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Issue 37: March/April 2015
PROPERTY IN FOCUS Residential • Commercial • Construction • UK property Buying agents • Real estate funds • Serviced apartments
Issue 37: March/April 2015
Plus: Martin Belcher • Emotional intelligence • Agile innovation Outsourcing • The importance of sleep • Public speaking
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Are we building on shifting sands? There’s been a rush back into property in recent years, but is it sustainable, or are we heading for another calamitous crash? And just where do the Channel Islands sit in the bigger picture?
o back 10 years, and all everyone seemed to be talking about was property. The market was on the rise – ridiculously so – and everyone seemed to be piling in to bricks and mortar, in the UK at least. Come back to the present day, and having taken an extended interlude for a pretty dismal recession, property seems to be the word on everyone’s lips again. London prices are, in the opinion of many, beyond ridiculous once more; wealthy individuals from around the globe are looking to set up home or invest in the UK; fixed rate mortgages are at considerably lower levels than they have been for some time; and even the Channel Islands are receiving increased interest. But we’re hardly back in the prerecession boom time. Far from it, in fact. Surrounding all of this apparent optimism is a distinct air of uncertainty. It’s almost as if people are saying: ‘I know there are risks involved, but I don’t want to miss out. I feel like I should be in property, even though I know it could all go wrong again.’ Indeed,
property prices across the UK look like they are flattening, and so buying property does seem to be a bit of a leap of faith. As if that wasn’t enough to worry about, the picture’s made even more complicated by changes to UK tax legislation that will affect people from outside the UK who want to buy property in the country – something that will have a knock-on effect on the Channel Islands as a place where a large chunk of property structuring happens. It all creates a heady brew, and one that makes for some interesting reading in this issue. And on a final note, this issue will be the last for businesslife.co… In two months’ time, we will be back with a brand new look, a brand new size, and a brand new name. But you can rest assured that we’ll still be bringing you all the news and views from the Channel Islands, the UK and beyond that you have come to expect from us. Keep your eyes peeled! n The businesslife.co team
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March/April 2015 businesslife.co 3
Contents March/april 2015
60 Emotional intelligence
Will empathy and self-awareness make you a better boss?
64 Agile innovation
Why companies need to think fast and move quickly
The importance of getting a good night’s kip
A round-up of the latest business news from the Channel Islands and beyond
Recent key hires for Jersey and Guernsey businesses
18 UK property
How tech has made outsourcing more available to SMEs
76 Holiday villas
Martin Belcher at Polygon Group talks property, tech and more
Where the rich and famous take their vacations
41 Real estate funds
98 20 questions
Branching out and on the rise again
Alison Ozanne from AO Hall lets loose
The impact of regulation on UK property investment
Why more business travellers want a home from home
48 Small but
The attraction of top-quality property in the Channel Islands
Tiny properties commanding high prices
52 Buying agents
The experts putting people and property together
How Jersey and Guernsey are performing differently
56 Public speaking
It’s a positive smorgasbord of fabulousness in this issue’s Agenda, as we look at beautifully restored baths, get dressy with Victoria Beckham, slip on a classic Rolex Cellini, go for a spin in a Discovery Sport and then settle down for a sip of some artisanal gin. Don’t say we don’t spoil you!
How to be a standout speaker, not a mumbling mess
It’s a double header for businesslife.co regular Orlando, as he gets to grips with regulatory changes that affect buying UK property, and looks at the state of play in real estate funds.
It’s all about the money for business and lifestyle writer Sharon. First she has a wander round some fabulous holiday villas before downsizing to look at the daft price tags on some tiny properties.
PR specialist Gemma finds out why high-net-worth people are using the services of buying agents when looking for property, and then examines the benefits of outsourcing for SMEs.
businesslife.co stalwart Dave gets inside the heads of business people and learns about the role of emotional intelligence, before looking at the rise of serviced apartments for business travellers.
6 businesslife.co March/April 2015
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There’s Wealth in Our Approach.TM BANKING | CREDIT | INVESTMENTS | TRUST | TAX CONSULTANCY | CUSTODY | FUNDS | EMPLOYEE BENEFITS The value of investments may fall as well as rise. You may not get back the full amount that you originally invested. This advertisement is issued by Royal Bank of Canada (Channel Islands) Limited (“the Bank”) on behalf of RBC® companies that comprise RBC Wealth Management in the British Isles The Bank is regulated by the Guernsey Financial Services Commission in the conduct of deposit taking and investment business and to act as a custodian/trustee of collective investment schemes in Guernsey and is also regulated by the Jersey Financial Services Commission in the conduct of deposit taking, fund services and investment business in Jersey. The Bank’s General Terms and Conditions are updated from time to time and can be found at www.rbcwminternational.com/terms-and-conditions-British-Isles.html. Registered Office: Canada Court, St Peter Port, Guernsey, Channel Islands, GY1 3BQ, registered company number 3295. Deposits made with the offices of the Bank in Guernsey and Jersey are not covered by the UK Financial Services Compensation Scheme; however, the Bank is a participant in the respective Deposit Compensation Schemes in Jersey and Guernsey (“the CI Schemes”). Links to the official websites which provide details of the respective CI Schemes are available on the Jersey and Guernsey pages of our website Copies of the latest audited accounts are available upon request from either the registered office or the Jersey Branch: 19-21 Broad St, St. Helier, Jersey JE1 8PB. ® / TM Trademark(s) of Royal Bank of Canada. Used under licence
In the news... Asset Sharing Agreements signed with US Jersey and Guernsey have both recently signed Asset Sharing Agreements with the US. The agreements recognise the international efforts of both the US and the Channel Islands in the fight against financial and other cross-border crimes, including the targeting of terrorism and money laundering. They provide that where one party has assisted another in facilitating a forfeiture or confiscation of assets in criminal or civil proceedings, such assets may be shared between the parties. US Deputy Assistant Attorney General Kenneth Blanco said: “The consistent and reliable cooperation we receive from our counterparts in Jersey and Guernsey has been indispensable to our efforts to recover many millions of dollars in criminal assets from abroad.” n
Guernsey bank deposits grow in Q4 The value of deposits held by banks in Guernsey grew by £2.8bn (3.5 per cent) during the final quarter of 2014. The increase is the second consecutive quarterly rise, and figures from the Guernsey Financial Services Commission (GFSC) show that the total value of Guernsey bank deposits reached £83.7bn at the end of December 2014. Contraction over the past year, however, means that deposits have only just returned to the same level as at the end of December 2013. At the beginning of the fourth quarter of last year, major South African banking group FirstRand was issued with a licence for a Guernsey branch. This means there are now 31 licensed banks in Guernsey. The new FirstRand operation will trade as FNB Channel Islands, and will launch formally later in 2015. n
Jersey FATCA processes now live Jersey’s financial institutions are now able to register in Jersey in preparation for the US Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA), which commences this year. The legislation requires financial institutions outside the US to report information on financial accounts held by their US customers to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). A test platform has been available to local financial institutions since the beginning of 2015 to test their file formats and familiarise them with the FATCA return process. This has now gone live, and financial institutions can submit information required under the FATCA rules. The Comptroller of Taxes, acting as Jersey’s Competent Authority, requires the information to be submitted by 30 June each year. The information is then forwarded to the IRS. Failure to meet the deadline can result in the payment of a 30 per cent withholding tax. n
Guernsey insurers rise again The Guernsey Financial Services Commission (GFSC) licensed 85 new international insurers in 2014, taking the total number to 797. This compares to a total of 758 at the end of December 2013 – a net growth of 39. The figures comprise 242 limited companies, 67 protected cell companies (PCCs), 436 PCC cells, 12 incorporated cell companies (ICCs) and 40 ICC cells. Further data on the 85 licensed entities shows that their owners’ originate from a range of locations, including the UK (35 per cent), Cayman (29 per cent) and Ireland (13 per cent), while the range of business written during 2014 includes insurance linked securities (ILS) (45 per cent) and insurance lines covering property (13 per cent), life/health (eight per cent), and after the event (ATE) legal expense (seven per cent). n
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CISE opens Jersey office The Channel Islands Securities Exchange (CISE) has opened an office in Jersey at The Forum on Grenville Street in St Helier. While historically based in Guernsey, the Exchange has always served both islands, with roughly 50 per cent of business originating from each and so it was felt that a Jersey presence was a logical way to improve service for Jersey-based customers. Jon Moulton, Chairman of the CISE, said: “The opening of our Jersey branch was in part in response to feedback received from our membership during 2014 as a way of strengthening our relationship with our members, and particularly those in Jersey, by having people on the ground. It’s another milestone for the Exchange – we should have done this years ago.” The Exchange had a successful 2014, ending the year with 2,274 securities listed in total, with 69 new listings added in December alone. It now has a total market capitalisation of around £293bn. n
JTC granted Mauritius licence JTC (Mauritius) has recently been granted a licence by the Financial Services Commission to provide its suite of corporate, fund and private client services from Mauritius. The Mauritius office will build on JTC’s existing services for private and international clients. The office will focus on establishing and servicing Mauritius global business companies, funds, listings of securities on the Stock Exchange of Mauritius, and private client structuring. As a result of its geographic location close to Africa, time zone and extensive range of double tax agreements, Mauritius has become a desirable location from which to do international business, particularly into Africa and India. n
Listing success for Channel Islands Guernsey and Jersey are both leading the way when it comes to the number of listings on the London Stock Exchange (LSE). Guernsey has more non-UK entities listed on the LSE than any other jurisdiction globally, according to new figures from the market authority. LSE data shows that at the end of December 2014 there were 122 Guernsey-incorporated entities listed on the main market, the Alternative Investment Market (AIM) and the Specialist Fund Market (SFM). This is significantly more non-UK entities than any other jurisdiction, with Guernsey trailed by Jersey (92), Isle of Man (54), Ireland (53), Cayman (50), BVI (44) and Bermuda (41). Figures show that with 70 listings, Guernsey has the largest number of non-UK entities listed on the main market. Jersey, meanwhile, claims the title when it comes to the largest companies. It has the greatest number of non-UK companies on the FTSE 100 index, with seven listed, and a further eight on the FTSE 250. n
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sTuarT The firsT name
in making friends
We create the right environment for our people to flourish – so they stay with us long term. The result? A pool of talented, experienced professionals motivated to deliver top quality service. Carey Olsen has advised on the establishment of two new Guernsey-domiciled funds, Inflexion Buyout Fund IV and Inflexion Partnership Capital I, securing commitments of £650 million and £400 million respectively on behalf of Inflexion Private Equity Partners LLP. Led by Partner Andrew Boyce and Senior Associate James Stockwell, Carey Olsen worked alongside onshore legal advisor Ashurst in the formation of the new private equity funds, which closed within five months of launch.
We believe we know what good looks like. We are
First Names (Jersey) Limited is regulated by the Jersey Financial Services Commission First Names (Guernsey) Limited is regulated by the Guernsey Financial Services Commission For further information, please visit www.firstnames.com/legal-and-compliance
Mergers and acquisitions
Jersey issues first remote gambling licence Jersey-based Twelve40 has become the first operator to be granted a remote gambling operator’s licence by the Jersey Gambling Commission. The company is a software platform provider that helps small to medium-sized lotteries around the globe, that currently operate with purely physical tickets, add an online element to their sales channels in the form of virtual lottery tickets and instant-win scratch-card-style games. A remote gambling operator’s licence allows Twelve40 to base its systems in Jersey and licence its software to customers around the world. The company has had to meet strict criteria set by the Jersey Gambling Commission and must continue to comply with the conditions of its licence while it operates from Jersey. n
● Equiom Group has successfully completed the acquisition of AFP Group, an independent Hong Kong-based fiduciary and tax services provider employing more than 30 staff. This move sees Equiom establish a presence in the region for the first time. AFP Group CEO Roddy Sage, AFP Group Managing Director Debby Davidson, and their experienced team have all joined the Equiom Group as part of the deal. AFP will rebrand to Equiom in due course. ● Guernsey-based Praxis Group and Jersey-based IFM Group have announced plans to merge and create one of the largest independent and owner-managed financial services groups headquartered in the Channel Islands. Subject to regulatory approval, the new group will be known as PraxisIFM. ● Sigma, the pan-Channel Island business solutions company, has acquired Guernsey-based software development and consultancy business Global Computing. The combined Sigma business will employ more than 150 staff across the islands, with software teams based in both Jersey and Guernsey. ● Vistra, an independent provider of trust, fiduciary, corporate and fund administration services, has acquired Fiduciary Management Limited (FML), an independent trust company business based in Jersey. Paul Le Marquand and Lynda Vautier, the principals of FML, supported by their team of professionals, will join Vistra. The acquisition will bring Vistra’s staff numbers in Jersey to 75. ● International life insurance aggregator Charles Taylor Group has agreed to acquire Scottish Widows International Limited (SWIL) from Scottish Widows plc. SWIL is a Jersey closed-book life insurer that provides unit-linked life insurance policies and portfolio bonds to individual investors. It’s intended that SWIL will be redomiciled from Jersey to the Isle of Man following the acquisition. The acquisition is subject to regulatory approval by the Jersey Financial Services Commission. n
Done deals ● Walkers in Jersey have advised Grosvenor Fund Management on its acquisition of the freehold of 42-60 Kensington High Street, which comprises four prime retail units, on behalf of its Urban Retail V fund. The acquisition is the first for the Urban Retail V fund, which was launched in October 2014. Situated in one of the main retail destinations in the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea, the four retail units are currently let to Uniqlo, Zara, Topshop and Miss Sixty. ● Ogier has advised the lenders on the £122.6 million acquisition of LSE-listed Waterlogic, the UK-based provider of mainsfed drinking water purification and dispensing systems. The lenders include GE Capital, HSBC, ING, Santander and Societe Generale,
and together they provided £113 million of senior debt facilities supporting the takeprivate by private equity fund Castik Capital. Ogier has also recently advised on the £680 million sale of the Jurys Inn hotel group to US private equity firm Lone Star. Ogier acted for the seller, Jurys Inn Holdings, which is owned by Oman Investment Fund, Mount Kellett Capital Management, Ulster Bank, Westmont Hospitality Group and Avestus Capital Partners. ● Mourant Ozannes has advised Highcross Group in connection with the $1bn (£635 million) sale of the assets of Highcross Regional UK Partners and Highcross Regional UK Partners III to Northwood Investors, a USbased fund manager. The Highcross property
portfolio comprises 7.1 million sqft of office and industrial portfolios in UK regional locations. The firm has also advised Hermes Real Estate on the sale of 50 percent of the development phase of Wellington Place in Leeds to Canada Pension Plan Investment Board (CPPIB). ● Appleby has acted as Jersey counsel for Aquatic Foods Group, a marine foods and seafood processor and supplier based in the People’s Republic of China, in relation to its flotation on the London Stock Exchange’s AIM market. The company successfully raised £9.3 million through the issue of 13,226,081 new ordinary shares. Aquatic Foods’ market capitalisation on admission was approximately £79.3 million. n
Sign up for our daily Channel Islands’ business news email updates at www.businesslife.co 12 businesslife.co March/April 2015
14 businesslife.co March/April 2015
new MD at Heritage Insurance Brokers Grant Mitchenall has been promoted to Managing Director of Heritage Insurance Brokers in Guernsey. Grant has over 30 years’ experience in general insurance, specialising in professional indemnity, directors and officers liability and financial risks. At Heritage he has direct facilities with Lloyd’s Underwriters and London market insurers. He also has expertise in niche products, having designed policies for non-executives, captives, managers and investment structures.
Hedge fund executive joins Carne Carne Group, a global provider of independent governance and oversight services for asset managers, has recruited Paul Harris to its Channel Islands office. He will serve as an Independent Fund Director across various domiciles and provide risk management and oversight support. Paul is a highly experienced Fund Director, having held senior operational and administrative roles providing governance and oversight for companies in the European alternative investment arena.
Senior promotion at Voisin in Jersey Jeffrey Giovannoni, Advocate and Notary Public, has been appointed Partner and English Solicitor at Voisin. Jeffrey joined Voisin in 2000 and was sworn in as an Advocate of the Royal Court of Jersey in 2012. His main expertise is in corporate, trust and pension law, and his corporate finance transactions include projects for the London Olympics and in the aircraft, automobile and oil sectors. He advises on both local and international mergers and acquisitions, and advises trust companies on pension products.
Minerva expands Business Development Team Minerva Trust and Corporate Services has appointed Sean Costello as a Business Development Consultant. He will work closely with the firm’s global offices to grow the London, GCC and India client base through his professional contacts and key knowledge of these markets. Sean has over 15 years’ experience, including 11 working for PwC and Deloitte in marketing communications and business development roles across the firms’ accountancy, tax and management consulting practices.
senior appointment at Coutts Trustees David Thompson has joined Coutts Trustees as Head of Fiduciary Investments. He will support clients and trustees with selecting and monitoring investment management solutions, and is also a key member of the leadership team. Previously, David worked for Royal Bank of Canada where he helped build their Discretionary Portfolio Management solutions in the UK. His experience also includes building open architecture trustee investment selection and monitoring frameworks.
Damian Evans appointed Partner at Walkers International financial law firm Walkers has appointed Advocate Damian Evans as a Partner. He will head up the firm’s trust disputes team in Jersey, and also work within the dispute resolution and insolvency groups. Damian specialises in contentious and non-contentious trust disputes and regularly advises trustees on all matters of Jersey trust law. He joins the firm from Mourant Ozannes, where he practiced for 12 years within the litigation and international trust and private client practice groups.
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New Managing Director at Enhance Enhance Group, a provider of investment oversight services in the fiduciary sector, has promoted Barry Hardisty to Managing Director of Enhance’s Head Office in Jersey. Barry has 19 years’ experience in the finance sector, and specialises in the management and oversight of investment solutions. Prior to joining Enhance, Barry was a Senior Investment Manager at Canaccord Genuity, responsible for managing a variety of multi-asset-class portfolios, as well as being a UK stock selection specialist.
State Street appoints New Head of Compliance Carole Hofbeck joins State Street as Head of Compliance in the Channel Islands. She leads a team of seven and provides advice and guidance on a wide range of issues to ensure State Street retains a high level of compliance. Carole is also a member of the EMEA Executive Committee and the local Senior Management Committee. Carole has spent nearly 30 years working in compliance roles in the finance industry. Most recently she held compliance roles in commodities trading, treasury and alternative investments.
new Group CFO appointed at JTC Independent corporate, fund and private client services provider JTC has appointed Martin Fotheringham as new Group CFO. Martin, who will be based in the firm’s Jersey offices, is a highly experienced CFO, having held positions in a number of private equity-backed businesses. During his career, he spent eight years at Moody International, the majority of which were as CFO, and has held several senior financial roles at Danwood, Bureau Veritas, PwC, The Thompson Corporation and Deloitte.
Leadership change at First Names Group Trust, corporate and fund administration services provider First Names Group has appointed Cengiz Somay as Group CEO to oversee the day-to-day management and leadership of the business. Cengiz joined the firm in June 2014 as Group Managing Director of Operations. Since arriving in Jersey in 2005 he has held leadership roles in EMEA and Asia for Mourant, State Street and Standard Bank. Morgan Jubb, the firm’s current CEO, will take on the role of Group Executive Chairman.
new ned appointed at moore Moore, a First Names Group company, has appointed Joanna Dentskevich as a Non-executive Director to provide the board with objective business analysis and ongoing support. Joanna has over 25 years’ investment banking and finance experience, and has extensive market, product and technical skills. She has substantial knowledge of the professional services industry, having worked internationally in global banks, hedge funds and the offshore funds and trust industry in London, Tokyo, Singapore and Sydney.
Carey Olsen appoints new Of Counsel Experienced trust lawyer Michael Goulborn has joined Carey Olsen’s litigation team as Of Counsel in the firm’s Jersey office. He has particular expertise in contentious and non-contentious trust matters, both in Jersey and internationally. He recently acted for two of the plaintiffs in the complex Alhamrani proceedings in Jersey, which occupied the courts for over six years. Michael also deals with commercial and financial services disputes, breach of trust actions and corporate insolvency.
