Group Chairman, CEO
The Ability Group
Founding the prestigious Ability Group in 1996, Andreas Panayiotou remains the Group Chairman and CEO, thanks to his expertise in property development. Since 1996, Andreas and the Ability Group have realised the potential of the UK and European property investment opportunities through residential, commercial and hotel assets.
For Andreas, his business acumen came at a young age. Thanks to the support of his parents, Cypriot immigrants, who taught him the value of hard work to achieve your aspirations.
As a teenager, Andreas selflessly abandoned his career in professional boxing to help manage his parents’ laundrette business. It was there that Andreas spotted his first potential property development opportunity.
Born and bred in East London, Andreas knew the area well. There was an increasing demand for residential housing in the area. Armed with this knowledge, Andreas turned his attention to the unwanted, dilapidated buildings in the areas where he knew residential housing would thrive. From there, with the support of his parents, he moved their laundrette business into the property development market.
It was this skill of spotting the potential and predicting future trends that made Andreas so successful and the Ability Group a property empire. From the residential sector where Andreas started, he broadened the presence of the Ability Group by carefully investing in other asset classes.
The success of the Ability Group is unfounded. It is thanks to Andreas’ eye for potential which led him turning small run-down buildings in unfashionable areas in London and creating outstanding apartment conversions. However, it is his experience and expert knowledge of the market that led him to pioneer the concept of build-to-let in London.
Across Islington, Hackney and Clerkenwell, Andreas saw the trends of the residential market and made his impact quickly, successfully and delivered over a long-term plan. This concept led to the Ability Group having over 7,000 residential units which had a value of over £1 billion.
Andreas envisions the long-term strategy rather than the short-term gains. This makes the Ability Group stand out against other property developers. Instead of selling properties for a quick profit, he uses his experience of the London property market to provide a robust and long-term benefit through build-to-let and property management. While the Ability Group has expanded their focus, they still manage over 1 million square feet across 1,500 apartments knowing that this foresight has allowed the business to grow from strength to strength.
While Andreas’ eye for potential has been the driving force for strategy, it is his energy and enthusiasm which continues to take the Ability Group to the next level. With a desire and appetite for the ever-progressing industry of property development, the growth rate the group achieved was phenomenal.
Previously Andreas focused on the brownfield sites and using his skills to transform pre-existing buildings into something new, with a higher purpose. However, in 2000,
Andreas took the company in another direction and began his first new build project. The new build project was a development on Kingsland Road, an area Andreas knew well from growing up in East London.
Instead of standing still, the group continued to grow and look for new opportunities. One particular opportunity lay in mixed commercial and residential development in Islington. A major project for the group was the development along Dalston Lane and Central Street in the area. With this, detailed planning and precise application, Andreas and the Ability Group developed over 1,000 new apartments and 50 retail units, revitalising and regenerating the area for local residents.
In 2007, The Ability Group sold the majority of its residential stock, with a value of over £1billion. This followed up with an acquisition spree of UK and European Hotels, of which we now own fourteen. These include the 2,100 bedroom Club Med in Kamarina Sicily, Premier Inn Glasgow, London Syon Park Hilton Hotel, Doubletree by Hilton Cambridge, Doubletree by Hilton Dunblane Hydro, the landmark Liverpool Hilton located within the Liverpool One complex which is undoubtedly Liverpool’s best hotel.
Recent acquisitions include, Doubletree by Hilton Aberdeen, Hampton by Hilton Edingburgh, Park Inn by Radisson Manchester, Park Inn by Radisson Peterborough, Travelodge Southport, Travelodge Newcastle Under Lyme and Travelodge Kings Lynn. We now have a total of 4034 rooms and employ over 3,000 staff across our current hotel portfolio.
By 2020 with our hotel portfolio, developments and commercial assets, we aim to reach a net worth of £2 billion. Our goal is to continue to grow the business and to achieve synergy within the groups brands.
The next few years will prove to be some of the most exciting in our history. We look forward to increasing our scale and efficiency, with our dedicated in-house team and external professional advisors.