The “Open Plan” Diversity Podcast with Geeta Nanda OBE and Dalian Wanda

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1785059_Open-PLan-Final-Logo-RGBWhy does the property industry have such a problem with diversity, or is it all a fuss over nothing? James Max explored the issue as part of Property Week’s Open Plan campaign, with Thames Valley Housing CEO Geeta Nanda and Michelle van Vuuren, UK sales & marketing director for Dalian Wanda.

According to Geeta Nanda, the housing association world is made up of around 60% women, yet very few make it to the top of the organisations themselves.

Nanda suggests that the people industry must show a more long-termist approach to investing in people, so that a broad range of individuals make it through the ranks, and not just university graduates.

Van Vuuren, who has had stints at Land Securities and Sellar Property Group, puts a more positive angle on the diversity issue, saying that there is much more tolerance of women and minorities than in the past.

The marketing expert, who started her career in technology, explains what it’s like being of South African origin, working in the UK for a Chinese conglomerate.

Listen to the podcast here or subscribe via iTunes:

Property Week Podcast: Travelex founder Lloyd Dorfman talks shop

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The founder of currency exchange giant Travelex and the people in charge of running Development Securities joined James Max this month for the Property Week Podcast.


Travelex owner Lloyd Dorfman, who also owns serviced office company The Office Group, spoke to BBC presenter James Max about the recession, running a billion pound business, and his role as a director of the National Theatre.


Development Securities chief executive Michael Marx and executive director Matthew Weiner spoke about the ins and outs of being a listed developer, and the company’s renewed focus on regeneration in suburban London.


Listen to the podcast here or download via iTunes

Nick Candy: how we will franchise our brand globally

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Holly-Valance_2092541bResidential developer to the world’s rich and famous Nick Candy has declared London the greatest city on the planet in a wide-ranging conversation for the Property Week International podcast, covering everything from his favourite global hotels to his relationship with Holly Valance.
BBC broadcaster and BNP Paribas Real Estate consultant James Max went to Candy & Candy’s Knightsbridge headquarters, Rutland House, for this special edition of the monthly audio show, which brings you regular in-depth discussions with some of the industry’s biggest players.
Candy talked in detail about his work, his lifestyle, his travelling habits, and his desire to franchise out the Candy & Candy brand for residential developments around the world.
You can listen here or subcribe via iTunes.

Podcast: James Max and Derek Gorman broadcast from Team GB’s Stratford home

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Derek Gorman and James MaxGet Living London’s chief executive was interviewed in depth by Property Week Podcast presenter James Max last week, revealing many of the intricacies of running East Village in Stratford, the UK’s biggest new private rented residential scheme.

Property Week’s monthly podcast went inside Nero House, a block that was occupied by Team GB during the Olympic Games last year, to grill Derek Gorman about the challenges of managing 1,439 private rented flats.

In his most candid interview yet, the chief executive of the management company set up by Delancey and Qatari Diar, East Village’s owners, explains the philosophy behind choosing to rent the units out for long lease terms and why they are charging no fees to incoming tenants.

Gorman even tells Max about the landlords’ approach to painting and decorating the flats, and whether or not household pets were allowed.


Podcast: Green’s Gunne grilled as Ireland “kicks off,” plus Fleet Street Fox

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Green REIT is to focus on Dublin’s improving tech-focused office market, according to its co-founder Pat Gunne, who spoke on Property Week’s monthly podcast after closing €178m of deals in the past fortnight as Green “kicked off the new market”.

Gunne told presenter James Max that he thought Green RETI would have first-mover advantage in picking up deals across Ireland, and has already deployed more than half the equity it raised upon listing in July this year.

He said Irish capital was becoming longer-term as opposed to being dominated by private equity players, and was now looking forwards rather than back.

“There is still a huge amount of deleveraging that needs to take place,” he said, “but September to December is the kick off to the new market”.

Gunne also spoke about the make-up of the portfolios that Green had snapped up, and said he could envisage Green trying to emulate Derwent London’s successful track record in converting outdated London offices into the trendy headquarters buildings of the future.

James Max was also joined by divorcee Susie Boniface, the woman behind the online blog persona Fleet Street Fox, who spoke about social media, poltitics, and the future of the press.

Podcast: “I was no longer that chap in retail. I was everybody’s boss,” says JLL UK chief Grainger

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Jones Lang LaSalle UK chief executive Guy Grainger and former Grosvenor chief Stephen Musgrave joined presente James Max in this month’s Property Week podcast.

Grainger spoke about the challenges of running the UK’s second biggest property agency and trying to freshen up JLL’s image, as well as shedding light on some aspects of his family life.