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when the tax man comes
knocking Will changes to the tax regime put foreign buyers off UK property, and what does this mean for structuring through the Channel Islands? Orlando Crowcroft investigates
ith a general election looming and renewed public focus on foreign ownership of property in the UK in the face of spiralling prices in central London, it’s unsurprising that Britain has moved to tax foreign investors more in 2015 and beyond. Chancellor George Osborne used his Autumn Statement last year to outline changes to stamp duty land tax (SDLT), which raises the cost for those buying property over £1 million, as well as making them liable for capital gains tax (CGT) from April 6. This comes on top of the annual tax on enveloped dwellings (ATED) charges brought in two years ago, which require foreign investors using offshore structures to pay a percentage of the value of the property each year to HMRC. Jersey and Guernsey have both traditionally been heavily involved in creating structures for foreign investors to reduce their tax liability when investing in UK property, using either trusts or companies to purchase real estate and avoid taxes such as capital gains and SDLT, but the new reforms have made life more difficult. “If we look back three years, I could have given advice to a non-UK resident buying UK residential property very quickly. We could create
18 businesslife.co March/April 2015
a tax efficient structure to own the property, which would be unlikely to create any adverse tax implications for that individual,” says Mark Lee, Head of Private Client and Trust at EY in Jersey. “Now, more than ever, there’s an incredible amount of complexity in various areas of the UK tax legislation that must be considered.” The much-published changes to SDLT in the UK mean that for a property costing more than £2 million in the UK, a buyer will pay £165,750 rather than £147,000, although experts point out that for any purchase up to £937,000, the cost will actually be less. Meanwhile, CGT will now be payable at 28 per cent on residential properties sold after 6 April, providing an investor’s UK income is above £31,865. The ATED rules already have some foreign owners paying up to £143,750 in tax annually, providing the property is worth more than £20 million, but this is set to become even more punitive, with the annual charge on the most expensive properties rising to £218,200 this year. In addition, the minimum threshold for an annual tax charge is being reduced from £2 million to £500,000 over the next two years. Finally, HMRC has done away with the capital gains relief on properties that foreigners use as primary dwellings if they spend less than 90 days at home.
Causing confusion It’s no wonder experts are finding that clients are increasingly confused by the implications of all the changes. “In terms of your local market, it’s made the laws more complicated, and means that people need to take more advice. It’s an opportunity from an adviser’s perspective, because you’re going to have to get these things right. The tax landscape is forever becoming more and more complex,” says Deborah Clark, Head of Private Tax and Trusts at Mills and Reeve in Manchester. But could this be an opportunity for offshore service providers? Perhaps, say industry insiders, especially as, ironically, the tax reforms aimed at dissuading investors from buying properties through companies has actually had the opposite effect, argues EY’s Lee. “The legislation that has been introduced is very complex and it layers on top of existing legislation. In some cases, owning the property personally might give you a far worse tax position than you would have if you continue to hold it through a structure,” he says. He gives an example of a foreign investor not living in the UK who wants to buy a £10 million house as an investment that they would let commercially to an unrelated third party. The individual would pay the same in SDLT whether he used a company or not, but if he successfully let the house, he would face a 20 per cent tax rate on net rental income as a corporate owner and up to 45 per cent as an individual. Equally, the corporate rate of CGT clocks in at 20 per cent (instead of 28 per cent for a person). More crucially, ownership through a company could give protection against inheritance tax (40 per cent) for the foreign investor. “There was a feeling in the islands that all these property tax changes marked the end for Jersey trusts and Jersey companies owning UK residential real estate, but I think that example shows it is anything but. In fact there is real opportunity for the islands,” he says. The question remains, of course, whether the hike in taxes will put foreign investors off UK property altogether, but industry experts aren’t convinced. They point out that while the changes are major in the UK, they actually bring the country into line with most other property markets in Europe, the US and even Asia. Moreover,
➔ March/April 2015 businesslife.co 19
London property is considered one of the safest and most consistent assets around. Steve Gully, Client Director at Barclays in Jersey, agrees, adding that recent events – from the Arab Spring to Russia’s rouble crisis – demonstrate to foreign investors that, a higher tax rate notwithstanding, it makes sense to have assets away from home. There’s even been an uptick in French property purchases in London, and many are using Channel Island structures for this. “There will always be a desire to sensibly structure your affairs for investment into the UK, and that often isn’t for tax purposes. It can be for confidentiality, or it may be that individuals want to have asset structures so that they have a certain level of control. While UK tax changes may mean there’s a more level playing field, that isn’t always the driver,” says Gully. One area that’s defied the general ‘boom town’ perception of London property in 2014 and going into this year is the private rented sector, as rents and rental yields have struggled to keep up with the spike in house prices. As a result, the buy-to-let sector in London is not as prominent for foreign investors as it could be. Simon Brown, Head of Private Client Lending at Investec Private Bank, says that rental yields in prime areas of London can be as low as two to 2.5 per cent, compared to as much as eight per cent in the northern cities of the UK. But he adds that we saw a similar trend emerge in 2006/07, and when the financial crisis hit in 2008, London house prices remained stagnant but rents still rose. As a result, rental yields improved and the buy-to-let sector began to pick up. “When capital values plateau, you see rental yields increasing, and that can affect our
The major changes
Britain has been reforming the tax liabilities of foreigners buying UK property for some time, and some changes – such as the Annual Tax on Envelope Dwellings (ATED) – have been in place for more than two years. That charge, which aimed to prevent foreigners buying London real estate and leaving it empty by imposing an annual tax on properties over £2 million, has been expanded, and will hit homes worth £1 million from April 2015 and £500,000 by 2016. The major change is the application of capital gains tax (CGT) to all foreign investors. It’s not long since no foreign investor would be subject to CGT on UK residential real estate. Now an offshore company selling its asset will pay 20 per cent to HMRC and an individual or trust will likely pay 28 per cent. Stamp duty land tax (SDLT), under which buyers pay a percentage of the
lending. Lenders are always using rental income as the force of interest payment, so if rents are low then loanto-value rates will also be low,” says Brown.
On the up As far as the industry as a whole is concerned, our commentators unanimously feel that the tax changes in the UK were unlikely to put foreign investors off the British real estate market completely. Some argued that, at a time when prices were rising to unsustainable levels, a small correction wouldn’t be a bad thing. “We’re seeing One Hyde Park being sold at £6,000 a square foot – it wasn’t so long ago that it was £2,000 and that was seen as breaking the ceiling,” says Brown. “But tax-wise it’s no more expensive to buy a property in London than it is in Paris, New York, Singapore or Hong Kong. It’s now comparable. And I think that in itself will help slow down the London market.” “These future charges will affect the desirability of UK property – but I think it will only be marginal,” adds Nigel Pascoe, Director of Lending for Skipton International in Guernsey, which recently launched a new mortgage product aimed at British expatriates living overseas and buying property at home. “Foreign investors buy new buildings in London and the south east – from China, Malaysia, Singapore, Hong Kong and Abu Dhabi. A lot of these people are very wealthy and UK property is always going to have an appeal, irrespective of what that tax take is going to be.” n Orlando Crowcroft is a freelance business journalist
property value at point of purchase, will continue to apply to foreigners, whether corporate or personal, and in some cases at a higher rate for corporate buyers. Rules about primary dwellings have been reformed, meaning foreign owners of UK property will need to spend more than 90 days at home or they won’t qualify for tax relief. Lastly, inheritance tax remains unchanged. Providing investors use a corporate structure to buy property, they may avoid paying 40 per cent tax on their estate on their death. Companies, as ever, can’t die.
20 businesslife.co March/April 2015
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* Security guarantee can take the form of an interest earning deposit with Skipton International Limited (Skipton) or a charge on another property. YOUR HOME MAY BE REPOSSESSED IF YOU DO NOT KEEP UP REPAYMENTS ON YOUR MORTGAGE. Minimum age 18 years. All mortgages are subject to status and valuation. Skipton requires first charge on the property as security. Skipton registered in Guernsey: 30112, is licensed under the Banking Supervision (Bailiwick of Guernsey) Law 1994, as amended and is not registered in Jersey. Skipton is a wholly owned subsidiary of Skipton Building Society (SBS). SBS, established in 1853, has given an undertaking to the GFSC agreeing to discharge the liabilities of Skipton in so far as Skipton is unable to discharge them out of its own assets and whilst Skipton remains a subsidiary of SBS. Skipton is a participant in the Guernsey Banking Deposit Compensation Scheme. The Scheme offers protection for ‘qualifying deposits’ up to £50,000, subject to certain limitations. The maximum total amount of compensation is capped at £100,000,000 in any 5 year period. Full details are available on the Scheme’s website www.dcs.gg or on request. Skipton is not a member of the Jersey Deposit Compensation Scheme. To help maintain service and quality, telephone calls may be recorded and monitored. Skipton abides by the Jersey Code of Practice for Consumer Lending.
March/April 2015 businesslife.co 21
This Island life
High-end property in the Channel Islands has always been attractive to those off-island, but understanding the market is key – whether you’re buying or selling. Rachael Glazier reports
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Left: Etoile du Nord, Vazon Bay, Guernsey Above: Royal Terrace, St Peter Port, Guernsey
n the build up to the Scottish referendum, estate agents at Livingroom suddenly noticed they were receiving additional enquiries for their Guernsey properties from people in Scotland. “It doesn’t take much to shake people, for them to be unhappy and say ‘You know what? I’d prefer to live somewhere that’s a bit more stable’,” explains Richard Hardie, Director of Livingroom. The Channel Islands are an appealing prospect to many who are looking for a new home. The Candy GPS Autumn Report 2014 identified Guernsey and Jersey as being in the top five islands in the world where property prices have remained resilient throughout the global economic crisis. The report, produced by Candy & Candy, Savills World Research and Deutsche Asset & Wealth Management, also put the Channel Islands at number three in its list for real estate investment, noting the islands’ appeal to high-networth individuals (HNWIs) who are looking to relocate. “We aren’t the cheapest in terms of tax, but we do offer a lifestyle that families are now putting more and more emphasis on,” says Bradley Vowden, Partner at estate agents Gaudin & Co in Jersey. “Our language, currency, time zone, security, food, beaches and so on, are allowing us to stand out from our peers and become the island of choice.” The high end of the property market in both islands, having been flat for the past few years, is showing signs of picking up. In Guernsey, the housing stock is split into the Local and Open Market. Anyone can buy both types of property, but Local Market properties can only be lived in by qualified residents, or those who hold the right housing license, whereas anyone can live in Open Market residences. As Open Market properties have fewer
restrictions, and there are only around 1,700 of them, they’re more expensive than those on the Local Market. The median values for Open Market properties in the first three quarters of 2014 were all over £1 million, whereas in 2013 the median value for three of the four quarters was under £1 million. As Carey Olsen Property Partner, Jason Morgan, confirms: “There are signs of a recovery, some green shoots.” It’s a similar story in Jersey, where HNWIs looking to relocate to Jersey must show a sustainable income of £625,000 per year, upon which they pay 20 per cent tax – they are then able to buy properties priced at £1.75 million and above. In the first nine months of 2014, 58 residential properties were sold for more than £1 million, compared with 59 for the whole 2013. “The higher end of the Jersey property market flourished last year where we saw a significant rise in the number of high-net-worth people moving to the island,” says Vowden. He believes this upward trend will continue, saying: “In recent months we’ve seen a number of transactions in excess of £10 million.”
Inward investment The trend for HNWIs to move to Jersey is one that Kevin Lemasney, Director of High Value Residency at Locate Jersey, has been following carefully: “We’ve had two record years now. 2014 in particular has been an excellent year – better than 2013, and that was the best year we’d had up to then – so we’re confident we’re going to see a strong 2015.” Locate Jersey was set up in 2005 with the aim of attracting greater numbers of HNWIs to the island, which it does in part by holding presentations and events in Jersey and abroad. It’s a policy that appears to be working, and
March/April 2015 businesslife.co 23
The high end of the property market on both islands, having been flat for the past few years, is showing signs of picking up Guernsey is hoping to replicate its success. “We’ve got the government signed up to getting a Locate Guernsey in the very near future. They’ve said they’ll have something up and running by the end of the year, which is very good news, and something we, as local property professionals, have been championing for a while,” says Morgan. Vowden reports seeing a shift in investors diversifying their portfolios and moving into property in Jersey. “With interest rates at all-time lows, money has begun to shift out of equity and bond markets, and Jersey property has become that safe haven,” he says. “It’s providing around four or 4.5 per cent gross yields for residential investments with around 7.5 per cent being achieved in the commercial space.”
Law of the land Opportunities for foreign investors to make money through property in the islands are curtailed to a certain extent by their housing and population policies. In Jersey, HNWIs are limited to buying one house, although as Lemasney explains, this is not set in stone. “We’re not going to change the policy, but if somebody said ‘I’d like to buy another property and renovate it and let it out’, we would look at the business case and we might allow that,” he says. “What we don’t want though is to have people come in from off-island and have, because of their wealth, an advantage over the local market and accumulate a property portfolio.” Those looking to invest in Jersey can buy additional residential properties by way of share transfer – the purchase of shares of a company relating to a specific property can be done by both residents and non-residents, although these tend to be for apartments rather than houses. Commercial and industrial properties continue to be a good investment across the Channel Islands, providing landlords are realistic about rent prices, according to Jo Stoddart, Managing Director of Quintessential Relocation Consultants. Stoddart reports that her recent clients in both islands haven’t been overly enthusiastic about developing properties themselves, which is good news for those who are comfortable with renovating and selling
24 businesslife.co March/April 2015
Top: Le Vauquiedor Manor, St Peter Port, Guernsey Above: a Guernsey granite farmhouse, St Saviour, Guernsey
on quickly. “They want to buy something shiny and new,” she says. “Not everybody wants to faff around with planning and architects and designers – they want to be able to move in and get on with their lives.” That said, insiders agree there are a significant number of properties in need of refurbishment in both Jersey and Guernsey. Carey Olsen’s Morgan believes refurbishing a property in Guernsey makes good sense from a long-term capital investment view. “Guernsey property prices across the board really have only ever gone in one direction, and that I think is particularly the case with the Open Market,” he says. Although he adds: “I think typically the people who are coming to the
Property island to buy Open Market properties are coming to buy them to live in them, rather than as investments either for income or capital gain.” Properties with a sea view are highly desirable and are therefore safe bets as long-term investments in both islands. In 2013, Livingroom sold three clifftop sites, two of which have already gone to planning. The buyers are looking to spend millions on the developments, but, as Hardie notes, they have secured incredibly unique sites. “If you asked me now to find you a clifftop site I would really struggle. It’s quite a safe investment if you’ve got the nerve to do it.” Other good investments in Guernsey are the Victorian and Georgian houses, especially those around the million-pound mark that have accounted for a flurry of recent activity. The rental market in Guernsey tends to be focused around the Local Market, and in Jersey on houses not usually the target of HNWIs – namely those under £1.75 million. Though if the rental market still appeals, Stoddart recommends looking at one- or two-bedroom properties, especially those on the Open Market in Guernsey. “Small Open Market apartments in Guernsey are quite good because not everybody who comes to the island who wants to live on the Open Market has mega bucks.” As to the future, the high-end property markets in both islands are not only looking in fine fettle but have the considerable support of their governments to capitalise on their appeal to HNWIs. As Vowden notes: “I believe there is growth to be seen over the near term and with the work that the government and Locate Jersey are continuing to do globally this will stand Jersey in good stead going forward.” n
To get the best property deal, you need the best advice. Our experts share their insider info. ● Don’t rely solely on the internet, says Richard Hardie, Director of Livingroom estate agents. “Many buyers only contact the agents when they see something online, and in the meantime properties are being sold by the agents on a private collection basis.” ● Keep in touch, says Jo Stoddart, Managing Director of Quintessential Relocation Consultants: “Having a plan with dates and deadlines reassures agents that you aren’t ‘just looking’, and if you keep phoning and expressing interest, you’ll be uppermost in their minds when something new comes to market.” ● If you’re thinking of living in the property, hop on a plane, says Jason Morgan, Property Partner at Carey Olsen. The islands are very different, so make sure you pick the right one. ● Look around the market to see if the asking price is right for the area, says Bradley Vowden, Partner at estate agents Gaudin & Co. “All freehold property transactions are available for the public to access and compare.” ● “If you’re looking for your dream home, don’t try to sell and buy on the same day,” says Vowden, pointing out that if you can rent somewhere short-term this will give you the flexibility to make cash offers as well as the advantage of being in a position to proceed ahead of other potential purchasers.
Rachael Glazier is a freelance financial writer
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March/April 2015 businesslife.co 25
With thanks to Orchard PR for providing the images
Finding the deal
Work at the Southampton Hotel, St Helier, Jersey
Counting cranes 26â&#x20AC;&#x201A; businesslife.co March/April 2015
Construction and commercial property
This time last year, construction firms and developers across the Channel Islands were expressing optimism for the year ahead. Twelve months on, Kirsten Morel examines whether that confidence was warranted
Photograph by Rob Currie
hen you take a look at the construction sectors in Guernsey and Jersey, it’s hard to ignore the obvious – the two islands look set to have very different experiences in 2015. Just 12 months ago, there was confidence in the air in Guernsey as construction firms and developers enjoyed knowing that there were a number of projects on the go or about to get started. Importantly, these were mixed projects that included commercial and residential units, and they had their funding provided by both public and private sources. In the public sector, the final phase of the Princess Elizabeth Hospital refurbishment was getting underway, and there was an expectation that the Mare de Carteret High School redevelopment would kick in shortly afterwards. The Guernsey Housing Association was looking to develop up to five new sites, the development of Admiral Park’s residential units was in full swing, and, on the commercial front, there was activity on the old GT Cars site that would become, among other things, a supermarket for the Channel Islands Co-operative Society. Today, the Mare de Carteret project has stalled following an intervention by the States Assembly, which voted for a value-for-money review. The GT Cars site, being developed by Comprop, is one of the few commercial schemes in Guernsey, and is proceeding well. The Cour du Park £6 million redevelopment is now occupied (creating 50 flats from an existing building), and the Guernsey Housing Association is continuing to develop the remaining sites it has. However, Jason Powers, Director at Guernseybased construction and property consultants NorthGates, believes the association is having trouble finding land for further projects. “The Guernsey Housing Association has limited future sites. They are very effective at delivering projects
and therefore the government needs to continue to release land for this sector of housing demand.” The frustration with Guernsey’s stalling property sector is discernible, and on the commercial side there is an imbalance in supply that’s clearly affecting prices. In both Bailiwicks, prime commercial office space is holding firm at around £32 to £35 per sqft, but as Jonathan Anderson, Senior Associate at law firm Carey Olsen, points out: “The difference between grade A, B and C space is colossal in Guernsey, and while rents are standing up for A, that’s not the same for B and C where it’s definitely a tenants’ market. Grade A stock is probably at full tenancy, and the fact that rents are standing up suggests that there isn’t enough good space.”
Mixed messages Across the water in Jersey, there’s a sense that a corner has been turned in the construction sector and although there’s still caution, the outlook within the industry is more positive. “It’s still not easy, but I expect 2015 to be an improvement on 2014, which was already better than the year before,” says Julie Melia, Partner at law firm Ogier. Similar sentiments are echoed throughout the sector. Chris Daniels, Consultant at BNP Paribas Real Estate in Jersey, says: “In terms of take up of office space, we’re getting back to 2006/07 levels and enquiry levels have almost doubled from 2013 to 2014.” Yet the story here is also is one of imbalance – the islands aren’t catering adequately for the top end in the commercial sector, and construction or refurbishment is the only way to change this. However, at the lower end, there is over supply, which suggests landlords either need to upgrade, or, as many small businesses will testify, decrease rents to levels that SMEs can cope with. It’s clear, however, that companies are on the move in Jersey, bolstered by confidence in the
March/April 2015 businesslife.co 27
Construction and commercial property
Work at Mont de la Rocque Apartments, St Aubin, Jersey
28 businesslife.co March/April 2015
a bar/brasserie and four floors of office space by the end of 2015. While construction activity is on the rise in Jersey, there’s no indication that the commercial property market is being swamped – and, certainly at the top end, demand outstrips supply. “We’ve identified around 350,000 sqft of potential demand up to 2020,” says Chris Daniels. “If all of the first phase of the Jersey International Finance Centre gets delivered, it could cater for new demand, but as long as that scheme is in limbo, it affects rival developers who don’t want to commit until they know what’s going on.” Of course, when demand outstrips supply prices go up, and Chris Daniels sees this happening already. “At the prime level, because of a lack of supply, we’re starting to see growth. In the older stock, rents have been stagnant.”
