From day 1 we saw our company expanding, having an international character and playing a pioneering role in the global property market. We believe the model is not only unique but responds to a need for affordable investment opportunities for both developers and investors.
We started exploring and implementing the model in 2009, after the crunch of 2008 when the need for liquidity was at its peak, as well as the need for new investment opportunities. It was clear from the start that we had the chance to serve that need with a model that could not only provide flexibility and diversification to investors and developer’s portfolios, but also help individuals take control of their investments.
Sometimes in life you have to be in the right place at the right time. I came to London in 1992 to study law, at a period were the market was at the end of a major recession. Any professional involved in the property market will know that it is a great time to take advantage of the demand in the market and work on developing properties. And so, I started getting more and more involved in the sector and the rest is history.
As with any other developer I was constantly involved in raising more equity, in order to expand my portfolio. Cogress didn’t just give a solution to my needs but to many other developers providing liquidity to the market. Cogress is designed to support developers’ equity requirements so they can run simultaneous projects and build a diverse portfolio quickly. Whether the project proposal is straight-forward, or highly complex, we are there to review the business plan and assist in finding the most suitable combined solutions.
The last two years have been challenging and will continue to be. The market is facing continuous changes such as the stamp duty announcement, Brexit, the snap general election and more. Whilst the market sentiment is fragile, we are leading through uncertain times taking into account market changes and adjusting accordingly.
It is hard to say. I think we are not experiencing what some would call a “normal” financial crisis. The questions that linger are: how London will be affected after Brexit, what impact will it have on the financial industry and will the perception of London as a safe haven for global industries alter? Unfortunately I cannot answer these questions, until we know what will follow, it’s difficult to anticipate or predict. However, I think that although Brexit is a fact – it’s not a one off event. It will be a 7-10 year process. The fundamentals of the market haven’t changed therefore – the tremendous demand versus supply is still there. Cogress’ policy, after reviewing the market extensively, is to focus on schemes to develop flats outside, and around the outskirts, of central London where the prices are affordable for a wide range of potential buyers.
Establishing a global presence. We already have a presence in the UK, US and Israel. Furthermore, we have just introduced our UK investors our new offices in Spain.
For us, this is a great achievement and we are all looking forward to attaining international recognition. Our plan is to offer our investors new and exciting opportunities on a global scale.
For anyone that is involved in property, from developers to property professionals – it’s not just the vision and entrepreneurial flair you need to master, but to also to have a knowledge, attention to details and a plan in place. When involved in a project you need to understand the market, analyse it, have a due diligence process in place, a time schedule and be prepared to face any challenges coming your way head on.
As a business man and the CEO of a start-up company, I admire all companies that have started small and now lead the entrepreneurial world. One company that has substantially grown over the past few years is WeWork. They provide companies of any size with a communal atmosphere meant to foster organic business communities in, and between, cities globally. They have established themselves as leaders as a surging co-working space movement by being innovative and by providing a unique service that has now become a trend all over the world.
Waze is my go to App when I am driving. I can get the best routes with real time information anytime I want.
Now, my favourite book is Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind by Yuval Noah Harari. He draws on insights from biology, anthropology, palaeontology and economics exploring how the currents of history have shaped our human societies.
Hydra in Greece is one of my favourite islands. It’s extremely laid back and blissfully free of motor vehicles. Living and working in one of the busiest capitals in the world, it’s nice to be able to retreat in an island that sways to its own rhythm.