Posted: 09 Jan, 2020
In what has become an annual tradition (this was the fourth year), we were once again entertained by Avison Young. Our host Ros Goode, Head of London, opened by explaining that the previous brand of GVA had been replaced at the start of 2019 following the merger with Avison Young, which was an exciting move for the now Principal led business.
We were pleased to see a turnout of over 90 people, including at least 2 prospective new members. We had thought provoking presentations from Tom Withyman, Pinsent Mason, Lesley Strawbridge, The Royal Bank of Scotland and Ralph Luck OBE, Avison Young. The reflective themes for 2019 were unsurprisingly retail focussed with a commentary around the ongoing legal challenges to CVA’s. Notwithstanding the expectation is of a continuing flow of CVA’s through the coming year with shopping centre distress becoming more prevalent off the back of significant reductions in valuations causing covenant breaches and testing lenders appetite for risk. The return of Crown Preference in 2020 was debated at length with the implications for directors and possible impact on bank lending appetite.
As to asset classes at risk in 2020 Higher and Further Education topped the list. Ralph Luck (ex Head of Estates at Kings University London) delivered up a balanced perspective on the sector predicting more consolidation than insolvency, urging the sector to better utilise its assets to optimise operational and financial opportunities.
Thanks again to Avison Young
We look forward to seeing you all at the London Business School event on 5th Feb.
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