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Hogan Lovells Co-hosts Annual Occupiers’ Conference

Hogan Lovells and Cushman & Wakefield co-hosted the Annual Occupiers’ Conference on 23 January 2013.  The Conference was very well attended and featured several high profile speakers, including broadcaster and former editor of the Sunday Times and the Economist, Andrew Neil, and Richard Reed, the dynamic entrepreneur and co-founder of Innocent Drinks.

The theme of the Conference was Adapting to Change and before the event 100 senior, real estate decision makers from some of the UK’s largest organisations were surveyed on how their corporates were adapting their business models to remain competitive in the changing economic and social environment.  The findings show that the property industry has confidence in its own growth and strategy in the UK.  However, concerns remain on growth in Europe and portfolio demand.

Fewer than half of the respondents thought the general economic environment of the EU would improve in the next year.  However, more than three quarters predicted that UK business would grow in the coming year.

The research highlighted the increasingly important role of property portfolios for occupiers’ business and strategy.  65% agreed that their property portfolio reflects the corporate’s brand and positioning in the market.

However, the same number agreed that property portfolios cannot change as fast as their business needs.  A third of respondents expected their space requirements in the UK to grow in the next 12 months.

An impressive 80% of respondents agreed with the statement that their business has a very clear and well-articulated strategic plan and is on path to achieve this with over a quarter strongly agreeing with this statement.  Half the respondents strongly agreed that changes were embraced within their business and half were comfortable that if there is supply their property portfolio would easily accommodate change.

The promising results of the survey indicate that occupiers in the real estate industry are confident that their businesses can meet the challenges required for adapting to change.