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Knight Frank boss steps down after Motor Neurone Disease diagnosis

Knight Frank head of London sales James Clarke has stepped down after two years in the role.

He was recently diagnosed with Motor Neurone Disease (MND), an incredibly rare condition with only 1,100 people diagnosed each year. 

With the full support of Knight Frank, he will spend this year fundraising to help others with MND and is encouraging colleagues and friends across the property industry to take part in forthcoming fundraising challenges.  


Any funds raised will go to ‘My Name’5 Doddie’, the charity founded by Doddie Weir, one of rugby’s most recognisable personalities who also suffers from Motor Neurone Disease. 

Clarke will be succeeded by Rory Penn who takes on the role as of 4 July. 

After 20 years of experience in the property industry, Penn set up Knight Frank’s Private Office in 2018, advising and transacting for ultra high net worth clients and family offices across prime residential and commercial markets. 

He will also become chair of Knight Frank’s Private Office, continuing the strong collaboration between the firm’s local offices and Private Office team in Baker Street.  

Tim Hyatt, head of residential at Knight Frank, said: “It is with great sadness we announce that James Clarke will be stepping down as Head of London Sales, following his diagnosis of Motor Neurone Disease (MND) earlier in the year. 

“James has been a remarkable leader of the London business and a true asset to the firm, he is now admirably focusing his time in raising awareness of MND, something of which our partners, friends and family are fully supporting. 

“Under Rory’s leadership, with the full support of the residential management team, I have no doubt our London business will continue to go from strength to strength.”


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