All in the planning There’s no single reason for the contrast between the two islands’ fortunes. Marc Burton, Managing Director of Jersey-based construction firm Camerons, suggests that
Photograph by Rob Currie
island’s economy, and by public statements of commitment to the island by major firms such as RBSI. Certainly, Jersey’s ‘to do’ list is looking longer than Guernsey’s in terms of commercial, residential and public sector development. On the public side, work has started on a £21 million police station in St Helier, and at the end of 2014 the States of Jersey issued its first bond – a £250 million note that will be used for social housing. The main beneficiary will be Andium Homes, a government-owned company charged with developing public land for social housing. They’re finishing 23 units at Le Coin in St Helier and with a remit that includes maintenance and refurbishment as well as new development, the company has budgeted to spend more than £46 million during 2015 – about half of this is on new build including 21 homes at Le Squez, and the rest is split between refurbishment projects and the ongoing drive to bring all of the company’s stock up to the Decent Homes Standard. On the private development front, construction of Dandara’s high-density housing scheme at Westmount in St Helier continues, and the firm is developing new offices for the Royal Bank of Canada on the Esplanade, the heart of Jersey’s new business district. At the same time, Comprop’s £8 million Weighbridge Place development will continue throughout the year, delivering
Companies are on the move in Jersey, bolstered by confidence in the island’s economy, and by public statements of commitment to the island by major firms such as RBSI the islands’ construction industries tend to run counter-cyclically, so when one is doing well, the other tends to be quieter. This has certainly been the case during a recession that started well for Guernsey (the island actually never entered an official recession) but looks like ending better for Jersey. When it comes to encouraging development, industry players are often quick to point the finger at planning departments, but while there are still problems, there’s a sense in Jersey that the planning department is awake to what’s needed. “Planning has improved in the last 12 months,” says Burton. “The department has improved its pre-application advice, and the new planning minister appears to have a common-sense approach.” However, such improvements don’t mean politics has taken a back seat in Jersey. The recent Port Galots proposal for a mixed-use facility on the perimeter of Jersey’s harbour was defeated by a determined group of islanders, and the Jersey International Finance Centre is yet to get started, despite reported interest from a number of tenants.
Construction and commercial property
The experts say… “Industry is highly critical, and changes to the planning law are vital to maintain the vitality of the industry” Jonathan Anderson, Senior Associate, Carey Olsen One St Julian’s Avenue, St Peter Port, Guernsey
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and is tackling, according to Burton, who is also a JeCC board member. “The JeCC has brought the issue of a skills shortage to the attention of the island,” he says. “This is positive because it gives us time to prepare. The important message is that the work must not stop – we will fill the gap. We’ve drafted a new construction skills strategy that will help us continue to manage the skills needs on a short-, medium- and long-term basis.” As unwanted as a skills shortage may be, it does help prove the Jersey government’s point that a vibrant construction industry helps the island economy overall. As the island continues to fight unemployment, the industry is working with the States of Jersey’s ‘Back to Work’ and ‘Trackers’ schemes to bring unemployed people into the industry, helping put not just the sector but the whole island back on track. Guernsey’s malaise may prove to be just a cyclical problem, but to ensure it doesn’t worsen, there is merit in the island’s leaders looking to Jersey to see how they can breathe life back into construction – and therefore the economy as a whole. n Kirsten Morel is a freelance business writer
Work at the old GT Cars site, Guernsey
“If all of the first phase of the Jersey International Finance Centre gets delivered, it could cater for new demand. But as long as that scheme is in limbo, it affects rival developers who don’t want to commit until they know what’s going on” Chris Daniels, Consultant, BNP Paribas Real Estate
“Next, de Gruchy, Premier Inn and the Co-op are names that people recognise and when they want to do business here, it gives people confidence” Julie Melia, Partner, Ogier
Photographs by Simon-Boucher Harris and Mr R L Page
The latest delay is being caused by a political review of the project. In Guernsey, the planning process is still very much under the spotlight, and with a planning review scheduled this year, Jonathan Anderson sees its role as crucial in turning around the construction industry’s fortunes. “Industry is highly critical, and changes to the planning law are vital to maintain the vitality of the industry,” he says. There are other areas in which the island’s policies diverge, and again it’s the case that people in Guernsey are wondering whether they should be looking to follow Jersey’s lead. “In Guernsey, there’s a need to actively promote and encourage high-net-worth individuals (HNWIs) to relocate and invest in the island,” says Jason Powers. “Jersey is well ahead of Guernsey with the success of its Locate Jersey initiative [attracting inward investment and new HNWIs]. 2015 is looking to be a tough year for the local construction industry. With very competitive tendering occurring, it’s a good time for investors and government to undertake projects” The Open Market sector is particularly important in Guernsey because it enables HNWIs to relocate to the island. “The government needs to promote, maintain and reinvigorate this sector for the benefit of the economy and all islanders,” says Powers. Juxtaposed with this lack of inward investment in Guernsey is the growth of new names and expansion of existing ones in Jersey. “Next, de Gruchy, Premier Inn and the Co-op are names that people recognise, and when they want to do business here it gives people confidence,” says Julie Melia, pointing to a number of major projects in St Helier set to start during the next 12 months. As construction takes off in Jersey, the risk moves away from demand and onto supply. This means having the labour force to deliver, which is something the Jersey Construction Council (JeCC) has identified
Resolving building disputes You don’t have to be in the construction industry to know that building projects are often beset with problems that can result in outcomes different to those originally agreed by the parties. Emelita Robbins, Managing Associate at Ogier in Jersey, examines different forms of dispute resolution available should issues arise
ord Denning, one of the most outstanding English judges of the last century, coined the phrase ‘cash flow is the life blood of the building industry’. The problem of late payment or non-payment, which sparked the comment, still persists today. Procurement practices in the industry dictate that late payments or non-payments are passed down from employers to contractors, to sub-contractors and to suppliers. Essentially, the party who can least afford the burden bears it. Reduced cash flow affects the ability of a party to operate, curtails growth and can lead to insolvency. To mitigate these matters, any payment impasse has to be addressed quickly. Resolution by litigation or arbitration is unlikely to achieve that because of the time factors involved. A far cheaper and more efficient solution is a negotiated settlement by the parties, but sometimes this requires the support of a third party to take the process forward. Alternative dispute resolution (ADR) is the name given to procedures used to resolve disputes as an alternative to litigation or arbitration. The most common form is mediation, where settlement discussions are facilitated by a neutral third party, often delivering a resolution that extends beyond the boundaries of the dispute and takes account of other commercial imperatives. Parties before the
English courts are actively required to consider mediating their disputes. Alongside the growth of mediation, the construction industry in England has seen adjudication flourish. This is primarily because a statutory form of adjudication was introduced in 1996. In essence it’s a 28-day procedure that basically amounts to a ‘pay first, argue later’ mechanism, very much in the spirit of Lord Denning in seeking to protect cash flow. Emerging out of this practice is the usage of early neutral evaluation (ENE), by which a neutral third party (usually a lawyer), considers submissions relating to a dispute and then expresses an ‘evaluation’ of the likely outcome were the matter to proceed to trial. The process is flexible, like mediation, it can offer the parties much more than someone simply deciding on a number or an outcome, and it’s promoted by the UK courts. ADR is used in Jersey. Mediation is firmly established as a valuable tool in the Petty Debts Court. It provides litigants with a quick route to settling small claims, and keeps costs to a minimum. The Royal Court Rules also provide for the court to direct at any stage that proceedings are stayed to facilitate settlement by ADR. However, we’re yet to see the use of ADR in the Royal Court reach the same levels as in its English counterparts. There is no local form of statutory adjudication, nor is there a practice of submitting to contractual adjudication.
Some parties adopt good practice, incorporating into their contracts a pre-action process by which they agree to identify and narrow issues in dispute and/or mediate, but this isn’t adopted throughout the industry. To my mind it should be. Procurement practices in Jersey mirror those in the UK. The risks are the same or similar. Adjudication isn’t favoured by everyone, but there are alternatives. ENE is an effective tool for analysing and resolving disagreements at the outset. It’s similar to expert determination – already frequently seen in local lease agreements. Parties can elect that the evaluation is binding, or temporarily binding until final determination by litigation or arbitration or agreement by the parties. It would put the importance of protecting cash flow on a formal footing, and it can, of course, be used to resolve a multitude of other disputes. Perhaps it’s time for the local construction industry to adopt a code of good practice on dispute resolution. n
About Ogier Ogier’s property practice in Jersey has one of the largest teams of experienced lawyers and conveyancers advising both commercial and residential clients. For more information, contact Emelita Robbins, Managing Associate, on +44 1534 753966 or email@example.com
March/April 2015 businesslife.co 31
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As demand for environmental compliance reporting grows, successfully collating and leveraging big chunks of data on real estate environmental performance can create a powerful competitive advantage. Siobhan Durcan, Director at Deloitte, takes a closer look
friend or foe for real estate investors?
he finance industry has already seen how harnessing big data can change how companies manage and respond to compliance risks, and the broader insights it can bring by providing a fuller picture of the impact of their operations. In the last few years, we’ve seen some landmark energy-efficient and carbon-neutral commercial developments completed, and their impact on future developments is significant. However, continuing revisions to building regulations and increased appetite and expectations from investors and tenants are driving a growing need to actively monitor and manage environmental performance. Emerging trends in disclosure, such as integrated reporting and the Global Real Estate Sustainability Benchmark (GRESB), are placing increasing pressure on investors and owners of commercial property to gather more data – and ever more diverse types of data. Similarly, minimum energy efficiency standards, which will affect the ‘let-ability’ of property, require investors to consider the energy performance of their portfolios. With occupiers increasingly trying to understand building performance in the context of staff health, wellbeing and productivity, landlords need to be alert to occupier preferences and demands to maintain rental income streams and protect asset values. In this relatively new area of measurement, collecting, understanding and acting on data that relates organisational outcomes back to physical features of buildings will put companies at an advantage. The industry is beginning to get to grips with what to measure and how, and some large investors and corporates are leading the way in raising expectations for improved transparency – publishing broader statements of company performance as well as an increasing range of non-financial metrics and indicators within their annual reports and accounts. The next step is to integrate these non-financial metrics into companies’ business practices so that they demonstrate performance more comprehensively, taking into account environmental, social and governance aspects. Big data can offer an increasingly accurate understanding of energy consumption across property portfolios, supply chains, business
operations staff and customers. But gathering the right data isn’t easy, and making effective use of it to support strategic decisionmaking or improve investment performance is even harder. Spending time gathering data only for it to sit unused is every operation’s worst fear. The answer is a strategy to harness big data’s potential that sets clear objectives, and covers data gathering, storage, analysis, regular reporting, response actions and accountability. The data must also enhance the narrative companies are trying to convey in their reporting. It’s vital, therefore, that the data being gathered in reporting and benchmarking initiatives will most help companies implement effective improvement strategies. Firms leading the way in this area concentrate on collecting data in areas where they have a greater degree of management control, and where the more significant impact on improving sustainable investment performance can be achieved. If you’re advising real estate investors or managing their portfolios, 2015 is the year to invest in data management and move to integrated reporting, allowing communication of all the factors most important for an organisation to create value over time. Using a consultant to make the change can deliver significant value as it allows you to establish data capture, monitoring and reporting processes, plan your sustainability disclosure approach, and move to integrated reporting simultaneously – delivering benefits far sooner than an internally managed project could. Integrated reporting is a powerful tool that benefits all stakeholders, including employees, customers, suppliers, business partners, local communities, legislators, regulators and policy makers. Take control of it now for real competitive advantage – delaying could damage your market position. n
About Deloitte’s Real Estate Team Deloitte’s Real Estate team draws on specialists in audit, advisory, corporate finance and tax to offer deep real estate sector insights across the UK and Europe. For more information, contact Siobhan Durcan, Offshore Real Estate lead, on +44 1534 824274 or firstname.lastname@example.org
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In with the 36â&#x20AC;&#x201A; businesslife.co March/April 2015
Despite a background in insurance, Martin Belcher, Chairman of the Polygon Group, has embraced technology and property to transform his business. He explains all to Nick Kirby Martin Belcher has reinvented himself in the last decade. Having worked exclusively in insurance from 1970 to 2005, the last 10 years have seen him transform a former insurance firm into an investment group that has fingers in a load of pies, including a considerable interest in property. Having arrived in Guernsey in 1983, Martin joined Transglobe as Deputy Underwriter for Polygon. Two years later, Transglobe’s parent in the UK went into receivership and Polygon became an independent entity, with Martin assuming the role of Managing Director. Polygon initially diversified, but a management buyout of certain fee-based companies in 2001 formed the basis for Heritage Group, a new company owned by the management and the Hiscox Group. Polygon Insurance Company continued trading and remained a client of Heritage. In 2005 things started to move away from insurance. That year, Martin led the buyout of the Hiscox shareholding of Heritage and was instrumental in the Heritage Group’s rapid expansion in both Guernsey and Jersey. In 2008, he moved from being CEO to Non-executive Chairman of Heritage Group and its subsidiaries. Since 2009, he’s been Chairman and sole owner of Polygon Group. Polygon now styles itself as an investment company and has either advised or has holdings in a diverse range of companies. It also comprises Polygon Properties, which owns Forum 3, home to Digital Jersey, and the One St Julian’s Avenue development in Guernsey. Martin spoke to businesslife.co about how he got here and where Polygon goes next. Polygon has undergone changes and diversification since you joined, and now seems like a completely different beast. How did you get to where you are now? Through most of the changes, Polygon was owned by a series of European airlines and was writing just aviation
insurance business. The formation of Heritage was aimed at balancing the income flows and mapping out a career base for the individuals involved, because we could see that Polygon was really just a one-trick pony. Once we’d branched out into captive management and insurance broking, it became obvious we could strengthen the financial base of Heritage by moving into more traditional offshore business – namely trusts and fund administration. We’d thought for a while that Polygon itself was going nowhere, so we formed Heritage to spread the portfolio that was then owned by Polygon. In the end the management said to Polygon shareholders that the way forward is for you to go whichever way you want. In our opinion their business plan was unsustainable, so we purchased Heritage from them. When I was CEO of Heritage, I had a considerable shareholding in my own right. Then Polygon invested in Heritage, so I doubled up. Then I did a share swap that meant I bought out Polygon completely and paid for it in Heritage shares. So I owned Polygon completely and Polygon was a shareholder in Heritage – and in 2014, Polygon sold its shareholding in Heritage completely. So I’m no longer involved in Heritage – just the sole owner of Polygon. See? It’s not remotely confusing! OK, I think I follow! Of course, the big picture is that Polygon has gone from being an airline reinsurer to an investment company. Why the change? I decided I’d stop being CEO of Heritage aged 55, and that I’d change from an exec role to a non-exec role. This was in 2008. At that stage, Polygon was an insurance company in ‘run off ’ – it had stopped writing business in 2000. In insurance company terms, you have a series of liabilities and a pot of money, and hopefully the money will last as long as the liabilities. The reality is that almost all companies
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in run off eventually run out of money because they don’t get enough return on the money they’ve got to cover their costs and pay claims. So there I was with a very small team, with a shareholding in Heritage that will yield dividends, and, as time passes, will be potentially saleable. But alongside that, the plan was to take Polygon off and go forth and map out the future – so the rebirth of Polygon was a career change for me. The investments you have are quite diverse – would you consider yourself an angel investor? Your vision changes as life goes on. We didn’t start that way – there’s been a general drift to widening the portfolio. I see Polygon as now trying to be, in offshore terms, a mini family office. What that means is that we’ve got a diverse portfolio. In rough terms, we’ve got 60 per cent of our assets in property, 20 per cent of what we do I’d class as service companies operating in the Channel Islands – generally under the name of Vantage which is the old Heritage Jersey. Included in that we have a 10 per cent share in a legal firm called MJ Hudson, which has offices in Jersey and Guernsey. Then we also have another 20 per cent that I’d class as angel investments. So how are you identifying these opportunities? Are people coming to you, or are you seeking them out? We are actively sourcing because we’re involved in two or three angel investor networks. The principle one is Envestors. We go regularly to Envestors presentations in Jersey and we’ve invested in probably six or seven opportunities through them. We’re trying to look at hightech, low-footprint businesses wherever they may be. Of the ones you’ve invested in, which have been most successful or satisfying? The one that’s outstripped the others by a huge amount is Your Workspaces, which started as one thing and morphed into something else. The guys behind it were all ex-Regus and they had a plan that in the recession they could become another Regus by going to hotels, who were under desperate pressure at the time and would let you have meeting rooms for free. What they were hoping to do was to offer meeting space and potentially office space, renting them out from hotels at very discounted rates. It didn’t really work out that way, but what they did have was very good software that they were able to sell to hotels to manage their small meeting rooms. Right now, they’re growing hugely as a software provider for hotel chains.
we have one office and are in negotiations to buy a second. The offices are generating quite a respectable yield – it’s bread and butter stuff, and not very exciting. Our internal target for return is 20 per cent a year on capital – the last four years we’ve exceeded that. You don’t exceed 20 per cent with just property, it’s by doing other things. But what property gives us is that steady regular flow of cash that enables us to effectively invest in a diverse mixture of sometimes high-risk businesses. Two high-profile properties are Forum 3 in Jersey (home to Digital Jersey) and One St Julian’s Avenue in Guernsey. The latter is residential, which was another shift for you. Well, not really – you could argue that it shouldn’t actually be in the property portfolio at all. All the offices are long-term keeps, whereas St Julian’s was very much a development project. It’s now fully developed, we’ll sell the remaining flats and move on. Is that something you envisage doing again in the future? We would happily do it again, but the opportunity has to pop up. I’m no spring chicken! I dream of being able to make a lot of money by doing the same thing over and over again, but it’s never happened because either the opportunity hasn’t been there or market circumstances change. I’d regard us as a ‘bottom feeder’ – if there’s a business opportunity, and we can get our minds around the business, and the finances make sense, we’ll give it a go.
“If we can get our minds around the business, and the finances make sense, we’ll give it a go”
You’ve said that property accounts for 60 per cent of your portfolio – a significant portion in something very different to your background. So why the move into property? It’s all about the bread and butter. In Guernsey we own two offices – Hadsley House and Heritage Hall. In Jersey,
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Is your move into property a vote of confidence in the local commercial property scene, or was this purely business? I think it’s a bit of both. I suppose it would have been sensible to buy another office in Guernsey, but there wasn’t one that was suitable when we were looking. I didn’t think it was wise to be involved in flat development in Jersey simply because at the time there was so much around, so it wasn’t something I was interested in. When
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Fact file we started looking at office property in Jersey it was a very depressed market and there was loads available. We thought we were on to a bit of a winner because effectively we could half-fill a building with our own companies – it’s not much of a gamble when you’re hedged in that way. With Forum 3, we originally spoke to the States about Digital Jersey and a certain well-known UK supermarket that’s moved into St Helier recently. To me it was a far better bet to go the Digital Jersey route, with the aim of having one floor as Digital Jersey and one floor divided up into small offices, which is exactly what’s happened. The demand was much higher than we dreamt. So now we’re developing a second multi-tenanted floor, and potentially, if we buy another building, we’ll dedicate the whole of Forum 3 to tech businesses.
Name: Martin Belcher Age: 61 Position: Chairman, Polygon Group Married to: Catherine Children: Alex and Verienne Hobbies: Supporting rugby, sailing, skiing and shooting Interesting fact: When I was 18 I played rugby for Surrey and London Counties. I was rather disappointed to get a letter saying I was reserve for the next selection round for the South East vs South West. I was then selected as
reserve for the South vs the North, and finally selected as a non-travelling England reserve without having played in the previous two games. Obviously I played better on the side lines than on the pitch!
