09 Oct 2017
Unusually, by the time I hand over the Presidency, I will have been in office for nearly 17 months. This has been an incredible period of my life, and it has been a real honour to represent our profession around the world, working with our fabulous staff teams.
My term of office commenced on 27 June 2016, as the UK voted to leave the EU, and I could not help but wonder what the year ahead would hold.
Uncertain and changing times
What has ensued is a series of world events that confirms the uncertain and changing times in which we live. Complacency is not for the faint-hearted, and the unexpected is not necessarily good for investors who, in the world of land, construction, infrastructure and property, prefer more certainty.
My themes this year have proved incredibly pertinent against this backdrop. We have developed a strong strategy and presence for RICS in the infrastructure sector, with commercial management and cost engineering at its heart.
We published a report for the North American continent on infrastructure management, and I am busy writing up a summary of the roundtables that we held around the world on the subject. Meanwhile, China’s One Belt One Road strategy featured as a backdrop to our World Built Environment Forum Annual Summit in Shanghai.
As the concepts of the smart city, resilience and densification continue to rise up the agenda, our focus on cities has also been key.
Diversity and inclusion
Tackling the war for talent has put diversity and inclusion at the forefront of employers’ concerns in attracting the next generation of surveyors.
I have loved meeting our talented professionals, from RICS Young Surveyor of the Year and Women of the Future awards, to our international Twitter Q&A about the future of the workforce in five years. Plus, I have co-authored the CEO’s Guide to Diversity and Inclusion for Real Estate with RICS colleagues Judith Gabler and Maarten Vermeulen.
An exciting future
As RICS celebrates its 150th anniversary next year, our profession is well placed for an exciting future.
For myself too, exciting changes are ahead, as I join the UK Board of CBRE as the Executive Director — Head of Strategic Consulting. My thanks go to EY LLP for their support during my extended Presidency, and congratulations to John Hughes FRICS who becomes our 136th President at the start of November. I wish him every success in this incredible role.
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