On the 25th November MBA students visited Capital & Counties Properties PLC (Capco), a major property investment and development company in London. The inaugural visit was part of a series of company visits that will run throughout the year, giving MBA students first hand experience on how businesses operate. The visit offered a unique insight into two major construction and redevelopment projects run by Capco.
The group met at Earls Court Exhibition Centre with Gary Yardley, Director of Investment, and Richard Powell, Director of Planning, who showed the students the project for the 77 acres development of the site, a £4.5 billion planning application project fully financed by private investment.
The ambitious master plan is to reshape the entire area on the site of the Exhibition Centre, creating 7500 new homes along with hotels and offices, and 12000 new jobs. The Q&A that followed was an occasion to examine in more depth the complexities of the project, and to create connections between classroom theory and the reality of business practice.
MBA student Shekar Kamble commented: “This trip was an excellent exposure for my management studies – to understand the challenges in the Real Estate & Development Market in terms of strategic planning, sustainability, urban marketing, revenues, investment and market risks. The amount of learning through Capco was incredible!”
The visit continued to the Covent Garden estate, which was transformed into a new inspirational leisure and residential district, recording rent levels last summer. The aim of Capco’s visionary asset management strategy was to raise value in the area through new attractive retail spaces, converting building uses, restructuring properties and improving pedestrian circulation.
Students were engaged by the extent of the challenges involved in these projects, as Elizabeth Huang commented: “The visit to Capital & Counties was highly interesting because it allowed me to gain a deeper understanding of the firm’s grand vision, their strategies and the extraordinary level of complexity they have to deal with in order to achieve their objectives. As a former Chinese urban planner, I’m also very impressed with fact that, despite all the challenges, they have gone to great lengths to strike a good balance between social responsibility and commercial success.”
Report by Flavia De Facendis, MBA student
The Brunel Master of Business Administration (Brunel MBA) is a one year full-time masters directed at graduates with three years managerial level experience. www.brunel.ac.uk/mba