"I'm one of the luckiest & happiest guys alive with a beautiful wife, Michelle, a lovely daughter, Danielle, and a unique home. I've always been very fortunate though. Years ago, I fell into the world of commercial property development from a background in architecture and construction. I love it and it has looked after me very, very well"

Dan Macdonald

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DAN MACDONALD

Dan sold his shareholding in The Morrison Construction Group in 1997 and invested in Macdonald Estates, a new company, set up to generate and deliver Real Estate for institutional investment. The company subsequently became one of the most successful in their field having generated £500m in commercial property value since year 2000.

exchange-plaza

Exchange Plaza, Edinburgh

dalmation_homes

Dalmation Homes, Cunning Park, Ayr

National-hunt

National Hunt Race Preparation

ABOUT DAN

Dan Macdonald says “I’m one of the luckiest & happiest guys alive with a beautiful wife, Michelle, a lovely daughter, Danielle, and a unique home. I’ve always been very fortunate though…Years ago, I fell into the world of commercial property development from a background in architecture and construction. I love it and it has looked after me very, very well”.

Born on a croft in Dornoch, Dan is very proud of his Highland roots. His and Michelle’s rural attachment live on with them in the family’s love of horses. They have several racehorses and Danielle, born in 2005 rides her pony regularly. In 2014, their racehorse, Silsol, won the Welsh Champion Hurdle and they have celebrated other wins and places throughout Scottish & English racecourses.

Founded by Macdonald in 1997, Macdonald Estates saw solid, climbing growth as it subsequently became one of the most successful Scottish property companies ever. During the years following the 2007 economic crash, that saw thereafter the disintegration of the commercial property sector, and more particularly development, Macdonald Estates became one of very few to survive. Dan says, “Basically, we resisted taking on any corporate debt whatsoever, preferring to continue our basic philosophy of rigidly controlling risk, such as we could interpret accurately outcomes, and thereby returns on our very carefully managed projects. We chose too, always to sell, usually to the London based institutional investment market rather than retain our completed investment product, so not only did we avoid bank borrowing, and gearing, but the inevitable write downs associated with those disintegrating property values of slump years.”

Macdonald Estates followed opportunities in other sectors when the retail, industrial and other development dried up, which sees them from 2010 set up and build out student residences.

Of his projects, the one he most enjoys reviewing is The Exchange, Edinburgh which was carried out when he was a director of Morrison Construction where he developed the Group’s very successful national property company from London, Manchester, Scotland and centres throughout the UK. “The Architect was Terry Farrell and The Exchange, is one of the best pieces of office based real estate Edinburgh will ever see. A good example too, of successful outcome based on collaborative effort between public and private sectors, it bucked trends at a time when the market was sluggish and we funded it (thank you, Andy Irvine of JLL) against the odds”.

DAN MACDONALD'S INTERESTS INCLUDE

THE SCOTTISH PROPERTY FEDERATION (SPF)
He founded The Scottish Property Forum in 2006 (prompted by Jim McKinnon, Head of The Planning Directorate at Scottish Government), to provide a private sector body of Commercial Property personalities that would work in collaboration with Scottish Government for the betterment of both the industry and government in mutually taking forward policy from which national economic growth and productivity would benefit. The Forum subsequently became the SPF which is part of The British Property Federation.

N-56
In 2013 he founded N-56, an organisation set up to carry out research into successful world economies from which Scotland can learn better ways of policy design that will bring increased prosperity and more even wealth distribution. The focus of N-56 is to show that collaborative trust throughout our society, and particularly between business and government has to be at the heart of our culture “in a new world that is changing at unprecedented speed”.
(N-56 is the latitude approx mid-way Scotland).

The SCOTTISH SPCA
Dan sits on the Board and is a trustee of The SSPCA, Scotland’s main animal welfare organisation.

NATIONAL HUNT
The Macdonald family are passionate supporters of National Hunt racing in the UK and Ireland and own racehorses in Scotland, Ireland and Somerset.

DALMATIAN HOMES
Formed in 2014, a residential development company.

THE RIPPLE RETREAT
Dan and Michelle have been involved through the Charity set up by Lynn McNicol CBE, It’s Good 2 Give, in raising funding for The Ripple Retreat. The retreat is a centre located in the Trossachs National Park which will offer families whose children have cancer, an opportunity in tranquil, peaceful surroundings to come to terms with those very difficult circumstances that ensue diagnosis and treatment.

Around 1600 children are diagnosed with cancer in the UK each year.

Ideas or financial contributions gratefully received by – IT’S GOOD TO GIVE

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