Escape from Mordor

After a dozen or so years of intensive development, the business service sector has now surpassed the mining industry in terms of employment. Mistakes were made on the way, but this is not the point. It is, however, worth asking whether the right conclusions have been drawn from them and whether we can expect further dynamic growth

Tomasz Szpyt, Eurobuild Central & Eastern Europe: How are tenants evaluating the availability and quality of office space? What could be changed?

Ryszard Piskorz, director of BNP Paribas Securities Services in Poland: I can see pros and cons in the current situation. As a tenant I can see the supply outstripping the demand. This is of course very good for us. In Lisbon, where our headquarters are located, there is a shortage of class ‘A’ office buildings, but in Warsaw you can pick and choose – these are the positive aspects. As far as the negative ones are concerned, there is an insufficient level of urban planning. A basin of office buildings was developed in Warsaw’s Mokotów district, which is now referred to as ‘Mordor’, but no conclusions have been drawn from that – a new ‘Mordor’ is being developed in the city’s Wola district. The buildings are very pretty and comfortable, but the shortcomings can already be seen with regard to the planning of adequate infrastructure. The greatest defect is the lack of sustainable development planning for the urban area that would follow the new office buildings. The high supply of office space is also a source of concern for me.

Izabela Kazimierska, business development manager, Randstad Finance: Location is of increasing importance for the people who are looking for work. Job candidates are asking how long will it take to get here, will there be parking spaces, a bike rack, a shower, a canteen available? These are very important issues for them because they stay at work for many hours and they want to spend this time in a pleasant atmosphere and friendly surroundings.

Anna Floryczyk, tax manager, Credit Suisse Poland: Access is very important. During recruitment processes I have been asked on many occasions about the exact location of the future offices. If the office is located near, for example, ul. Domaniewska in Mokotów, there are people who are prepared to turn down the job just for that reason.

Sebastian Bedekier, regional director, Colliers International, Poznań: The problem is probably that cities are finding it more difficult to invest and they are behind private projects in this respect. City authorities should be one step ahead and provide something as early as the construction stage of new projects rather than when they are completed.

Karol Klin, regional director, office and hotel department, Echo Investment: Urban planning is something that Warsaw in fact skipped in Mokotów. An office basin and a shopping centre were built there and for twenty years the city did not build any adequate infrastructure for the 100,000 people who currently work there. We are talking about Warsaw, the capital city. Developers who learnt from this example opted for good locations with good transport links and a suitable quality of office buildings when they started building in regional cities. This was meant to attract tenants. We can see this in Poznań, Łódź, Kraków, Gdańsk, Wrocław and Poznań.

Sebastian Bedekier: To put it bluntly, these are money issues. And central government – regardless of the political options – places all such tasks on the shoulders of local councils without providing then with the funds to carry them out. So there is even less money. Lobbying for the improvement of the quality of public infrastructure is in the interest of us all, regardless of the city.

Karol Patynowski, director of tenant representation, JLL: I think it has already started. Associations such as ‘Lepszy Służewiec’ in Warsaw have been set up, which are aimed at drawing authorities’ attention to what should be done in order to improve the situation.

Sebastian Bedekier: Only it’s too late now...

Karol Patynowski: Of course, it is a shame it did not happen earlier... but I am glad something like that has been set up, that there is an initiative that brings together developers, building owners and key tenants, who say to the city: “this and this needs to be improved”. It is important to be active in pointing out what needs to be addressed and how it should be streamlined.

Łukasz Targoszyński, lawyer, Baker & McKenzie Krzyżowski i Wspólnicy: Only this is a time when nobody is going to develop near ‘Mordor’ any more. Having seen different development opportunities, investors will operate in smaller cities or towns that provide the same labour force, but with lower rents and operating costs...

Sebastian Bedekier: But ‘Mordor’is a place where things are still being constructed. However, the phenomenon that has taken place should also be expected in regional cities, anywhere where there are centres where office buildings are being developed. A very large complex under the name of Business Garden is being developed in Poznań, which will add an area of 110,000 sqm to the market. The current bus lines will not service employees working in the complex so at least three additional ones will be needed and I cannot imagine things being otherwise.

