“Float like a butterfly, sting like a bee” – Muhammad Ali
Yet another one of my heroes in life has passed, a truly inspirational man who made such an impact on so many people’s lives, my thoughts are with your family Muhammad Ali RIP. He stood for so much; equal rights, the opportunity to make something of our lives, the list goes on. My favourite tribute Michael Parkinson;
“He was the most extraordinary man I’ve ever met, and I’ve met a few”
Michael Parkinson has paid tribute on Sky Sports News.
The first time I met him, he walked across the studio floor towards me, and first of all I was struck by the grace and elegance of his movement, and the size of him. Then I became obsessed by his hands – he had the longest fingers of a boxer I’d seen. They were the fingers of a concert pianist rather than a pugilist.
He was the most extraordinary man I’ve ever met, and I’ve met a few. He didn’t have any reservations about behaviour, and what he should or should not say. So what you got was raw: he could be funny, nasty, aggressive. He was a package you could not predict.
The nicest thing that’s ever happened to me in television was when his family came over with the Ali exhibition earlier this year. We had a call from them saying that he loved to watch the Parkinson interviews on YouTube. He would point and say, ‘Watch this, I get him here’, and all that. They asked if we could put together a compilation on disc to save him going on YouTube. Those interviews defined my career in many ways.
His charisma was palpable. You were sitting with a guy who was box-office. He could sell tickets – and sell himself – better than anybody else I’ve ever met. And he couldn’t stop talking. It was never an easy ride with him, but my word it was a fantastic experience”
I am no way a political animal but intelligent enough to take an active interest whether it makes sense to leave the EU, I am proud to be European and well as British. For Outers, leaving the EU will allow Britain to re-establish itself as a truly independent nation with connections to the rest of the world. To Inners, Brexit would result in the country giving up its influence in Europe, turning back the clock and retreating from the global power networks of the 21st century. What I am hearing from our investors for www.acefunding.org they are very concerned and slowing up on commitment before which is understandable as we experience with the Scottish Referendum. Those I have spoken to really don’t want us to leave, my heart tells me we should but my business head say’s absolutely no. I can see by leaving we shall also have more control over who enters the UK therefore reducing the threat of terrorism but then again being part of the EU we have access to records to avoid those entering. France said recently that there would be “consequences” for Britain if it left the EU? I can actually see both sides of the argument having spent time speaking to some very convincing people on both sides including my friend Mike Livesey who presents a very strong case to leave.
A study by the think-tank Open Europe, which wants to see the EU radically reformed, found that the worst-case “Brexit” scenario is that the UK economy loses 2.2 per cent of its total GDP by 2030 (by comparison, the recession of 2008-09 knocked about 6 per cent off UK GDP). However, it says that GDP could rise by 1.6 per cent if the UK was able to negotiate a free trade deal with Europe – ie to maintain the current trade set-up – and pursued “very ambitious deregulation”.
What is your view on BREXIT? What does your heart tell you versus your business head? In or out?
Greetings from Malaysia
As one that is perhaps obsessed by keeping on the move I feel very much at home here in Malaysia, South East Asia. We arrived here in Langkawi on the 24th of this month, I took a couple of days out going back to Kuala Lumpur to meet a very well known, successful and absolutely fascinating property developer Dato Lee who treated my father Lord Evans and I like Kings quite frankly, he and his family welcomed us, with our friend Adria Dunn in to his beautiful home in the Centre of Ipoh the Capital City of the Perak State roughly 120 miles outside Kuala Lumpur. Dato Lee gave us a most informative upshot of the property current scene in KL (very useful!) We then flew to Singapore to meet more friends, again the hospitality was gracious and genuine. I’d heard so much about Singapore so the visit was embarrassingly overdue, I was very much impressed and have to say bar South Africa it is the best country I have ever been to by far. For those that have been you will know exactly what I am talking about, the cleanliness, efficiency, fantastic food, shopping, weather, the list goes on! Apart from the latter we, ACE Funding, are here to make new friends, to grow our business and to facilitate our own Real Estate Fund in London.
