Aerospace and Defence in the South Coast with Philip Holmes
Nella Pang is joined by Philip Holmes, Senior Estates Surveyor, Group Property Real Estate at QinetiQ for the 4th episode of season 1. They chat about why aerospace and defence companies have chosen the South Coast, the QinetiQ property strategy and how important it is for landlords and investors to pay attention to a corporate social responsibility agenda. They also touch on how the pandemic has changed QinetiQ’s asset management strategy. The key insight from this episode was that it is essential to any business in the technology sector to put sustainability and the carbon zero agenda right at the top of their list.
Key Insights From This Episode:
- Being able to travel and experience new cultures allows you to take a different perspective and implement that into your everyday life, as well as your business life. – Nella
- It is essential to any business in the technology sector to put sustainability and the carbon zero agenda right at the top of their list. – Philip
- Businesses are using their real estate to attract and retain employees. – Nella
- We have to create an environment that will attract people to work there and not work from home. – Philip
- The pandemic has really shifted that you can’t just let an office anymore, it’s very much letting a space as a service. – Nella
- There is the perfect recipe for strong, vibrant businesses living on the South Coast. We have amazing communications to and from Europe as well as the rest of the country and also in terms of the talent pool, we have got three cities close by and we have got some excellent universities. – Philip
About Our Guests:
Philip is an experienced Chartered Surveyor with over 20 years of experience working in the Group Estates Team dealing with the Asset Management of QinetiQ Estates in the UK and Overseas. Following a career in construction in London, Philip qualified in 1998 as a Chartered Surveyor and Member of the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors. Before joining QinetiQ, Philip’s former role was a Partner at Vail Williams, acting for a wide range of clients from major pension funds, asset managers, occupiers and private investors. As a result, Philip has an extensive technical knowledge and has an excellent track record in providing solutions with complicated property issues requiring detailed strategic advice. Philip has been involved in, and dealt with, a number of landmark transactions during his career, mainly in the Central Southern Region. Philip has an open minded, creative and innovative approach to devising marketing strategies and, more importantly, negotiating successful deals for the client.
[01:35] How would you typically introduce yourself?
- My official role is a Senior State Surveyor but it is more of a Corporate Property Asset Manager
- Someone that is working within a major corporation looking to drive value and income through a property strategy on behalf of all the vacant elements of our property’s estate, which provides a regular, monthly, quarterly income.
[02:25] Tell us one thing about yourself that would surprise our audience.
- When I was 16, I spent some time in the West Indies in St Vincent spending time with some of the families and the Afro-Caribbean subculture there.
- I spent some time learning to surf in Australia on Surfers Paradise
- I spent some time travelling around Europe in a camper van.
[03:35] QinetiQ Estates was announced as the Most Admired Aerospace and Defence Company in the UK in 2021. Can you tell us a little bit more about the business?
- The core function is to provide testing stimulation services in the defence industry.
- Its key function is working with the Ministry of Defence in the UK as well as the US Forces and across the world.
- It’s not creation or manufacturing, it’s testing new technology and it works within the space functions and cybersecurity.
- QinetiQ was gifted a huge portfolio of estates that the MOD owned for example, in Dorset, there’s a proven ground for tanks, there are firing ranges in South Wales and there’s the massive technology park, which is 1.1 million square feet and 400 acres at Cody Technology Park in Farnborough.
[06:15] Why has QinetiQ chosen to still be a part of the South Coast?
- A lot of it is legacy and proximity to customers.
- As long as the Navy is in Portsmouth, QinetiQ will be in Portsmouth.
[07:45] You are part of the estates’ team which looks after QinetiQ assets. Can you just tell us about the property strategy?
- We have several strategies which really depend on the specific sites.
- The overall strategy is that we need to make sure that we are, commercialising and rationalising our assets where we can to ensure that the business is successful.
[10:00] In regards to the new build, it is a fantastic development and the architecture is beautiful. Can you talk to us about the sustainability aspect and what’s driving the design?
