Phil Sturdy (Investment Director) and James Thornton (Chief Executive) of Mayfair Capital attended the LSH Business Forum and Ski Challenge during the last weekend in January hosted in Courmayeur, Italy.
At the formal part of the proceedings speakers included Francis Salway (former Chief Executive of Land Securities), Andrew Jones (Chief Executive of London Metric), Owen Michaelson (Chief Executive of Harworth Estates) and Duncan Walker (Investment Director of Helical Bar). The tone of the market for the year ahead was generally positive but reflective of volatility in global markets and other risks. As one speaker said, “sentiment is worse than the fundamentals”. Andrew Jones highlighted the continuing and deepening impact of online retail on the property market. The research presented was supportive of Mayfair Capital’s e-commerce investment theme. Owen Michaelson, showing confidence in regional development, referred to a highly successful development in Bolton which he could not have contemplated building out to the scale that he has (1.5 million square feet of distribution and manufacturing space).
The letting agents for the 80 strong LSH contingent were generally buoyant highlighting tenant demand and rental growth emerging in a number of markets. This augurs well for the year ahead which is likely to experience a period of “yield tranquillity”.
Amidst some superb snow conditions the racing was very competitive. Olympic skier, Chemmy Alcott, was on hand to provide tuition for competitors whilst also providing race commentary. Alas the Mayfair Capital team did not feature but were happy to cheer on Mike Thatcher (National Operations Director at LSH) who was one of three in the over 45s team giant slalom event. This was Mike’s first podium finish in over 20 years of competing. Buoyed by his success and armed with an app (Ski Tracks) Mike proceeded to clock 89.9 kilometres per hour on one downhill run the following day!
No event like this however is without its “moments”. One of these occurred late at night and involved one delegate “borrowing” a skidoo setting off the mountain hotly pursued by two Italian riders reminiscent of a scene from a James Bond movie! The pursuit ended with an overturned skidoo, happily no one was injured: other blogs may be more descriptive as to the personalities involved!
All in all it was an informative and enjoyable event with all due thanks to our hosts and organisers Lambert Smith Hampton.