Is property a very clear focus for you? Is it going to comprise more of your portfolio going forward? It’s a balancing act. I think 60 per cent is a comfortable figure – I wouldn’t want it higher. But unless we are totally wrong, some of the tech businesses we’ve invested in will come home to roost. So we’ll need to buy more property to balance the portfolio on the other side. Is property stock an issue? Is enough being done to keep the commercial property market buoyant? I think the two islands are very different. Guernsey’s relatively full – most office space is taken, and there’s very little new construction and very few transactions. In Jersey you’ve got a lot of available second- or third-tier office space. If I was in charge of St Helier, I’d be very worried if they build too much on the Waterfront. What’s it going to do to the second- or third-tier office space? I’m sure someone somewhere knows what the plan is, but the quality of the bottom tier is dreadful and a serious amount of money needs to be spent to make it usable, or some of the older offices need to be converted into flats. Where is Guernsey compared to Jersey on the tech front? Jersey’s a long way ahead. In terms of setting up the Digital Jersey Hub, they were easy to deal with because they had a very clear idea of what they wanted. There’s also Locate Jersey, which has been hugely helpful in providing a constant supply of high-net-worth individuals who’ve been involved with tech businesses in the UK and are ‘retiring’ to Jersey, but who definitely aren’t giving up work. The problem Guernsey has is that while there’s a number of initiatives, there’s no clear focus. There are lots of things coming out – the Digital Greenhouse, the Financial Innovation Lab and Start-up Guernsey. Guernsey’s problem is that there are four or five very good people working in silos away from each other, more or less creating the same thing with a slightly different name with very little support from the States – and even if this arrives, I still think Guernsey would be four or five years behind what Jersey has managed to achieve.
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What else is good and bad in the islands right now? Undoubtedly fund business is very good – the question is: how long will it last? There are a lot of clever people doing very clever things and making a lot of money – and hopefully paying a reasonable amount of tax. But when it comes to jobs, it doesn’t provide much, so I think one of the worries is about the middle management jobs that banks and trust companies have provided over the years. Neither of those is particularly strong at the moment, so just where are those jobs going to come from? There’s also undoubtedly a skills shortage. Jersey has grasped the nettle better than Guernsey in allowing new people to come in and developing courses to train local people and give them the skills the tech industry needs. It’s easy to say you can bring in your high-net-worth person or your super-entrepreneur, but if they don’t have a license for two or three key people around them and can’t find suitably trained locals, these things won’t work. Finally, what’s next for you and for Polygon? We’ve got an imminent investment in another office in St Helier. In the longer term, we have far more investment opportunities than we have money, so we’re potentially going to raise funds. One area we are looking at is old people’s care, as there are needs in both islands. I’d love to go off island, as there are obviously huge opportunities, but we are more than occupied here right now. n Nick Kirby is Editor-in-Chief of businesslife.co After this interview took place, Polygon announced that it had acquired Forum 4 on Grenville Street, St Helier.
Rebuilding real estate funds The picture for real estate funds is very different to 10 years ago, and it’s a sector still undergoing a transformation, as Orlando Crowcroft discovers
here was a time following the financial crisis when real estate funds were largely shunned by investors, plenty of whom had had their fingers burned when the crash revealed that many of their assets were either bad, heavily leveraged or both. But with the UK property market performing as it has been over the past 12 months, real estate funds are back on the radar for international investors. The global market in 2014 was booming, with transaction volumes clocking in at over $700bn – up between 15 and 20 per cent on a year earlier and with similar results slated for 2015. Figures released by the European Public Real Estate Association in March 2014 revealed that assets under management of real estate securities funds in the EU grew 68 per cent to $250bn from 2007 to 2012, and the number of real estate securities funds increased 39 per cent to 677 in the same period. “The main theme in property now is what we call ‘bond refugees’. It’s been hard to get a solid return on fixed income relative to years past, and real estate has offered pretty good value opportunity in most cases,” says James Walton, Head of Real Estate at Canaccord Genuity Wealth Management in London. Jersey has traditionally had a greater exposure to real estate than Guernsey through the popularity of Jersey Property Unit Trusts (JPUTs). Guernsey has been better known for private equity funds with access to real estate often through London Stock Exchange listed funds in the form of Real Estate Investment Trusts (REITs), an onshore fund designed for investing in real estate. As a result of a massive interest, not only on the part of individual investors overseas but huge institutional clients
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such as Middle Eastern sovereign wealth funds and US and Canadian pension funds, investing in UK property through Jerseydomiciled funds is an incredibly attractive option, according to Jon Barratt, Director of Elian Real Estate in Jersey. These investors have a huge amount of cash regularly coming in and need a reliable place to invest it. “It’s a safe, pure, well-governed jurisdiction where they feel comfortable,” Barratt says. “There’s a continual demand for quality assets and that’s driven by demand for UK property.”
Changing landscape Unsurprisingly, this pre-eminence of Jersey is disputed by fund practitioners across the water in Guernsey, who argue that while Jersey has had its JPUT structure far longer than Guernsey, the latter is far better known as a general fund jurisdiction. As real estate funds move from being straight blind pool funds, where investors park their money and wait for the return, to more active property management companies, Guernsey is poised to take a bigger share of the market, they argue. “The regulatory changes in the last few years in the investment funds market are driving real estate businesses away from being fund managers and towards being real estate company managers,” says Joe Truelove, Head of Fund Services at Carey Group. What’s more, it’s hard to know whether one island is performing better than the other – the information isn’t public and statistics can be misleading whether for company incorporations, numbers of funds launched or values of asset under administration, according to Truelove. “The GPUT is the less-well-publicised cousin of the JPUT but works equally well, and with Guernsey’s simpler and more flexible investment fund regime, it’s probably a better option for real estate fund managers,” he adds. Inter-island competition notwithstanding, there certainly seems to be enough business to go around right now, with new funds cropping up in a range of different sectors. Traditionally, the major focus has been in UK commercial property, but equally it’s been a victim of its own success – as the money piles in, yields on London commercial property are falling, and so fund managers are looking elsewhere. “People are now looking to get out of London, so the south east is seeing new buyers come in. And then the other two sectors have been student accommodation and the private rented sector,” explains Philip
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Since the crash, overseas investors have opted to be far more involved in the investment strategy of their funds, wanting to know exactly what their manager is buying and why
Hendy, Director, Real Estate Services at JTC Group. While the private rented sector (PRS) remains ‘a drop in the ocean’ in the total number of funds, it’s proving more popular as house prices rise in the UK. Generally comprising large developments or new projects of hundreds of flats, many firms either see PRS as a solid investment at a time when house prices are rising beyond the income of many people in Britain, or even as a boon to a firm’s corporate social responsibility (CSR). “I think because some of the big funds think that CSR is something that they need to do – whether that’s driven by economic circumstances or the greater good of man – we’ve seen a number of the bigger funds start to invest in bigger social projects,” says Hendy. But other areas are popular too, explains Barratt, as fund managers aim to differentiate their products at a time when the UK commercial property fund space is undoubtedly saturated. These include regional business parks and logistic hubs for major retailers, such as Amazon and John Lewis, which guarantee steady returns and good tenant covenants as consumers choose to shop online more and more. “We’re also seeing more opportunistic funds, as managers try to generate a greater return than the central London office market. There may be an extra bit of risk in there, be it development assets, land or even distressed assets that banks are letting go of,” he says. Experts unanimously feel that the funds sector in the islands looks set only to grow, even with political and economic uncertainty growing in the Middle East and the rest of Asia. If anything, issues such as Russia and the instability in Iraq and Syria only further persuades wealthy investors that the time is right to dive into the UK – and they will inevitably use the Channel Islands to do so. “With interest rates remaining at historic lows, real estate continues to be a popular asset class for deriving income, while political uncertainty in Russia and the Middle East is making UK real estate in particular a safe haven for foreign owners,” says Truelove. n Orlando Crowcroft is a freelance business writer
From hero to zero: is the era of the fund manager over? In the years leading up to the financial crisis, the successful real estate fund manager – like his or her hedge fund colleague – was undoubtedly king, with the most successful managers becoming celebrities in their own right and their funds massively oversubscribed. Fast-forward a decade and that scenario has turned on its head. Since the crash, overseas investors have opted to be far more involved in the investment strategy of their funds, wanting to know exactly what their manager is buying and why. In some cases, groups of investors have done away with the middleman altogether, choosing to operate funds as ‘club deals’ where they themselves decide where and when to invest on a deal-by-deal basis. “The industry has moved away from blind pool structures, where investors don’t know what assets are in there, towards investors wanting to know exactly what assets are in the fund. They want to understand it more – they want to be able to touch and feel it,” says Jon Barratt, Director of Elian Real Estate in Jersey. There have been a number of consequences of this trend, notably that funds across the board have got substantially smaller. If a fund has invested $1.5bn over the past five years, it will now appear in the top 40 funds globally. Five years ago, the top funds would have been worth over $50bn each, their coffers buoyed by the huge investment banks – Lehman Brothers, Morgan Stanley and Goldman Sachs. “That comes from investors wanting to know exactly what’s there. Asset managers are launching smaller funds to get investors comfortable to go into them,” Barratt says. It’s a sentiment echoed by Philip Hendy, Director, Real Estate Services at JTC in Jersey. “Sovereign wealth funds and large investors prefer to do what they want to do with whom they want to do it rather than doing it through funds,” he says. But it’s not all bad news. Major institutional investors from the US and Canada still prefer to put their trust in managers, although there has been a significant flight to quality names and quality managers, Hendy concludes.
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Home comforts Are business travellers tiring of traditional hotel rooms and looking for a home away from home? Dave Waller examines the rise of the serviced apartment
emember the Temptations song ‘Papa Was a Rolling Stone’? Wherever he lay his hat was his home. Papa was clearly the freewheeling type – never worked a day in his life, according to the lyrics. But what if he had been on the road for work? Retiring to a different hotel room every night, laying his hat on the corner of the little desk, next to the tiny notepad and pencil, and then routinely banging his bare head on the overhead lamp. It’s hard to make a song out of that. Or a home. Papa would probably be happy to know that the world of hospitality has moved on in recent years. While a typical hotel room may satisfy some corporate travellers – especially those who take a bizarre pride in being up in time to get a complimentary breakfast – anyone spending
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several months away on a project, or working away during the week and returning home at weekends, may well prefer something cosier. Hence the knock at the door of the serviced apartment. Not only are serviced apartments generally bigger than the average hotel room, with more privacy to boot, they normally come fully equipped with wi-fi, iPod docking stations and washer/dryers, together with a fan oven and maybe even a poacher – so people can cook and watch digital TV after a long day of meetings. Plus they often provide separate living and sleeping spaces. While in a hotel you have to dine propped up on the bed if you want some privacy, in a serviced apartment you can live as if you were in your own flat, but with a maid cleaning up once a week. And it’s all as simple to book as a hotel.
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Can Airbnb steal the business traveller? Launched in 2008, Airbnb is an online platform that uses the immediacy of the internet to link those seeking rooms directly with those who have them, essentially removing traditional hospitality providers from the equation. It now boasts an incredible 25 million guests in more than 34,000 cities. Beds available via the platform jumped from 300,000 in February 2014 to one million in December. And, according to a report by Barclays, that number could triple in the next 12 months, putting it on track to outpace the largest hotel companies within a few years. Barclays reckons Airbnb now represents as much as 17.2 per cent of hotel room supply in New York, 11.9 per cent in Paris, and 10.4 per cent in London. But while Airbnb is great for tourists, it hasn’t yet caught on for the business traveller, who may seek a different level of assurances, or at least have different needs. Barclays reckons just 10 per cent of Airbnb bookings come via the business sector, despite a concerted effort by the platform to target that market. Not that everyone is thrilled about Airbnb’s success. New York State’s Attorney General launched a crusade against it, finding that 72 per cent of Airbnb rentals in New York were against the law, with commercial operators using the platform to run illegal hotels. In one instance, one commercial user posted 272 listings, booked 3,024 reservations, and made a cushy $6.8 million. Meanwhile many established providers are chucking their toys out of the pram because those advertising on Airbnb don’t seem to have to play by the same regulations and safety standards as they do. Let’s hope those standards are in place in their latest wheeze – a cable car hanging above the French ski resort of Courchevel. With two beds and a living room, it may be Airbnb’s weirdest offering.
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“Years ago you’d always be wondering who’d been in a self-catering place before you,” says Jo Redman, Marketing Director at Saco Apartments, which offers serviced apartments in St Helier. “Now you walk in and it’s pristine – incredibly functional, with an element of ‘gosh, this is amazing’.” Ten to 15 years ago, serviced apartments were something of a backstreet option, with uncertainty around how to find them, and whether anyone would be there to greet you with a key if you turned up late. Now the business model has professionalised and evolved – thanks in part to the recession, which found people seeking new ways to make money on their property. It’s a mainstream option now, and with blue chips potentially needing to house staff in a new city for a year at a time, they’re building ever more involved relationships with serviced apartment providers. “For some of our clients, we’re formally appointed as administrator of their accommodation programme,” says Shaun Hinds, Managing Director of International Operations at BridgeStreet, which brands itself as a global hospitality firm. “They’ve effectively outsourced it to us. They’re looking for specialist reporting, duty of care and governance, and all from a one-stop shop. We’re seeing growth across all areas – in terms of the inventory we bring in, the number of independent providers looking to become partners with us, and more corporates booking more of their people with us.”
Business model The sector grew 14 per cent last year according to Joshua Ballard, PR Coordinator at SilverDoor, a provider that offers serviced apartments in Guernsey. “Most of our business is in London,” he says, “but we’re seeing growth in demand outside the capital now – for the first time occupancy rates are the same outside London as inside, at 90 per cent.” The UK Institute of Travel and Meetings has reported that serviced apartment usage is growing in 86 per cent of British companies – 77 per cent of British business travellers now stay in serviced apartments up to five times a year for trips of up to seven nights. Of those who have stayed in a serviced apartment, 79 per cent prefer them to hotels. But it’s not just the corporates who are booking them. Key to this growth is the internet as a distribution model. Look on booking.com or other travel sites and you’ll see whole sections dedicated to serviced apartments. And while Ballard reports that 95 per cent of SilverDoor’s business is corporate, the leisure traveller is increasingly turning to serviced apartments to meet their needs too – whether that’s young families seeking somewhere to store baby yoghurts and change a nappy, older travellers looking to relax and cook at the end of a long day, or the digital natives of Generation Y going after total immersion in their new environment. “Consumers are driving change,” says Max Thorne, CEO of CL Serviced Apartments. “It used to be that if you were going to a strange country you’d stay at the Hilton to be sure you could get a cup of tea. Your window to
the world was limited back then. Now though, for people like my son, winging it is more fun. These days you just drop onto Streetmap in New York and walk down the road virtually. You know where everything is before you get there. It’s a different buying channel and methodology, and a different experience they’re looking for.” For evidence, look no further than Airbnb, the online marketplace for everyday people to advertise or find spare rooms [see box opposite]. Since it hit the hospitality industry like a bomb in 2008, it’s now seen either as competition to be overcome (a pretty tough feat by the look of the stats), or a platform to learn from and take advantage of. “I don’t go to a meeting of industry peers where Airbnb isn’t on the agenda in some way,” says Hinds. “We’re quite positive about it from a distribution perspective, listing some of our inventory on there. We could say ‘I’m not participating in that’ but we’d only miss out on the millions of eyeballs who’ll grow up treating Airbnb as normal, and older models as not. It’s fascinating.” Of course, hotel providers needn’t fear that the serviced apartment, or Airbnb, will simply take over. It’s more a case of different products addressing different needs. And the internet is there to match punter with provider in a heartbeat. Yet the growth of serviced apartments
does mean they’re eating away at hotels’ market share, and with a compelling proposition. If you want to stay in the heart of a city, say London’s West End, then the best hotel will charge top dollar. An apartment of the equivalent star rating will charge a fraction of the price. If you spend £130 on an apartment, you could drop double that on a hotel room of equivalent quality and still only get a room and bathroom. For this reason, established chains like Marriott are acquiring more inventory in the serviced apartment space. Others have developed aparthotels – a building of separate apartments with the convenience of hotel facilities and a front desk. And if you think such developments are just for London and New York, think again. Porthole Suites runs a block of serviced suites in St Aubin, Jersey. “We’re an out-of-town location but we do get businesspeople,” says Porthole’s founder, Alexandra Wright. “We’ve had long-term stayers from major firms like Ogier, ABN Amro and State Street. They may want a bit of anonymity, or somewhere to relax without the throbbing kind of vibe in hotels all morning. They want a home from home.” n
In a hotel you have to dine propped up on the bed if you want some privacy, but a serviced apartment is like your own flat
Dave Waller is a freelance business journalist
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Last November, singer Myleene Klass attacked Ed Miliband’s proposed mansion tax on properties worth over £2 million on ITV’s The Agenda, saying £2 million would only buy “a garage in London”. Turns out she wasn’t that far off the mark. With the property boom of recent years, people are paying eye-watering prices for places with limited square footage and amenities. Sharon Gethings rounds up some of the craziest properties around
pricey how Convenient
What: A former public toilet Where: Walton-on-Thames, Surrey How much: £415,000 Size: 2,613 sqft (£148 per sqft) This former public toilet in the Surrey commuter belt sold in December 2014 for more than four times its estimate at auction – despite having no planning permission for redevelopment. Elmbridge Borough Council closed the public toilet in 2009. The block is based in Waltonon-Thames’s conservation area where the average house price is £550,000.
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What: A one-bedroom mews house Where: Red Lion Yard, Mayfair, London How much: £1.8 million Size: 726 sqft (£2,480 per sqft) There’s an open-plan kitchen/ living room with a 17x14ft balcony on the first floor; a study and guest cloakroom on the ground floor; and an 18x14ft bedroom with en-suite on the top floor. The house sits just behind The Red Lion, a pub converted into a five-bedroom house, recently on the market for £25 million. Susan Cohen, Head of Sales and Lettings at Pastor Real Estate, says: “This is a unique opportunity to own the smallest mews house on the market in Mayfair.”
shore thing What: Beach hut 145 Where: Mudeford Sand Spit, Dorset How much: £240,000 Size: 15x10ft (£1,600 per sqft) This beach hut has no toilet or mains electricity and can only be reached by ferry or novelty train. Ground rent is between £2,500 and £4,000 a year and there’s a £15,000 transfer fee to pay when it’s sold. It can sleep up to eight – yep, eight – people in two single sofa beds, fitted bunks and a mezzanine sleeping area. Buyers can only stay at the huts between March and October, although they can visit any time of year.
erm… a cupboard
What: A cupboard Where: Brentford Dock Estate, Brentford, Middlesex How much: £7,500 Size: 5x12ft (£125 per sqft) Only residents of the estate, Brentford Dock overlooking the Thames, can bid for this cupboard. An online advert says it is “dry, secure and just a short walk away from the elevator”. Julia Quilliam, of Quilliam Property Services, says: “We’ve sold a lot of cupboards. These days people perhaps need to realise some capital so they sell off their garages and parking spaces. And if you’ve got a flat, space is difficult.”
pocket full of posies
What: A flower shop converted into a one-bed house Where: Islington, north London How much: £275,000 Size: 188 sqft (£1,460 per sqft) The house has a bed on a mezzanine, a tiny bathroom and an open-plan kitchen and living area. Hamish Allan, from estate agency Winkworth, says: “It was only on for three weeks and we had a number of offers. It is a really cleverly designed home and there is another bed [under the living area floor] – but we can’t call it a two-bed home.”
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you either love it or hate it… What: Two-bedroom terrace Where: Twickenham, Richmond upon Thames How much: £300,000 Size: 322 sqft (£930 per sqft) This skinny house in Twickenham was originally built as a ‘granny flat’ and was attached to the property next door. It has a bathroom, a fully equipped kitchen and two beds – one on a mezzanine above the fridge, the other between a sofa and a desk. The 1,562 sqft lawn is five times the size of the living space and comes with a shed wider than the main property. Russell Gooden of estate agent Jackson-Stops & Staff says: “It’s a bit of a ‘Marmite’ house, but it sold within about a week.”
