A Bellrock Group Company

Corenet Global UK Chapter

31 Jan 2018

Predictions and Resolutions 2018: CoreNet Global UK Chapter

Nigel White, Associate Director at Property Solutions, attended Corenet Global’s first event of 2018 at M&G Investments’ offices in London. It was a breakfast event and took place on 16 January which just happened to be Nigel’s birthday – 21 again!

The event was entitled Predictions and Resolutions and started with refreshments and nibbles outside the auditorium before moving inside where an excellent session was laid on. Outgoing President Ben Johnson gave way to new President James Crisp who introduced the year in a brief manner before handing over to Matthew Stone of M&G. The panel consisted of an Occupier (Stuart Beety of Credit Suisse), and Agent (Toby Ogden of Cushman & Wakefield) and a Developer (Steven Skinner of HB Reavis).

After each had given a 4-minute summary of their predictions for 2018, Stuart’s being of particular interest as he sees three super trends converging to influence the market in 2018; the impact of IFRS16 on company balance sheets, the growth of the proportion of the work force made up by millennials and the fourth industrial revolution.

The session then moved onto four questions which were simultaneously put to the panellists and the assembled masses:

  • What effect will Brexit have on job movements within the financial services industry in the UK? The consensus amongst the audience (86%) and the panellists that the effect would be minimal – less than 100,000 job losses.
  • What percentage of occupier demand would be in the form of a serviced office offering in the next five years? Again there was broad agreement with 78% of the audience thinking there would be a balanced solutions with 30% of space rented in such a manner.
  • How is AI going to impact agents? For obvious reasons all eyes were on Toby here and he stood his ground, arguing that agents are already moving more towards an emphasis on giving advice as opposed to process driven activity that could be fulfilled by an automated alternative – 53% of the audience agreed with Toby!
  • What effect would the new IFRS16 rules have on the way the industry approaches lease lengths and in particular their correlation with rents. The consensus was that it would make a massive difference with the vast majority of the audience (94%) split between the upshot being shorter lease lengths and rents becoming a function of lease length.

The session ended with each panellist sharing their resolutions and James Crsip then wrapped up followed by a time of networking before everyone went their separate ways.

A good time was had by all and as a start to 2018 it was an excellently planned and executed event.