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Interview with Richard Shepherd-Cross, Custodian CapitalBy: Richenda Oldham

Richard Shepherd-Cross, Custodian Capital

Richard Shepherd-Cross is Head of Property (Managing Director) with Custodian Capital. Richard is a Chartered Surveyor having graduated from Reading University in 1994 and attained the MRICS qualification in 1996. Prior to his role at Custodian Capital, Richard was a director at Jones Lang LaSalle in London, running a team focused on portfolios of commercial investment property and while at Mattioli Woods, he had responsibility for the syndicated property initiative, developing the service into the subsidiary, now known as Custodian Capital. He has experience across the national commercial property market and all commercial property types, with a strong focus on investment.

What do you like best about your current job?                                    
It has to be the satisfaction of securing and funding a new property investment for our clients, it never fails.

What was your first job?                                                                             
I’ve always been in property….my first job, which will be a surprise to my office, was a labourer on a construction site.

What is the best advice you have ever been given?                                              
You don’t get if you don’t ask…

Who has been the greatest influence on your life and why?                                  
My family have been the greatest influence as they provide consistency and a solid foundation for life.

What advice would you give to a young person wanting to get a toehold in the property profession today?

Most people in the property industry are approachable and keen to help young people, so ask for work experience and meet as many people as you can - this is a great industry for networking.

If you could have dinner with any three people, who would you choose and why?

Isambard Brunel, Thomas Cubitt and William Gladstone to ask them what they think of the modern world and how it compares to their expectations.

What has been your biggest challenge to date?                                          
Answering the questions in this interview…

What is the best decision you have every made?                                                    
To live life to the full, then you will have no regrets.

What is your motivation in life?                                                                                  
If I make it through the day, there is a glass of wine waiting when I get home.

What has been the most exciting moment in your life?                                
Winning my first race as an amateur jockey many moons ago.

If you hadn't gone into property, what else would you have done?                          

I think that property would have to be in the role but if I hadn’t followed my current route, I believe I would have gone into architecture.

How different is property now to when you started and what changes do you regret/welcome? 

The old cliché that property is a people business still remains true, so I don’t believe the industry is so different from when I started. However, I regret the conflict the big firms face of working for shareholders versus working for clients.

What changes have you noticed within property during the recession?      

Deals take longer unfortunately, good agency advice is back in fashion and property investment fundamentals are driving stock selection – as they should.

What do you enjoy most about commercial property?                                          
The variety of people and places that I visit makes no one day the same.

Have you had any life changing opportunities that you wish you had grasped?  

When I was talent spotted by McLaren Formula 1, I turned my back, at least I turned onto my back and returned to a dreamless sleep.

A few of your favourite things?

Book - The Naked Ape by Desmond Morris
Film - You can’t beat a good Bond movie, so Live and Let Die.
Food – I’m traditional in some ways, so it has to be a pie.
Business - I would most like to do business with my next new client. There is nothing more satisfying than winning a new client.

Tags: Interview

Features December 2012

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