I arrived in Davos today after spending Monday in Paris with Charles Boudet, Benoit du Passage and the members of our new French Client Advisory Board. The mood following a very successful 2015 was very much upbeat. That put me in a good mood arriving in Davos.
Coming here for the 10th year, I am drawn to discussions – and they are everywhere – about all the issues facing the world today: the Chinese economy, doubts over growth rates in the developed world, the U.S. elections, volatility in stock markets over the last six months, a potential directional change for global interest rates, and technology- and digitization-related employment challenges.
What I’ve learned is that, every time I come here, whether the economy is good or difficult (as it was in 2009), there are always issues that people want to worry about and that the press likes to write about.
But I’ve also learned that you need to look through all the noise and ask, “What are the fundamentals really telling you?”
To me, following the fourth-quarter operating reviews we completed last week with our regional businesses and LaSalle, my sense coming into Davos is that real estate markets are still robust and healthy, and that our own business is even more robust and healthy in those markets.
So, during the next couple of days, I’ll be thinking about how positive we are about our business and how well we are performing, and comparing that with the noise the media puts out about issues in the market.
I’ll try to decipher what business people are really thinking, and how are they feeling about this contradiction.
I hope you’ll watch the blog posts of all our delegates here in Davos, decide for yourself and add your own comments.