The View From the Crown Estate

The View From

 “The Crown Estate has grown in its professionalism and developed new business opportunities.”

John Lelliott‏ FCCA, Director of Finance and Information Systems, The Crown Estate


“Each day is different.  Every day there is a new challenge.  We have such a broad, diverse, portfolio at the Crown Estate that I can be pulled by any part of that portfolio, from urban, to rural, to renewable energy, to the countryside, to the Windsor Royal estate, as well as fulfilling the normal activities of a finance director.  At the moment we are looking at our business model and how we are going to ensure both sustainability and long term growth.


“My work has changed because the organisation has changed significantly over recent years.  The Crown Estate has grown in its professionalism and it has developed new business opportunities.  In the last ten years revenue has grown by over 43% to £253m and we have had capital growth of over 100%.


“We are unable to borrow so in the last ten years to generate capital we have increasingly moved into joint ventures to expand the portfolio and to invest in the portfolio.  We now have about eight joint ventures, including with Norges Bank Investment Management.  We have also moved into managing some of the joint ventures where we were partners.  Our portfolio has increasingly moved into renewable energy, especially offshore, which is helping to grow the UK’s low carbon economy, as well enabling us to grow revenues.


“The Crown Estates is a commercial organisation tasked by Parliament with generating revenues and enhancing our capital value – our capital value is about £8.1bn.  All our profits are passed to the Treasury.


“My greatest challenge is juggling the various demands.  We are always looking to increase revenues, but also to get long-term sustainable capital growth. We are unable to borrow, which does put quite a bit of stress on us.  We have to make sure we have sufficient funds to manage our forward development.


“The Crown Estate produced an integrated report.  We are very proud of this because we are one of the first companies to produce a report in line with the framework on integrated reporting.


“My ACCA qualification has given me a profession, which has enabled me to become a finance director in a great organisation.  I would not be able to do my job without a qualification!  It has given me a strong financial background and over my career it has developed my financial and strategic reporting skills.  I sit on ACCA’s Global Forum for Sustainability, which is very important for our business, but is also close to my heart.  I also sit on the Prince of Wales Accounting for Sustainability Project.


“Away from work my main interest is sport.   I like all sport.  Cricket is my passion, golf is my sport.  And music – I am a progressive rocker at heart.  I am also vice chair of Asthma UK, which I am passionate about.”


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