Others should think long and hard before leaving. The estimated 20% of property advisers who have lost their jobs have not become opticians or piano tuners — they have started up their own property advisory firms. There will soon be a plethora of companies bidding for work at rock-bottom prices, leading some to believe that the moment to set up a new agency has already passed. Next, the entrepreneurs trying to raise investment funds. Anecdotally, 52 funds were being raised to buy distressed property assets — and the likes of Hussey and Jones will be among those who succeed.
You can see why they want to branch out, too. Both in their forties, why should they sit out the next property cycle for seven years at property companies when they can make a fortune for themselves? These two can rely on a track record at Land Securities and British Land, but how many others can do the same? Do others have the infrastructure for fund management and all the Financial Services Authority regulation and research required to handle institutional or private equity cash? Can they show that their newly formed teams can work together, and remain in place? Investors need to know their money is safe for the long haul. And most importantly of all, do they have the manpower and network of advisers to find the small amount of prime property for sale before anyone else? By all means branch out on your own — but remember that in a recession only the best will find the grass greener on the other side.”