From a personal perspective, this week has seen a welcome slow down in the huge and what seems to be ever growing raft of daily emails (surely I am not alone in thinking that the amount of email traffic is now getting completely out of control?); the holiday period is truly upon us, which all seems a bit ironic bearing in mind how disappointing the weather has been recently!
In saying that, I have just spent a rewarding couple of days in a very sunny north of the UK with a couple of our Asian clients. It has been really heartening to find that, despite convincing recent attempts by our Government to give the rest of the world the impression that "we have absolutely no idea what we are doing", investors from other parts of the globe still consider the UK commercial real estate market to be a bastion of stability and liquidity. When considered in the context of the exchange rate, the debt to yield arbitrage here in the UK and achievable property yields relative to other developed markets, it should perhaps be of little surprise that the desire to invest, certainly in good quality well located assets, seems to be as strong as ever (and I am not just talking about the Chinese investor!).
Personally (and professionally), I find it immensely rewarding working with clients from different parts of the world, different cultures; not only because I genuinely believe that we as investment managers have much to add to achieving the investment aspirations of the overseas client, but also because culturally there is so much to learn and admire.
That does of course just leave the challenge of finding the right stock...
As a complete aside, I have just stepped off a British Airways flight into City airport. For an airline that in my opinion seems to be doing its upmost to match the budget operators (dare I say at the expense of its own reputation for quality and service), I was pleasantly surprised to receive a free cup of tea and a sandwich; whatever is the world coming to?!