a new committee to improve member services, reviewing fees, providing more clarity over commercial activities and reforming its international strategy,

Young said: “I feel highly energised by this opportunity to drive further strategic, cultural, and operational, change to RICS - providing the right environment in which members reap the benefits of thought leadership and influence, professional development, and unparalleled networks.”

>>See also: What does the RICS’ new board chair Martin Samworth have in his in-tray?

Martin Samworth, chair of the RICS board, said: “Justin’s background in transforming teams and organisations is key to driving forward our agenda alongside our members and boards input and expertise. I look forward to working with him to achieve our strategic goals and to drive RICS transformation with staff and with members.”

Young takes over from Richard Collins, who was drafted in as interim chief executive following the resignation of Sean Tomkins in 2021.