Prop. Notes: An opportunity for our proprietor to ruminate on life, London, property and golf – The Property Chronicle
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Prop. Notes: An opportunity for our proprietor to ruminate on life, London, property and golf

Prop. Notes

This article was originally published in October 2019.

This month, as guest at one of England’s most famous and senior golf clubs, I was reminded of the brutality of the real estate investment business. A tall, broad smiling, full haired, long-socked figure was hailing fellow members at the bar. He looked confident, at home, impressive. But his investment firm had recently gone bust.

Most property businesses are paid on results, transactions, assets under management. Unlike other fellow club members – the lawyers, surveyors and accountants – our property man was paid nothing for long hours, miles and meetings. In his business, it is no deal, no cash. As he hit the ball down the middle once again I couldn’t help thinking: if he approached me with a commercial proposal would I avoid him as someone rackety living in fantasy land, or would I back the inner confidence that believes, with just one deal, all will be well?

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Watching PM’s questions is a reminder that different democratic political systems require different skills. If you want to be elected President somewhere you need to give a good speech to crowds, have a clear brand, be able to distil complicated notions into simple cliches and a touch of razzmatazz. To become Prime Minister in a parliamentary democracy you better be academically clever. You will need to give precise, substantive answers in front of a baying party political crowd. And the real pressure: if you misrepresent the slightest thing in the chamber you are finished. Of post-War British Prime Ministers all, bar two, were conventionally academically successful and/or professionally trained.

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Prop. Notes

About Stephen Yorke

Stephen Yorke

After Cambridge University and a few years at the Commercial/Chancery Bar, Stephen spent two years in John Major’s Political Office at Number 10. He then laboured on the FX/ Bond trading floors of two investment banks during the 1990s. In 2004 he founded (and ran until this year) a small Real estate Fund management company. In 2017 he founded 'The Property Chronicle' and is now a new boy publisher.

Articles by Stephen Yorke

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