What can I get you, Mark?
In an ideal world, I’d say a pint of Robinsons bitter from a great northern brewery, but today I’ll settle for a Bombardier, thanks.
LondonMetric seems to be in the news every week. Keeping you busy are they?
I’d say so. The combination of a very active investment market and significant growth in the portfolio size following the merger last year has led to a £1bn+ recycling programme. We’re a small team so it has been all hands on deck across all the operational activities.
What’s the most important skill for an asset manager?
Staying close to your retail customer. The invaluable intelligence they offer dictates our ‘buy, hold or sell’ strategy across the investment portfolio and determines those sites which offer the greatest development potential.
Is there a particularly interesting asset that you and your team are currently working on?
Our move into retailer-led distribution assets has been both challenging and rewarding. It’s shown us how important an efficient logistics operation for retailers is key to succeeding in a multi-channel retail world. It’s also demonstrated how closely aligned our historic approach to retail park investments through retailer intelligence has become to this relatively new asset class.
What’s the best – and worst thing – about your job?
The best is working with a young(ish!), enthusiastic and dynamic team, and creating jobs through our sustainable development programme. The worst is the duplicitous nature of politicians sitting on planning committees who tell us they will support an initiative and then they change their mind without sharing that decision with us.
At the weekend are we more likely to find you in cycling lycra or golf waterproofs?
Both although I have yet to find a golf club that allows lycra!
It’s time to go shopping: do you prefer sauntering through a retail park or browsing online?
I hate shopping but my wife loves it so she has probably been to more retail parks with me over the last 20 years than she cares to remember. However, she’s drawn the line at visiting retail distribution sheds – so far!
Snack time: what do you fancy?
Anything with chocolate, please.
Drinks Venue: The Only Running Footman, Mayfair