“I’m pretty opinionated, and I don’t mind upsetting people because otherwise I’m not doing my job really,” he told the show.

And in a wide-ranging interview, Musgrave opened up about everything from Gerald Hines and the Duke of Westminster to his involvement in the Royal Academy of the Arts and Lord’s cricket ground.

Find out about the best deal’s of Musgrave’s lifetime, and the ins- and outs of having a “portfolio career” by listening below or subscribing via iTunes.


Recovery Special Podcast: Ian Marcus on Lehman, “spreadsheet hell” and who read the cycle best

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Marcus Pic“The art of good banking isn’t lending money. It’s making sure it gets repaid.”

Those are the words of former Credit Suisse head of investment banking Ian Marcus, who spoke in a wide-ranging interview on the Property Week Podcast to mark the five-year anniversary of Lehman Brothers’ collapse.

Marcus, who was chair of the Bank of England’s Commercial Property Forum at the time, and is now a senior adviser to US bank Wells Fargo, said the industry had an “obligation” to see what lessons could be learnt from the downturn.

He said: “We’ll never get rid of the cyclicality, but hopefully we can avoid some of the excesses by smoothing it.”

Looking back at the culture of over-exuberant lending in the banking crisis, he said that that “there were words of caution and warning signs but it was in a typical low-key British way”.

“It was about being invited for cucumber sandwiches and maybe hinting that things were perhaps moving too fast,” he said.

Recovery Special Podcast: Brockton’s David Marks on HBOS, London pubs and “heroin-like” debt

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Marks PicBrockton Capital co-founder David Marks has spoken of the day he turned down a 99% loan-to-value deal before the market crashed, and the “heroin-like” debt that was fuelling the investment world during the 2006-07 boom.

In a 25-minute conversation at Brockton’s offices (listen below), the second in a series of Property Week Recovery Special podcasts, the former Blackstone investor (pictured) told presenter James Max (pictured, right) about how he was “absolutely staggered” by Lloyds Banking Group’s takeover of HBOS.

Former British Property Federation president Marks, spoke about the crucial differences between investing today in London and investing in the UK’s regions, plus he gave the lowdown on the deals he wishes he had done and those he was glad to miss out on.

He also explained the ins and outs of assembling a portfolio of London pubs in a “fun, profitable transaction” and much more besides.

Recovery Special Podcast: Alistair Darling on dark days at Downing Street and Lehman Brothers’ “unbelievable” collapse

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Podcast Pic EditedFormer chancellor of the exchequer Alistair Darling talked to Property Week about the 2007-08 banking crisis, his conversations with US treasury secretary Hank Paulson, and what it was like to be woken up with an “unbelievable” call about the bankruptcy of Lehman Brothers.

In a 25-minute audio interview at Portcullis House (listen below), marking the launch of a Property Week Recovery multimedia extravaganza, the Labour MP told Property Week Podcast presenter James Max about being “within hours of going over the edge” before Royal Bank of Scotland was nationalised in 2008.

Darling reflected in detail on what went wrong with the 2006-07 global property bubble, saying: “There was a collective reluctance to think: what are we trading in? What are these products we’re buying? What are they worth?”

He also spoke about his hopes and fears for today’s economy, expressing worries about the government’s help-to-buy sheme, proposed Scottish independence, and the perils of getting infrastructure spending wrong – specifically High-Speed 2.

Property Week is marking next week’s five-year anniversary of the collapse of Lehman Brothers with a week-long Recovery special at and in Property Week magazine.

We’ll be bringing you exclusive content each day, including interviews with some of the biggest names in the industry, such as Patrick Vaughan, Kevin McCabe and former HBOS property head Nick Robinson; exclusive online features looking at the worst excesses of the boom; a personal recollection of the Lehman collapse from those inside the company; and a digital ebook, A History of Modern Property, charting the last six decades of boom and bust in the sector.

Next Friday’s Property Week includes a 20-page special on the fast-emerging national property recovery, what the next few years have in store for the sector, and an interview with the world’s biggest investor.

Recovery starts here.

Podcast with Make Architects’ Ken Shuttleworth on London, its buildings and the airport dilemma

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In this month’s podcast, James Max interviews managing director of Urbanest, Johnny Mann, and Ken Shuttleworth, founder of Make Architects

james Max and Ken Shuttleworth

Johnny Mann discusses the benefits and challenges of the student accommodation sector, explaining the specific accommodation requirements of students and the importance of social media for meeting them.

Ken Shuttleworth discusses the Davies Commission and its role in settling the airport debate, outlining Make’s proposal for expansion at Stansted airport and assessing the other proposals presented to the Commission. He also talks about how architecture has changed in the last decade and his favourite buildings in London.



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