The Management Committee supports and advises the business, providing a valuable sounding board for a wide range of issues.
James Wates CBE
James has worked in construction for his whole career and through his numerous roles champions change in the sector. James joined Wates Construction in 1983 and the Wates Construction Board in 1994, was appointed to the Wates Group Board in 1997, and became Chairman in 2013. His key positions in the sector include: Past Chairman of CITB, Past President of CIOB, Chairman of the BRE Trust, and Non-executive Director of Argent Services LLP. To help ensure that the UK punches its weight internationally, he has accepted the role of Co-chair of Infrastructure Exports: UK.
He has taken on a number of roles outside of the construction sector, including Chairman of the think tank Tomorrow’s Company, Chairman of the Princes Trust Corporate Advisory Group, and Ambassador for the Young Women’s Trust. In 2018 he was invited by the Business Secretary to Chair a new industry group on corporate governance. In 2012 he was awarded the CBE for services to construction and the charitable sector.
Peter Freeman, like his brother Michael, became a solicitor, having read History at Oxford University. They founded Argent together in 1981, nurturing the business and growing it into the widely respected and diverse company that it has become today.
Peter remains actively involved as a non-executive director and investor in various Argent entities and a director of King’s Cross. Peter is also a director and investor in Mayfields Market Towns Limited, which is promoting a new town in Sussex. Also within the property industry, Peter has been a non-executive director of Land Securities and MEPC; Chairman of the Investment Property Forum, and a member of the Bank of England Property Forum. Away from property, Peter is Chairman of Pay Wizard, a technology company.
Chris is the BTPS director on the Argent Board and has been an active participant in Argent King’s Cross and King’s Cross redevelopment for the past three years.
Chris is currently CEO of Hermes Real Estate Investment Management Limited, where he is responsible for the management of £6.2 billion of real estate.
Prior to this, he established the Australian Fund Manager QIC’s European real estate team and was head of European Property at HSBC. He spent most of his working career as Fund Manager at Prudential. Chris is a Fellow of the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors, Chairman of MEPC and Junior Vice President of the British Property Federation.
Jonathan, an accountant by background and former Chairman of KPMG’s International Real Estate & Construction practice, joined Argent in January 2013 and became its Chairman in 2015.
He is a member of the Board of the British Property Federation and the Strategy Board of the Investment Property Forum. Jonathan is also a non-executive trustee on the board of the South West London & St. George’s NHS Mental Health Trust and an Honorary Fellow of the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors.
Michael Freeman founded Argent in 1981 with his brother, Peter. Both read History at Oxford before qualifying as solicitors. Their objective in creating Argent was to build an exceptional business which would develop buildings well and enjoy a reputation for fair dealing.
Michael has remained closely involved with Argent as a non-executive and a business partner since stepping down as joint chief executive in 1998. He also has a range of non-property related business interests and a great interest in world history. He is deputy Chairman of the Royal Parks Foundation.