• Home
  • Latest
  • Podcasts
  • Alex Price CEO of Palmer Capital and Peter Cuthbert President of Fiera Properties

Alex Price CEO of Palmer Capital and Peter Cuthbert President of Fiera Properties

Posted on 25 April 2019

Susan Freeman
Hi I’m Susan Freeman, welcome back to our Propertyshe Podcast Series where I get to interview some of the key influencers in the wonderful world of real estate.  Today I am delighted to welcome two quests, Alex Price, CEO of Palmer Capital Partners and Peter Cuthbert, President of Canadian Property Investment Company, Fiera Properties.  After what’s been a transformational year for Palmer at the end of 2018 80% of the Palmer Capital business was acquired by Fiera Capital.  They are one of Canada’s leading investment managers with a 100 billion pounds of assets under management.  Palmer will become the UK arm of the Fiera Properties Business.  So now we get a chance to talk to Alex Price and Peter Cuthbert in one of their first joint interviews about the deal and how they see the Palmer Capital Business evolving alongside Fiera.

Alex and Peter, welcome.

Alex Price
Thanks.

Peter Cuthbert
Thank you.

Susan Freeman
So it is great to talk to both of you today, I think it is one of your first joint interviews following Fiera’s acquisition of 80% of Palmer Capital which was announced in December and I think closed this month.  So by way of background for our listeners, Alex, do you want to just give us a very quick intro into what Palmer Capital is as a business?

Alex Price
Sure.  So we are a UK based and UK focussed real estate investment manager.  We are also a backer in ten regional property companies so we do two things; one is we manage about 800 million of mainly pension fund money investing into core real estate and into value add and development real estate projects across the UK and the second thing is we are a 33.3% shareholder in ten operating partners, nine diversified across the UK geographically and one focussed on multi-family or PRS assets and those companies are the way we source and execute on those value add or development strategies.  So we’ve been in business for 25 years and we’ve been managing third party money for about 16 years.

Susan Freeman
Great and Peter it is good to have you here from Toronto.  You are the President of Fiera Properties, obviously based in Canada, one of the leading investment managers with, I believe, a hundred billion pounds of assets under management so just a quick background on Fiera Properties and Fiera Capital?

Peter Cuthbert
Certainly and for disclosure I know my numbers in Canadian dollars so you might have to do the math but…

Susan Freeman
No I had trouble with maths thank you.

Alex Price
1 to 1.75, so £1.00 is $1.74 Canadian dollar.

Peter Cuthbert
There you go.

Susan Freeman
Okay.

Peter Cuthbert
So correct, we are part of Fiera Properties is now 100% owned by Fiera Capital.  It started out as a partnership with Fiera Capital.  I was one of the founding partners in 2012.  We had a zero asset base.  Today in 2019 we are 3.4 billion under management, by June we will be about 4.6 billion under management and we manage a similar range of strategies to what Palmer Capital does in the UK, so we are real estate investment managers underneath Fiera Capital and we manage in a larger open ended core fund which is about 2.5 billion and then some segregated mandates, three opportunity funds which are development value focussed, similar to Palmer and then we do have a traditional mortgage debt fund.  And our ambition is to grow the business globally and by acquiring and then organically growing investment partners in the UK, ultimately Europe and the US so that we can serve our growing investor client base who want to diversify globally.
 
Susan Freeman
That’s great.  So the deal will see Palmer Capital effectively become the UK arm of Fiera Properties and part of Fiera Capital’s alternative assets offering so it is a really exciting development.  So first of all how did it all… how did it come about?

Alex Price
Well I’ll give you my side of… this is like a sort of a dating show isn’t it?  

Susan Freeman
Absolutely.

Alex Price
I’ll give you my side of the show before the screen goes up to reveal how Peter did it.  We had been looking for a long time, for four or five years we had been talking to people who came along, we didn’t have to do anything but we thought at some point we might do a corporate transaction if the right partner came along.  We met Fiera about a year ago and for us the fit was exactly right.  By that I mean the strategies they run in Canada are very similar to ours in the UK and culturally we approached life from the same place.  You know, we talk in our business about trust, integrity and entrepreneurship and I could see exactly the same things in Fiera.  Fiera had been buying into boutiques and when I talked to the other boutiques that they had bought into I found that everyone said the same thing, they will give you help with capital raising, they’ll give you help with your operational side, with your compliance, your regulation but the investment that’s down to you guys and they will leave you to run your shop the way you’ve always run it and so far, okay we are only ten days in since close so it is early doors but that’s, that’s the way it is shaping up for us.  So, so for us it helped up expand our business, it helped us go to the next level, it helped us plan for shareholder succession and then will allow us in the future to do what we do best which is to support our operating partners to grow and to help our clients deliver the returns that we promise.

