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26
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PEOPLE AGENT Q&A www.opp.org.uk
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FEBRUARY 2010
WORDS
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Alex Evans
Y
Law unto
INDUSTR
himself
Whether he’s challenging national statistic offi ce data
in Bulgaria or the assumptions of UK economists, Assetz
CEO Stuart Law is most likely to invest in his instincts –
which have served him well so far
PEOPLE
for Assetz changed in the last government is getting there (slowly)
year? with infrastructure but business people
Little has changed as we were always will be renting holiday homes and
looking for the best investments for workers will be living in resorts, so the
clients. The product and pricing has potential is there from locals as well.
changed and we now focus mainly
on distressed opportunities that have A lot of international
TION
been around for the last year or two. developers are waiting for
In the UK, we helped developers the Brit investors to return to
clear a backlog of 1,000 unsold homes the market in the numbers
and we aim to help international they used to. Will this
DESTINA developers do the same, working happen?
A professional investor for 28 already, OPP talked to Assetz’ CEO with other agents. We currently have No. Speculators have been burnt and
years, Stuart Law has invested about plans for the business in 2010, a global exclusive deal with a Cypriot real holiday home buyers and investors
in most asset types – from the UK buyer market, and why he has developer to sell at 40% below peak with large cash deposits are smaller in
equities and currencies to property. spent almost nothing on consumer price, for example. By clearing stock number but have replaced them.
Trading equity options in the eighties, advertising. we help everybody, because data has
Stuart describes himself as a “numbers shown that prices revert upwards What should developers do to
person”, born with the enviable ability Back in 2006, you were by typically 25% overnight on some sell in the current market and
of being able to digest a lot of disparate quoted as saying: “We schemes, once the stock overhang is what should they stop doing?
data and identify key trends. In fact, this came fi rst as the Property cleared. Don’t build big schemes unless you can
BUSINESS
ability was recently recognised by The Investors’ Club, but then really aff ord to deliver them; build niche
Sunday Times in the UK who voted him came a deluge of dodgy You’re currently selling ones for proper buyers. Show why you
the most accurate UK house price people with similar names, property in France, Cape will deliver; disclose everything about
forecaster of 2009. so we rebranded ourselves”, Verde, Canada, Spain, the project and be transparent. Show
Stuart’s ‘rule of thumb’ approach describing Assetz as Cyprus, Portugal, Germany, the fi nancial structure and how far the
to number crunching is informed by “investment advisers who and USA. Which areas are project can go without further sales.
a big picture view gleaned from his happen to sell properties”. you seeing most sales activity Be open. It’s hard to replicate complex
involvement in a number of business Is this still how you would from, and why? fi nancial models, so there’s no need to
OPER
sectors, confi ding that he has owned describe Assetz? UK and the USA are the busiest with hide anything from the competition.
VEL
(and still owns) interests in a variety of The Investors division is a well regarded France and Cyprus behind that. If you’re not transparent it will breed
companies – including retail, import, investment adviser and we do supply Investment for the former and holiday suspicion; buyers will ask questions or
DE
export, software, and property of property but property that suits a home buyers re-emerging for the latter. look elsewhere.
course. “I’m a starter and catalyser of specifi c investment strategy rather Nothing in Portugal because it’s too
businesses,” he tells OPP. than pure speculation and we act for slow and Spain is too badly broken. What should agents be
“A wide span of business knowledge the buyer. The International division There will be a huge supply shortage doing to make themselves
has helped enormously with the is a promoter and master agent for in Cape Verde where, like in several more valued sales assets for
development of Assetz. There are developers and the Finance division countries, many development projects developers?
things that can be learned from the is an FSA cross-asset-class regulated have stalled. When the big hotels came In the ‘good’ times, you had hard sales,
TING
way businesses are funded or operate investment adviser. We also have a in the writing was on the wall because professional sales and order takers. The
in other sectors that can be applied in development division building a hotel they were immediately full. The order takers are gone for good and
ARKE
the property world. Property is where chain amongst other things, a fund
M
business and investment cross-over, so management division and a private There will be a huge supply shortage in Cape Verde where,
it’s the area I like to focus on the most.” equity house. like in several countries, many development projects have
After a year of consolidation, and stalled. When the big hotels came in the writing was on the wall
starting to see some good results How has the overall strategy because they were immediately full.
FEB10_OPP_MAG.indd 26 28/01/2010 15:20
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