Karina Trafna, sales director, Legg Mason: I have been studying business parks in Kraków and it seems to me that the development there was taking place so quickly that developers were building just anywhere. As far as transportation is concerned, things are not too bad; however, it is currently a concrete city that lives from 8am until 5pm. In the morning crowds of office workers hurry to work and office life takes place for eight hours, with a little break. It is excellent if there is a canteen in the building, but this is not the case in each of them. It is surprising that despite such a large population of workers, no social functions have been taken into consideration, not any. Admittedly, this has been changing slightly – new buildings offering amenities have been developed. So you need to make some mistakes in order to develop better projects later on. We should also remember that we are dealing with different generations – it’s a different lifestyle, different expectations. A well prepared office centre could be their way of life.

Karol Klin: I would not call them mistakes. The market has only been in existence for twenty years. We are learning from tenants while developing one building after another. In the past, 15–17 years, office buildings were constructed without raised floors; nowadays nobody would even think like that, because such a building would not be possible to rent. The market has evolved, it has adjusted to the tenants and it continues to evolve. The Y generation are people who come to work not only to make money but also to have a good time – they want to spend their time in a pleasant way. Developers have been learning from that and are therefore now offering amenities to allow employers to keep their employees in the office not just for the proverbial eight hours.

Sławomir Gajewski, president of the management board of Torus: I would like to discuss two other issues. Local authorities and central government have long considered BPOs to be a smaller type of business: a few employees, a few computers and phones...

Sebastian Bedekier: ... often treating them as an ordinary call centre...

Sławomir Gajewski: ... that mainly issues invoices. However, you need to remember how many factories have ceased production in Poland in the meantime but still have extensive infrastructure around them. Take Łysomice, for example, and the Sharp plant that is slowly being wound down, or the car factories. I’m saying there are many places where it turns out you can suddenly close down a factory and move it to a cheaper location. And what we are talking about is moving the machinery. Business service centres, on the other hand, are made up of teams of people who are more precious for the employers and much more difficult to transfer. It took us years to convince the authorities that this was a business with serious potential. Gdańsk believed us, invested in this area, and now the sector there is growing very rapidly, although some improvements could still be made here and there. I own a tunnel under a railway line, which I constructed to link a commuter train stop to our office park. I look after it and have it cleaned, but I’ve never received a single penny for it. I also had intersections built at my own expense to prevent our employees from having to run a few hundred meters in the mud. We can feel the lack of support, but I can see the people who work and develop themselves in office buildings and I am a huge fan of all that happens in service centres. The second issue is humanising the office space. Gdańsk entered this field quite late. We took a closer look at what was going on in Wrocław and Kraków and we initiated a project in which we began the construction of an office park from a recreational zone, with a basketball court and a complex of swimming pools. We also organise sports events, such as a night triathlon, for example.

Karol Klin: Gdańsk and the developers investing there believed in service centres and offered something more than offices. This is phenomenal and unique in this country. The urban planning and the implementation of infrastructure, however, are rather poor. The city is merely watching how private hands are building the urban fabric.

Sebastian Bedekier: This is a problem everywhere, although two years ago something significant happened in Poland: the number of people employed in service centres was twice as high as those employed in the mining industry. You have to remember that when we had a centrally planned economy, mining was put on a pedestal. Business services can’t count on this. I don’t think that these businesses are located in Poland just because of the lower costs, not anymore. Companies don’t come to Poland for this reason only. The competences they can find here is important. And the fact that Poland is indeed a bit cheaper can only help.

Izabela Kazimierska: I wouldn’t say ‘cheaper’ is such a clear-cut case. Poland is not cheaper, because there are cheaper countries. However, if we compare the quality of services we offer, it is more profitable to locate such centres in Poland than in countries that seem cheaper at first glance.

