JLL’s head of European industrial and logistics capital markets on cars, architecture and sport.
What was the first concert you went to?
I was working in Belgium as an industrial leasing agent for King & Co and went to see Queen in Brussels. They were utterly fantastic and I have been a massive fan ever since.
What was your first company car?
At Malcolm King, I was given an underpowered, seven-year-old light blue Vauxhall Special. I sat in the car in the basement at Grosvenor Street thinking that if this was all I was worth, perhaps I should consider something different. The 70-year-old owner of the building came down into the car park and got into his Rolls-Royce. He slowly drove out and gently sideswiped me as he left. He did not notice or stop. It was one of the lowest points of my career. Five years later, I was a partner.
Who do you most admire in property?
There are plenty of people, but it is difficult to get beyond Malcolm King as the biggest influence on my career. He built very loyal teams around him and showed how to make close and friendly working relationships with clients and staff.
What is the best advice you have had?
I had plenty of advice directly and indirectly from my father, which was always good. He taught me the importance of thinking long term and emphasised that relationships are with people not companies. He taught me that diligence, loyalty and integrity are everything.
What is the best thing about the property industry?
I think it is an amazing industry and it offers so much variety. It can suit almost any character and any way of life. There are plenty of places to fit in and it is extremely sociable if you are interested.
What is your best achievement?
This is a very nasty question as I am not sure that I have achieved anything. I have been voted second-best UK capital markets agent twice, which my children consider to be a huge failure! I guess just hanging in there for all this time might be the answer.
What is your favourite building?
It’s corny but it is the Pantheon. I love history, geography and engineering and cannot understand how the Romans could have built it. If you don’t know about it, look it up. The modern UK building I really like is The Shard. The engineering to build it upwards and downwards at the same time is amazing.
What is the best decision you ever made?
Probably to turn down every job offer I have had. I started my career at King & Co and was a partner at the time of the merger with JP Sturge and on the King Sturge executive team at the time of the merger with JLL. I would argue I have worked for three different companies without changing jobs; this means that as an investment agent I have never had to rebuild my network and have benefited from continuity and the trust that goes with that. I have been able to do what I want and operate in every market sector in the UK and Europe and now globally. I continue to work with my friends every day. The grass is not always greener.
If you were not in your current job what would you be?
I would love to be a singer in musicals but I am not good enough.
What is the one thing you would change?
The job is relentless and 24/7, as my wife would testify. It would be nice to be able to turn off occasionally.
What is the first thing you said to your wife?
Hello, my name is Philip, would you like to come out to dinner? We have now been married for 25 years.
What is the biggest change that we will see in the next 10 years?
It is difficult to predict what will happen in the next 10 minutes at the moment. I think the property industry will see lots of further consolidation and digitalisation; however, I also think that it will remain a people business at the core, which is great news for all of us.
What is your favourite book?
I love history and geography and really enjoyed reading 1421: The Year China Discovered the World. I learnt a lot.
Which team do you support?
Loosely, Manchester United. I am a rugby fan through and through – but post the Will Carling era, for some reason, it became very dull to watch. Manchester United with Eric Cantona, Ryan Giggs, Lee Sharp and others were incredibly entertaining at that time and filled the gap.
What is the most annoying thing about you?
My competitors in the industry will tell you it’s that I haven’t retired and given them all a chance.
What would you like to achieve before retiring?
I have no plans to retire and plan to annoy my competitors a lot more before I do!
'Like' your top shed of the future
- Currently reading
Five minutes with: Philip Marsden