Herbert James King (1887 - 1978)

King & Co was founded in 1918 in Winchmore Hill, North London, by Herbert James King (b.1887).

HJ King qualified as a surveyor in 1910 and worked for Fuller Peiser, now part of BNP Paribas Real Estate. During the First World War, he volunteered for the Royal Engineers and was badly wounded on the Somme. After 16 operations, he went to work for Deason and Lester for five years before setting up King & Co in Winchmore Hill. The business traded as “Surveyors, Auctioneers, Valuers and Estate Agents” and was primarily residential focused with some building consultancy work. In 1925, King & Co opened an office on the Strand, which moved in 1935 to 71 Bishopsgate.

HJ King was active throughout the profession as a member of The Rating Surveyors’ Association Auctioneer’s Institute and local branch chairman RICS Council and local branch chairman Local Estate Agents’ Association. 

He and his wife had two sons with the eldest, Douglas James King (b.1919) being articled to his father when he was 17 and who took his exams for the RICS just before the outbreak of the War in 1939. Like his father before him, Douglas volunteered for the Royal Engineers and returned to King & Co in 1946. 

Douglas James King (1919 - 1992)

He and his wife had two sons with the eldest, Douglas James King (b.1919) being articled to his father when he was 17, and who took his exams for the RICS just before the outbreak of the War in 1939. Douglas volunteered for the Royal Engineers and returned to King & Co in 1946.

In 1951, DJ King won the government contract to value, for rating purposes, property in North and East London. King & Co provided four presidents of the Rating Surveyor’ Associations including DJ King in 1969. By 1968, King & Co had risen to become one of three leading industrial and residential practices with 65 staff. Douglas King was the President of the London Chamber of Commerce in 1976 and Master of the Wheelwrights in 1989.

His son, Malcolm James King (b.1945) undertook his initial training at Gerald Eve after completing his MBA in Canada before joining King & Co to establish the firm’s new investment department. After Douglas retired in 1987, Malcolm became the family's third generation senior partner with Colin Marsden acting with him as joint senior partner.

Douglas King (left) and Malcolm King

King & Co (250 staff) merged with JP Sturge (125 staff) in 1992 to form King Sturge & Co. Malcolm King’s vision, energy and commitment established King Sturge & Co as a major firm and drove the development of both the UK and international businesses.

Malcolm’s son, Oliver James King (b.1975) qualified as a Chartered Surveyor with Wetherall Green and Smith before joining London Town PLC as a developer. Oliver King also worked at Redrow Homes PLC and Tesco Stores PLC before reforming King & Co to provide services to landowner clients, including strategic land promotion, development services and asset enhancement.

Oliver King’s maternal great grandfather was Sir Harold Bellman, a distinguished public figure, author, Governor of the London School of Economics, Chairman of the Town and Country Planning Association and a leading figure in the Building Society movement in Britain and internationally (being Chairman of the Abbey Road Building Society, which became Abbey National).

Sir Harold Bellman (1886 - 1963)

He was instrumental in taking Building Societies from back street, small lending offices into a national operation enabling more of Britain to buy homes. He produced a number of books on housing, planning and economics including ‘Bricks & Mortals’, ‘The Silent Revolution’, ‘Capital, Confidence and the Community’, and ‘The Thrifty Three Millions’.

He was knighted for his services to housing, planning and finance and provided Churchill with an economic case to help persuade the Americans to join World War II.