Profile Spotlight: Lynette Howgate, Principal Consultant and Director at LHC Consulting Ltd.

Tell us a bit about your new business, LHC Consulting Ltd.

LHC Consulting is a service charge efficiency consultancy practise that specialises in shopping centre assets. We work alongside managing agents and asset managers to achieve an efficient and effective service charge budget that works for each individual asset.

Tell us about your career to date.

My career has been fast-paced and dynamic. I started out as a security guard in a shopping centre in 2004 after facing redundancy from the security industry. I quickly rose through the ranks to become a Facilities Manager, then Operations Manager and then Centre Manager. My final promotion was to Associate Director with a multi-national managing agent.

My hard work and determination to succeed led to me being shortlisted for a SCEPTRE Award in 2015 and finally winning this prestigious award in 2018. I also had the great privilege of judging the SCEPTRE Awards and the Opal Awards in 2019.

I am now the Founder and Principal Consultant at LHC Consulting and have been operating since 15th August 2019.

Where did the business idea come from?

I have been lucky enough to work on 12 schemes with multiple managing agents as well as working directly for the owner on one scheme. These have ranged in size and complexity; some have been open, others covered – some a combination of both. I have worked with complex service charges ranging from 1 to 12 schedules and from just £750,000 in value up to as much as £3m.

Over recent years, the retail & leisure landscape has changed dramatically (and continues to do so) and I noticed in many cases, aspects of budgets had not been reviewed or restructured since they were compiled. This prompted me to analyse the operation of my schemes and, where necessary, re-engineer the budgets to ensure they were fair, reasonable and represented good value for money.

The retail & leisure industry must make changes in line with the evolving marketplace to ensure retailers get maximum value from their service charge and landlords achieve a great return on their investments. For example, the growing number of vacant units in shopping centres has led to an increase in landlord service charge liabilities, this impacts the net operating income and in turn, the value of the asset.

What is the vision for the business?

LHC Consulting is the first service charge efficiency consultancy on the market to date.

My short-term vision is to raise awareness of the services provided by LHC and to explain the concept behind this. Forging strong working relationships with Asset Management teams and Centre Management teams is critical in the success of this.

My long-term vision is to make a positive impact on the retail and leisure industry by helping clients and occupiers maximise value.

Are there any exciting new pitches/projects you’re working on that you can share with us?

I am currently working on The Sapphire Portfolio for Addington Capital. This consists of three shopping centres located in Harlow, Cardiff and Burnley. I am working alongside various managing agents and their teams to create cost-efficient retail places for both landlords and retailers.

This is a very exciting instruction for LHC and I am really enjoying working with the different teams in each asset.

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