Susan Freeman
Peter, from your point of view, do you see it the same way and how long did it take both of you to realise actually this could work really well?

Peter Cuthbert
So our ambition to find a partner in the UK probably started two years prior to completing this transaction and we visited a lot of different shops and interviewed a lot of different people.  When we met Palmer about a year ago as Alex said, it was like looking in the mirror.  A very similar range of strategies, a similar look and feel to their culture, just the way that Alex and Ray carried themselves in our discussions.  We knew sort of instantly that after having done a lot of work that this was exactly the type of fit that we were looking for and more importantly a group of people and a talent set that we could build off of and grow organically to serve both the UK and then ultimately we would like to be operating in Europe.

Susan Freeman
We’ve talked a little bit about the similarities between Fiera and Palmer Capital.  Can you talk a little bit more about what it means for the relationship going forward and how you see the benefits for both companies?  It is probably a big question but…
 
Alex Price
Yeah thanks yeah.   Start with the easy ones.  For us, the management team at Palmer Capital still own 20% of the business so we are still significant shareholders in what goes forward.  On top of that we have a bonus policy so all of the staff participate in a bonus pool and on top of that a third layer, as the vendor shareholders left a few million pounds of the money that they were getting has got to an escrow pot which will be paid to our staff over the coming years if they deliver performance for Fiera rather than for the exiting shareholders.  So we’ve tried to make sure that every one of our businesses align to make this a success is the first point.  I have had a few people ask about M&A since we announced the transaction.  The key point is you have to want to make this a success.  So for us the big picture is about delivering what Fiera want us to do which is a solution in the UK for their global clients.  It is about delivering a better investment product for our investors who are already there and it is about allowing our staff and our existing operating partners to benefit from what we are doing.  So we will make this a success and we’ve aligned it so that it will be by making sure that we’ve kept an equity stake and all of our staff are incentivised.

Susan Freeman
What changes are we going to see at Palmer Capital?

Alex Price
In terms of how we operate day-to-day, somewhere between zero and very little.  In terms of branding we’ve put the Fiera brand on to our co-brand and alongside us and at some point towards the end of this year we will be completely rebranding into the Fiera name and part of the reason we are talking to you is we want to get that Fiera name out there.  This is a business that’s gone from zero and in 6/7 years it has delivered in Canadian dollars 4 billion and in the UK another billion pounds on top. So this is a very fast growing real estate manager and we are keen that people understand what we stand for and keen that people hear the name.

Susan Freeman
There was obviously a huge amount of interest in the Fiera name when the deal was announced at the end of, end of last year.  Peter, I mean in terms of the relationship, what are the key benefits as you see them?

Peter Cuthbert
Well I think we align with Alex in our thinking.  What really has driven this is a desire to serve our investor base.  So this strategy isn’t driven by our investor client base, we think the strategy will continue now with our combined client bases to expand the business further into the US and Europe so it is really, it’s investor centric, that’s what’s driving what we are doing and our ability to deliver similar results in those markets so as Alex said, we have gone from zero to you know 4 billion plus in a relatively short period of time and that might concern some people except that most of that growth has been organic so our investment performance, our investment processes, our techniques, our innovation and risk management in performance management in, I’ll call it investment analytics, have been driving performance and that’s, that has resulted in a growing and loyal investor base who are saying to us ‘if you can deliver the same sort of experience in other markets, we would be happy to come along’.  I think that’s what the Palmer team delivers to us in the UK and it’s really an act of hands on asset management style.  We aggressively work our assets to drive value for our investors.  We are not aggregators of real estate just to collect it and get a rental cheque, we are driving investment performance and income growth through those programmes.  So it just allows us to continue that in another market, in a very hands on way.  The other benefit for our investors is a de-risked investment scenario in external markets so their money goes into local assets with local skill alongside local investors.  So the concept for a Canadian investor coming in to the UK is you are de-risked because you are like an insider already in the market and we all know the markets are very local and the other interesting thing for us is Palmer’s model of owning a share of their operating partners gives them a very unique hold in those markets and a unique look at the investments opportunities.
  
