14 MAY 2018
After the elections in September 2017, we introduce you to the new board, and their roles and responsibilities. Our sixth interview is with Simon Baumgartner MRICS, who has particular responsibility for events.
We all spend a lot of time working. Time – Chronos and Kairos – has become one of the most valuable resources in our lives, especially in Switzerland, the home of the world’s most precise and notable clocks and chronometers. RICS, as a high-level professional institution takes up some of our rare time. All our professional members pay their member fees and they take part in some events. So, if they choose to invest their rare resource ‘time’ in RICS, they should receive some added value. As an entrepreneur, added value means for me a balanced mix of professional exchange, the latest knowledge and learning from and with colleagues. But it means also developing a solid professional network combined with having a good time with friends. So, as a musician, I try to arrange and orchestrate events that achieve at least one of my personal goals. And if we are able to reach only one of these goals, spending time with RICS is a valuable investment.
Added value means for me a balanced mix of professional exchange, the latest knowledge and learning from and with colleagues. But it means also developing a solid professional network combined with having a good time with friends.
I began my career in corporate real estate management in several roles, such as Real Estate Responsible, Head Business Development and Head Portfolio Management. Today, I am a member of the management board and a partner at BRUN AG, an enterprise that goes back more than 118 years. Our services include Advisory, Development, Total Contracting, Asset Management and Revitalization, and our market focus is on central Switzerland, western Zurich and the eastern Mittelland. My core tasks include acquisition, advisory, development, marketing/sales and revitalization, but our management consists of generalists.
The first time I became aware of RICS was during my postgraduate course at Hochschule Luzern, IFZ. The lecturers with the qualifications MRICS or FRICS were invariably very competent, and in particular Prof. Markus Schmidiger, MRICS, and Prof. Hanspeter Gondring, FRICS, deeply impressed me. Their high level of knowledge combined with their ethical standards and international touch fascinated me so much that I wanted to be a part of RICS.
My father was an architect and heavily invested in real estate. The real estate crisis in the 1990s hit our family hard. From one second to the next, I learned that at that time most architects had no economic knowledge and most economists had no idea about how to develop or build houses. It was my inner Big Bang. I realized that these two skills needed to be combined, paired or even married. At this point, I decided to combine my apprenticeship as a draughtsman in structural engineering with economic studies. Many of my colleagues were unemployed, worked in a bar or a copy store. Well – without the real estate crisis of the 1990s, I probably would not be a member of RICS, but would have maybe established a small architectural office somewhere in the Lucerne hinterland.