She’s one of the property industry’s few female chief executives, and a self-confessed “miss clipboard” who spends her days negotiating with investors, raising capital and flying the flag for the company she has dedicated the past 23 years to.
But away from the office, Jo Allen from Frogmore loves nothing more than a spot of gardening, watching cartoons, and relishes the opportunity to “pootle around looking like something that’s been dragged through a haystack.”
“I try to bring some of that sense of family to Frogmore, as does Paul (White, Frogmore Chairman). But I’ve filtered my way up the company to chief executive and I’ve been a mate and a friend to many in the team. Not anymore now though, as I’m the person they have to to go to if they want something.”
Straight talking Allen spoke to EG for its latest Tomorrow’s Leaders podcast.
She considers her resilience as one of her finest traits, and takes immense pride in the professionalism, honesty and transparency of Forgmore and it’s 40-strong team.
A “can-do attitude” will get young graduates through the doors of Frogmore, she says. Indeed it has before. She described a young Steven Pollack, now director at Buchanan Bond, who sat in the reception at Frogmore and waited until White had five minutes to give him some property advice.
“I ended up having a chat with Steve and he had the right attitude, it shone through. I said come and work for me for six months and we’ll see how you get on.
“’But there’s one thing’, I said to him, ‘you need to change your haircut’, it looked like the hair of a Premiership footballer.”
If Allen could turn back time on her career, she said she would adjust her management style, realising there was “a lot of collateral damage” when she was making her way to the top.