Susan Freeman
It sounds as if there are quite a lot of similarities.  I wondered whether there were any, any differences?  Is there a language barrier dare I say or…

Alex Price
So far there hasn’t been but then we may have not understood the mistranslation to date.  I think having looked at a number of, you know, having talked to partners in different countries, potential partners over the years, one of the great things about working with Canadians is culturally we are about as similar as between the Brits and the Canadians is you can be.  So less is lost in translation than might be the case with pretty much any other nationality.  I think it all comes down to the basics that Fiera have bought into us and the team at Palmer Capital and the operating partners that we are a shareholder of, they’ve done that because they, they want us to deliver what we said we are going to do, in a way that we said we would do it to clients and they want us to, to do it and act and behave in the same cultural way that they do, talk about trust, integrity etcetera.  None of that can ever get lost in translation because it’s quite simple.  It is simply by saying to somebody ‘this is what I am going to do’ and then doing it and so far maybe that’s why we’ve not lost anything in translation because we are both quite simple plain speaking people which is the only way to approach this.

Susan Freeman
Now that, that’s good and Peter, I wondered whether anything had surprised you about the way we transact real estate in this country because I imagine that your career to date has been mainly in Canada and North America?

Peter Cuthbert
Actually in a prior life I was head of real estate for Standard Life Investments and reported into 1 George Street in Edinburgh.  So I’ve had the opportunity to involve myself in the European markets including the UK so actually no real surprises. I had some idea and familiarity with that.  Blair McCreadie who is our fund manager for a large open ended core fund also was in that environment so we’d had a reasonably good schooling and so there is nothing that really surprises us and to be a matter of fact, the fundamentals that underpin real estate value are almost universal, all enterprise needs shelter, we are in the shelter business and the reason real estate investment works is it is really a broad bed on the economy.  So we manage that exposure.

Susan Freeman
It’s significant that as a North American Asset Management Company you’ve invested in a UK company despite Brexit and I think we have to, we have to talk about Brexit.  So can you tell us Peter why you feel confident to invest at this time of relative uncertainty?

Peter Cuthbert
Yeah I think two factors.  One, is we are taking a long view of our strategy to serve our investors globally and having been around for a while, 30 plus years and lived through many cycles and disruptions in markets, Brexit is from our view, a shorter term phenomenon and that the fundamentals that underpin real estate value aren’t going to change that much in the UK over the longer run.  There is 67 million people growing to 74 million, it’s one of the fastest growing European countries, it’s a younger population.  We look at those broad base fundamentals, Alex will get into some of those more but part of the two factors was also Alex and Ray’s take on what’s happening in Britain.  67 million people aren’t going anywhere, they still need shelter and there will remain tremendous opportunity in Britain to invest, manage and succeed.

Alex Price
I think in the UK we are living inside a Brexit bubble and to everybody outside the UK they just see the economic downside that’s coming but to a more longer term investor, they see that actually the fundamentals aren’t changing, it’s just the narrative in the short-terms changed and there is still going to be people here who will need servicing whether it’s by accommodation to live in, whether it’s somewhere to work, somewhere to play, somewhere for leisure.  So all those people are still going to be here, our population is growing.  We voted to leave the European Union partly because of immigration and at the time of our growth a third was European Union migration, a third was non-European Union migration and a third was indigenous birth rates.  The first third, the European Union migration stopped.  We are now down to zero.  But the other two have kept going and indeed they have grown so our immigration rates are right back where they were before we voted to leave.  That’s not a campaign as an anti-Brexiteer; it is just a statement of fact. So population growth is the fundamental that drives what we do and that population growth is in urban areas that need accommodation, the Government’s targets of 300,000 houses a year have been missed in every year since I looked at from 1980 onwards and people are today renting houses, you know private rented sector, we talk about millennials wanting to be cool and ren, I suspect it’s also they can’t afford the houses that are for sale because there isn’t enough there so we are having a multi-family, a PRS sector emerging in the UK not necessarily by the consumers choice but by the economic realities of under supply.  And at the same time technology is changing the way we work in our offices, it’s changing the way that we consume so we don’t buy from a House of Fraser or a Debenhams superstore, we buy on line and if we don’t like it, we send it back.  So all of these things create a really interesting long-term opportunity that the Brexit bubble sometimes blows to one side because you don’t have time to talk about long-term fundamentals. I think it was only talking to Fiera that gave me a sense of perspective because I was getting dragged in to that same Brexit bubble and it is important not to get entrenched in something that in 10 years’ time will probably be irrelevant.  Now the decisions we make today will affect the next 10 years doubtless but long-term those same trends will persist.

