London pride: A day in the life of Laurent Luccioni

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Laurent Luccioni, chief executive of MGPA — Europe, takes us through his working day in the UK capital

Laurent Luccioni

Corsican Laurent Luccioni, 40, is chief executive of MGPA — Europe. He lives in Putney in south-west London with his American wife, Veronica, and his children, Marina, 14, and Dorian, 12, and a dog

I get up pretty early to take part in some sporting activity, and I love running along the River Thames between Hammersmith and Barnes bridges.

Marina is at St Paul’s Girls’ School and Dorian at Colet Court, and the whole family leaves the house between 7 am and 7.30 am, because we like to make an early start.

We do not sit down for a nice family breakfast, but we will catch something on the run. Dinner is our time to be together.

I try to be on the 14 bus by 7.30 am, otherwise it is a nightmare to cross Putney Bridge.

It takes me 25 minutes to get to my office in Sloane Avenue, South Kensington.

I spend the first 30 minutes planning my day. After that, there could be a series of meetings to review the property we are looking at and what we are doing for clients, or to review decisions we are making about investments.

In Europe, our investments are worth €2.5bn. Last year, we bought the real estate of the Illum department store in Copenhagen. I visited it once, but my team must have visited 10 or 15 times.

It was attractive to us because we have something similar in Paris, and we could see that there was an opportunity to enhance the value. It was a high street location, where we could bring in other retailers.

In property, you have to provide the environment for sustainable space in a great location. In the office market, we have to be aware of companies that are expanding, like many media firms are. Young people work in media and you have to respond to their needs, because they want offices that differ from the norm.

I try to take half an hour off for lunch, but having lunch is pretty erratic.

There is fresh fruit spread out throughout the office all the time, so I might have a banana, or whatever fruit is in season.

However, when we are with clients, we have a proper lunch. Many come from overseas, but when they are in London we could have breakfast, lunch or dinner with them.

Despite the Illum purchase, I am not a shopper. In my spare time, I like to be active in sport. I run triathlons and marathons, and I do judo. As a family we spend quite a bit of time outdoors, and luckily we live close to Richmond Park. If I ever go to the theatre, that is on my wife’s initiative.

We do not have a culture of staying late in the office, so I am home with the family by 7.30 pm. Dinner can last until 10 o’clock.

I met Veronica at the University of California at Berkeley, where I was on an exchange programme. She is an engineer, but when our son was born, she became a full-time mum. Then she helped people to set up websites.

Now she is setting up a foundation for people with eating disorders, which is taking up a lot of her time. I am excited to see her so passionate about it. How do you spread the message? Someone can be teetering on the brink in that area, and if you understand what is happening, you can make a full recovery before they enter into the medically dangerous phase.

We chose Europe as a lifestyle choice. The kids grew up in California until they were six and eight. Then I wanted them and Veronica to have the experience of Europe.

I was with Cherokee Investment Partners before MGPA, which I joined in October 2007.

The economy was already changing and in the US it was a difficult time.

I had a good relationship with Cherokee and said that it made sense to stay in Europe, rather than go back. But the whole idea was to give the kids some European culture.

After dinner, I start working from home again for a couple more hours before sneaking upstairs to bed.

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