- We have a very focused ESG and sustainability agenda within QinetiQ and we have a dedicated energy team who is striving to ensure that the business is complying to the policies that were laid out right at the outset.
- We’re looking at how we can ensure our tenants are complying.
[11:20] How important is it for landlords and investors to actually pay attention to a corporate social responsibility agenda?
- It is essential to any business in the technology sector to put sustainability and the carbon zero agenda right at the top of their list.
[13:10] Let’s touch on Cody Technology Park, what’s the tenant mix?
- We have quite a diverse range of tenants at Cody.
[14:00] In terms of the pandemic, has your strategy changed and what are you doing for the assets that you’re managing?
- The pandemic has been an amazing situation that has ensured that we stop, think, take a breath and understand how we are going to market our space.
- We’re in a state of flux at the moment as tenants who have got mid leases, are starting to think; do they want to renew that lease, do they want to downsize?
[16:30] The defence and aerospace is phenomenal in the South Coast. We’ve got occupiers such as Lockheed Martin, GE Aviation, Britain Norman, BAE Systems and Airbus. They are making a total annual turnover of £35billion collectively. What do you think makes the South Coast so unique?
- We have amazing communications to and from Europe as well as the rest of the country and also in terms of the talent pool, we have got three cities close by and we have got some excellent universities.
[17:50] Quick-Fire Questions
1.Who are the movers and shakers of our region? Is there an individual, association or network that you would recommend for people to stay informed?
- We’ve got to look at the quality of the developers and the quality of the developments.
- Southampton Property Association
- Portsmouth Property Association
2.What is the best thing about living in Portsmouth?
- Being down on the beach when it’s quiet, with nothing going on and just contemplating life in the universe.
- Vibrant business community
3.What is your favourite mantra that you live by?
- Proper preparation prevents poor performance.
- The act of helping someone is kindness. Expecting something, returned is business.
- BNP PariBas Real Estate
- Vail Williams
- Kingsbridge Estates
- Southampton Property Association
- Portsmouth Property Association
About Our Host
I left the corporate world in 2020 and launched Omega RE a commercial advisory firm in a pandemic, whilst on maternity. Brave some people would say. 🚀
The pandemic has taught many of us a thing or two, particularly on how we can do business. I support businesses to navigate the complexities of Commercial Real Estate, so they can achieve their business objectives through their Real Estate decisions.
Lease negotiations can be a minefield. Even small mistakes can drive up costs. That’s why I will represent your interests every step of the way, ensuring you receive full value of our experience and market knowledge.
With over 18 years’ experience in the Commercial Property Market having worked for the big corporates Jones Lang LaSalle Limited, BNP Paribas Real Estate and Vail Williams.
I want to be able to share my corporate knowledge with my clients, whilst offering a more personal dedicated commercial advisory service.
Having acted for a wide range of clients from major pension funds to private investors, small businesses and individuals. I love meeting people and I am passionate about adding value to my clients business and watching their business thrive.
About Omega RE
Omega RE is commercial property advisory firm based on the South Coast. Providing expert advice to Landlords, Occupiers in the industrial, office and retail markets.
Omega RE is always thinking ‘Outside the Box’ in our advice to clients and the way we do business. We don’t settle for mediocre, we challenge the norm and are dedicated to finding solutions that is best for our clients.
We are a people business, based on strong relationships and partnerships, and we offer a personal level of service.
As the market evolves, we will too adapt to be successful and want the same for our clients. We are committed to finding innovative ways of marketing and how to do things more efficiently.
We will never stagnate.
We are disciplined in everything we do, we take time to understand the situation and set a bespoke strategy for each client. Not one size fits all. We do not cut corners or take short cuts and our integrity is undisputed.
Providing clients’ a hands on approach to finding the perfect property; office, industrial, warehouse or retail space to meet business needs and negotiating the best commercial lease terms, is what we do best.
We come to work because we’re passionate about providing expert, innovative, independent advice to clients. We want to help businesses navigate the complexities of Commercial Real Estate.
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