It is with great sadness that I heard of the sudden death of Nigel Kempner aged 60, who started his high flying career in property with Cooke & Arkwright during the late '70s to 1984.
Cooke & Arkwright acquired Nigel's father's property consultancy, Victor J Kempner & Co of Cavendish Square in approximately 1977 to establish a presence in the West End.
It was decided that Nigel and I, as junior members of the firm, would swap jobs - he moving to Cardiff and me to London to work with his father and Robert Head, the London partner. Nigel's forte was development, investment and procuring finance for property related projects. As a result of his introduction of a particular client, we started working in the United States which ultimately lead, under Nigel's instigation, to the creation of the United States Property Trust which Cooke & Arkwright ran as UK secretariat, with Nigel performing the pivotal role.
Inevitably, Nigel felt the urge to move on in the mid 1980s to pursue his goal of direct property investment. He set up a number of highly successful investment vehicles, culminating with Grafton Property Advisors which ran the West End Property Unit Trust (WELPUT) managing assets of over £1.3bn.
He was a good friend, larger than life and creatively talented as far as property was concerned (just like his father who took me under his wing in our London office). Our condolences go to his wife and children.
FORMER CHAIRMAN, COOKE & ARKWRIGHT