What: A cabinet flat Where: Tokyo, Japan How much: Up to £400 per month Size: About 70 sqft (£6 per sqft, per month) These geki-sema, or ‘share houses’, are similar to Japan’s famous capsule hotels but are meant for long-term occupancy. The Shibuya district of Tokyo has a population density of 13,540 people per sqkm (London has 3,542 per sqkm). This might explain why young professionals will pay this much to live in a coffin-like room – without a private bathroom or a window.
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What: The Hess Triangle, New York City’s smallest piece of private land Where: Greenwich Village, New York, New York How much: $1,000 (in 1938) Size: 3.5 sqft ($285 per sqft) In 1910, nearly 300 buildings were demolished in New York to make way for new subway lines. David Hess battled for years to keep his five-storey apartment building, but by 1914, a 3.5 sqft concrete triangle was all that remained. The city expected him to donate the tiny portion of concrete to use as part of the public sidewalk. Hess refused. Instead, on 27 July 1922, he had the triangle covered with mosaic tiles, displaying the statement: ‘Property of the Hess Estate Which Has Never Been Dedicated For Public Purposes’. In 1938, the land was sold to the now iconic Village Cigars corner shop for $1,000. After adjusting for inflation, that sum would equal about $16,200 today. Not bad considering any other 3.5 sqft piece of land in the West Village is only worth $7,750. n Sharon Gethings is a freelance writer
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52â&#x20AC;&#x201A; businesslife.co March/April 2015
The rise of the buying agent As high-net-worth individuals migrate to London and the Channel Islands, many are employing the expertise of specialised buying agents to help find the perfect property. Gemma Long investigates this growing trend
t’s not gone unnoticed that there’s been a migration into the UK of high-net-worth individuals (HNWIs) from the Middle East, Far East and Russia in recent years, and that these individuals have high expectations when it comes to property. Filthy rich or not, moving to a new location brings with it plenty to think about – what area should you choose, what about schools and amenities, and what about the practicalities, such as finding and viewing properties and dealing with the legal aspects? Obviously when you have a considerable amount of money, other questions such as security and privacy also come into play. And do you plan to live there all the time, some of the time, or is this more of an investment property? There’s been an increasing trend for cross-border investment in residential property according to Iain Johns, Group Head of Private Client Services at JTC Group. “The UK, and London in particular, has traditionally been considered a safe haven for property investment due to a transparent market – it’s politically stable, has a clear rule of law, an independent judiciary, the benefits of foreign currency exchange for international investors plus worldrenowned schools and universities,” he says. He adds that according to the Knight Frank International Residential Investment in London 2013 report, overseas buyers invest in new-build properties in London primarily for investment (65 per cent), while a third of investors purchase property for their children’s future, with tertiary education as the key decision-making factor. Whatever the reason, the mega-rich aren’t going to spend hours on Rightmove and then fly in and spend days meeting with estate agents, trolling around Chelsea to find
March/April 2015 businesslife.co 53
that ideal London home. As a result, HNWIs will engage the services of a buying agent – and for a number of reasons, according to Sarah Conway, Head of Real Estate at law firm Maurice Turnor Gardner in London. “You find with foreign buyers that they’re not often in the UK so they don’t have the time to come over for a week, to go to estate agents, research potential properties in their price range or area, and make appointments. This is what they are looking for in an agent – someone who will do all the legwork.” Conway says a good buying agent will also have access to off-market properties, a good relationship with selling agents and will arrange a tour of as many as 20 properties in a single day. “The buying agent will also help negotiate a price for the client, because they may not be used to dealing in UK property,” she says. Jo Stoddart, Managing Director at Quintessential Relocation Consultants, with offices in Guernsey and Jersey, says discretion is key to the role of a buying agent. “A lot of clients don’t necessarily want people to know they’re moving. It could be that they’re selling a business, or doing something highly confidential, and therefore may have approached a buying agent to research the properties for them without giving their contacts or estate agents a name.”
Doing the legwork When it comes to acquiring the services of a buying agent, there are a number of routes you can take. Conway says one is through referrals and recommendations. “Every situation is different – it really depends on how much the client plans on spending, where they want to buy and the type of client. We wouldn’t have a particular agent we would
Buying agents in action High-net-worth individuals will often seek a new location to call home when there is an opportunity to, say, sell a business elsewhere – or they may benefit from relocating to an offshore jurisdiction. Whatever the reason, many seek out their new home discreetly, says Jo Stoddart, Managing Director at Quintessential Relocation Consultants. “I helped a couple who didn’t even tell their family that they were relocating until after they completed the deal,” she explains. “I was approached by them in August 2014 as they were considering relocating to Jersey, but very much wanted the search to stay under the radar. They asked me to find a selection of properties to look at, and on the second day of their trip to the island they saw a property they fell in love with – it was still being built and was yet to receive any marketing. I knew about it because a Jersey contact had told me about it about a year earlier. “I went and had a look at it when there were only holes in the ground and followed the development closely. My client would never have found the house without my insider knowledge and connections – they wouldn’t have even heard about it without speaking to someone like me. My client and the family moved in to their new property in Jersey in time for Christmas.”
recommend, but instead we would give a number of names to our clients.” If you’re seeking a buying agent without a referral from, say, a property lawyer, there are organisations and associations for residential property finders. “A lot of it is word of mouth, particularly at the higher end,” says Stoddart. “But that being said, people do find us from all over the world having searched for a buyer’s agent on the web. Let’s put it this way – we wouldn’t put an advert in the Sunday Times.” As well as potentially buying a property, HNWIs may use a buying agent to seek out the best options for them in the rental market. Stoddart says it depends a lot on the jurisdiction the client’s looking at. “In the Channel Islands we seek out quite a lot of rental properties for people because they are most likely to be completely new to the island and don’t know the best school catchment areas, for example.” London is not alone in attracting wealthy individuals and families. Guernsey and Jersey also attract HNWis who need a helping hand when it comes to selecting the right property. Stoddart says she works with clients from all over the world who want to make the Channel Islands their home, from as far away as Canada and South Africa. She has UK clients relocating to the islands too. “Wealth managers develop close relationships with their clients and when they say that they should speak to a certain person, a client will do so because they value the opinion of their wealth manager,” she explains. “When they come to the islands we want them to think that Guernsey and Jersey are fantastic places to live, and if we’ve made them feel welcome, we feel we’ve made a positive impact on how they set about their new life here.” Conway says the only downside to using the services of a buying agent is the fee, but that’s far outweighed by the benefits of doing so – and let’s face it, these people can afford it. “Clients pay the fee to ensure they gain access to relevant properties and it allows them not to have to run around. I don’t think there are many downsides,” she says. When searching for a buying agent, it’s worth seeking counsel from your wealth manager or lawyer, as they will most likely have experience in looking after clients who seek not only the best in high-end properties, but most importantly have knowledge of buying agents with a strong reputation, great relationships with estate agents and the utmost discretion. n Gemma Long is Director at Gem PR and Media
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March/April 2015 businesslife.co 55
The art of
public speaking Dread speaking in front of other people? You’re not alone. But, as David Craik discovers, there are some simple rules that might take the pain out of speaking in public
t sounds like a scene from a John Cleese comedy. A guest speaker at a business conference notes the sombre atmosphere in the hall and decides to break the ice with a joke. “This isn’t a funeral!” he quips. To silence. The day before, the company’s much-loved boss had died suddenly and no one thought to tell the speaker. He walks off with his head in his hands. But this was no film, this was real life. And for Allan Watts, Director of Jersey-based Orchid Communications, it broke one of the golden rules used by American presidents, FTSE 100 bosses and entrepreneurs when giving speeches to staff, investors or a conference of strangers – audience research. “People get nervous about public speaking. Even the bosses I’ve trained in speech writing and presentation find it hard to talk in front of their own staff,” says Watts. “Nerves can be good, giving you adrenaline and helping you present with more energy. So you need to control rather than overcome them – and planning and preparation is key here, including audience research. “Things happen such as staff being made redundant and you need to be aware. Even speaking to people over coffee before your speech starts can help. Former Channel TV Managing Director Michael Lucas was amazing at this – finding out all sorts of things about people and then slightly adapting his talk with some nice personal touches.” Watts says speakers must show they understand the subject matter and the context of the talk – be it a more informal after-dinner occasion or a conference. “Ask yourself what you would want to hear and discard any information not on topic. Be ruthless,” he says. “Polish and prune it and write in plain English.” Lawrence Bernstein, Founder of London-based company Great Speechwriting, agrees that planning for the needs of your audience is the basis of a winning presentation.
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Bernstein, who helps businessmen, politicians and nervewracked best men write and present speeches, says: “It’s often people’s biggest fear, but it’s not the standing up part that scares. It’s not having anything relevant to say and being faced with an audience just staring back at you.” He adds: “Relevance is key. Don’t be trapped into talking about things that interest you. For example, if you’re talking about a new electric car to an audience of drivers who love driving fast then don’t go on about the engine. Talk about how it feels to drive and how fast it goes.”
Get on message Emma Anderson of Guernsey-based firm Orchard PR, who trains senior managers in improving communication skills, agrees. “Do your objectives meet your audience’s objectives? What you want to say may not be what they want to hear,” she says. “Also, calm the ego – you may think a speech is about you but it never is. Martin Luther King’s speeches were never about him – they were about equality. Try and put over a clear and credible message. In addition, don’t use technological jargon or big words and never assume an audience’s knowledge of a subject.” Bernstein warns against giving too much information. “Your audience will only remember one thing the morning after. So don’t do what politicians often do and list point after unrelated point. Prioritise your message with a series of points linked to the single theme you want your audience to take away,” he says. Bernstein believes performance nerves can be eased by “grabbing the audience’s attention” right from the start of the speech. “You need a hook to draw them in – either a joke about what happened on the way to the meeting or an extraordinary fact. Don’t just plunge in,” he advises. The use of humour, however, worries Watts. “Unless you’re a comedian, don’t put it in,” he says. “I once began
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Business a speech with an irreverent joke about a politician only to see he was sitting in the front row. I mumbled and fumbled for the rest of the speech. Try a thought-provoking quote instead.” Bernstein says using a professional can help. “We can put a speech on a plate for you,” he says. “Most people aren’t interested in hearing everything about your business, and a third party can help hone the speech.”
“Try and put over a clear and credible message. Don’t use technological jargon or big words and never assume an audience’s knowledge of a subject” script, rather than chunky paragraphs. “When it’s on page the lines should look like a poem, not prose, with breaks and words underlined for emphasis,” he says. “Some people can do it free-form without notes and when the anecdotes are flowing it’s great, but think of Ed Miliband at the Labour Party conference – he forgot to mention the economy. You need a script as a safety net.” Some speakers don’t need a lectern, preferring to walk around the stage using lots of hand-movements and eye contact. “The lectern can make people hold on for grim death,” Anderson says. “Prompt cards are better – you immediately become more open to the audience.” Delbridge says it is all about putting an audience at ease. “If you sound and look
The best business speech ever: Steve Jobs, Stanford University, 2005 A year after being diagnosed with cancer, the late Apple boss tells graduates: “Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life. Don’t be trapped by dogma – which is living with the results of other people’s thinking. Don’t let the noise of others’ opinions drown out your own inner voice. And, most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary.” Allan Watts, Director of Orchid Communications, says: “He sets out clearly what he intends to say; he sticks to what he says he’s going to say and although he’s reading from notes, his delivery is very personal.”
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confident, the audience relaxes,” he says. “In the speech itself it doesn’t really make a difference who you are presenting to – make it entertaining and lighten it with your own personal experiences. Don’t be boring.” But don’t take risks either. The growth of social media and the number of conference videos being uploaded to Twitter or YouTube is an added challenge. Imagine our Cleesetype speaker’s funeral gaffe going viral. “It adds to the nerves,” says Watts. “But if you know your subject and do the four Ps – plan, practice, polish and perform - you won’t get caught out.” Then you may be able to take Delbridge’s final advice: “Enjoy it!” n David Craik is a freelance business writer
The worst business speech ever: Gerald Ratner, Institute of Directors Annual Convention, 1991. The boss of jewellers Ratners Group says his products such as 99p earrings are “cheaper than an M&S prawn sandwich”. He then infamously adds: “I get asked how can you sell this for such a low price? Because it’s total crap.” About £500 million is wiped off the group’s value as angry customers stay away. Ratner resigns a year later. Watts says: “What a lot of people don’t know about this is that he followed really good advice and procedure, but it was a lastminute chat with a colleague who said his speech wasn’t very funny that turned it from excellent to, well, about as good as a week-old prawn sandwich.”
Steve Jobs image: Featureflash / Shutterstock.com
When it comes to presentation, Watts urges speakers to account for everything. “Research the location. Stand at the lectern and look out at the room,” he says. “Also practice your speech out of your comfort zone – so, naked in front of the mirror or taped on video. Practice putting some energy into it.” Anderson agrees passion is key. “Be animated – use imagery to reinforce your points and move about on stage. Beforehand, think of the size of the venue and your audience and how you should best project your voice,” she suggests. But what of the tone of the voice? Watts says vocal exercises can help even the blandest of voices. “Find an empty room and work your way up the notes. Don’t drink caffeine before a speech as it will dry the throat, and loosen up your jaw or you might get too squeaky,” he says. “During the talk visual aids can be used.” However Jim Delbridge, Director of Guernsey-based marketing communications agency The Big Idea warns: “Don’t try and over-compensate for poor presentation. The audience will stop listening. It will be death by PowerPoint. You have to practice.” Bernstein says a speaker’s performance can be helped by having short sound bites in their
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emotional intelligence? 60â&#x20AC;&#x201A; businesslife.co March/April 2015
If you’re acting – or speaking – before you think, then your emotional intelligence may well need a little attention. Dave Waller looks at the relevance of EI in the workplace
t’s nearly 400 years since René Descartes coined the phrase ‘Cogito ergo sum’ (‘I think therefore I am’), and this little nugget has formed a cornerstone of western philosophy ever since. But proponents of emotional intelligence (EI) will tell you that Descartes missed a crucial step – there are many feelings that drive your thinking in the first place. Fail to get a handle on your emotions and you may never be quite the person you thought you were. If this all seems a bit ‘pipe and beret’ for a magazine with finance and business at its core, then consider the findings of occupational psychology consultant JCA Global. JCA recently published a report on EI based on 10 years of research, which found the financial sector generally scoring lower in EI than other sectors. Its employees were often found to be over-critical, less flexible, defensive when stressed, and less people-oriented. “Under pressure, there’s always a tendency to cut into survival mode, rather than focusing on the long term,” says Jo Maddocks, Co-founder of JCA. “You stop being open to possibilities or solutions. But now we know more about how the brain works – emotion precedes thinking. And in finance as much as anywhere we need to manage our feelings – not keep them in a box.” While there’s no common agreed definition of EI, the same elements tend to crop up all the time. In short, it’s about understanding yourself at a deeper level, using your emotions and talents intelligently so you can better manage your behaviour, alone or in an empathetic relationship with others, while also consciously working on any blind spots. “When you’re emotionally intelligent you’re thinking about what you’re feeling, and you get a feel for what you’re thinking
before you decide what to do,” says Liz Wilson, Co-founder of The Work Playground, a behavioural change consultant. “It’s about tapping into both sides to make a conscious decision. Emotional intelligence comes from habitual practice – this is what I feel, this is what I think, and that’s what I do.”
Being mindful The subtext of the JCA research is that businesses should be more conscious of EI and how it affects their employees and their leaders. Practice helps with influencing people, communication, and getting the best out of others. People with strong EI also tend to be better at managing their emotions, so they can think clearly and deal with stress. Even issues that seem disconnected from people, and thus beyond the realms of EI, often aren’t. “NASA’s Challenger shuttle blew up because of a technical issue,” explains Maddocks. “But that was allowed to happen because the team weren’t willing to share information – because of pride, and a fear of being seen as foolish.” When EI is playing a potentially life-ordeath role, it should come as no surprise that top business schools like Yale and Harvard have begun introducing an EI score for students. Such centres have always aimed to produce the most intellectually brilliant people. To that they now add those who can demonstrate resilience, empathy, adaptability and self-awareness. But it’s not quite as simple as it may seem. It’s not that health workers have EI while hard-nosed managers don’t. Yes, some bosses may need to be shown why adopting a like-it-or-lump-it approach may not sit brilliantly with their staff, but equally those with high degrees of empathy may suffer low self-confidence. Nurses have been found to be so used to putting others first that they can lack self-belief, and so may struggle to get deserved promotions. As for why finance scored low, the reasons are varied. Of course it’s never been the cuddliest of industries. It could simply be that such self-reflection is not as required in finance as it is in, say, services or nursing, and that each industry attracts its type. Yet the overall picture appears to be changing. Post-recession there’s more requirement in finance to show integrity and become more customer-focused. In fact, in some of the
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Emotional intelligence interpersonal areas of the JCA survey – such as awareness and connecting with others – those in finance actually scored higher than other job sectors.
Engineering emotional intelligence
People skills It appears that large companies are starting to realise that investing in EI is fundamental to developing their people and leaders, but it’s not just big firms that are benefitting from EI. Self-employed people tend to score highest in EI tests, and again this may raise issues for bigger business. “You’re starting to see people moving to portfolio careers because the values of one company doesn’t match theirs,” says Conor Moss, Head of Corporate Partnerships at Sheffield Hallam University. “If the organisation isn’t providing the opportunity to grow, they’ll move to other places and find their own path. So EI matters massively to business today. A job and salary for life is the model of yesteryear – employees, especially younger ones, want to feel engaged and motivated, and that they’re driving towards something meaningful.” In JCA’s research, it was financial companies that showed the greatest problems in retaining the best people. Yet there are steps they can take to measure and improve their EI. As usual with these things, there aren’t any short cuts – EI deals with the emotional limbic brain, which operates at a deeper level and requires learning through experience. Taking a quick-fix assertiveness course? That won’t get you anywhere if you don’t work on the fundamentals of why you’re a pussycat in the first place. A consultancy will work with individuals, small groups or the organisation as a whole, running EI measuring programmes to create a score and providing tools to work on areas that need work. It’s all about safe environments
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It’s easy to take the position that emotional intelligence is all rather ‘woolly’. So, here’s Conor Moss, Head of Corporate Partnerships at Sheffield Hallam University, on approaching emotional intelligence in a way even engineers can embrace. “We ran a six-day programme for 32 managers from an engineering firm. Of course we found ourselves fielding a lot of questions: what’s this about, and how’s it going to make us better leaders in an engineering business? “In the first session, we took them through how they rated themselves in EI, and then how others did. This enabled them to develop a language they didn’t have, around self-awareness, integrity and empathy – all things they’d know, but not necessarily see how it impacts daily life. “The key was to make it scientifically robust. Engineers will take a problem and solve it through a diagnostic system. Every time they were introduced to a new model around EI, they were sceptical but went back to the workplace, applied it, and came back to discuss whether or not it worked. This process of testing and reporting back, proved EI’s validity for them. “We saw a different language emerging. Before, the business had been about saying: ‘we need an answer’ and getting it – which creates a dependency relationship. By the end there was a commitment to be more open, communicate better and create an environment where challenging people was OK.”
