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RICS 150

9 JUL 2018

Professor Barry Gilbertson FRICS: Disaster Management Commission

Professor Barry Gilbertson is an expert in insolvency, strategy, risk and sustainability. In RICS terms, he is best recognised for his creation of the innovative President’s Commission on Disaster Management in the immediate aftermath of the 2004 Boxing Day tsunami.

He qualified as a chartered quantity surveyor in 1974, and in the mid-eighties was invited to serve on the General Practice Divisional Council, from where he eventually went on to represent the Kent Branch on RICS General Council, to Chair the Strategy & Resources Committee for three years through the RICS Agenda for Change, and then to be elected as a Vice President. In 2004 Barry was elected as the 123rd President of the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors. It was during this period as President that Barry instigated two innovative Presidential Commissions; first on Sustainability and secondly on Disaster Management.

The Sustainability Commission initially and, importantly, worked first to establish RICS as a sustainable organisation and subsequently led the way in supporting real estate and construction professionals (and their clients) to run more sustainable organisations and build more sustainable buildings.

The Disaster Management Commission was instigated immediately after the 2004 Boxing Day tsunami in the Indian Ocean. Initially chaired by Barry, as President, the Commission addressed the need to have more appropriately qualified professionals, led by volunteer chartered surveyors, available to support disaster-prone areas; ensuring local buildings and infrastructure are designed and rebuilt more resiliently; and sharing best practice regardless of country, location or type of natural or man-made disaster. The work of the Commission is now funded alongside The World Bank.

When Barry was made a full equity partner of Coopers & Lybrand (now PricewaterhouseCoopers) in 1996, he was the first Chartered Surveyor to be so appointed anywhere in the world. Barry pioneered this multi-disciplinary approach to open the way for the several thousand chartered surveyors now working within large global accountancy firms, in audit and tax support valuation, business turnaround and consultancy work. Barry’s key business turnaround projects at pwc include Wembley Stadium, Olympia and York (Canary Wharf), Enron, McCarthy & Stone and Lehman Brothers - where Barry was responsible for their $8bn investment portfolio and all other fixed assets within the largest insolvent corporate Administration ever known.

As an expert and industry leader, and as Chair of the United Nations Real Estate Advisory Group’s Valuation Committee, Barry played an instrumental role in the creation of the World Association of Valuation Organisations (WAVO) in 2002 and served as Founder Vice-Chairman. The organisation works with the International Valuation Standards Council to promote the importance of adopting valuation standards internationally and sharing best practice. Barry was also the Founder Chairman of NARA, in 1994, to promote a new qualification for receivers, liquidators, lawyers and other professionals, working within property insolvency.

Barry has been invited to speak and lecture at a number of renowned institutions, including the Johannesburg World Summit on Sustainability in 2002, four times for the Bank of England and five times for the United Nations, including at the UNHQ in Geneva. Barry has lectured at 21 universities around the world including Harvard and Cornell (in the US), Tsinghua (in Beijing), Tongji (in Shaghai) and Cambridge University (in UK). In 2003, Barry was appointed as a Visiting Professor at Northumbria University and is similarly appointed at the Royal Agricultural University. Barry currently serves on the Council of the University of Bath.

Since 2011, Barry’s international experience has led him to become an experienced public company corporate non-executive Chairman and Director in Austria, Canada and the UK.

Professor Gilbertson has co-authored two books on valuation and on sustainable design economics, the latter now an international university text, and holds Honorary designations from four international organisations. Most recently, Barry was appointed as the independent non-executive Chairman of the City of Bath UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Pride in the Profession

2018 marks the 150th anniversary of RICS. To celebrate this milestone, we've launched our Pride in the Profession initiative to showcase the significant and positive impact surveyors have made to society.

The initiative is a great chance for all of us to promote our profession by demonstrating how varied and rewarding a surveying career can be.

We've already received a great many nominations of exceptional surveyors from RICS members around the world that you can read about below, but we need more.

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