The Davos journey continues. The experience is both exhilarating and physically demanding. Imagine being at a cocktail party for 14 hours straight with the need to keep a welcoming smile on at all times as well as nifty nuggets of information readily available to advance a conversation. The jet lag is about over but I still need a jolt each afternoon around 3 pm. Have not been able to attend as many sessions as I would like but the reason is a good one……phenomenal client and prospect conversations. During the last 24 hours I have had personal conversations with 9 Fortune 200 CEOs. It is interesting to note how they are all aware of the JLL brand and respect what we have all worked to create during the last two decades…..an advice-based real estate firm with worldwide reach.
Although for the most part the JLL team divides and conquer, I have had several joint meetings with Christian and Colin. It is insightful for me to see other senior leaders position the firm to help clients resolve their real estate issues.
I’ve also noted quite a few representatives from the African continent attending Davos. As that market continues to evolve it will present many interesting growth opportunities for JLL. I have enjoyed meeting people from the region. They are somewhat surprised to see a senior person of color in a position to talk about business transactions. JLL’s focus on diversity at senior levels will continue to be important in the next few years as we enter the African market more aggressively. Christian and I discussed this earlier today and he is aware of the challenges…and more importantly the tremendous opportunities.
I had a very interesting encounter with a former client who was president of the University of Pennsylvania. She currently leads one of the largest nonprofit organizations in the world and invited me to connect after the conference to get a briefing on a project they are doing related to infrastructure in cities around the world. I think knowledge from this endeavor will provide an opportunity for JLL regions around the world to participate in the public-private real estate market. Cooperative work between the public and private sectors has been a constant theme at Davos.
I will end for now to meet with the President of a major D.C. university. I will highlight some of the many social activities in my next blog.