Peter Cuthbert
Alex did say there some interesting hard evidence that we saw in the Palmer platform that suggests there’s a bit of a contra-movement and you talked about the project, the mega project.

Alex Price
Yes so we are through, so we are showing two operating partners, Manse and Opus, who have a joint venture on land owned by Rolls Royce where we are building mega to 500,000 square foot manufacturing facility.  Now I don’t know whether they are bringing all their smaller manufacturers together for Brexit or for costs reasons or other consolidation reasons but you are starting to see corporates reacting to the future and that will create, from Brexit, a lot of change.  Change because the company that had its supply chain dotted around Europe will need to be on one side of the English channel or the other side because if we leave the single market, the goods that are manufactured in one country may not meet the standards of the UK, if they have been manufactured in France or vice versa.  So actually we are going to see wholesale change so short-term, professionally I am really excited because we are going to see a lot of new buildings that need to be brought forward, you know, the Honda plant in Swindon will need repurposing and that isn’t going to become another car manufacturing facility, chances are it is going to become residential or mixed use led accommodation.  At the same time, those long-term trends are going to push through.  So Brexit as you have probably worked out from what I have said, I think economically is not a particularly sensible decision, I’ll leave the politics to somebody who’s better paid and more informed than me but long-term there is much bigger things happening.

Susan Freeman
No, I think, I think you are right.  I think there is lots of opportunities, I think one just wants it to be resolved one way or the other so we can get on and deal with things other than Brexit because a lot of people need places to live, people need places to work, we need to rejig retail and a lot of time is spent on Brexit so that’s very positive, thank you.  You mentioned technology and I know that technology and innovation are very key to the Palmer Capital business so does the Fiera deal help in terms of driving your tech and innovation agenda?  So that’s a question maybe Peter would like to start on?

Peter Cuthbert
Yeah I think we are aligned in that area.  A lot of our investment themes centre around the new order economy, so technology and engineering, media, those sorts of things we are actively engaged with the technology sector.  We are building one of the first multi-storey manufactured wood buildings, brick and beam that will be loaded with new technology, flexible floor plates, building in work space flexibility as well for our tenants and our tenants are lining up to access that space that we are building so I think there is already alignment in that space and it was nice to see that Palmer was already heading down that road and Alex has some pretty clear ideas about technology so I’ll hand it to him but we are aligned.

Alex Price
Well thank you the hospital pass is appreciated.

Peter Cuthbert
Yes.

Alex Price
So, so I think from our viewpoint we are not a technology company. I keep seeing other people’s adverts saying they have become technology companies.  We are not.   We are a service provider, the service we provide is real estate and we do that through provision of space but also space with a service offering and technology is the way we improve our customer satisfaction.  So it kind of starts that way for us.  We have invested a lot of time and effort in trying to digitise our information as well as we believe strongly in building buildings that meet the consumer’s needs and when I talk to investors I talk about you know I grew up on Blockbusters, renting a video on a Saturday night.  People want Netflix today.  My kids want Netflix, not Blockbusters and we need to react to that changing market so we use technology as a tool to get better experiences for our customers and we think that will drive the rents that they are prepared to pay which we think will drive the returns which will make investors, pension fund clients and the like come to us to be their partner to access real estate.

Susan Freeman
Obviously we have seen a lot of disruption already from, from technology.  Is there anything that you think is coming down the road that you might have seen Peter in Canada that we haven’t quite got to grips with yet or do you reckon it will be more the same. I mean obviously we’ve got you know, driverless vehicles apparently on the way, we’ve got drones apparently on the way but nobody seems quite sure quite how quickly that’s, that’s going to happen?