We plan to open a new London office with discretionary investment powers to invest in both development projects and yield producing assets in the following asset classes: Purpose Built Student Accommodation, PRS, Residential and eventually Leisure, Commercial and Hotels.
Malaysia is a country spurred by high technology, a strong knowledge-base and capital-intensive industries and with Adria’s help we have been able to tap in to some of the most influential business people here. Home to a dynamic business environment, technologically innovative firms and a well-developed infrastructure, Malaysia is a country on the move. But we understand without doubt doing business can be quite a challenge without local knowledge of the investment environment hence our decision to partner with professionals that share our passion to increase their wealth.
One of the most appealing aspects of Malaysia is that its high growth economy is backed up by a strong business environment. The World Bank and International Finance Corporation (IFC) rank it in 12th place in the world for ease of doing business which is hardly surprising on the basis of our experience thus far. My girlfriend Olga and I shall be sad to leave here naturally but at the same time looking forward to developing our business further in the UK.
Dad what do you do?
For those parents amongst us there comes a point when your kids may ask “Dad/Mum what do you do?” I had to think of an interesting answer quick to remain, I hope, a cool Dad, my answer could have been well I worked in media, sold out, re-entered and failed then decided to connect companies to equity connections utilising my networking skills and she would have gone to sleep there and then. But I resulted to the easy option “I herd cats and manage personalities” One thing have learnt about business over the years is it’s all about personality, relationships, trust and reputation. With my own core business that connects UK Property Developers to Equity partners it is evident that London is awash with both but it’s the capability to actually get a deal over the line, the development is there, the money is there not a problem, it’s convincing both sides the deal can be done and a ‘marriage’ can be created which will last. The returns for UK property development can be amazing but at the same time a disaster if we did not build a relationship with the developer appropriately in the first instance so we can believe in them, the funder also has to deliver not forgetting. My business partner Carl Davies and I are absolutely passionate about business and people, we don’t get turned on by fees so much as the restoration of our good name, it’s the opportunity to get a deal over the line – rewards will follow later.
Everyone I meet seems to be revved up about 2016, a mix perhaps of the result of the last recession where almost everyone was hit really bad, particularly property developers whilst it sorted the wheat from the chaff far too many decent developers lost their way, the trouble is creating a unique selling point. Super prime property is very difficult to make a profit and every developer is climbing over the same deal it seems, it’s about finding a real gem, buying at the right price and adding as much value as possible of course. So a very long winded opinion, I might hone my answer in future to “I manage relationships, add value where I can”. How would you explain your job to your kids?
Happy New Year!
A very challenging year for the world obviously, here in London as a small island we have been under attack many times during the past thousand years so it’s very much business as usual despite surrounded by evil.
I am looking forward to launching Octavius a property development equity structure backed by a Private Investment Club of high net worth individuals.We will be sourcing development sites in zones 1-6 in London, major cities, coastal regions and along Crossrail and other significant infrastructure routes in the UK as well as seeing my seed investment portfolio gather traction. I invested right at the start of the recession which isn’t ideal but the method of my madness is that things surely can only get better right? From a luxury ladies shoe brand to musicians software they all have major potential.
Whatever your ambition personal or business I wish you every success and look forward hearing from you in 2016!
Hi! Welcome to my website and my very first blog…
As you can probably tell I am passionate about business and people and feel very honoured to have met some very special human beings in my life including Nelson Mandela, HRH Princess Diana, Sir Douglas Bader, Bob Hope to name a few. Business and relationships are all about trust so reputation is everything to me. I love working with true professionals that deliver, sometimes we meet to many people in life that just say yes, my policy is to be honest at all times and tell it straight, otherwise what’s the point? I love helping people but if I cannot help I will be to the point and sometimes a little too blunt for some peoples liking but that’s the way I am. I look forward to meeting more amazing people not just celebrities, embracing as many cultures as possible from all walks of life so perhaps we might meet one day you never know!
Enjoy what you do, treat people as you want to be treated and put something back in to society is my mantra.
All the best,