In just three years since its foundation, the Seventy Ninth Group has become one of the fastest-growing asset management companies in the UK. It is currently a leading force in the property and natural resources markets.
Serial entrepreneur David Webster, once one of the largest private landlords in the UK, and his sons, Jake and Curtis, established the Seventy Ninth Group in 2020. Together, the Webster family has accumulated over 30 years of experience in the real estate sector. “The previous work of my father in his entrepreneurial career gave us an advantage when it came to setting up the company together years later”, says Jake, Managing Director at the Seventy Ninth Group.
The long-term vision of the company is to do more of what it is doing now: sourcing valuable opportunities and building upon that value consistently to secure desirable returns.
Forging Its Own Path
The Seventy Ninth Group manages renowned, undervalued land, setting the industry standard in an untapped real estate market sector. It manages its different assets under a consolidated business model of acquiring land. “Essentially, whether it’s real estate or gold, it’s all about land and raising the value of land, it doesn’t necessarily matter what the underlying asset is,” Jake explains.
The company focuses on two sectors, real estate and natural resources, with residential, leisure and commercial as sub-sectors of the real estate market. Its experienced professionals handle residential projects in locations where there is high capital growth and fast-growing rental demand. Its leisure property division, on the other hand, targets renowned, undervalued holiday parks.
The commercial property division redesigns and refurbishes UK assets, providing affordable, flexible, and safe SME environments. And the company is also one of the largest developers of natural resources in West Africa, focused on generating opportunity and creating value. For example, it is unlocking the economic potential of the Republic of Guinea, which is rich in iron ore, gold, diamond, and bauxite reserves. The company is doing that by identifying the need for natural resources across the world and then enabling the supply chain meets that.
“Thanks to our strong business relationships and ability to access the market, the Seventy Ninth Group is able to acquire highly desirable assets,” Jake says. “We invest our cumulative resources alongside our stakeholders in each of our projects, so we can build value and secure desirable returns in the long term.”
The Seventy Ninth Group does not believe in following. They like to do things differently and that is what sets them apart from their competitors. Jake points out that they are not constrained by some of the things the larger companies may encounter, which means they can move faster and with conviction if they believe strongly in something.
“We have an entrepreneurial spirit and believe in forging our own path. It requires sufficient self-belief not to do the same as everyone else is doing. But, it’s usually where you see the most rewards,” Jake adds.
And the company makes sure to determine what is working and what is not. Some of this is based on the knowledge and past experiences of people working for them, and some is through their instinct and intrinsic beliefs. “It shows how we’ve experienced significant growth in such a short time,” points out Jake.
Professional Team Cares About Clients
Gaining the trust of clients is crucial for the success of a business. The Seventy Ninth Group has done that in a very short time. Its “unrivalled opportunities” in the UK property market are trusted by clients across the globe. “That means we manage our assets with excellence, build consistent value, and secure desirable returns for the long term,” Jake says.
The company believes in building strong, long-term relationships with clients, and providing the best possible service to them. It’s a very friendly, professional team of people who also truly care about their clients. They put client satisfaction at the top of their list of priorities.
Strong values such as reliability and loyalty are carried throughout the company. One of the main reasons for that is the Webster family treats their professional team like an extension of the family. “It’s important that we build a good internal culture so that we can get the most from our employees and that they genuinely enjoy coming to work and being a part of the Seventy Ninth Group,” says Jake.
The Main Objective
The Seventy Ninth Group operates on a clear and simple ethical code backed by trust, honesty, and integrity. Its main objective is to create value for those it works with. Jake explains that they carry this out by utilising their collective experience to embrace and develop exciting opportunities, whilst simultaneously capitalising on their established relationships.
“By working closely with our stakeholders and partners, we believe we are able to establish great relationships worldwide,” he adds.
Changing Landscape and Current Climate
Jake points out that the world has changed significantly over the decades. His father started his venture into the property sector in 1985, and in the years between then and now, the market has changed drastically.
Previously, many people were putting money into assets to simply build upon their wealth. But now, Jake notes, there is a new wave of investors who are looking for ways to beat inflation while they retain their wealth with the rising cost of living.
He also believes that “in the current climate, in my opinion, investing remains one of the most reliable ways to grow and protect savings – provided it is done with expertise.” “Investing can be a less risky option for some people these days, as it protects their savings against inflation,” he says. “When inflation rises, personal savings lose their purchasing power as cash is worth less when people actually spend it.”
Jake is seeing a turning point for those UK-based investors who are looking for ways to offset their increased living costs whilst building their wealth during the ongoing cost of living crisis. It is because prices are likely to continue rising at their fastest rate for more than 40 years. “People are essentially looking for new ways to invest to protect wealth and secure their future,” Jake points out.
He also underscores that the current uncertain time can actually be an opportunity for someone if they are willing to invest now and reap the returns when the economy picks up again.
Vision and Future
The Seventy Ninth Group is continuing to grow rapidly in the real estate and natural resources sectors and expanding its footprints globally. It currently has over 1,000 clients. Jake says that the company is pursuing growth in two core sectors – by acquiring new real estate projects and continuing the drilling campaign in West Africa.
Even as it experiences continued growth, the company does not intend to change its values. It believes in keeping them the same. “So, our international network of clients and partners see that at the core, we are a family business, that can be trusted and easily accessed,” Jake says.
Also, charity is always at the heart of whatever the Seventy Ninth Group does. So, it is committed to giving back to the communities in which it operates – from residents of local areas surrounding its head office in the UK to the people of West Africa who live in and around its natural resource concessions.
Knowledge and Experience
Jake brings a wealth of knowledge to his role as Managing Director. He has been involved in the asset management and natural resources sectors for a long time now. In addition to that, he has considerable experience in portfolio management, deal structuring, and private finance.
As someone who has seen the investment industry from up-close, Jake can provide guidance for those who are keen to learn about the sector, as well as its aspiring leaders. In his message to them, he stresses the importance of knowledge and mentors.
“Knowledge and experience are absolutely key. “When you’re starting out, you should find qualified and professional people you can learn from,” Jake says. “By having mentors and successful people to look up to, you can begin to better understand risk and strategy.”