Peter Cuthbert
I think my view is you can see it happening in the retail space and the supply chain already.  I think it is a continuation of transit that will disrupt the way in which we use space technology will have an impact on disrupting the use of space, as Alex alluded to, we are seeing retail working out of logistics warehouses now instead of retail store fronts, that’s technology driven.  We still have a very traditional brokerage market in each country; I think they are next in terms of disruption and in terms of how they do they business.  I don’t think they disappear, I think they have to evolve with the technology and deliver a different value proposition.  So I expect some disruption in those areas and then I think there’s potentially a disruption of the disruptors so if you think about a group like WeWork, they base their business on leasing out space in other people’s buildings and delivering flexibility to the tenant base.  We own the buildings and at some point as landlords we wake up and say ‘well if there’s an arbitrage in there and a service that we could provide and it makes sense for the building and helps us serve our tenant base better maybe we should take care of that business instead of WeWork’.  If you look at WeWork now they are actually buying buildings because I think they figured out that they need to own their operating environment.  So I think the biggest challenge we have, it’s not… we know that technology will continue to redefine how we use space but ultimately we will always need shelter from the elements so our business is solid from that stand point but it will be interesting to see what forms of shelter win the day in the long run and we are prepared to deal with that but it will tend to be in central locations close to long-term infrastructure and we already own those sites.

Alex Price
I think technology it’s, to our mind, it’s actually about data and it is about customer experience and those are the two big pillars that get confused in the word technology so if you understand what you are going on in your buildings because you’ve got data from every room, you can then price that building and each room individually.  If you understand why your customers are all heading to the north wing not the west wing because it turns out the light and the noise don’t work in the west wing, you can address those or you should have probably addressed them in the design and then it’s about customer, it’s about trying to be reactive to what the customer wants. For us, technology is about data and it’s about customers.

Susan Freeman
Now it would be interesting to see which way it goes because obviously some of the property companies are setting up their own flexible working operations, some are looking to partner with the flexible operators so I suppose people will chose their own, their own model but…

Alex Price
Well I think a lot of the choice is if you are able to find a great team and invest in them or bring them in to your, in to your organisation then that’s a bit of a no brainer because it allows you to have more vertical integration.  If you can’t find the right team for every location then you might be better just to partner on a case-by-case basis and accept that you are giving away some of the economics but you’ve got the right people in every building.

Susan Freeman
Yes, it will be interesting to see how it, how it develops.  Now you announced a while ago Alex that you were looking for a London platform and Palmer have recently backed a new property company, Queensbury Capital run by Joseph Downey.  They are London centric.  How, I just wondered how you, how you chose them and do you see London as becoming more of a focus for your investment?

Alex Price
So we see a team probably want to be backed every two weeks I guess, we probably meet another team and we specifically said to ourselves last year we wanted to increase our exposure to London by backing somebody or a team that focussed just on London.  Joe was a number of teams that we met and we really liked him.  Joe is fantastically entrepreneurial; he’s worked in a highly entrepreneurial business and brings to us that drive that we want.  As I said at the beginning, trust entrepreneurship integrity.  But he does it in London and to our mind London is a market that we’ve stayed out of whilst we’ve been going through the Brexit malaise because you just don’t know how it is going to play through but I think it looks cheap to a global investor today.  Now I am not a global investor but I can see how it compares to other markets and our sense is once we get through Brexit, London will recover.  You know, total returns in the UK have under-performed the rest of contact Europe by 10% since the Referendum in 2016 so I don’t know whether that whole 10% will be an immediate catch up once we get through Brexit or whether it will be a slow catch up but my suspicion is that what will happen is London will get catch up first and we want to be a participant in that and we want to be part of what’s going on there.

Susan Freeman
And what sort of, what sort of property will it be?  Is it going to be the whole range because I had a look at the website and it seems to cover most sectors?

Alex Price
So, so Joe has done a lot in the retailed residential space but I think we will also help that team develop an office capability both in asset management and in development.

Susan Freeman
Well we will watch that space.  Peter after having made the acquisition of the Palmer Capital stake, are you looking to replicate that with other corporates in the UK or across Europe?    

Peter Cuthbert
So our strategy calls for us to acquire a platform in each market and then organically grow so I don’t anticipate us acquiring another investment management platform, we have the one that we want and we will scale that business in the UK.  We will use Alex’s team then to source, review and understand opportunities in Europe and opportunities to serve our client base in Europe. We don’t know exactly what that looks like at this point.  It could be an acquisition, it could be lift out of a team or it might be organically grown.  I think it is early days and that’s sort of for 2020 mandate.  When it comes to the US, we expect to be finding an investment platform in the US and actually we think it may be two or three platforms regionally dispersed that we stitch together to create a national platform.  Acquiring a national platform in the United States the order of magnitude is very large, probably quite expensive and we are less likely to be able to manage the culture effectively which is important to, to now the combined Fiera team with, with Palmer and Fiera.