Taking a quick-fix assertiveness course? That won’t get you anywhere if you don’t work on the fundamentals of why you’re a pussycat in the first place and feedback, about being able to give and take. But it’s not all about the individual – on an organisational level, there’s always work to be done making the place more open and tolerant of mistakes, and less about blame. Despite all the open-hearted talk, the critics will always argue that EI lacks the scientific rigour to really be of any value. So how do the experts feel about that? “There’s lots of research into the returns you get from EI programmes,” says Wilson. “Plus, thanks to developments in thermal imaging in the brain, there’s evidence of how our emotions affect how we think. With people who have worked on selfdevelopment, you’ll see different thermal patterns. This really takes away the touchyfeely, airy-fairy element.” While EI may at first seem to be merely one peripheral part of conducting business, it may actually underpin the whole enterprise. And if that’s the case, it’s probably a worthy investment. What do you think about that? And now ask yourself why... n Dave Waller is a freelance business writer
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Think fast, look sharp These days, it’s simply not enough to be innovative – a company must be agile too, and this can mean completely changing the way you think. David Burrows reports
raditional innovation has served companies well in the past. Whether you were producing a washing machine or a car, the onus was on getting it off the production line a bit quicker, at a lower cost and with a few extra gizmos added along the way. But firms are now beginning to realise their innovation needs to be agile. The rapid evolution of technology and data has fundamentally changed consumer behaviour. In the digital age, consumer expectations are higher and demands are instant as we buy and compare prices at the touch of a screen or a click of a mouse. There are no significant barriers to entering a market anymore either, as social media means new brands can have instant access to consumers at low cost. Andrew Cosgrove, Global Consumer Products Lead Analyst at EY, cites Orabrush – a brush to clean your tongue – as an example. “Walmart promotes this product in its stores even though it has never met the company. It responded to the massive coverage the company was gaining on social media, with students making ads, and thousands of photos being posted of tongues ‘before and after’. The manufacturer really understood how to market using social media.” Agile innovation is about accelerating speed to market, re-evaluating business models, engaging with the consumer and improving their experience. Throwing money at an R&D department is no longer enough – large companies need to be more nimble and move with speed and purpose, and, significantly, they need to collaborate. The input and expertise of third parties – be they startups or entrepreneurs – enables companies to think outside
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the box, to look not just at their product but at their business model and supply chain innovation. Tim Ringsdore, Chief Relationship Officer at telecom specialist JT Group, says it’s imperative for companies to embrace agile innovation to compete well and survive. He points to his own company as a perfect illustration. “Ten years ago, we tried to do everything ourselves, but now we have partnerships with many different companies. We realised that if we continued to do everything on our own, we were too slow to market. Our customers still only deal with one company brand – us – but by outsourcing to experts in specific areas we’re able to strengthen our proposition. We’re also able to listen to new ideas from our partners and get a different perspective.” It might be difficult to grasp why any company with a big R&D budget would need to work with start-ups and entrepreneurs. But as Cosgrove at EY explains, the truth is that most big companies tend to be risk-averse – they have shareholders to placate and are often fixated on quarterby-quarter results. On the other hand, entrepreneurs and start-ups are risk-takers willing to learn from mistakes, and are inherently agile and profit-driven. Cosgrove says it’s much easier for big firms to focus on saving a pound in costs than be open to new ideas and make a pound in revenue. “A company can often become more efficient, but at the same time less relevant. Agile innovation is about ignoring fear of failure and cultivating a culture of experimentation that enables firms to respond quickly to a fast-changing market.” Companies that fail to respond, no matter the quality of their product, will struggle to survive. Cosgrove points to Kodak as a case in point. “In many ways Kodak was the
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Key principles of agile innovation The momentum for change has to come from the boardroom down. It’s also crucial to choose the right partners and agree an appropriate framework for collaboration.
Agile companies should enable a culture of experimentation. Rather than focusing on what they have done before, they should look at new ways of working.
Fresh thinking ACT FAST
Layers of bureaucracy often mean waiting for sign-off, which can stall projects and ultimately jeopardise progress. Companies should be flexible enough to adapt processes and break their own rules when necessary.
Maintain open, frequent communication with partners, and also talk to customers to ensure your product remains relevant.
pioneer of digital, but the company didn’t move its operation in an agile way and soon its business model was no longer fit for purpose.” Sacha Romanovitch, CEO-elect of accountant and business advisory firm Grant Thornton in the UK, agrees Kodak was a leader in the marketplace – their digital print heads were revolutionary. However in exploiting that innovation they chose to work on development of their own commercial printers rather than collaborate with the leading businesses in that space. The result? The company lost ground in terms of speed to market and competitive advantage. Romanovitch believes there are mutual benefits for large established companies collaborating with small start-ups. “Big companies have the resources but not the agility in exploiting innovation, and small companies have the ideas but not the resources to exploit them,” she explains. “A company becomes agile when it moves its focus from what it has to sell to what the market needs.” This is the key point – it’s about being nimble, forward-looking and developing an innovative culture rather than just being clever with tech. While many companies might appreciate the benefits of collaboration, finding partners with the right cultural fit isn’t always easy. EY’s recent ‘Delivering Agile Innovation’ report found some 50 per cent of consumer product and retail company executives say failure to collaborate puts them at a disadvantage. However, while many entrepreneurs and start-ups are happy to share their intellectual capital, they don’t always want to surrender control of their project. Equally, big
It’s important to define and measure success. Being agile is an ongoing commitment rather than a one-off achievement.
companies might be comfortable with the idea of collaboration but still want to do things their way. While companies might get left behind if they don’t get on board, it’s important to agree a road map from the outset, defining how the relationship will work and ensuring clear communication exists, otherwise friction could undermine any progress. Are there some firms that agile innovation naturally fits – for instance, are companies producing ‘deliverables’ particularly suited? Ringsdore thinks not. He believes it can be applied to all businesses, from manufacturers to law firms and financial services companies. “Law firms can look at how to upgrade their online service and improve aftercare and customer engagement.” He concedes that since agile innovation is centred around speed of action, financial firms that have layers of compliance and ‘sign off ’ to contend with do have extra hurdles, but he insists they’re not insurmountable. “These companies face different challenges, but they can still be agile in a regulated environment – they just need to manage expectations more.” In fact, the type of company is less relevant than its culture and leadership. For agile innovation to work, senior management needs to drive the initiative. As Cosgrove concludes: “You need the leadership to make it clear within the organisation that agile innovation is a priority, and to encourage teams to work outside ordinary parameters. It has to come from the top, otherwise it won’t gain traction.” n
“Agile innovation is about ignoring fear of failure and cultivating a culture of experimentation which enables firms to quickly respond to a fast-changing consumer market”
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David Burrows is a freelance business writer
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Night night, sleep tight Lack of quality sleep could be affecting your ability to do your job properly â&#x20AC;&#x201C; but just how much is enough, and what can you do to get more? Emma DeVita investigates
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he importance of wellness at work has become an increased priority for many companies in the last decade, with the focus primarily on issues such as stress, depression and anxiety. But what about sleep? Anyone who’s had a bad night’s sleep knows all too well just how difficult it is to put in a good day’s work. So, are we getting enough? Before we answer that, though, just how much is ‘enough’? Margaret Thatcher famously claimed she could get by on four hours, and the recent trend for CEOs to boast they need a similarly titchy amount can leave the rest of us feeling like wimps. “It’s a bit of a myth that we need six to eight hours sleep a night,” says Dr Michael Sinclair, Clinical Director of City Psychology Group. “Anything between four and 11 hours is effective – it’s different for everyone.” A broadly accepted average among sleep experts is around seven and a half hours a night. But it’s as much about quality as quantity, according to Sinclair. “A solid five or six hours sleep is better than 12 hours of broken sleep,” he says. This is because it takes us more energy to keep returning to the deep wave REM sleep that our brain needs to truly rest and recover. What’s more, women need more sleep than men. According to sleep neuroscientist Professor Jim Horne, women need an extra 20 minutes a night because they use more of their brain than men during the day.
The purpose of sleep While academics remain unclear about the exact purpose of sleep, the consensus is that our brain needs sleep to process the information we’ve collected during the day. There’s a belief that some of us process that information more quickly, and therefore need less sleep. We also need less sleep the older we get, and our daily sleep needs change depending on whether or not we have accumulated a ‘sleep debt’, which many of us are indeed living with. In a recent international study by the US National Sleep Foundation, 18 per cent of Brits reported sleeping fewer than six hours a night during the working week, around twice as many people as in most other countries. So, just what does not getting enough sleep do to us? “The first problems to show themselves are
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“Sleep debt has been shown to induce changes in the body that predispose to heart disease, diabetes, muscle loss and fat gain” usually mental issues, such as reduced concentration and focus, slower thinking, and reduced appetite for work and play,” explains Dr John Briffa, author of A Great Day at the Office: Simple Strategies to Maximize Your Energy and Get More Done More Easily. It’s likely that you’ll not only feel lethargic and irritable but will have real trouble thinking clearly, making decisions and concentrating. Other symptoms include greater impulsivity and recklessness. There are physiological consequences too. “Sleep debt has been shown to induce changes in the body that predispose to, for example, heart disease, diabetes, muscle loss and fat gain,” says Dr Briffa. Studies of army officers show that those who have had only three hours’ sleep take 20 minutes longer to ‘come round’ and get a handle on a fast-moving crisis than those who have had an hour or two more. And the effects of sleep deprivation are cumulative, as any parent of young children will testify. If you constantly don’t get enough sleep, then symptoms worsen, and can lead to more serious problems such as depression, stress and anxiety. But is it possible to get too much sleep? What happens then? “Some people can feel worse if they, say, lie in at the weekend,” says Dr Briffa. “One reason for this is that some people don’t maintain blood sugar levels well for extended periods, and a longer sleep can mean you risk waking up fatigued, groggy and grumpy as a result of low blood sugar.”
Switching off Unfortunately the modern world isn’t conducive to getting enough sleep. “I think a major issue is feeling that sleep is a bit of a waste of time – it’s not,” says Dr Briffa. “It plays important roles for both mental and physical functioning. Also, we have much more potential these days to engage in activities that can rob us of sleep, including television, email and the internet.” We’re always switched on, and our brains – which evolved to take in information and process it – are compelled to keep taking in more and more. The problem is exacerbated by the measures we take to wake ourselves up. If we’re feeling sleep deprived, then many of us will reach for a double espresso, a habit that can draw us into a vicious cycle, explains Dr Sinclair. “Caffeine stimulates the cardiovascular system, so it’s fake energy,” he says. “There are also so-called ‘smart drugs’, cocaine and amphetamines. People then use alcohol to self-medicate to relax at the end of the day, but alcohol affects the quality of your sleep – you tend to wake earlier because you’re dehydrated.” So, how can we get a decent night’s sleep? To start, prioritise it, advises Dr Briffa. If you plan to be in bed
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by 10pm, start winding down at 8pm. Switch off your gadgets and do something that will relax you, like reading or watching TV (just nothing too exciting). “I’d suggest that people are mindful of keeping light exposure low in the evening, particularly from laptops and tablets,” he says. “Blue light, which laptops and tablets tend to give off a high amount of, can stimulate the brain and suppress levels of the sleep hormone melatonin.” You should also be wary of alcohol, and limit your caffeine intake to a sensible amount, steering clear of it later on in the day. Although exercise promotes relaxation, ideally, it shouldn’t be done in the evening, explains Dr Sinclair. “Your body is stimulated as it heats up and produces adrenalin, making it more difficult to fall asleep. Exercising earlier in the day is better.” He is also a proponent of mindfulness as a way to help you relax during the day. Not only will this give your brain short periods of rest, but it will also help you to drop off at night. As Dr Sinclair concludes, it’s important to try not to worry about getting the ‘right’ amount of sleep. “If your body really needs it, it will take it.” n Emma DeVita is a freelance business writer
Signs of sleep deprivation Do any of these symptoms ring true for you? If you can say ‘yes’ to more than three of the following, then it might be time to seek some help. 1. Finding it harder to concentrate. If you’re more easily distracted and unable to focus on the task in hand, then watch out. Being unable to see the wood for the trees is also a warning sign of not getting enough sleep. 2. Feeling more irritable and becoming annoyed by little things that previously wouldn’t have affected you. Similarly, experiencing less enjoyment from both work and play is a telltale sign of sleep deprivation, as is losing your ‘get up and go’. 3. Becoming clumsy – both physically and mentally. Forever bumping into things? Struggling to find the right words? You might need more sleep. 4. Being more impulsive and reckless. A weary brain will struggle with the effort of making considered and well-thought-through decisions because it just hasn’t got enough energy for it. 5. Drinking much more coffee in the day, every day and resorting to an alcoholic drink or two every night just to relax probably means it’s time to put the brakes on.
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Think outsourcing is just for big businesses? Think again. Technology has made it far more accessible to small and medium-sized businesses, and it can have a powerful impact on growth, productivity and your bottom line. Gemma Long reports
sk anyone who has started up their Outsourcing (noun). The own business and contracting or subcontracting they’ll tell you that of non-core activities to free up they spent (and may cash, personnel, time and still spend) an inordinate amount facilities for activities in which of time doing jobs that they a company holds competitive aren’t expert at, which cut into advantage. Companies having the real work they should be doing: strengths in other areas may growing their business. Even when contract out data processing, the business is up and running, legal, manufacturing, they may still find themselves doing marketing, payroll accounting, jobs – managing social media, trying or other aspects of their to balance the books, delivering businesses to concentrate on products – that just eat up time and what they do best and thus could be given to someone else. reduce average unit cost. The simple solution to this (www.businessdictionary.com) dilemma is outsourcing. Small businesses should consider it if there isn’t the time, expertise or passion to complete a task or it isn’t cost effective to do it in-house. Those tasks that take you away from your core business activity, and take you longer to complete than it would take an expert, are costing you money. Of course, the argument often made against outsourcing by small businesses is that there’s no money to pay
Don’t do it
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someone else to do that work, and that outsourcing is only really affordable or sensible for larger organisations. The reality, however, is that it’s all a balancing act – by paying someone to do certain tasks, people can focus on their strengths, which should ultimately result in a stronger bottom line. As with pretty much everything business-related these days, the key to successful outsourcing can be found through technology. Rapid improvements in tech and new, innovative companies have made what was once the reserve of global corporations accessible to SMEs. Smart phones, 4G and user-friendly websites allow instant access to expertise around the globe from virtual assistants, graphic designers, bookkeepers, human resources consultants and payroll and IT specialists. When it comes to bookkeeping and accounting, for example, new cloud-based systems allow accountants to review work and offer advice in small increments as required. There are even platforms, such as PeoplePerHour.com, where a community of rated designers, copywriters and web developers are available at the touch of a button.
Driving force Developments in technology have shrunk the world, according to Katie Bellingham, Director of Human Resources at business consultancy The Focus Group, and that’s why outsourcing is a viable tool for small and large businesses alike. “Communication is instant and this has encouraged smaller businesses to consider outsourcing, where before they may have just felt the outsourced provider was too far away,” she says. Chirag Shah, Executive Director of Procurement Services at technology provider Xchanging Procurement, says that in a technology-enabled world we have started to see two shifts in emphasis in outsourcing over the years. “One is enabling improved processes – the extent to which we can use technology to undertake work outsourced through the use of email, which essentially means tasks can be removed from the previous place of work. The second is automation – advancements in technology of processes enables work to be done more efficiently,” he explains. Technology aside, however, the principle of outsourcing is the same as it has been for decades – you take on a ‘partner’ who will act as an integral part of your business,
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you will pay them X amount and you both agree parameters within which to work. For example, routine data-entry tasks are perfectly suited to outsourcing, especially for time-conscious SMEs with few staff, resources and the need to keep overheads low. A cost-conscious business can easily hire an outsourced team to perform just about any data-entry project, and, provided clear instructions and deadlines are given, get the job done with acceptable accuracy. Bellingham highlights the fact that working with the right outsourcing partner can make any business much leaner and more operationally efficient. “It’s all about value for money. If you only pay for what you get or get a discount rate for a block of time, for a small business, this outweighs the cost of employing someone and them not being busy 100 per cent of the time,” she explains.
Balancing act Although outsourcing has become more accessible to SMEs, Mark Cooke, Head of IT Services and Operations at C5 Alliance, argues that it isn’t necessarily more prevalent in one sector than another – although that might be the preconception. He says that the type of tasks being outsourced depend on the lead industry in any particular jurisdiction. For example, the Channel Islands’ major industry is finance. Therefore the majority of tasks outsourced will directly support the finance sector in some way, such as IT and legal services. Most recently, with an increase in
Top tips to get started
Choose a reliable partner to outsource to. Ask for examples of similar work and proof of return on investment when choosing your outsourcing partner. Word of mouth is valuable when it comes to outsourcing.
e very clear about the level of performance expected from B your outsourcing partner and how you are going to monitor that. If you get this right from the start it should help address any problems in the future.
or time-poor SMEs, platforms such as SharePoint are useful in F sharing information between you and the person or people you are outsourcing to. In fact, accounting platforms such as Xero actually have a live commentary facility, so both parties can post messages without the need for additional phone calls, emails or meetings.
SMEs can outsource several functions, depending on their specific requirements. The rule is you can outsource anything except the core functions of your businesses.
If you are new to outsourcing as an SME, outsource relatively simple functions to begin with, such as payroll processing, hosting services and desktop management.
regulation, there has been a demand for outsourced compliance functions. “Globally, I think all organisations are looking at outsourcing in one form or another,” Cooke says. “Governments, for example, are outsourcing a lot.” As with any business transaction, there are upsides and downsides. A major pitfall, argues Shah, is forgetting the endgame, which has consequences for both parties. “It’s rare for people to consider how this will look in five, 10 or even 35 years time, because at some point it’s likely that the relationship will change. Not for negative reasons necessarily, but it could be that the client’s business is bought, for example. The outsourcing relationship is not infinite. It’s important for companies to understand the benefit from outsourcing partners and not being dependent on them forever.” Indeed, it’s always possible that your company may outgrow your outsourced partner. They may simply not be able to handle the volume of work that you put their way, and you may have to sever the ties, as uncomfortable as that may be. Other potential disadvantages to outsourcing include poor quality control, lack of accountability, a lengthy bid process and a loss of strategic alignment. All these concerns can be addressed and minimised by businesses, large or small, establishing an understanding and trusted working relationship and clearly understanding each party’s role. For SMEs outsourcing to another company, a contract or agreement should be in place, no matter how small the task. Some will take a more formal appearance than others, but both parties should have a clear understanding of what is expected of them. Whether looking to sustain or grow their business, outsourcing saves SMEs from mistakes that could be costly in the long run, and on those time-sapping tasks best left to the experts. Small businesses have far fewer resources and absorptive capacities than larger firms, and so outsourcing is no longer just an option as much as it is a necessity. n Gemma Long is Director at Gem PR and Media
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Living la villa loca
Got a few bob to spare? Then youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re spoiled for choice when it comes to holiday destinations. Sharon Gethings takes a look at the lure of the high-end villa
Villa Rockstar in St Barths, Caribbean
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here’s always been something of a symbiotic relationship between celebrities and exotic locations, with each enhancing the glamour of the other. Indeed, some places will be linked forever with those who have stayed there, such as Princess Margaret and Mustique, and Brigitte Bardot and St Tropez. These days, you can’t open a newspaper without seeing yet another photo of someone rich and famous soaking up the sun in some far-flung place. And we’re not talking about some D-list celebrity living it up in Torremolinos in Closer. Pre-arranged publicity deals excepted, not everyone wants their private time splashed across the pages of a magazine or as the lead story on one of thousands of celebrity websites. Indeed, in a time when it seems almost impossible to protect your privacy from prying eyes, it’s not surprising that multi-millionaires (and billionaires) – be they musicians, sports stars, business people or oligarchs – are being a lot smarter when choosing where they go on holiday. And this can mean hunting for a villa, or even a private island, that fits their specific needs. So, what does it take now to tempt your average multimillionaire to a particular holiday spot? Well, privacy and exclusivity are top of the list for many. “I see no reason why this would ever change,” says Oliver Corkhill, Director of Villa Guru. “Firstly, these individuals can afford to explore and stay in the destinations, and secondly the nature of the destinations affords them privacy in that only other wealthy individuals can typically afford to travel there. They get beautiful surroundings and no hassle.” And getting from A to B is easier than ever – whether flying first class with a major airline or into a smaller airfield on a private jet. As a result, the world is opening up and the wealthy have a choice like never before. That said, many places will remain popular by sheer dint of their natural beauty and clement weather. The Côte d’Azur, Provence, Tuscany, the Amalfi coast, Marbella, Mallorca, Ibiza and the Caribbean islands still attract the rich, according to Corkhill, though there is a crop of emerging destinations. “Central America (Costa Rica, Nicaragua) and Thailand are up-and-coming, with their secluded ultra-modern villas on the beach,” says Corkhill. “The areas are much larger than, say, ski resorts, so different neighbourhoods will appeal to different tastes, nationalities and, of course, budgets.”