Anna Florczyk: This depends on the aspect we are looking at. If we compare Poland with the UK, Switzerland or Germany, it is cheaper. If, however, we compare Poland with, for instance, Asia, which used to be a popular location for business services, it is not cheaper, because we offer a different quality. What helps Poland is also its geographical location and time zone. Companies from Europe and the USA find Poland to be a more attractive location in this respect than Asia. Poland also has an advantage in terms of qualifications. Only narrow specialisations are available in Asia, whereas companies look for locations with a wider range of specialisations or managerial functions. Hence Poland is a much better place. I have observed the transfer of processes that had originally been stabilised in Poland. New approaches to streamlining those processes were invented here, making them more effective. Stricter controls were imposed and only after that were those processes – significantly simplified – then transferred. The creation of added value also took place in Poland. What makes Polish employees different from Asian ones is the approach to work. When a Pole has twenty items on a to-do list, he or she will start thinking which ones to do first and which ones are unnecessary. Asian culture, on the other hand, requires the employee to stick to the list.

Sławomir Gajewski: Firstly, Asian companies are present in Europe, because they win tenders for services, and then divide them. Simpler processes are delegated to Asia, and more complicated ones are left in Europe. Secondly, when it comes to costs, it is essential to guarantee the energy supply of buildings in Asia. Security issues are also a challenge. Every ex-pat arriving in India needs to have his or her own driver, a rented flat, a security guard – and this especially applies to women... all these expenses contribute to the cost of running a business. I also think that the situation in Poland is ideal in terms of place, time and position. We need to raise the awareness of the authorities about what the service sector means for business, stop feeling inferior and overcome this sense of only being temporary.

Tomasz Szpyt: We are increasingly finding ourselves not competing with Asia, but with other countries from our region. Does Poland have competitive edges other than just the price and the quality of services?

Ryszard Piskorz: We shouldn’t look at the business service industry as a homogenous sector. It consists of various services, for example, financial, insurance and IT. The first step during the selection is the price, but competences are also important. However, time is needed to foster competence. Thanks to the investment in this sector, we are building up the experience of the staff, but this takes many years. There are indeed threats to our position, but you can always find cheaper countries, and building up the competence of your employees offers better prospects for the future. But I can see big challenges ahead for developers and the owners of office buildings. Currently supply exceeds demand and the future belongs to home-working or hot-desking, and offices may turn out to be unnecessary.

Karol Klin: Earlier in the discussion we mentioned the sense of being temporary and the lack of belief in the development of this market on the part of the government and local authorities. It is worth reminding ourselves, however, that funds, which at first were reluctant to invest in office buildings constructed for BPOs, expressed similar doubts. Fifteen years ago people asked if this business would continue to exist here in five or seven years’ time... if this was just a temporary phenomenon. Time has shown, however, that this business not only continued to exist in Poland, but became more complex, and simple services turned into processes requiring extensive knowledge.

Ryszard Piskorz: I don’t disagree with that, but I’m trying to say that office buildings may prove to be unnecessary one day.

Karol Klin: Not necessarily. We had one tenant who assumed that 20 pct of his staff would be working from home. After a year half of that group quit. Because they wanted to go to work, have a cup of coffee, talk to people, and go out with them after work. Humans are social animals.

Anna Florczyk: Now when a new building is constructed, it isn’t built for 100 pct of all employees. Two issues are important here. How many offices will we need and how many services will be directed to Poland? This will level off at a certain time, but I don’t think that we are facing a mass exodus. Hot-desking may also reduce the area of space needed.

Izabela Kazimierska: ... some employees value flexibility – for instance, working from home once a week, not necessarily every day...

Anna Florczyk: You could be right, but there are functions that require a lot of stability, when companies cannot afford to have a single minute’s break in the internet connection, for example. There is no way we can achieve this at home. Confidentiality and security on the net, which are hard to guarantee outside the office, are also an issue.

Sławomir Gajewski: And isn’t it the other way round, that we are transferring our homes to the office? Kitchens, playgrounds, childcare, parties after hours... When designing new projects, we are not only analysing the tenants, we are also taking on board the needs of the employees. I think that currently we don’t have a tenant’s market, but there is an employee’s market. A desirable office is an effective space for the tenant, but first of all it has to be attractive and ideal for the employee.

Tomasz Szpyt: What changes in the law need to take place to give Poland an edge?

