Cadogan is the privately-owned property investment and management company owned by the Cadogan family, one of Britain’s richest old-money families.
The patriarch is Charles Cadogan and together he and his immediate family, including son Edward Cadogan, are worth £6.7billion according to the Sunday Times Rich List.
As an operating business with tenants and customers as well as a family investment office, Cadogan has a public profile the typical private European family of substantial wealth would eschew. This includes the Cadogan website listing senior staff members including CEO Hugh Seaborn, who has been with Cadogan for over ten years following long stints with the Portman Estate and CBRE.
The area used to be synonymous in the 1980s for its “Sloane Rangers” – stereotypical upper-middle-class Brits with expensive country tastes mocked for their philistinism by hipper urban types
The Cadogan wealth is almost exclusively drawn from this family investment vehicle, more formally known as Cadogan Group and its subsidiary Cadogan Estates. From here the family run a property empire largely concentrated in a single fashionable and wealthy west London borough, Kensington & Chelsea.
The 93-acre estate includes residential properties, offices, retail and leisure space. This amounts to a staggering 3,000 flats, 200 houses, 300 shops, 500,000 square foot (over 46,000 square meters) of office space and more than a dozen gardens covering 15 acres.
The scale of this is even more impressive when you consider that much of this is super-prime London in world-renowned locations such as the King’s Road, Sloane Square and Cadogan Hall. As one of the great estates in London, alongside the Grosvenor’s and the Royal family, Cadogan effectively controls whole rows of streets and as such can engage in “placemaking”, using their vision and planning power to make discreet areas uniquely individual.
Their strategy is to enhance the character of the borough by attracting quirky and hip retail outlets and investing in contemporary design. They plan to create a mix of residential, restaurants and shops with a real sense of community. To achieve this they are making a £500 million investment over the next five years to reinvigorate Chelsea and the iconic King’s Road aimed at “making the area distinctive once again — recapturing the essence”, Seaborn told the UK media recently.
In August this year trendy new retail flagships for the King’s Road – Twinset, Superga and Maitre Choux were announced, and in Duke of York Square, off the Kings Road, Seaborn has just completed a new glass-walled restaurant that extends or retracts depending on the season. Plans are also underway to redevelop Cadogan Hotel on Sloane Street to create a new 5-star hotel and restaurant, and Pavilion Road, running adjacent, has been rapidly filled with artisanal food shops hand-picked by Cadogan.
The area used to be synonymous in the 1980s for its “Sloane Rangers” – stereotypical upper-middle-class Brits with expensive country tastes mocked for their philistinism by hipper urban types. Since then the area has benefitted from the massive growth in international migration of the global super-rich including Near Eastern oligarchs, Middle Eastern patriarchs, petrodollar investors from Nigeria, Indians, Malaysians and, latterly, Chinese investors. Nevertheless, it retains a distinctive local character.
“Stewardship and community are the watchwords of the Estate,” says Cadogan, conscious of their 300-year heritage. Yet this long-term commitment hasn’t prevented them from embracing modern trends and in their own way becoming perhaps unlikely stewards of a quintessentially British mix of establishment and eccentric west London vibe.