Nick brings a wealth of knowledge and experience to his partnership position at Osborne+Co, combined with a real enthusiasm for the company’s operating model. A quantity surveyor by profession, he has been involved in the international real estate sector for over 30 years, working across 37 countries and four regions with a focus on Asia, the Middle East, as well as the UK.
He has particular expertise and extensive experience in strategic programme management and direction. That has included the design, development and execution of real estate strategies and workplace projects, with responsibility for ensuring that they are fully aligned with organisational goals and aspirations. A natural team player, his skill set also includes leadership and coaching expertise which he has applied to influencing and mentoring stakeholders at every level from senior executives to team members, panel vendors to key partners.
Nick began his career in 1997 when he started working with Jim Osborne at CM International as the outsourced contract lead for Standard Chartered Bank (SCB) in Northeast Asia.
In 2001, he relocated to Singapore to manage the EMC outsourced contract, including all the leasing, facilities and project management services in the Asian-Pacific region.
He joined SCB in 2004 where he was responsible for managing all aspects of its property function in the Middle East, North Africa and Pakistan, in addition to managing all Bank acquisitions globally for property. One high point of his time with the bank was the successful negotiation for the sale and purchase of a 154,000 sq ft building within the DIFC free zone. He also played a pivotal role in agreeing the new head office lease in Downtown Dubai, UAE. Subsequently, Nick returned to Singapore where he managed the ASEAN property function for SCB and, following on from that, the workplace function in Asia.
It was whilst engaged on the UAE head office project that Nick renewed his acquaintance with Jim Osborne who had taken the initiative to submit a build-to-suit proposal. He first met Jim in 1997 in Hong Kong where he had set up CMI. He knew that Jim had previously worked in London with Stanhope Interiors. Having also worked with them on various projects and considered them to be probably the best construction managers in Europe at the time, Nick was well aware of Jim’s pedigree and professionalism. So, when he was offered the opportunity of a position at CMI, he had every confidence that he would be joining a company that would go on to deliver some outstanding projects. As, of course, it did.
Jim’s proposal to SCB in the UAE was for a modern building without internal columns that would not only maximise efficiency but also complied with all the bank’s standards. In addition, it was a distinct improvement on anything that was already available in the local market. Nick was responsible for negotiating the lease agreement for the new building with Jim, a process that took several months. It involved lengthy sessions with lawyers for both parties and careful attention to ensuring that the bank’s internal protocols were followed before any deal was signed. The project, however, was completed and handed over on schedule.
Nick had always enjoyed the camaraderie when he worked with Jim during the heydays of CMI. That was the result of a ‘work hard/play hard’ culture which consistently delivered work of real quality along with the highest levels of professionalism. Moving to Osborne+Co after 17 years in the corporate world is an opportunity to work again with like-minded people who share a no-nonsense approach to delivering successful projects. For Nick, it feels like a breath of fresh air.
He is especially enthusiastic about Osborne+Co’s Build-to-Suit formula which he sees as a natural progression to the successful projects which were carried through by CMI. By encouraging a direct relationship with the client, it offers a one-stop-shop solution that can reduce red tape, simplify complexity, and avoid the dangers of miscommunication. As a result, it promises to deliver significant savings in time and money without compromising on the quality of the final asset.
One of the most exciting current projects for Nick is at Clark Global City in the Philippines. The country has seen a resurgence in demand for new buildings, especially logistics and warehousing since Ferdinand Marcos Jr became president and the restrictive pandemic measures were relaxed. Osborne+Co are well placed to benefit from the fresh opportunities this presents. Their new plot comprises 8,144 sq m with a floor-to-area ratio of 8 which gives a gross area of 65,152 sq m (excluding the car park) and it’s in a prime location adjacent to the Medical City with excellent access by road and amenities in the nearby area. A design based on the mixed-used concept developed for Banco Santander’s UK HQ building in Milton Keynes is currently in development with Aidea architects. A central atrium will run the length of the building and the detailed design will make provision for food and drink facilities and other amenities. Anticipating a significant increase in demand for quality office space in Clark Global City, care is being taken to ensure that the design meets higher standards than anything that is currently on offer within the new development.
Looking forward, Nick sees the holy grail for Osborne+Co in the shape of a roster of multinationals with a history of successful projects behind them and future developments in the pipeline. The circumstances for achieving that are certainly favourable as the infrastructure and construction industry in Asia is poised to lead the growth of the global economy after the impact of the pandemic years.
In terms of his own future, Nick is looking forward to making use of the experience he has gained since leaving the UK 27 years ago, especially in the Middle East and Asia. Drawing on this and his network across the world of corporate real estate, and with an eager openness to exploring new markets, he believes he has a positive contribution to make to the Osborne+Co model.
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