Anna Florczyk: Stability is the most important thing. No matter what the law is, if it is stable an investor can conduct a risk analysis and decide whether to enter or not. If the law is unstable, it always leads to a flight of capital.

Łukasz Targoszyński: Looking from the perspective of ABSL, it is surprising that almost all its members claim that it doesn’t matter. I was convinced myself that the current political instability would affect the decisions of investors. It turns out, however, that they don’t take into consideration the macro- and microeconomic indicators and political reasons are not enough for them to decide to invest elsewhere.

Anna Florczyk: For the time being none of the activities of the present government has affected them – unlike the financial institutions, which may have been given food for thought. We don’t know what will happen next. The issue that is becoming more and more important for international corporations, and one can judge this by the number of tax investigations, is the question of transfer prices and determining if a company is not saving on taxes by over- or under-pricing, and in this way sucking money out of Poland.

Sebastian Bedekier: The potential introduction of EU legislation to level out salaries will have an impact on business. Then employees from outside the European Union will have to earn the same wages in Poland as the citizens of member states. This will hugely influence the functioning of companies in some sectors of the economy, for example, IT.

Karol Patynowski: The number of projects sent to Poland shows that after the last elections some investors temporarily refrained from decision-making. They wanted to know how the situation in the country would develop. This lasted for about three or four months. However, at present we are seeing considerably more queries and many more new investment projects in the modern business services field. Companies are interested in doing this across the whole of Poland. And I’m not only talking about the obvious locations in regional cities. There is also a great deal of interest in locating modern business services in the capital city, which, not so long ago, was often passed over.

Karol Klin: The new government has insisted from the beginning that one of its main objectives is to tighten up the tax regulations. So none of this has come as any surprise for businesses. I’d like to draw your attention to another factor. We have used European funding for investment in infrastructure well. I drive across the country a lot and I can see how much it helped in, for instance, Łódź, Poznań or the TriCity. These cities are growing dynamically, but places such as Lublin or Rzeszów are lagging behind. They may have begun to develop, but they are not growing as fast as they could if the infrastructural investment was being implemented quicker.

Tomasz Szpyt: Which cities will be chosen as locations for service centres in the foreseeable future?

Łukasz Targoszyński: Certainly the academic centres. To develop this sector, you need a qualified workforce. The transport network is very important too. Investors are more willing to locate their businesses in regional cities, such as Łódź and Lublin. The latter has made the development of this sector a priority.

Karol Patynowski: Much will depend on the competences required and the scale of the investment. If investors need unique competences for a large-scale project, they will not choose a city that is less developed than the biggest centres, such as Kraków and Wrocław, for example. Cities such as Lublin and Rzeszów have a slight chance to attract investment on a smaller scale. But when it comes to very big projects in the business services sector, the main emphasis is placed on the big cities, where the labour market is much more developed.

Izabela Kazimierska: But you can find competent staff in towns. It often happens that people from such places migrate to the big cities, because there is no business that can keep them in their home town. We have been seeing signals from the market that many people would choose to return home if they had the opportunity to work for a good salary in a nice company.

Anna Florczyk: But how are we going to encourage companies to invest in such places? We have experience in special economic zones. Entrepreneurs can benefit from substantial incentives there.

Sebastian Bedekier: Special zones were created in places that fulfilled the so-called poverty criterion. It was only later that subzones were introduced, so that such cities as Poznań could participate in the mechanism.

Anna Florczyk: Nevertheless, such places have been established

Łukasz Targoszyński: Grants are expected to play such a role now. Particularly those directed at the development of eastern Poland – and cities like Lublin and Rzeszów can benefit from them.

Karol Patynowski: Last year, in cooperation with ABSL and Skanska, we carried out a survey of managers in the modern services sector. Every fifth respondent said that he/she was planning to start up a new office in another city. This opens up opportunities for smaller office centres; for example, Capgemini and PwC in Opole.

