Latest News

Ground Rent Acquisition

Sykes Capital has acquired a further ground rent asset in Surrey for £83,000, representing a gross yield of 6.94% (ground rent only), at the Allsop residential auction in August 2022. The acquisition is in line with Sykes Capital’s strategy of deploying capital into assets producing long term, low risk income. The acquisition took place on the same day the Bank of England increased the base rate from 1.25% to 1.75%, which will undoubtedly lead to significant further opportunities.

John Sykes receives Honorary Doctorate from the University of Reading

We are delighted to announce that on 21st July 2022, our Founder John Sykes was awarded an Honorary Degree of Doctor of Business Administration from the University of Reading. John was awarded this degree after his remarkable entrepreneurial achievements and, in more recent years, charitable contribution to the town of Reading.

He is a great believer that the University of Reading should also be a University for Reading and has worked closely with the University in recent years, including on a Community Engagement Fund, which is now in its second successful year, designed to support new community projects that benefit the people and community of Reading.

John added, “I am enormously proud to be awarded this Honorary Degree, and to receive the honour during the Real Estate and Planning Ceremony was certainly the icing on the cake. My family history is heavily rooted in Reading, and to be recognised by this town, who gave me so much opportunity, is humbling. I privately retired from business in 2021, leaving it to the next generation, and I endeavour for the second half of my life to concentrate on the John Sykes Foundation’s meaningful impact in our community. I am so passionate about bringing positive change with other local charities and organisations.”

FirstPort acquires Atlantis Estates

We are pleased to announce that on 20th June 2022 FirstPort acquired our residential property management company, Atlantis Estates. FirstPort are delighted to welcome Atlantis’ 13 employees to their group, as well as the customers living in the 5,000 homes Atlantis manages.  

For Atlantis’ customers, clients, and suppliers, this change in ownership does not impact their day-to-day interactions and the same Atlantis team and colleagues will continue to support them. 

Both FirstPort and Atlantis are committed to delivering excellent customer service and making sure that the homes and communities in Atlantis’ care continue to be great places to live.   

As part of the FirstPort group, Atlantis and their customers will be able to access FirstPort’s in-house specialist teams, as well as benefit from their on-going investment in new digital systems.  Over the coming months, FirstPort will be working with the Atlantis team to help bring these benefits to life for their customers and clients. 

Ouda Saleh, Chief Financial Officer at FirstPort, commented: “I am delighted to welcome Atlantis to the FirstPort group. Atlantis brings an outstanding track record of experience and knowledge in residential property management, which is recognised by customers and industry bodies alike. This reputation has been built by an outstanding team of colleagues, who will be a fantastic addition to the FirstPort family. I am looking forward to working with the Atlantis team to share our learnings and continue to build on their great work together.” 

Annabelle Sykes, Chief Executive Officer of Sykes Capital, owner of Atlantis Estates commented: “We are delighted that Atlantis Estates is joining the FirstPort Group. We are incredibly proud of the business we have built over the last two decades, with an outstanding team that delivers a great service for our customers, so finding the right new home for the business was very important to us. The Atlantis values, particularly around a customer-first approach are very much aligned with FirstPort, making this a great fit for colleagues, clients and residents. I look forward to watching the business continue to flourish as part of the FirstPort group.”

7-9 Friar Street Disposal

Sykes Capital has disposed of their freehold interest in 7-9 Friar Street in Reading, with tenant Yates Wine Bar in situ, for £4.55m representing a gross yield of 4.73% in May 2022. Net profit after disposal comes to £3.93m, following 10 years of ownership. Coffer Corporate Leisure acted for Sykes Capital with Savills acting for the buyer.

Works commence on Office to Residential Conversion

After being granted planning permission, Sykes Capital handed over a site in Caversham in May 2022 to the main contractor to be converted into 3 self contained luxury apartments. The contract, which has a works value of £270,000, allows for the site to be handed back to Sykes Capital in completed form in December 2022 to join our residential portfolio.

Ground Rent Acquisitions

Sykes Capital has acquired a landmark ground rent asset in prime central London for £289,000, representing a gross yield of 7.68% (ground rent only), at the Allsop residential auction in February 2022. The asset has separate development potential and a pre-application pack has been submitted to Tower Hamlets council for early advise. Separately at the Allsop February auction, Sykes Capital acquired an additional ground rent asset in Reading.

Planning Round Up

Sykes Capital has applied for full planning permission in June 2022 for the construction of a new residential dwelling on brownfield land in west Reading. Separately, and following submission of a pre-application pack in April 2022, Sykes Capital has received advise from Reading Borough Council in relation to a large new build development in south Reading, following receipt of the advise a full planning application is expected to be submitted shortly. Finally, following the acquisition in February 2022, a pre-application submission for an additional residential storey has been submitted in relation to a central London asset.

The Village reaches 97% Occupancy

Sykes Capital has completed on 3 new commercial leases at The Village leisure destination in Reading between February and April 2022. The new occupiers will contribute to the cultural mix the site has on offer, with a high end lounge occupier signing a 15 year lease, a Churro’s takeaway (due to open in July 2022) signing a 10 year lease, and an Asian fusion restaurant signing a 20 year lease. The new leases, all with personal guarantees, provide a combined initial rent of £94,000. This leaves 1 vacant unit at the site, which is yet to be marketed.

Koichi Nicholas

Chief Financial Officer

As the CFO for the group, Koichi is responsible for all financial planning, record keeping and reporting to the Sykes Family, as well as overseeing the finances of the Family’s charity, the John Sykes Foundation. 

Since joining the company in 2012, Koichi has been promoted from within to his current position and has an impressive flair for real estate accounting, including both residential and commercial service charge management. 

Koichi is a strategic thinker and a keen chess player, previously having ranked amongst the top 100 chess players in the UK. 

Andrew Strong

General Counsel

Andrew is responsible for delivering the highest possible level of legal services to the company, from advising the board on new and existing laws to dealing with all legal/procedural aspects of a transaction once heads of terms have been agreed

Having worked alongside the Sykes Family since 2001, Andrew has a key understanding of the family’s requirements and wishes. In addition to his legal skills, Andrew is also a member of the RICS and has a wealth of practical real estate experience in all asset classes, with particular expertise in commercial and ground rent management.

Andrew is a keen road cyclist and resides in Thailand with his wife Anong and their two children, James and Katie. 

John Sykes, DBA (Hon)


John is our inspirational and visionary Founder with an entrepreneurial instinct, who now spends the majority of his time supporting Reading charities and community groups through the John Sykes Foundation.

Heavily motivated and influenced by his late father and with an underlying passion for Reading, John’s unique drive for success led the company to significant growth, and which is now under the control of his children.

John is based in Reading, is a family man, and with his wife Sally they have four children, Annabelle, Charlie, Jessica and Little John.