Alex Price
So in 2022 the Fiera real estate ambition is to have a 10 billion Canadian dollars, that’s 6 billion pound business.  Today we are about half way there so we’ve got a long way to go together but what I find genuinely exciting is being part of an entrepreneurial business that is growing fast.  It is really hard work growing and you kind of are just doing the right job for your clients, raising that capital and deploying it sensibly is hard work.  But we are really excited because I can’t think of many other zero to hero businesses that will have gone in in just under 10 years to 10 billion from zero and that’s quite a big growth and that’s a lot of money.

Susan Freeman
No it’s a great story and I was just thinking in terms of obviously getting the two businesses together you’ve obviously got quite a lot of distance in terms of miles between you.  How can you do that?  Do you bring the Canadian team over to London for social events, do you…

Alex Price
So we do both.  So I have been out there a couple of times, the Canadian team have been over here and we are now going through a programme of sending people across our business during the course of 2019 will be going to meet their opposite number because there are lots of things that we can share that these guys do you know, really great and there’s lots of things that we do that are really great and if we can share, so two and two equals five, then why not.  So that is our plan this year is to integrate how we do that and of course at an operational level our people are now talking on a daily and weekly basis.

Susan Freeman
Now that’s so important and sometimes people overlook that, you know, the importance of just getting by and all the way through the organisation and with all the technology in the world, nothing beats actually putting people in a room together.

Alex Price
Yeah, so, so my 11 year old daughter has got 4 hundred followers on Instagram.  She tells me she knows every single one of them but having gone through it the other night I am pretty sure she doesn’t and she is now down to a much lower number of followers.  Kids think that just by having remote connectivity you can build a working bond.  I think Peter and I are both old enough to know that physically meeting people is important so our plan is for as many people as we can to get them to meet their counterpart, to spend time, talk about what they do and how they do it and to come away telling us ‘this is what we both do’ and ‘this is where the other guy is better than me and this is where I am better than them’.

Peter Cuthbert
It’s a base principle for us, collective wisdom leads to better investment practice. It is not cliché, that’s what we believe in and so we see a shared best practice evolving and the next iteration of our growth we will be looking for the same kind of additive skill set and ultimately evolve the business to best in class globally.

Alex Price
We think we do a really good job, our value add funds on average basis have delivered 18% net IAR’s to investors in the 15 years that we have been running them.  Our core fund has delivered in 1, 3 and 5 years between 9% and 10% total so I think we do a great job.  Our core fund is unlevered but and I hate to talk about Donald Rumsfeld because he was a bit of a wally in many people’s eyes but he talked about the unknown unknowns and when you build a business and the team we had all worked together at Palmer Capital for a long time, you don’t know what you don’t know so one of the great things about having a partner in Fiera is I can ask about all the things I didn’t know about and be told all the stuff that I should have probably thought about but never knew to ask and you can do it in a business where we can compare what we do and just  make what we think is really good a little bit better.

Susan Freeman
And it is important, I mean we talk a lot about diversity and getting people together from different backgrounds and what better way to do that you know, than people from a completely different background so.

Peter Cuthbert
But, but the language barrier just showed itself there because I don’t know what a wally is.

Susan Freeman
Well…

Peter Cuthbert
I am sure we have the similar term in Canada but I don’t know what it is exactly.

Susan Freeman
I’ll let Alex tell you afterwards.  I was just going to say I am not letting Alex loose on my Twitter follows because I think your daughter’s experience, I think I would be in a lot of trouble.  One of the things I noticed actually looking at you know, the background for both of you that there is a sort of common belief in social responsibility and giving back and the importance of charity which I think is important and I think Alex, since we last spoke Palmer Capital has become one of Land Aid’s seventeen strategic partners, I don’t know whether Peter knows Land Aid but it is, it is the property industry charity here that helps young people with homelessness and I can see Peter from your background that you believe strongly in giving back to the community and you actually coach young hockey teams and…

Peter Cuthbert
I’ve done that, I think that was, I mean what dad doesn’t want to be a hockey coach in Canada so I didn’t want to sit in the stands so we did that but I think what I am more proud of, first of all, Fiera in Canada is quite involved in the charity space.  I am personally involved and have been for 10 years now with Variety, Variety International. I have been Chair of Variety, Local Chapter in Toronto and we are focussed on – it’s a children’s charity – but particularly we are focussed on children with disability and develop programmes in a huge field house and swimming pool facility we allow people with disabilities whether they are physical or mental to self-actualise, become the best possible version of themselves and to become as self-sufficient as possible so we are quite involved in that space and we bring that into our business as well and many of our team are involved in charities as well and they are encouraged to do so.