March/April 2015 businesslife.co 77
With thanks to www.villaguru.com for providing the images
And that’s a key to their popularity – these locations are big enough to host a variety of high-end villas and ultra-exclusive enclaves where the super-rich can choose whether to hide away or to ‘see and be seen’. Also, guests will be spending most of their time outside in the sun so accommodation can be simpler. “Villas haven’t gone quite as insane as ski chalets in having underground nightclubs and bowling alleys,” says Corkhill. “They tend to be more crisp in design when modern, or very authentic and elegant. Location is always the most important consideration. Facilities come down to taste and age. With villas typically being in warmer areas, people really value all the outdoor facilities like swimming pools, tennis courts, fitness areas and, of course, sea views whenever possible.” The extras you get for your money vary from villa to villa. “Usually the standard is the accommodation with maintenance and housekeeping, plus the option to add a chef or further staff. Most guests will have their own car at the villa – rented or flown in, depending on the area. They’ll then use a driver for some events or evenings out. Fitness coaches for yoga or weights are also popular. People can rent villas through the whole summer, so they wouldn’t want the full chalet service all the time. That’s why it’s more flexible.” In some instances, it may well be cheaper to buy a villa but, as with high-end ski chalets, many rent as it gives them the flexibility to experience different locations and properties. But there will always be people who will buy and then rent to others, or just keep a place for their exclusive use. And not all of these properties are lavish. However, not everyone is lured by villas in exclusive locations – there are cultural differences that seem to come into play. In a recent interview Main image, and bottom left: Iniala Beach House in Phuket, Thailand. Top and centre left: Villa del Mar in Marbella, Spain
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These high-end villas are where the super-rich can choose to hide away or to ‘see and be seen’ with The Telegraph about luxury property, David Forbes from Savills’ private office said: “I have billionaire friends who live very modestly. Chinese billionaires are pretty low-key, as are Singaporeans, who prefer an extremely nice apartment in London, or increasingly New York, to a villa on Cap Ferrat. Very rich Indians tend to gravitate towards capital cities as they like to be in the middle of the action. Even the Gulf Arabs are pretty conservative now.” As Corkhill points out, it’s not just oligarchs, film stars and sportspeople who use these villas, it’s also often successful business people. They may not get the paparazzi following them around the beaches, but they’ll get the same care and attention as the famous, whether they choose Villa Guru’s Villa del Mar, the most expensive property in its portfolio at about €105,000 per week, or the aptly named Villa Rockstar with its in-built recording studio – an ultra-luxe beachside house described as ‘a hundred million dollar yacht on land’. Beyond these kinds of properties, and perhaps one for the oligarchlevel rich only, are the rentable private islands. Which begs the question: where next for the ultimate vacation one-upmanship? An entire country? Watch this space. n Sharon Gethings is a freelance travel writer
Best of the best Laucala Island, South Pacific Owned by the Austrian Red Bull billionaire Dietrich Mateschitz Cost: A single villa starts at about $5,500 a night, but you can take all 25 villas at $150,000 a night for a minimum of five nights. Mateschitz’s hilltop residence and two guest villas can also be hired when he’s not there for $40,000 a night. Visitors include: Elle Macpherson, whose marriage took place in the chapel What you get: 370 staff to a maximum 89 guests; private gardens, each with an infinity pool; butler on speed dial; private beach; customised menus in private dining locations; jet boat with ‘chauffeur’; myriad water sports opportunities, including a £2 million submarine; 25 security guards and 15 sqkm of private air space (read ‘no paparazzi’). www.laucala.com Sandcastle, The Hamptons, US Owned by developer Joe Farrell Cost: July or August 2015, $1 million a month Visitors include: Beyoncé and Jay Z What you get: 31,000 sqft of living space on three floors; 12 bedrooms and 12 bathrooms; professional chef’s kitchen; 10-seat theatre; 4,000 sqft recreation room, including virtual golf, skateboard half pipe, rock-climbing wall, media room, squash and racquetball court, bowling alley, full bar and disco and spa; an eight-car garage with a hydraulic lift; an outdoor 60x20ft heated pool with underwater stereo. www.corcoran.com Necker Island, British Virgin Islands Owned by Richard Branson Cost: Exclusive use until 31 December 2015 from $65,000 a night for up to 30 guests Visitors include: Princes William and Harry, Kates Moss and Winslet What you get: Return launch transfer from Virgin Gorda or Beef Island airports; a dedicated team of 100 staff; two freshwater infinity pools and a huge hot tub on the beach, plus a small hot tub at the top of the Great House; two floodlit tennis courts; water sports equipment for windsurfing, kitesurfing, waterskiing, sailing, snorkelling and scuba diving, plus much more. www.virginlimitededition.com
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The Agenda is compiled by businesslife.co’s Fashion and Lifestyle Editor Thom O’Dwyer, with additional material by Danny Cobbs, and Jeffrey Chinn of Hettich Jewellers in St Helier.
1. Bathed in beauty The bathroom may be the smallest room in most houses, but it can still pack a serious punch when it comes to interior design. Thanks to specialist firms like Stiffkey Antique Bathrooms of Norwich, merely functional can become wildly fabulous. Dan Hide and partner Marc Brown started the company in 1985, inspired by Lucinda Lampton’s TV documentary and book Temples of Convenience and Chambers of Delight. Now they’re an internationally renowned dealer and restorer of French and English bathroom furniture and bespoke period bathroom accessories. Working with high-profile interior designers to recreate
vintage bathrooms at stately homes, hotels and historic buildings, they’ve also helped innumerable film and TV crews to replicate vintage bathrooms for sets. Both the Queen and Prince Charles have been customers, as well as a slew of A-listers. Their shop is a veritable treasure trove of the finest antique baths on the market, and you can rest assured all have been beautifully and expertly restored, resurfaced and updated for modern plumbing. Pictured here is a Second Empire French cast-iron bateau bath with nickel plated neoclassical feet made by the renowned French firm Rogeat et Cie, circa 1860. A real piece of history, and a bobby-dazzler to boot! £6,000, www.stiffkeybathrooms.com
Inside The Agenda: Interiors, Fashion, Food & Drink, Footwear, Beauty, Accessories, Jewellery, Perfume, Watches, Cars
Everything you need for a more stylish life.
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2. Bar necessities The Handpicked Collection is a new and exclusive catalogue and online shopping channel where experts in every area of consumer lifestyle look far and wide for an amazing range of gifts and unique, quirky things to tempt the most jaded shopper. It’s here you’ll find the Corkcicle Wine Chiller. It’s an indispensable little gadget that you just freeze and pop directly in your wine bottle. It keeps your vino blanco at the perfect sipping temperature for up to an hour. Also no decent home should be without a Rechargeable Electric Corkscrew. This inventive little gizmo can uncork up to 30 bottles with one charge, getting the party started in mere seconds. Corkcicle Wine Chiller, £14.95, and Electric Corkscrew, £29.95, www.handpickedcollection.com
3. Walk on the wild side Cited as the ‘rock ‘n’ roll cobbler of the 1970s’, Terry de Havilland played a key part in London’s swinging fashion scene. His client list read like an international Who’s Who of the time, with everyone from Marianne Faithfull, Bianca Jagger, Cher and Bette Midler to David Bowie and Led Zeppelin wearing the designer’s flamboyant shoes. Even Jackie O ordered a pair of de Havilland’s sexy thigh-high boots. Since those glory days in the 1960s and 1970s he’s had more ups and downs than the Grand Old Duke of York, but now, after a six-decade-long career, the legendary footwear designer and his iconic shoes are finally back on top. High profile stars like Angelina Jolie, Helena Bonham Carter, Sienna Miller and Kate Moss have all rediscovered his genius. The designer’s latest venture is an exclusive and inspired collaboration with Liberty. Combining mind-blowing prints from the famous Liberty archive and the designer’s funky signature style, de Havilland says: “it’s a whole new chapter for me – bring it on.” Teal Totem Marky Wedge Sandals, £650, www.liberty.co.uk
4. Get the look
Founded in 2009 by Heather Jerrom-Smith, Jersey-based Osborne & Rose Architectural Interiors now offers an alternative and affordable route to your ultimate dream interior – and it all happens online. After getting vital information about your expectations, the in-house design team creates a master plan to be put into action. By following a step-by-step guide providing expert design advice and style alternatives as well as mood boards and sourcing lists that arrive directly to the client via email, you’ll get the perfect design solution to fit your lifestyle and personality. There are four cost-effective options to choose from, and each one is carefully and thoughtfully put together to optimise every penny you spend. ‘Design Online’ really is an inspired and innovative interior design concept. From £295, www.theroomonlinedesign.com
5. Spice up your life When Victoria Beckham launched her début fashion collection in 2008, the all-powerful fashion editors who can make or break a designer or label at whim were ready to pounce and devour. But alack, alas, they were forced to swallow their pride and give the show the standing ovation it deserved. Posh’s transition from pop-star WAG to serious fashion designer has been far more successful than anyone could have expected. In 2011, she won the British Fashion Awards prestigious Designer Brand of the Year gong; in 2012, the fashion brand was assessed as the star performer in the Beckham family’s business interests; then last year, among floods of tears, she was awarded the Brand of the Year gong for a second time. Now the big fashion editors clamour for a ticket to her biannual New York shows. Pictured here, this simple shift dress, impeccably cut and with carefully panelled prints, is the epitome of stylish chic simplicity. Fiercely modern yet utterly timeless. And this superbly finished and meticulously crafted leather zipped pouch is a perfect addition. It features a fold-over front flap, top zip closure and logo engraved zip pull. Versatile and totally on-trend. Dress, £625, www.liberty.co.uk Bag, £510, www.selfridges.com
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the Agenda 6. Have it all The Discovery Sport links all the Land Rover models seamlessly together, writes Danny Cobbs. It has all the on-road manners and onboard refinement of its bigger brothers, the Range Rover and Range Rover Sport, the sportiness of the Evoque, the off-road capabilities of the Discovery and is just as utilitarian as the Defender. Its underpinnings are shared with the Evoque, including the 2.2-litre SD4 diesel engine and nine-speed ZF automatic transmission. And a new seating arrangement has allowed for a third row of seats, which becomes standard across all four trim levels. Passenger space isn’t compromised by the extra seats – nor, for that matter is luxury. It delivers an abundance of style and quality, making sitting at the helm feel very special indeed. And it’s not just the higher HSE and HSE Tech trim levels
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which receive this treatment, it’s also been extended to the entry-level SE and SE Tech. Onboard gadgetry includes Land Rover’s ‘InControl’ technology – allowing smartphone apps to be mirrored directly onto the 8-inch touchscreen monitor. There’s plenty of other standard equipment too. Part leather seats can be found in the SE, as can a heated windscreen, 18-inch nine-spoke alloys, seven USB sockets, heated seats, cruise control and a DAB radio. City braking and a bonnet deployed pedestrian air bag – a world first – are also part of the Discovery Sport’s standard safety systems. Off-road capabilities remain Land Rover through and through. It will do almost anything you ask of it, although for most drivers its all-conquering, simple to use Terrain Response system will be a wasted asset. From £32, 395, www.landrover.co.uk
7. Renaissance man It’s time for watches to smarten up, and this season’s new breed of timepieces mark a return to classic elegance with a revival of the dress watch, writes Jeffrey Chinn of Hettich Jewellers in Jersey. And dialling into this style trend perfectly is the new line of Rolex Cellini watches unveiled earlier this year. Contemporary but classic, these are dress watches reimagined by Rolex, combining the best of the brand’s know-how and high standards – and they’re as elegant to look at as they are in their function. Featuring a high-precision self-winding mechanical movement, certified as a chronometer and manufactured entirely in-house, the Cellini comes in four versions: with a black or white lacquered dial, and with a 39mm case in a choice of 18-carat white or Everose gold. Proportion-wise, these beautiful watches sit perfectly on the wrist, with fine lines and a fluted bezel and crown surrounding the striking guilloché dial. From their sleek alligator leather straps – in either shiny black or brown – to the tip of their sword-shaped hands, these are watches that wear their good breeding and elegant luxury exceptionally well. Fittingly, the name was inspired by Benvenuto Cellini, the Italian Renaissance goldsmith and sculptor to the popes. And with the Cellini Dual Time model, you can keep an eye on the time in two time zones, making it the ideal travelling companion. £11,300, www.hettich.co.uk
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the Agenda 8. Be jewelled Fashion royalty and jewellery designer extraordinaire Delfina Delettrez was born in Rome and had a fairytale upbringing in one of Italy’s most powerful design dynasties. A fourth generation Fendi, her mother is Silvia Venturini Fendi, Creative Director of accessories at the eponymous fashion house. Delfina creates pieces that are fantastical, romantic, surreal and hyper-modern, with each piece lovingly handcrafted in her Roman atelier. Fans include Catherine Deneuve, Beyoncé, Madonna and Taylor Swift. This 18-carat white-gold necklace is inspired by the work of Salvador Dali. The eye and lip charms are embellished with a mix of diamonds, sapphires and rubies, centred with an artfully placed pearl. A bold example of the ever-present relationship between fashion and art. £3,750, www.matchesfashion.com
Grenson is one of the most resilient and distinguished of Britain’s traditional old school boot makers and cobblers. Established in 1866 by one William Green, the Northamptonshire-based business was immediately successful, and in 2015 the business is thriving. Grenson is second to none in fine, quality, impeccably made men’s footwear. Pictured here, to highlight a treasured piece of British craftsmanship, is this new take on the famous Grenson Archie Triple Welt brogue. With full grain leather uppers, traditional punch brogue detailing and a stepped triple-welted sole, the shoe – as Grenson proudly declares – is entirely made ‘from skin to box’ in their Northamptonshire factory. A phenomenal reworking of a true style icon. £395, www.endclothing.co.uk
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9. And for sir… From Sean Connery’s gunmetal cigarette lighter in Dr No to supplying high-quality tobacco to Buckingham Palace during HRH King George VI’s reign, Dunhill has traditionally committed itself to advancing the pursuit of male indulgence. The luxury brand is the dernier cri in top-end, affluent, masculine, retail lifestyle. And ‘Icon’, Dunhill’s latest exclusive men’s fragrance, re-emphasises the brand’s historically classic masculine stance. This luxe aroma is the work of master perfumier Carlos Benaim, and it blends a host of rare and costly ingredients. The scent is enticingly aromatic and woody, with intriguing blends of Italian bergamot, black pepper, lavender, smoky oud wood, oak moss, vetiver and orris. A strong but alluring and deceptively sensitive aroma. £73 for 100ml, exclusive to Harrods and UK Dunhill boutiques, then at selected department stores nationwide from 30 March. www.harrods.com
11. Make light Pooky is a new decorative lighting brand offering stylish yet eminently affordable table and floor lamps and coordinating lampshades. There are 90-plus lamp bases and more than 150 lampshades to tempt you. Sophie Amini is Pooky’s virtuoso in-house designer and stylist, and she has an impeccable eye for creating the perfect lighting statements for every room. The designer has created a totally movable lighting collection, where each element – base and shade – is offered separately, allowing customers to mix and match to create the perfect lighting combination. The end result, whatever the combination, is quirky, colourful and achingly stylish. Shown here, a selection of different resin lamp bases paired with Turkish handloomed silk ikat shades. From £60, www.pooky.com
12. Beauty buzz
Girls, thanks to SkinPep’s Auto Make-up Applicator you can say goodbye to your old, sometimes hit-and-miss make-up ritual and hello to the easiest make-up routine ever. Used by top make-up artists worldwide, this battery-operated device produces 12,000 fine vibrations a minute, and ensures a silky-smooth, even coverage without any visible streaks, and a flawless finish. You simply coat the antibacterial puff applicator in foundation, apply to the face and vibrate. The end result is one you could only get from a make-up professional. The kit comprises the facial vibrating applicator, four replacement puffs and two LR44 batteries. A minor make-up miracle and an absolute steal. £29.99, www.skinpep.com
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13. Paper money
Considering they were mostly destroyed or papered over when film runs finished, rare original movie posters will pretty much always go up in value, so a modest purchase could bring blockbuster returns. In 2005, a 1929 poster for classic sci-fi film Metropolis sold for £441,000, and in 2012 changed hands for £767,000. Monster flicks, sci-fi, James Bond, and classics like Casablanca are the most valuable. A few years back, poster enthusiast Mark Hochman turned his hobby into a business when he kick-started Vintage Movie Posters UK. “The best examples of creativity are often reproduced either as legitimate prints or bootlegged,” he says. “So it’s always best to buy from a reputable dealer, collector or auction house.” With the new Star Wars film due to open this summer, his tip is that “anything from the earlier films is going to be red hot.” Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope poster, £5,650; and Dracula il Vampiro poster, £1,450. www.vintagemovieposters.co.uk
14. Solid proof Both the health-smart and diehard foodies alike are turning to artisanal food and drink, and one of the hippest and fastest growing artisanal businesses to hit the market is Sipsmith, an independent London-based micro-distillery. It’s the first copper-pot distillery to open in London, the home of gin, in over two centuries. Committed to old methods, the spirits are made in small batches of 100 bottles max, and it shows with every sip. The Dry Gin is bold, complex and aromatic – smooth enough for a Martini, but rich and balanced for a perfect G&T. The 2011 Vintage Sloe Gin is subtly scented and bursting with autumnal flavour, while the Summer Cup is perfect with lemonade on a hot summer’s day. They also produce two types of artisanal barley vodka. Bravo, Sipsmith Boys! From £16.25, www.sipsmith.com
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15. Rich bouquet ‘Blossom’ by Jimmy Choo is the fragrance all the style-hungry fashionistas have been waiting for with bated breath for months. Launched in February, the scent, which embodies the fun-seeking nature of its eponymous designer, is flying off the shelves at all the top-end stores. Sparkling, vivacious, alluring, it has just the right hit of coquettish charm for the city girl – knowing and sweetly flirtatious. This is an uplifting fragrance that balances lively juicy red berries and citrus with a feminine heart of delicate rose and sweet pea. All that complexity is then underlined with the darkly sensual base of white musk and sandalwood. This is one scent that refuses to fade into the background. Gorgeous. From £36, available from leading department stores nationwide
16 16. Style smarts Fellas, if you don’t already know the name Thom Browne, take note now. The highly acclaimed New York designer, who espouses a preppy, Ivy League look with a subversive twist, opened his first bespoke tailoring business in the Big Apple in 2003. In 2006 he forged a highly successful partnership with that bastion of stylishly WASP-ish Ivy League sensibility, Brooks Brothers. At the time Claudio Del Vecchio, Chairman and CEO of the company, proudly proclaimed: “Thom Browne’s brilliant eye, his ability to foreshadow the market and offer a special look, will bring a new dimension to Brooks Brothers.” And so it did. Declared Menswear Designer of the Year in 2013 by the Council of Fashion Designers of America, and winner of not one but two GQ Designer of the Year Awards, Mr Browne is a living, breathing fashion phenomenon. His concept is pure and forward-thinking, but always commercial and eminently wearable. Pictured here is the Super 120s Classic threebutton single-breasted suit blazer and Classic Backstrap trousers. Blazer, £1,059; and trousers, £569. www.endclothing.co.uk
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businesslife.co The online directory that will get your firm noticed. With a profile summary on every press release, and a historical press release archive linked to your directory entry, businesslife.co is the place to be
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TO GET YOUR FIRM LISTED IN THE DIRECTORY CONTACT CARL METHVEN +44 (0) 1534 615886 / +44 (0) 7797 796377 or email@example.com
To advertise in the directory in print or online contact Carl Methven on + 44 (0)1534 615886 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Training to improve your business performance ALX Training is dedicated to making sure that your staff have the tools they need to do their jobs efficiently and effectively. Our extensive range of courses covers all Microsoft Office products including Excel, Outlook, Powerpoint, Word, Project and Visio as well as training on the major bookkeeping packages: Sage and Quickbooks. We also offer a wide range of online courses through our exclusive partnership with LearnDirect. From Microsoft Office Expert exams to short focused IT modules, you can use our range of online courses to provide your staff with a truly flexible way to learn. Where software packages are unique to your business, we are able to create courses that will effectively train both your customers and staff on bespoke systems, getting the most from your investment. Operating with complete flexibility - you can choose to use our training rooms or we can come to your workplace - we deliver courses in short two or threehour sessions that ensure learning is maximised whilst time out of the office is minimised. For more information, please contact us: T: 01534 710926 E : email@example.com www.alxtraining.com
Appleby is the leading provider of offshore, legal, fiduciary and administration services. Uniquely positioned in the key offshore jurisdictions of Bermuda, BVI, the Cayman Islands, Guernsey, Isle of Man, Jersey, Mauritius and the Seychelles, as well as the international financial centres of London, Hong Kong, Shanghai and Zurich. We are also the only firm to have offices in all three British Crown Dependencies. Active in Jersey’s Finance industry sector since its inception, the Jersey office has an excellent reputation for corporate, dispute resolution, property and financial services as well as private client and corporate trust work. Our services include: l Corporate l Dispute Resolution l Private Client & Trusts l Property Members of the Jersey office regularly advise London City and international law firms on all legal aspects of offshore corporate, finance and investment fund transactions and arrangements in Jersey.
