Avison Young at MIPIM 2024

And just like that, another successful MIPIM draws to a close. Last week, the Avison Young team headed off to Cannes for the 2024 conference. We boarded the AY train with our US and EMEA colleagues, enjoying cheese and charcuterie provided by our French team!

A quick stop in Marseille, and in no time, we landed in Cannes.

Together with colleagues from the US and EMEA, we hosted a series of action-packed events at the Avison Young pavilion. Here are just some of our many highlights from the three-day event.

Day One: Tuesday 12 March

Day one kicked off at our pavilion with a series of insightful sessions.

We started the morning with a panel discussion chaired by Managing Director of the Regions Stephen Cowperthwaite, featuring our Global CEO Mark E. Rose, Managing Director Capital Markets AY EMEA Penny Hacking, and Mark Bousfield from Aviva. The conversation focused on how to drive opportunities in 2024, and how to incentivise the private sector to collaborate with the public sector and invest in their projects.

The market in 2023 was all about transitioning, whereas in 2024 it is about repositioning. Despite macro-economic challenges, there are plenty of opportunities, and we need to open the doors for investors, as highlighted by Penny Hacking. What does a successful 2024 look like for Mark Bousfield? More investment and development across all UK cities!

Key experts across the education sector joined Kat Hanna, Co-Managing Director for London, in a session on university-led regeneration. Tim Jones from University of Liverpool, Jackie Sadek from the UK Innovation Corridor, Amy Harhoff from Durham County Council, and Dan Monnery from Northumbria University discussed the evolving role of universities in shaping our UK cities and regions.

How do we localise opportunities to create jobs and long-term growth? Professor Tim Jones answered: ‘We can be successful if we do things in partnership. The focus needs to be on the international agenda. We need to blend that international dimension with things we can do locally.’ Our panellists also stressed the importance of working together as an ecosystem to bring major businesses in UK regions and acting for the long term, ensuring that investors and occupiers will know they can invest in our regions as we have the necessary skills.

Nicola Rigby, MD for Manchester, chaired a session on the power and potential of European waterfront developments. Panellists Nuala Gallagher from Liverpool City Council, Dr. Andreas Kleinau from HafenCity Hamburg GmbH, and James Eyre from Titanic Quarter Limited, all weighed in on how these developments attract businesses, tourists and residents. You can watch a video interview with Nicola, courtesy of Belfast City & Region Place Partnership.

After lunch we headed to some of our partners’ stands, including Invest Newcastle, where our Leeds MD Stuart Howie took to the stage alongside other key regional figureheads to discuss the regeneration of Forth Yards. Following the discussion, Stuart spoke with Michelle Percy from Newcastle City Council to share insights. Don’t miss the video interview here!

The day wrapped up with a full house at our pavilion for the launch of the EG Investor Guide. Editor Samantha McClary led a discussion on the great workplace reset, demonstrating the rapid growth in the real estate sector and that offices have changed… as Theo Michell from Bywater Properties explained ‘it’s not about the amenity in the shiny glass tower but what the neighbourhood offers!’

Be sure to read the EG Investor Guide as it features our regional insights, data capabilities and investment knowledge. With the UK real estate sector continuing to evolve rapidly, we believe that this guide is an invaluable tool for anyone looking to make informed investment decisions. Take a look here.

Day Two: Wednesday 13 March

It was another early start for the team, as we hosted the annual investor breakfast in partnership with the British Property Federation, which brought together leading UK and international investors, and the UK Government.

Our UK President, Nick Walkley welcomed guest speakers Melanie Leech, CEO of the British Property Federation, and Lord Dominic Johnson, Minister for Investment at the Department for Business and Trade.

Nick Walkley’s opening remarks highlighted the breadth of international investors at MIPIM, and posed a question to the audience: how can support local authorities reach that scale that attracts international investors in the UK? Melanie Leech replied, ‘the answer is partnership!’

Whether we’re partners or competitors, we feel lots of anticipation and excitement, and we should be more optimistic about the future!

Over at the Avison Young Pavilion, Kat Hanna chaired a NextGen panel debate in partnership with Real Estate Balance and Regeneration Brainery, where seasoned experts met younger voices.

Liz Peace from Real Estate Balance, Adina David from MGT, Abiola Ogunsami from Future of Greater Manchester, and Saminder Pahal from UK PropTech Association (UKPA) shared ideas on how we can make real estate more dynamic and diverse. The sector is missing out on a multitude of opportunities because so much of our progress is still coming from the traditional property industry brains. We certainly left the panel feeling energised and optimistic about the future. It was a true celebration of the diversity of thought and experience – a much needed reminder to propel the industry forward.

Harriet De Freitas, Director in our London Markets team, chaired a session on how the future of investment lies in aligning goals between investors and occupiers. With occupiers prioritising quality workspaces that meet ESG requirements, the focus is on fostering partnerships that go beyond mere transactions. Harriet was joined by Ali Abbas from Art-Invest Real Estate Management, Chanté Bohitige from EG, Tom Fuller from Citygrove Securities, Jessica Pilz from Fiera Capital, and Elliot Prosser from JP Morgan. Make sure to read EG Feature Editor, Tim Burke’s recap here!

On Tuesday, several of our delegates had the opportunity to speak not only at our pavilion but also at our partners' stands including Manchester, Liverpool, and London.

Nick Walkley and Nicola Rigby took to the stage at the Liverpool stand discussing some of the latest brownfield developments and opportunities on the waterfront in Liverpool.

Over at the Manchester Stand, Kat Hanna shared her expertise ranging from working on complex projects around the country to how Manchester can unlock economic and social value benefits for its people and investors.

Chris Cheap chaired a session on Manchester's approach to curating development across the city through strategic regeneration frameworks.

Kat Hanna also chaired a discussion at the London Stand on the future of city centres, specifically focusing on what London needs to do to entice retailers back. Kat was joined by Shravan Joshi, Ruth Duston, Dee Corsi, and Tom Goodall.

Day Three: Thursday 14 March

Our third and final day at MIPIM 2024 started at the Geo Focus Stage, where Mark E. Rose took part in a panel discussion on challenges and opportunities to achieve net zero. At the Make It Happen stage, Eime Tobari discussed how we can demonstrate social impact, leveraging qualitative research for effective communication and reporting.

Back at the Avison Young pavilion, we hosted a session in partnership with the West Midlands Growth Company, expertly chaired by Nicola Rigby, alongside speakers AY Head of Residential, Mark Birks, Rob Valentine, Director at Bruntwood and Phil Mayall, Managing Director at Muse.

Jackie Sadek chaired a session to launch the UK Innovation Corridor Growth Plan 2024-2030. Jonathan Martin from Waltham Forest, Jules Pipe from the GLA, and Nick Walkley, joined the discussion on the ambitions and visions of the asset over the next five years. As Jules Pipe put it: ‘The UK Corridor has the potential of unlocking transport investment, creating connectivity, and fostering public and private sector collaboration. Now more than even we need a long-term outlook and growth plan. This is a terrific start for the incoming government.’ And we couldn’t agree more.

Don’t miss the video interview with Nick and Jackie here to learn more about the UK Corridor purpose and their key takeaways.

We enjoyed sharing insights, exploring new opportunities and reconnecting with clients. Thank you to everyone who made 2024 memorable and worked behind the scenes to ensure a successful MIPIM for Avison Young.

Until next year!

For more information, please contact:

  • Principal & Chief Client Officer
  • Occupier Services