I did not attend any lectures today, Thursday, the second day of the Davos meeting. That was actually good news, because it meant my day was filled with productive meetings with – amongst other people – an important U.S. developer client; two companies with whom we’re having discussions on small M&A work; senior leaders of a major bank client of our Swiss business; and several contacts which were instituted by LaSalle.
Tonight, at events their companies are hosting, I’ll meet with senior executives of three major banks. Two of them, Bank of Montreal and Bank of America, are key lead banks for our credit facility. They provide the essential lead relationships for the larger group of banks who extend us a $1.2 billion credit facility. The third, Morgan Stanley, is an important investment banking partner. So all three are very important relationships for our firm.
Having no time for lectures was more than compensated for by these meetings and by all the other chance encounters that we’ve all made with senior people in the course of our time in Davos.
From talking to so many people here, I’m beginning to get an impression of what’s on business peoples’ minds for the coming year. I’ll distill some of that for you tomorrow evening.
I should explain today’s headline. At dinner last night, I was seated next to Christine Lagarde, Managing Director of the International Money Fund. In the course of our conversation, she suddenly realized that she knew JLL very well, but under the name Jones Lang LaSalle. Earlier in her career, she was Chairman of Baker & McKenzie, one of our important worldwide tenant representation clients, which hired our firm to locate its headquarters in Chicago. It was a good opportunity to suggest that she might need help with the IMF headquarters building in Washington, D.C. We’ll see where that goes.
During the day tomorrow I’ll be talking to a group about the firm’s work on real estate asset price dynamics and specifically about the dangers of bubbles forming in commercial real estate. This is clearly an issue of major interest, not only to the real estate sector, but also to the broader financial markets. More to come on that tomorrow as well.
My iPhone tells me I’ve walked another nine kilometers today, and I expect the same tomorrow. I’m not sure I like that app, but it’s irritatingly compelling to follow.