Sally Chacatté, Knight Frank

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This week, we have the pleasure of talking with Sally Chacatté the Group Head of HR and a Partner at Knight Frank about her career journey and her father's secret to success!

Hi Sally, thank you for taking the time to take part in our blog this week, to start could you describe you career journey up to your current position?

I am the Group Head of HR at Knight Frank having joined the real estate industry in HR over 30 years ago.  Before I went into HR I was a PA for a Senior Partner at what is now Cushmans and was then Debenham Tewson & Chinnocks.  I studied for my HR qualifications for three years whilst working at Cushmans and left there in 1995 after I had my first child.  After a couple of years’ career break I was approached by Knight Frank to be their HR Manager for the UK and the rest is history.  I started at Knight Frank when there were 400 people in the UK with very little presence elsewhere globally and I had a team of three.  There are now over 15,000 people across the Group and my team globally is around 100.  My role at Knight Frank is to support the business in recruiting and retaining the best real estate professionals and support teams across the Knight Frank Group.

Fantastic! Throughout your career you must have experienced a few obstacles, what is your view on making mistakes and setbacks?

I’ve made many mistakes in life, not just in my career.  I stand by the belief that mistakes are there to learn from and to support our development in our careers and life in general.  There is an old fashioned saying which I always remind myself of whenever I make a mistake “If at first you don’t succeed, try, try and try again!”

So where do you look to for inspiration?

My father really inspires me.  He came from a working class family who moved down South just before he was born.  He was evacuated during the war, missing out on his primary education however through educating himself via evening classes after leaving school, he became a Chartered Engineer and travelled the world on business.  The secret to his business success was his ability to speak to anyone at any level in business and make them feel special as well as always seeing the positive in everyone and every situation.At 84 he is still living a full and active life, of which he enjoys every moment! 

And finally, is there anything outside of work that you are passionate about?

"In my spare time I chair a charity for underprivileged young people in West London.  We give the young people in the area something good to do and somewhere safe to go to keep them off the streets."

Find out about W4 Youth here.

Again, a huge thank you to Sally for speaking to us and we hope that our members are feeling inspired for the week ahead and excited about the launch event on the 23rd!



Harri John