By Eman Hamed
Savills has bolstered its global residential development consultancy team with two senior hires and a restructure of the global residential developments department. The new team members will be primarily responsible for growing the firm’s presence in the branded and luxury residential segments.
Rico Picenoni joins the team as a director. Based in Savills Dubai, Rico has over 17 years experience in the hospitality and residential sectors, with a background in branded residential strategy. Prior to joining Savills, Rico was head of residential development at Accor for the Middle East and Africa.
Jennifer Wadsworth joins the Savills London office as a director. Her focus will be on building the branded residential transactions business, working closely alongside Savills local partners and capital markets teams.
Speaking on the appointments Riyan Itani, head of global residential development consultancy said, “The global residential development consultancy team is going from strength to strength and is a market leader in branded and luxury residential consultancy.
“Jennifer and Rico will be instrumental in developing and diversifying our service lines with a focus on brand selection and negotiation, branded residential operations as well as transactional business through the sourcing of financial partners and outright sales for branded residential development opportunities.”
Rico Picenoni, director, global residential development consultancy said, “Joining the global powerhouse that is Savills is exciting as the branded residential segment is witnessing more and more developers and brands exploring this unique space, especially in the Middle East. Working together with industry pioneers across our global network will allow us to unlock value for our clients and reinforce our position as the market leader in branded residences.”
According to the recent Savills Branded Residences report, globally, the branded residences sector has expanded by 230% over the past decade. There are approximately 580 schemes open and operating and the market is forecast to exceed to more than 900 schemes by 2026, almost doubling the current supply. This growth is coupled with the rise in the number of brands participating in the space, rising from 69 in 2011 to 133 in 2021. While the US remains the largest single country market for branded residences globally, Thailand and the UAE follow as the second and third largest country markets, respectively, with Dubai taking the top place among world cities.
The appointments at Savills come after the firm combined its global residential development sales team with the UK residential development international sales team. The combined teams can now offer a bespoke sales and marketing strategy on a global scale from the inception to completion of a project utilising the international sales support across the Savills network.