Courtesy of The Telegraph

James Caan was clearly taking notes when Foxtons boss Jon Hunt sold to BC Partners for £390m at the peak of the housing bubble.

The Dragons’ Den judge is looking to put his firepower behind “the next Jon Hunt before they become Jon Hunt", through the real estate arm of his Hamilton Bradshaw investment vehicle.

The businessman whose modus operandi is to “observe the masses and do the opposite” is looking for equally maverick entrepreneurs to take under his Mayfair wing.

“Contrarians,” explains Caan’s real-estate lieutenant Faisal Butt, who is eyeing up an estate agent with a “disruptive” business model for the pair’s next venture capital swoop.

HB Real Estates has already invested in 90 North Real Estate Partners and interiors business Accouter – which has £1m-worth of “firepower” – and plans to expand this roll-call of property mentees to 12 within 36 months. “We are giving these companies the rocket fuel to grow faster than their competitors,” says Butt of the hunt for the next Hunt.