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Valerie Howarth - Director

London Simplified’s founder, Valerie Howarth, was born and educated in London.  She worked with the McAlpine family, both in their business, Sir Robert McAlpine Limited, and personally for over thirty years, gaining extensive experience in lifestyle management.  Her responsibilities included;

  • Management of the Company’s London Executive office suite and private households.
  • Arranging business and social events including the family’s legendary Annual Reception with over 1000 guests.
  • Liaising with the Royal Household, Government Ministers and senior civil servants, Directors of international organisations, sports and celebrity personalities, domestic staff and suppliers.

Whilst Valerie has lived and worked in London for much of her life, she has travelled extensively and is acutely aware of the challenges that people encounter and the need for attention to detail when moving into a new environment.

Ariza Damadaeva - Director

Our Russian partner, Ariza Damadaeva, was educated in Moscow and qualified as a doctor of Neurology.  In 1997 she came to England with her husband and young family to settle in London.

She embarked on a new career in the fashion industry.  Having studied at the London College of Fashion, she joined the internationally renowned designer, Caroline Charles.  Ariza’s responsibilities with Caroline included personal shopping advice, management of the boutique in St John’s Wood and the organisation of fashion shows and charity events.

Ariza is uniquely qualified to help international people establish themselves in London, having personally experienced the challenge of setting up a family home, learning a new language, customs and etiquette, educating her two sons and making the transition to a new career.

Gil Howarth - Managing Director

After graduating with a degree in Chemical Engineering, Gil joined British Nuclear Fuels at Sellafield where he worked for 15 years, mainly in project management.  In 1989 his project won the first British Construction Industry Award.  This coincided with Gil being asked by the British Railways Board to join them in London as Project Director for the Channel Tunnel Rail Link.   In 1992 he was appointed Managing Director of Union Railways Limited, which developed the project, including the renowned international station at St Pancras. At the onset of privatisation of the railways, Gil was appointed Director, Major Projects of Railtrack Plc, responsible for many flagship projects including Heathrow Express and the associated Paddington Station redevelopment, and Ashford International Station.

In the 1990s Gil was a Director of the Stratford Development Partnership, formed by the London Borough of Newham to regenerate the area, which has since been chosen as the focal point for the 2012 Olympic Games.

In 1998 Gil left Railtrack to form his own management consultancy Howarth & Co.  During the past 10 years he has also held a number of senior positions within industry including Chief Executive of Robert Benaim and Associates, Non-Executive Director of Mace Ltd, Group Business Development Director of Franklin+Andrews, Chairman of Capro Limited and a member of the CRLL Advisory Board on the Crossrail Project.  Over the past five years Howarth & Co has specialised in major change management programmes, supported by new systems (IT) projects,  including project accounting, financial management and HR / Payroll.

Gil is a Colonel in the Engineering and Logistics Staff Corps, which comprises 60 top industrialists who support the Armed Forces during difficult periods. 

In 2004 he was asked by the President of the Institution of Civil Engineers to lead and direct the Brunel Bicentenary Celebrations which were a great success in July 2006. As a result he received the President’s Medal for his contribution to engineering over the past 30 years.

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