“I don’t believe in short-term interactions with investors and so my approach is to build long lasting relationships”.
A dynamic Business Development Director with strong commercial acumen and customer focus, Zac has been responsible for leading key business functions while also deploying outstanding expertise in establishing new companies, forming business structures, process management, Mentoring and Coaching.
Your department works closely with institutional investors, High Net Worth Individuals and family offices. What are your investors looking for in an investment?
High level Investors look first of all at us, even before they look at the investments we offer. They want to know how professional and experienced our team is, how good is our track record, how robust is our model and how well we understand their unique needs. Once satisfied they will discuss their needs and how the investments we offer can help them achieve their objectives. In the investments, they look for the combination of minimized risk, sufficient safety precautions and a high return. Investors want to see that the projects have been properly selected and vetted, that the developers were rigorously screened by our Analysts, that all the financials are in place and that the monitoring team will visit the projects on a regular basis. My aim is to build trust with the investors by working closely with them so they will have the right process in place and they will be offered the right projects for them.
What do you think makes Cogress appealing to investors?
Well, it seems that we manage to tick the “worthwhile investments” check list. It is a variety of things: our deal flow, our network of developers, the understanding of the market and our credibility. Our current investors, the individuals and companies that invested with us, already know that we will not leave any stone unturned until we make sure this is a worthwhile project for them. Moreover, we have established a reputation as creative problem solvers that just don’t give up, something that both investors and developers like to see in their partners.
What aspired you to take the role of the Business Development Director at Cogress?
When I met Tal, the CEO of Cogress for the first time he told me the story behind Cogress. I like to hear about companies that are born from a real need and have an elegant solution and the Cogress model got me excited. After Tal shared with me the firm’s future expansion plans I was hooked. Throughout my career I have been playing an active role in rapidly growing companies. The prospect of working with Cogress on growing its activities and investors base, in and outside the UK, just felt very right to me. I relish the challenge of bringing Cogress’ ambitions to life by forging relationships with new investors all over the world.
What parts of your role do you consider most important?
We stand by our four pillars of business success which are Trust, Accountability, Transparency and Accessibility. A core part of my role is to instil high level of trust to my investors by being transparent and accountable and to always be accessible for them.
I don’t believe in short-term interactions with investors and so my approach is to build long lasting relationships. My investors are Partners, Senior Executives, High Net worth Individuals, Family Offices, Institutional Investors and business partners, and my aim is to make them feel safe and comfortable to work with me and with Cogress.
Most of my energy and time goes into meeting investors. It is of the utmost importance for me to convey the Cogress ideals and values to as many people as possible and neutralise any apprehensions they might have.
How do you feel your role is evolving? What are your next steps for the future?
Besides increasing our network of institutional and private investors, I am working on developing a debt facility that can offer developers a one stop shop for their funding needs.
As Business Development Director my vision is to expand Cogress’ reach and brand outside of London, and outside of the UK. First stop is Spain where Cogress will start its operations very soon. Looking at the bigger, long term, picture I can certainly say “watch this space”.
Can you identify three things that set Cogress apart from other similar organisations?
Our assurance to our investors is that we believe strongly in all the projects we choose to invest in.
Moreover, complexities are inherent of all developments and so, we pride ourselves with a proactive Portfolio Management team which makes sure that all the developments components align in order to guide the process of each development as smoothly as possible. The deployment of our Portfolio Management team, is our way of building confidence in our investors and to encourage the feeling that they are part of the ongoing monitoring process. They know that they can request and access real time information at any point during the life span of the project and engage in informing conversations with our team of professionals.
And last but definitely not least, what defines Cogress is its personal and professional interaction with its investors. Information will always be presented in the utmost professional manner by myself and the team. We greatly value the trust that our investors place in us.
What advice would you give to Cogress investors?
Ask as many questions as possible.
After all it is their money they are investing. Each investor needs to feel secure and safe before he decides to take the next step and invest. It doesn’t really matter if that person has previous knowledge or experience in property investment – it matters what sort of questions they ask and how much they understand Cogress’ approach and model. They are always welcome to call or come over to our offices. We want them to see and gain a full understanding of how the team operates so that they can make their own informed decisions afterwards.
This is what I believe is great about the Cogress model – we will never tell you when or what or if you should invest. It is all about choosing the right investment and receiving professional advice from a team of experts.