“A company is never successful because of just one thing. Its success is the combined sum of its parts and key amongst these are the team members.”
A highly experienced property professional, Charles initially started out as a surveyor working for Jones Lang LaSalle before becoming a headhunter specialising in the property finance industry. Feeling a natural affinity with the industry, he went on to work as an Investment Broker in the City dealing with the property investment and wealth management of high-net-worth individuals – from here it was a natural progression for Charles to focus on high-end luxury residential property development in London’s Mayfair.
This path through investment and the London property market has given him an extensive knowledge on all aspects of property developments from micro to macro and from start to finish. This is allied with a formidable ability to quickly analyse and assess property investment opportunities and their viability.
Tell us more about what you do at Cogress?
“My role as Head of Analysis is chiefly concerned with business development, meeting developers, and reviewing the investment opportunities we send to our community of qualified investors.
We only work with developers that pass our stringent due diligence process, ensuring we only present our investors with the very best opportunities.
For an investment opportunity to proceed, there are many different components that need to align, and it’s my role to shape and guide the process. Due diligence is performed on developments and developers alike to assess each investment’s feasibility, along with its risks and returns. Not only this, but we have to make sure that each investment and development is totally compliant with all relevant regulations. As always with our investment opportunities, joint venture agreements must be negotiated with developers to secure the best deal for all stakeholders involved. It is my role to move the entire process forward and ensure that we are only presenting thoroughly vetted, intelligent and viable investment opportunities to our range of investors.”
How did you come to be at Cogress?
“I was flattered to be approached by Cogress when they originally launched and immediately recognised the brilliance of their business model. I was presented with an exciting proposition that gives to both small and large investors access to property investment opportunities that they would not otherwise have the opportunity to have access. From my experience, I knew full well that these type of investments and the associated high returns were normally restricted to only very wealthy private investors, but Cogress provides an opportunity that enables qualified investors to get started with as little as £20,000.
Because Cogress operates as an equity partnership, I could see that it had the financial influence and ability to underwrite equity levels to the value of between £1.5m – £11m. The value of those deals typically range from £7m to as high as £90m. The beauty of the business model is its simplicity, transparency and accessibility, combined with the skill set that Cogress possesses to really make the model work. Joining Cogress was an easy decision to make.”
What do you think makes Cogress a success and why?
“I think we’re a success because the idea is simple – so simple that sometimes it makes you wonder why it hasn’t been done before. More than that though it’s because our focus is always on providing our investors with intelligent opportunities through process that is completely accessible and transparent.
Because we are equity partners in the very truest sense of the word, we don’t just bring equity to invest, we bring best in class expertise, and crucially, support to our investors. This unique offering allows us to build long lasting relationships based on trust and accountability with developers and investors alike. They know that we are working in their best interests, always, and that we present them with only the best investments available
Our approach and proven success means that our investors have total confidence in our professionalism, and that’s how we have grown to a global community of over 27,000 qualified investors who trust us. This level of trust is what truly differentiates Cogress from other equity players and investment firms.
So really the reason for our success is threefold; an innovative business model, complete accountability to both developers and investors and a proven track record in delivering a strong return on our investments.”
What is it that you enjoy about working for Cogress?
“I enjoy working in an environment that integrates an original business model with a traditional approach in terms of the value placed on building strong relationships with all of our stakeholders. Cogress adopts a culture of growth that is dynamic, and progressive. It’s hugely rewarding working in a company with such a brilliant philosophy together with the capabilities and expertise to make it work.”
Finally, any advice you would give to Cogress investors?
“We will only present viable opportunities that have passed our due diligence process to you, but my advice would be to only go with the investment opportunities that you feel comfortable with. Equally as important, I’d say remain positive about property as an investment and have trust in bricks and mortar, there’s no reason not to. There is continual and endless speculation about London’s property market in the press and a lot of it can be negative, people want to knock it down. Yes, any investment has risks attached to it, but you always need to look at the bigger, long-term picture, and time and time again property has stood the test of time.”