Jones Lang LaSalle
The sun is setting on the croisette in Cannes on the Thursday of MIPIM and so the wind down of the week begins. MIPIM so often sets the tone for the market going into the second quarter, so a positive week is all important.
Happily it has been positive. In fact upbeat. Everyone remains cautious and no one expects improvement overnight, but there is a clear sense of opportunity in the market and a will to find the way to make things happen.
I was at dinner last night with, among others, James Caan, ex of Dragons Den and firmly wearing his Hamilton Bradshaw hat, Tom Bloxham of UrbanSplash, Alan Tripp of LIM, Nick Jopling of Grainger and Nigel Turner of Kier.
So Private Equity, Housing Developer, Institutional Fund Manager, Residential Investor and Commercial Developer with a PFI business. An eclectic, clever and diverse set of Investors, and yet they shared a common view. That there is real opportunity in the market across all their sectors and that whilst the credit markets will remain tight and economic uncertainty abounds, the real estate sector can move forward and that the gathering momentum from last year will remain.
It has been the same all week. Operators like Regus are optimistic about the recovery they are seeing in key markets and looking to expand, people are on the M&A trail again, joint venturing and the pairing of capital to good operators is high on everyone’s agenda and lastly there are new market entrants. Perhaps the most upbeat sign of all.
Certain sectors shine brighter than others, and of course there are contrarian views.
Indeed, we all recognise that this recovery will come with fits and starts. That transactions will remain very hard to close and that capital aspirations and economic reality remain divided, but if the earnest and engaging discussions of the last three days do set the tempo for the market in 2011, then we should all be busy.
Busy making connections. Busy bringing smart capital, good opportunities and the right expertise together. Busy being smart intermediaries and guiding our clients as to how they take the best positions in challenging times for a strong future.