At GMS we are deeply proud of our company heritage. It has enabled the development of GMS as one of the UK’s most successful property companies, given us the fine reputation and stability that our customers value, and informs the forward-looking approach that characterises GMS today.
GMS can trace its history to Henry Gibbon (1824-1905), whose career began as a lawyer working at 32 St James Street in Bloomsbury. He moved into property in the 1870s and developed an impressive portfolio, including the grand Kent Lodge estate in Ealing that had been owned by Queen Victoria’s father. Henry continued to build his portfolio across London and commissioned new buildings: it was a very considerable estate that eventually passed to his daughters Marion (Gibbon), Constance (Moore) and Ethel (Simpson).
In 1925, GMS Syndicate Ltd was formed, bringing together the properties of the Gibbon, Moore and Simpson families as well as other investments. The first board meeting took place at 32 St James Street, where Henry had begun his career. A calm and steady approach kept the company going through the turbulence of the 1930s depression and World War Two, and a strong financial position allowed GMS to repair, rebuild and move on.
Throughout our history, GMS has adopted a far-sighted and savvy approach to property development. By keeping ahead of property industry trends and remaining alive to prevailing fiscal winds, we have continued to steadily build an exceptional portfolio of commercial, residential and industrial property. In the 1980s we were among the first to exploit the booming commercial property market, and became adept at redeveloping smaller properties overlooked by global institutions. That steady, quietly confident and forward-looking attitude has allowed us to weather subsequent economic cycles well.
Today’s GMS shareholders are descendants of the founding Gibbon, Moore and Simpson families, with fifth-generation family members making up the majority of the board. That heritage therefore lives with us, yet does not constrain us. Thanks to our heritage, we are equipped to continue the evolution of our portfolio, and to provide the exceptional levels of service that our customers have always enjoyed.