As much as I enjoy Cannes during MIPIM week I was ready to escape from the confines of my narrow Croisette patch bordered by the Carlton at one end and the Palais at the other.
My escape was assisted by my ‘white knight’, Christopher Down CEO of Hearthstone. Hearthstone is a new fund manager set up to give access to collective investment opportunities in residential property.
Christopher is clearly resourceful and doesn’t allow obstacles to deter him. Last year faced with an undersize Porsche boot he simply tied my overlarge suitcase on with string.
He is also thoughtful as he brought a Jeep instead this year which simplified the evening descent to Nice airport from Tom Bloxham’s hilltop eerie.
Conversation at the traditional Bloxham Friday BBQ inevitably revolved around the week’s events. As fellow guest Peter Bill eloquently put it in his Evening Standard column ‘the event is as essential to the global property industry as the Cannes Film Festival is to those in motion pictures’.
REED MIDEM will certainly like that analogy! The consensus was that MIPIM seemed less busy than in previous years. Certainly you could drive and walk along the Croisette more easily than in previous years. But it was more serious, people were generally there to work rather than to party.
One of our gathering ventured the opinion that UK numbers level pegged with last year but the German contingent was higher so perhaps next MIPIM will see the Germans colonising regular British haunts such as the Carlton and Martinez bars.
Let’s hope that enough attractive deals come out of this year’s event to lure back the missing ‘big beasts’ for next year.
Somehow I managed not to meet fellow tweeters John Forbes of PwC and James Rossiter. We clearly bear no resemblance to our Twitter avatars.
But it was a pleasure to catch up in relaxed surroundings with Peter Bill, Pat Brown and Liz Peace and others.
Also good to chat to fellow tweeter Sherin Aminosseh and her husband. Sherin has recently left architectural practice HOK to join the Cabinet Office.
The housing market was a major topic of conversation ranging from shared equity and ownership schemes to whether we really are short of for sale housing.
It was good to meet PwC partner Richard Parker who provided some interesting thoughts on the future of the private rented sector. I was also introduced to an ‘anonymous’ contributor to twitter site twipim. Probably a little late for this year but do read their tweets for an irreverent and amusing approach to MIPIM.
I hope I have now established that our gathering was sufficiently serious, professional and unjollylike to be able to mention that the sun shone and some hardy souls swam in the (round) pool.
Not me though as it has to be at least 80F before I even consider putting a toe in the water. For the uninitiated, Tom Bloxham’s famous bubble house is made entirely of spheres - even the furniture is round.
When asked about the square footage Tom quipped that actually it’s ‘round footage’. Good point!
There were empty seats on the BA evening flight to Heathrow and as you would expect it was very subdued. Another MIPIM over, loads of business cards and appropriate follow up to be arranged.
As I pore over the cards and try to marry names with faces, I have to say that photo business cards are really not a bad idea.
Once again MIPIM didn’t disappoint. A perfect mix of planned meetings and events but interspersed with some totally unexpected and random encounters. 2012.
The Year of The Connected was the theme of this year’s Mishcon pre MIPIM party. Certainly many new connections were made at MIPIM 2012 and they now need to be converted into business.
Finally, a huge thank you to Jenny and Sophie who have managed the Capital & Counties Earls Court Stand throughout this busy week, tirelessly dealing with queries and supplying refreshments to our many visitors and have managed to keep smiling throughout.
31 August 2012
9 March 2012
9 March 2012
8 March 2012
7 March 2012
6 March 2012