Wick­low’s Louise Barry ful­fils global am­bi­tion

Irish Independent - Business Week - - COMMERCIAL PROPERTY - Paul McNeive THE RIGHT MOVES

Wick­low woman, Louise Barry, Direc­tor, In­ter­na­tional Trans­ac­tion Man­age­ment for CBRE, is re­spon­si­ble for win­ning and lead­ing the firm’s global trans­ac­tion man­age­ment man­dates across most of the world. On a re­cent trip to Chicago, I met her at CBRE’s stun­ning 34th floor down­town of­fices to hear more about her ca­reer.

Barry started with the firm in Lon­don in 2007 in a busi­ness de­vel­op­ment role for its

Euro­pean team, work­ing with clients on out­sourc­ing their prop­erty re­quire­ments, in­clud­ing project man­age­ment, fa­cil­i­ties man­age­ment and leas­ing ac­tiv­ity.

She was em­i­nently qual­i­fied for cor­po­rate work, hav­ing com­pleted both a Mas­ters in mar­ket­ing and the Smur­fit Kappa Grad­u­ate Pro­gramme which she says gave her a great ground­ing in busi­ness. A year work­ing and study­ing in Ja­pan helped too.

Af­ter a pe­riod trav­el­ling in South Amer­ica, she joined CBRE in Syd­ney and then ac­cepted an of­fer to join its Chicago of­fices in 2014, as it pro­vided a greater op­por­tu­nity in cor­po­rate ser­vices, in “a more ma­ture out­sourc­ing in­dus­try”.

In the area of global cor­po­rate ser­vices, the large firms of es­tate agents com­pete to win global man­dates to han­dle all of a client’s prop­erty re­quire­ments across the world. The ad­van­tage of this for clients might in­clude a dis­counted fee sched­ule, but also a con­sis­tent stan­dard of ser­vice and uni­form re­port­ing pro­ce­dures.

How­ever, as Barry points out, her team of­fers a very high level of added value — pro­vid­ing ad­vice to cor­po­rate clients, for ex­am­ple, on global strat­egy. This in­volves un­der­stand­ing your client’s busi­ness and ad­vis­ing them on where they should be lo­cated, and what prop­er­ties they should own rather than lease. It could also in­clude “bench­mark­ing a client’s port­fo­lio against the mar­ket”, a type of as­set man­age­ment, look­ing for op­por­tu­ni­ties to max­imise flex­i­bil­ity and re­duce costs. This might mean iden­ti­fy­ing a ‘blen­dand-ex­tend’ deal, to com­bine leases or per­form an early re­newal, of­fer­ing the land­lord a longer term and lock­ing in a lower rent, or look­ing at co-work­ing op­por­tu­ni­ties to pro­vide more flex­i­bil­ity in the port­fo­lio.

Out­sourc­ing and Fa­cil­i­ties Man­age­ment are fur­ther ser­vices pro­vided by the CBRE Global Work­place So­lu­tions Depart­ment and where Barry has also played busi­ness de­vel­op­ment roles.

This in­volves putting ex­perts into client firms, ex­am­in­ing their ven­dor costs and us­ing CBRE’s buy­ing power to achieve sav­ings. She tells me they typ­i­cally de­liver net-op­er­at­ing cost sav­ings for clients of be­tween 12pc and 15pc ver­sus their cur­rent base­line spend. Other ben­e­fits arise un­der cap­i­tal ex­pen­di­ture, risk mit­i­ga­tion, com­pli­ance and ven­dor con­sol­i­da­tion.

Barry is re­spon­si­ble for teams across Europe, Asia and Latin Amer­ica, and this in­cludes op­ti­mis­ing de­liv­ery of trans­ac­tions for firms glob­ally head­quar­tered in Chicago and en­sur­ing align­ment with her clients’ busi­ness strat­egy. “Clients need to be get­ting the same ap­proach, the same pro­cesses and the same feed­back from us,” she tells me.

Part of her role is to drive best prac­tice among CBRE teams. She pro­vides cen­tralised man­age­ment and is a ‘point of es­ca­la­tion’ for CBRE teams and clients. “If a chal­lenge arises, I sort it out,” she says. She also brings tools like new tech­nol­ogy or im­prove­ments in space util­i­sa­tion and labour an­a­lyt­ics out to the re­gions.

The dif­fer­ing time zones means a lot of late night phone calls and ‘vir­tual meet­ings’. Typ­i­cal clients are FMCGs (Fast Mov­ing Con­sumer Goods) and global phar­ma­ceu­ti­cal com­pa­nies. “If it’s lo­gis­tics or a fac­tory in Mum­bai, or a re­tail chain in Lon­don, my hub teams will de­liver that,” Barry says.

“The key to it all,” she adds

“is max­imis­ing your cor­po­rate knowl­edge, how your client’s busi­nesses work, and trans­lat­ing that into their prop­erty re­quire­ments.” Barry says her fees are an over­all ad­vi­sory fee, plus the ex­clu­sive trans­ac­tion man­age­ment fees for the firm. “We do the strat­egy and gov­er­nance, and the bro­kers do the deals.”

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Ireland

© PressReader. All rights reserved.