Apple is expected to ramp up its European property strategy by appointing a leading agent to head its growth plans.

A source told Retail Week that Chris Braithwaite, a partner at Cushman & Wakefield, is to become senior director of European real estate at Apple. Cushman & Wakefield confirmed he will be leaving the company at the end of September.

In a statement the firm said that Braithwaite would be leaving “to pursue a new career opportunity client-side”, but refused to comment on where he is moving to.

Braithwaite, who currently heads up the company’s London and Southeast retail team, has played a key role in Apple’s expansion plans since the retailer instructed Cushman & Wakefield to act on its behalf in the UK in 2005.

Since then the retailer has added 16 stores in the UK and has moved into Switzerland – where it has three stores – Germany and Italy. It is also understood to be planning more European openings, and said in 2005 that France was a target country.

In its third-quarter results Apple reported profits of $1.23bn (£750.9m) in the three months to June 27.

Braithwaite took over the London and Southeast team at Cushman & Wakefield from Chris Phillips in 2006. He will be succeeded by partner Peter Mace, who has worked closely with Braithwaite since he took over the division.

Apple was unavailable for comment.