Bespoke Impartial Credit Solutions Asset Leverage Consultants (ALC) is a privately owned company based in Jersey, serving a global client base. We deliver bespoke debt structuring solutions, based upon the very latest financial criteria across all asset classes. Our knowledge enables our clients to achieve optimal financial structures that maximise returns and our service allows Trustees, Family Offices and Private Clients (both Private and Institutional), the ability to secure savings both from a monetary perspective and reduced risk profile. ALC demystifies the language of finance, working independently of any provider on an impartial basis for our clients. Learn more at: www.alc.je Tel: 01534 719 188 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Linkedin: /asset leverage consultants
For more information visit our website www.applebyglobal.com/our-expertise Michael Cushing Managing Partner – Jersey Tel: +44 (0)1534 818 395 Email: email@example.com
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To advertise in the directory in print or online contact Carl Methven on + 44 (0)1534 615886 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Ashburton Investments is a new generation investment manager. We are the investment management arm of the FirstRand Group, one of Africa’s largest financial services companies. Our offering spans traditional and alternative investment strategies, as well as active and passive investment styles.
We are an independent trust company fully regulated and licensed by the Jersey Financial Services Commission in the conduct of trust company business. We provide a full range of management services to our domestic and international private clients. Join us.
The strength of our investment proposition is based on our unique ability to leverage investment thinking and capability across the FirstRand Group, to offer retail or institutional clients unique investment opportunities. With us, investors can gain access to more sources of return, broader investment capabilities, considered risk management and deeper investment insights. We are experienced emerging market investors in Africa, India and China, with a proven track record in multi asset investing.
Our team has many years of experience dealing with a wide range of clients in different countries. We look to provide good corporate governance to achieve your aim. Try us.
Our assets under management total approximately US$10 billion as at June 2014, and we have international reach with offices in the Channel Islands, South Africa, the United Kingdom, United Arab Emirates and India.
We aim to assist in the provision of personal service to meet your requirements, being vigilant and proactive in the face of a fast changing legal, economic and fiscal landscape. We can provide the focus to your solution. Contact us.
To find out how Ashburton Investments can help you access more opportunities, contact us today on: +44 (0)1534 512000 email@example.com www.ashburtoninvestments.com
Mrs Áine O’Reilly, ACCA – Client Director firstname.lastname@example.org Nigel Bentley, Solicitor, TEP – Consultant email@example.com Mrs Ann Williams, TEP – Client Director firstname.lastname@example.org Nicholas Falla, TEP – Managing Director email@example.com
Family office- bespoke assurance Wealth management -your strategy Fiduciary services - impartiality with vision Corporate services - attention to detail Good governance - a helpful eye
Tel: +44 (0)1534 870670
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Deloitte LLP Deloitte LLP offers professional services to the UK and European market. The company has the broadest and deepest range of skills of any business advisory organisation and employs over 14,400 exceptional people in 28 offices in the UK and Switzerland. We provide professional services and advice to many leading businesses, government departments and public sector bodies and publish many influential studies and thought leadership pieces. Deloitte LLP employs 160 professionals across the Jersey, Guernsey and the Isle of Man offices. It is the UK member firm of Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu Limited, a UK private company limited by guarantee, and its global network of 150 member firms, each of which is a legally separate and independent entity.
About EY EY is a global leader in assurance, tax, transactions and advisory services. The insights and quality services we deliver help build trust and confidence in the capital markets and in economies the world over. We develop outstanding leaders who team to deliver on our promises to all of our stakeholders. In so doing, we play a critical role in building a better working world for our people, for our clients and for our communities.
l Audit l Accounting services
Our strong network has enabled us to build close working relationships with our colleagues in EMEIA and across the world. This allows us to respond quickly to our CI clients’ needs, drawing upon our industry experience across all our services lines.
l Insolvency, Recovery and Reorganisation, and
Liquidation services l Out-sourced Accounting and Payroll services l Private Client services l Tax services l Business Risk services
To discuss how we can support your business, please contact one of our partners below:
Deloitte provides audit, tax, consulting, and financial advisory services to public and private clients spanning multiple industries. Deloitte brings worldclass capabilities and high-quality service to clients, delivering the insights they need to address their most complex business challenges.
Andrew Dann, Managing Partner, Assurance E: firstname.lastname@example.org T: 01534 288655
For further information please do not hesitate to contact:
Geraint Davies, Partner, Assurance E: email@example.com T: 01534 288639
John Clacy, Partner, Guernsey Email:firstname.lastname@example.org Phone +44 (0) 1481 724011
Chris Matthews, Partner, Assurance E: email@example.com T: 01534 288610
Greg Branch, Partner, Jersey Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Phone: +44(0)1534 824325 www.deloitte.com
Grant Thornton Limited is a leading Channel Islands accountancy and consultancy practice with offices in Guernsey and Jersey. We are the Channel Islands member of Grant Thornton International, one of the world’s leading organisations of independently owned and managed accounting and consulting firms. We provide a range of services in the Channel Islands that include:
Mike Bane, Partner, Assurance and TAS E: email@example.com T: 01481 717435
David Moore, Partner, Assurance and Advisory E: firstname.lastname@example.org T: 01534 288697
For more information please contact: JERSEY OFFICE Adam Budworth Director Business Advisory Services E Adam.email@example.com T +44 (0) 1534 885885 www.gt-ci.com GUERNSEY OFFICE Dave Clark Managing Director E Dave.firstname.lastname@example.org T +44 (0) 1481 753400 www.gt-ci.com
Peter Willey, CI Head of Tax E: email@example.com T: 01534 288 212 Wendy Martin, Executive Director, Tax E: firstname.lastname@example.org T: 01534 288 298 David White, Head of Tax, Guernsey E: email@example.com T: 01481 717 445
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Directory For more information about the directory contact Carl Methven on +44 (0)1534 615886 or firstname.lastname@example.org
i2Office Guernsey offers a more flexible and lower cost alternative to the traditional long term lease with prestige serviced offices and meeting space in Royal Chambers on St Julian’s Avenue, St Peter Port, Guernsey. i2Office provides high quality serviced offices for rental on flexible, competitive terms with top-grade technology services. The offices can accommodate all sizes of operations, from small start-up teams to companies looking to house more than 50 people, either for a project, an interim period whilst refurbishing or moving offices, or for a long term real estate solution. i2Office Guernsey also offers a business lounge plus meeting space to accommodate board meetings, seminars, training and events for 2 to 150 people. i2Office operates high quality serviced offices and meeting rooms in over 25 locations in the UK, including Mayfair and the City of London as well as major cities such as Birmingham, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Leeds and Manchester.
A leading accountancy practice, with offices based in Jersey and Guernsey, KPMG in the Channel Islands provide audit, tax and financial advisory services. KPMG’s global network enables us to draw on our international resources and skills to meet our clients’ needs. We address complex business challenges with methodologies and processes spanning markets and national boundaries. Fundamental to KPMG’s approach is our focus on industry sectors. Our vision is simple, to turn knowledge into value for the benefit of our clients, people and capital markets. For further information please contact: Neale Jehan Head of Audit email@example.com Andrew Quinn Deputy Head of Audit, firstname.lastname@example.org
For further information please contact: Michelle Morley General Manager i2Office Guernsey Ltd The Rotunda Royal Avenue St Peter Port Guernsey GY1 2HL Tel: 01481 760000 Email: email@example.com www.i2office.co.uk
John Riva Head of Tax firstname.lastname@example.org Tony Mancini Executive Director, Tax email@example.com Ashley Paxton Head of Advisory firstname.lastname@example.org Robert Kirkby Executive Director email@example.com
Marbral Advisory are the largest providers of change managers in the Channel Islands. Our portfolio of clients covers many sectors; Legal, Logistic, Utilities, Financial and Government. Our team provides businesses in transition and change with the professional support they require to achieve their business objectives and goals. Change requires governance, great communication, drive, and innovation to succeed. Our success has been built on delivery. Whether clients need seasoned Programme and Project Managers, highly skilled and experienced Business Analysts, Human Resources Consultants, PMO designers. Project Administrators, or training we can provide these resources. Marbral also provide a number of services to individuals actively involved in or wishing to instigate change, with coaching and mentoring support either at their offices, or within private consulting rooms. Marbral are continuing to grow and extend their range of exciting services including group facilitation, career support and a suite of technical change and personal effectiveness training courses. For further information, please contact Alexsis Wintour – Principal Consultant Tel: 00 44 1534 744303 / 00 44 7700 33333 firstname.lastname@example.org Kenan Osborne – Principal Consultant Tel: 00 44 1534 744303 / 00 44 7700 753753 email@example.com Jamie Pestana - Principal Consultant Tel: 00 44 1534 744303 / 00 44 77977 99601 firstname.lastname@example.org Chris Shield - Principal Consultant Tel: 00 44 1534 744303 / 00 44 7829 736810 email@example.com www.marbraladvisory.com
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Minerva is a family owned business that has been in existence in Jersey for over 35 years. As a leading independent provider of trust, corporate and fund administration services, we focus on internationally active clients located in sub Saharan Africa, India, the GCC and Europe. We firmly believe in the value of personal relationships and are familiar with how our clients and professional intermediaries operate from a cultural and business perspective within these regions.
As a full-service law firm, Parslows regularly act for clients in all fields of law from corporate commercial trust and commercial litigation to conveyancing, personal injury claims, family law, wills and probate. Whatever your needs, be you a corporate client or an individual instructing a lawyer for the first time, you will find Parslows lawyers and staff efficient, experienced and approachable. Above all, you can be sure that we will work in partnership with you to reach a positive outcome.
In addition to Jersey, we provide services from a number of offices based in key jurisdictions including London, Geneva, Mauritius, Dubai, Singapore and Amsterdam, as well as affiliate offices in Kenya, India and New Zealand.
Our lawyers are tenacious in litigation and pragmatic on transactional matters. Our forward thinking, imaginative and meticulous attitude has ensured that we have built a growing network of loyal clients. Have a look at our website to find out more at parslowsjersey.com
For further information, please contact:
For further information please contact
John Wood Managing Director
Dispute resolution and Court work firstname.lastname@example.org
Minerva Trust & Corporate Services Limited PO Box 218 43/45 La Motte Street St Helier Jersey JE4 8SD Channel Islands
Corporate Commercial Trust email@example.com
T +(0)1534 702930 E firstname.lastname@example.org www.minerva-trust.com
Personal legal services email@example.com Property and conveyancing firstname.lastname@example.org Risk & Regulatory email@example.com SME firstname.lastname@example.org Parslows, 17 Broad Street, St Helier, JE2 3RR 01534 630530 www.parslowsjersey.com
Specialty: Bespoke IT Development & Business Consultancy Our Products PureClient is a new pioneering client data management platform that will maintain client records for any entity or relationship. Built with an integrated customer due diligence and risk assessment tool, PureClient has 4-eyes control throughout that will ensure your business can trust the data within it. Designed to support FATCA, PureClient provides the necessary transparency to enable “look-through reporting” that is needed to manage sophisticated structures and automatically identify U.S. or other high risk entities and relationships. PureClient will automatically manage new, outstanding and renewable KYC and ensure entity documentation is stored and quickly retrievable on the integrated document management platform. PureFunds is a powerful and intuitive investment administration platform supporting Hedge Fund, Mutual Fund, Private Equity and Real Estate businesses within a single application. PureFunds multi-currency transfer agency platform brings a new and dynamic approach to dealing and administrative activities ensuring that all client, fund and company registers are automatically updated. The flexible straight- through batch processing functionality will automatically process, file and email all client correspondence. This functionality will minimise business risk and deliver many efficiencies without compromising control, integrity or security. To find out more how Puritas can help your business. Contact Mike Feighan Head of Business Development T: +44 (0) 1534 874100 E: email@example.com
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Directory For more information about the directory contact Carl Methven on +44 (0)1534 615886 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Understanding reputational tax risk In the current tough economic climate, tax authorities are under pressure to maximise revenues and prevent tax leakage, and attitudes to offshore financial centres are hardening, fuelled by coverage in the press. Users of offshore centres not only need to ensure their tax structuring is robust, but also that it stands up to public scrutiny. Have you considered the reputational risk buried in your client base? We can help you: l Review your client portfolio and identify risk areas. l Develop client take-on procedures that evaluate the business risk associated with tax structuring. l Review tax risks including substance and management and control in practice. l Assist your clients in dealing with tax enquiries and investigations. The goal posts are moving; make sure you and your clients are not caught out. Contact Jersey – 01534 838200 email@example.com firstname.lastname@example.org Contact Guernsey – 01481 752000 email@example.com
Rathbone Investment Management International is part of the award winning Rathbone Brothers PLC (“Rathbones”), which was established in 1742. Rathbones is a leading provider of discretionary investment management services for private investors, charities and trustees. We enjoy the stability afforded by being a FTSE-250 listed company with significant critical mass (£20 billion of funds under management as at 31 March 2013). We offer a range of tailored investment options: l Bespoke portfolio management l Multi-manager portfolios l Unitised portfolios (the RIMI Strategies Funds)
Our performance is based on honest, effective personal relationships and it is our aim to provide you with a long term, valuable resource that will help to improve your business. The services we provide have developed through client demand; building a reputation for professionalism and confidentiality. Our services include: l Permanent Recruitment – all levels
Our services are delivered by a team of innovative and experienced offshore professionals based on an understanding of a client’s specific investment and risk objectives, backed-up by the performance-driven Rathbone investment process and encompass the full universe of assets.
l Executive Placements l Temporary/Flexible Solutions l Contract Recruitment l Graduate Services l Pre Employment Screening l Outplacement Services l Psychometric Testing
For further information please do not hesitate to contact: Jonathan Giles, Managing Director Jonathan.firstname.lastname@example.org Phil Bain, Director Phil.email@example.com Vaughan Rimeur, Director Vaughan.firstname.lastname@example.org + 44 (0) 1534 740550 www.rathboneimi.com Rathbone Investment Management International Limited is regulated by the Jersey Financial Services Commission
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Rowlands has been actively supporting businesses in Jersey for almost 40 years. With a wealth of experience, in-depth market knowledge and a genuine enthusiasm for people, careers and resourcing we are well positioned to help you make the most of your recruitment opportunities and to secure the best possible people for your business.
l Remuneration Survey
For more information on these services and how we could support you and your resourcing strategy please contact: Jeralie Pallot Managing Director Rowlands Recruitment, Trinity House, Bath Street, St Helier, Jersey JE2 4ST T: +44 (0)1534 626722 E: Jeralie@rowlands.co.uk www.rowlands.co.uk
Security & Simplicity Shared We provide exceptionally secure online access systems for sending and sharing highly confidential information. Safelink’s virtual data rooms are perfect for M&A due diligence, allowing documents to be released to potential acquirers in a tightly controlled online “room” with the ability to restrict downloading and printing. Excellent local support, a simple but sophisticated interface and powerful page-level reporting make Safelink ideal for onshore and offshore transactions. Our secure extranet service is used by trust, legal and accountancy firms to provide 24x7 access for peers, clients and intermediaries through a fully branded portal. You can share documents and send encrypted messages while retaining complete control. For further information, a no-obligation demonstration or to discuss your specific requirements please contact: Karl.Anderson@safelinkdatarooms.com Safelink Data Rooms Suite 15, 4 Wharf Street St Helier, Jersey, JE2 3NR T: 020 8798 3140 E: email@example.com W: www.safelinkdatarooms.com
At Santander Corporate Banking, we believe in building long-term relationships by placing you, the customer, at the heart of all we do. We’ll strive to become your partner, not just a finance provider and we’ll take the time to listen to you and understand your business needs. We’re setting a new benchmark in corporate banking with a team of experienced Relationship Directors based within a Corporate Business Centre in Jersey. Every business and organisation is different which is why we’ve assembled a range of products and services, together with tailor-made solutions in day to day banking, deposit taking, treasury and lending. We are consistent in all we do; a true relationship bank that has earned the trust of our customers by doing what we say, when we say. To start working with us today, contact our team on 01534 767750.
We are an award winning, established law firm with a multi-facet approach to law. Renowned for our integrity, accountability and vast legal network, we build longstanding relationships with clients who return to us time and again. This is substantiated further by our Lexcel status, recognising us for excellence in legal practice management and client care. Representing clients across the Channel Islands, UK and Europe, we act as their strategic legal partner utilising our off-shore expertise and international reach. We understand your business is unique and that you require a bespoke solution to meet your business needs and responsibilities. In this way, we ensure our services are aligned to your legal requirements - whether you are a global corporation, a business start-up, a national government or a private client. Our range of bespoke legal services includes:
Wil Beaumont wil.beaumont@Santander.co.uk Steve O’Brien Stephen.o’firstname.lastname@example.org Richard Le Breton Richard.email@example.com Jane Bond-Webster firstname.lastname@example.org
l Dispute Resolution
For expert legal advice that can redefine your business, please contact us today. E: email@example.com T: +44 (0) 1534 888 666 W: www.viberts.com
March/April 2015 businesslife.co 97
questions with Alison Ozanne
Favourite TV programme? The BBC’s version of Pride and Prejudice with Colin Firth – TV heaven.
First job you had? A summer job working in a photographic development factory.
Fondest childhood memory? So many, but mainly the privilege of growing up in such a beautiful island and seeing the sea every day. I especially remember the excitement of trips to Herm and Sark. In those days it was de rigueur to come back burnt to a crisp.
Worst job you’ve done? Ditto. It was the days when people could send their films in an envelope to be developed. Some of the stuff we saw was eye popping…
Favourite holiday destination? Brittany, Normandy and Provence. My French is quite good, so I like annoying everyone by practising it. I also very much enjoy French food and wine. Scariest thing that’s ever happened to you? As a child, while playing outside, I stood in a wasps’ nest. They went everywhere. Some got caught in my hair and were difficult to remove. It was terrifying and very painful as I was stung several times. I’ve never forgiven them and when one comes near me we usually have a fight to the death. Your best quality? Empathy. Any bad habits? Annoying everyone by practising my French. Last meal on death row? What the heck? KFC with chips and coleslaw. Cats or dogs? At the moment, dogs. Somehow I’ve acquired three of the naughtiest boys imaginable.
Vive la france!
98 businesslife.co March/April 2015
courage and the example she sets are humbling.
Who do you admire? In history, Eleanor of Aquitaine – what a babe! Now, Malala Yousafzai. Her intelligence,
What did you want to be when you were growing up? A student at Oxford. It sounds really corny but it’s true. Brideshead Revisited was on TV and I was very taken with the idea of the ‘dreaming spires’. I was lucky enough to actually eventually study history there. Any hobbies? Hmmm… Does going to the spa count? Something that drives you nuts? Fog when I want to fly. Best bit of business advice received? Stick to what you really know and understand, and be the best you can at it (from Dame Mary Perkins). Dream job? Chat show host. Though I would undoubtedly talk too much. Buzzword you hate the most? Anyone who ‘reaches out’ to me. Milk or dark chocolate? Either – just not white. City or beach holiday? I love going to cities, but a real holiday is at the beach. Or more accurately by the pool – preferably the private peaceful one in a rented villa. How spoilt does that sound? n Alison Ozanne is Partner and Head of Dispute Resolution at AO Hall
Images: cinemafestiva/JStone / Shutterstock.com
➤ Tea or coffee? Both – and always without milk or sugar.
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