Chief Executive Officer
In 2016, he led the IPO of Watkin Jones plc on the London Stock Exchange, having headed the transformation of Watkin Jones from a regional developer into a publicly-listed developer of managed residential UK real estate.
Since 2019, he has focused on building Watkin Property Ventures, a group of property businesses operating across investment, finance, and development. It has carved out a reputation as a leading provider of flexible development finance to ambitious property businesses.
Watkin Property Ventures
In January 2019, Mark founded Watkin Property Ventures (WPV) with other members of the Watkin Jones family. WPV operates as the family office of the Watkin Jones family, operating across investment, property finance, and development.
Over recent years, WPV has focused on scaling its development finance business. It provides agile, fast, and flexible development finance to ambitious property businesses across all types of property schemes.
Under Mark's leadership, WPV has worked with some of the country's most successful property developers. Mark's extensive industry background enables WPV to build truly personal relationships with developers, tailoring repayment terms to the individual needs of developers.
Watkin Jones plc
Between 2000 and 2018, Mark was CEO of Watkin Jones plc, the ninth generation of his family to lead the business. Under his leadership, Watkin Jones grew from a regional developer into one of the UK’s largest property companies.
In 2012, Mark took the strategic decision to focus the business on the Purpose-Built Student Accommodation (PBSA) and Built-to-Rent (BTR) sectors. Four years later, he led the business through its successful IPO on the LSE at a market cap of £255 million.
Since its IPO, the business has continued to deliver strong returns to shareholders, with its stock price more than doubling by the end of Mark’s tenure. Today, Watkin Jones plc is the UK’s leading developer of PBSA, having constructed 41,000 beds over 123 sites since 1999.
As CEO, Mark put a significant amount of focus on personal development within the company. In 2004, he helped set-up the Watkin Jones Construction Scholarship Programme, providing talented individuals with the education and training they need to further their careers in construction.
In 2008, he won Ernst & Young Real Estate Entrepreneur of the Year. In 2016, he won the Wales Insider Property Personality of the Year award. And in 2017, he won Business Leader of the Year at the Regional Insider Business Leaders Awards. He was also shortlisted for the AIM Entrepreneur of the Year Award.
In December 2018, Mark ended his tenure as CEO of Watkin Jones plc. The Watkin Jones family remain minority shareholders.
Through WPV, Mark and the Watkin Jones family have been consistent supporters of community causes across North Wales.
The family has recently made donations to children’s cancer charity Gafael Llaw, Mosaic Food Bank in Coed Mawr, Hope House children's hospice Ty Gobaith, Awyr Las, North Wales Recovery Communities, and others.
In 2019, WPV pledged a multi-year package of support to CPD Bangor 1876 FC, a new fan-owned football club in Bangor.