Susan Freeman
Well I think that’s terrific and I think that’s probably a really good place to finish so thank you, thank you both for your time today.

Alex Price
Thank you.

Peter Cuthbert
Thank you.

Susan Freeman
And we will watch the space very carefully so good luck with everything.

Alex Price
Hopefully you will hear more of the Fiera name in years to come.

Susan Freeman
Well I hope so.  Thank you.

Peter Cuthbert
Thank you.

Susan Freeman
Well that was fascinating.  It is great to hear a Canadian view of the UK real estate sector and all the opportunities it has to offer.  Watch this space as the Palmer Capital business grows alongside their new Canadian investors and I can predict we are going to hear a lot more from Fiera.  For more information on their businesses you can go to the Palmer Capital and Fiera Capital websites.   So that’s it for now.  I hope you enjoyed today’s conversation.  Please join us for the next Propertyshe podcast interview in a couple of weeks’ time.  In the meantime make sure you check out our Propertyshe website at Mishcon.com/Propertyshe for all our interviews and programme notes.  The podcast are also available to download on your Apple podcast app and on Spotify and any other podcast app you use.  And do continue to let us have your feedback and importantly, any suggestions for future guests and, of course, you can also follow me on Twitter @Propertyshe for a regular commentary on real estate, prop tech and the built environment.

Alex Price
CEO, Palmer Capital

Alex Price joined Palmer Capital in 2003, initially charged with creating the fund management business within Palmer Capital. He set up and managed the Palmer Capital Development Fund and its successor vehicle. He was promoted to Chief Executive in 2008. Prior to Palmer Capital, Alex served as an officer in the British Army before starting his financial career with Credit Lyonnais Securities in 1997. He has an MBA from the London Business School and is a fellow of the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors. He is a Board Director and member of the Investment Committee.

Peter Cuthbert
President, Fiera Properties Limited

Peter has more than 30 years of experience within the Canadian commercial real estate investment industry.

Peter has been with Fiera Properties throughout their formative years and instrumental in the development and growth of the firm’s business. Prior to being promoted into the role as President for the firm in November 2017, Peter was Chief Operating Officer with a focus on improving risk management and performance analytics and was also charged with the direct management of the Fiera Properties CORE Real Estate Fund. He was instrumental in the rapid growth of the fund, including the successful deployment of investors’ committed funds. The fund surpassed the $1.5 billion mark for assets under management and has yielded top quartile returns to its investors. As President, his focus will be on the continued evolution of the investment management platform and a broadening of the range of real estate investment solutions, with a view to meeting the requirements and exceeding the performance expectations of Fiera’s growing client base.

Peter’s multi-disciplinary background includes hands-on experience with capital fundraising, real estate portfolio and asset management, real estate finance, appraisal, workouts, leasing, acquisitions and dispositions. Over the course of his career, he has been personally involved in the financing, valuation, management and investment of more than $6 billion of commercial real estate.  Peter has a broad perspective of the real estate industry, having worked in the institutional, public-market, brokerage, and private-sector environments.

Prior to joining Fiera Properties, Peter oversaw the $1.6 billion Canadian real estate operations of a major financial investment manager including direct management of a large commercial open-ended pooled real estate fund.

Peter has served his community through his involvement with various charities and coaching of minor hockey teams. Currently, Peter serves as Vice-Chairman of the Board with the Toronto Chapter of Variety the Children’s Charity and Variety Village. 

@Propertyshe podcast
in association with

How can we help you?

How can we help you?

Subscribe: I'd like to keep in touch

If your enquiry is urgent please call +44 20 3321 7000

Crisis Hotline

Emergency number:

I'm a client

Please enter your first name
Please enter your last name
Please enter your enquiry
Please enter a value

I'm looking for advice

Please enter your first name
Please enter your last name
Please enter your enquiry
Please select a department
Please select a contact method

Something else

Please enter your first name
Please enter your last name
Please enter your enquiry
Please select your contact method of choice