Ryszard Piskorz: But I think that all roads lead to Warsaw. For two reasons. Basically, the first stage of the growth of the BPO/SSC sector was like this: a senior citizen came from the West to Kraków; he saw the Wawel Hill, the Jagiellonian University and decided “Let’s work here!’” Now we’re in the second stage: investors are looking for employees who could add value to the company and experienced managers. With all my fondness for Kraków and Lublin, they are too small to provide a suitable number of experienced managers for the various fields required in this sector. They are there, but not enough of them. Warsaw beats them with its size and the variety of available skills. The second reason is the behaviour of the people, who themselves are attracted by big cities. That’s why megacities have recently sprung up in China, and New York and London are also evidence of this phenomenon.

Sławomir Gajewski: Warsaw grew out of insurance, telecoms and banking. All these activities are now outsourced. So the thing that made Warsaw grow – and then led to its decline – became a driver for the regions. A year or two ago no one thought about how Warsaw city council should support business. This has now changed and the need arose to create a new identity. And the city now has a track record for this; take the way the public transport network has been developed, which allows people to get to the city centre in ways that are unavailable in other cities. The available space is also of crucial importance. Investors who enter the Polish market need this in a short time. If they don’t find it, they won’t invest there. And there is another question: why aren’t we developing projects in Bydgoszcz, Toruń, Radom or Lublin... ?

Sebastian Bedekier: ... because you don’t believe that someone will enter the market there.

Sławomir Gajewski: No. I believe that tenants will enter, but I’m not able to convince investors and funds to buy a building there from me. There are only isolated cases of investment in those cities, which are given wide coverage. I have been keeping an eye on Bydgoszcz for some time now. A number of times we have been close to entering that market, but on my way to the agencies that could help me sell such a project, I always reached the conclusion that it didn’t make any sense. I’m not going to develop an office building in Bydgoszcz or in Toruń, even though together those two cities form a stronger academic centre than Gdańsk or Poznań and offer an excellent choice of staff. Both cities form an organism with 700,000 people. But there is a certain reluctance among investors that stops us from building there.

Sebastian Bedekier: I think this has been the historical pattern. Until recently, there were not so many transactions outside Warsaw. This eventually started a few years ago. I remember that together with JLL we carried out a joint educational campaign for investment funds to convince managers in Germany, the UK and the USA that it would be profitable to buy buildings in regional cities with tenants from the BPO/SSC sector, instead of just in prime locations in Warsaw that are the headquarters of major corporations. And this threshold was crossed, as was confirmed by the number of transactions in 2014 and 2015 in Poznań, Wrocław and Gdańsk, where, apart from the shopping centre sector, not much had previously happened. Perhaps this is the future of Bydgoszcz and Toruń in five years’ time.

Sławomir Gajewski: People from Bydgoszcz, Toruń, Grudziądz and Radom commute to Warsaw or Poznań. The cities have failed to keep their staff.

Sebastian Bedekier: So this should be the main task for those cities.

Karina Trafna: We haven’t yet mentioned the question of the turnover of companies in the bigger cities. Kraków, for example, is absolutely an employee’s market. People there can even choose from several job offers at the same time, and if a head hunter doesn’t call at least once a month, it means it’s a bad month. New cities can take advantage of this. I know a company that decided to open a new branch in Toruń only because of the low turnover there. The company is doing very well, employing over 1,000 people now. Staff turnover is being taken into consideration more and more often. Both Kraków and Wrocław have a limited capacity – they provide a specific number of graduates for the market. If three or four centres open there each year, they will compete for the same employee, who will be difficult to keep, even if he or she ever appears.

Karol Klin: There are two tendencies that are evident. Warsaw is in the middle of a renaissance and all new projects are being successfully leased. The second trend is the diffusion of the market outside the three biggest regional centres: Kraków, Wrocław and the TriCity. If this trend continues, developers will be able to invest in office buildings there. New locations will attract the brands that will enable the developers to sell their investments to funds. However, currently we face an investment barrier in smaller cities.

Izabela Kazimierska: There is always the first time. If we go back a decade, we can see that even Kraków experienced problems with providing a sufficient amount of space. In the north, investors’ attitudes changed when Gdańsk, Gdynia and Sopot started to act together. Much depends on the human factor and how we approach attracting investors and what we can offer them. I can’t agree that smaller cities stand no chance. We have 360 universities – and these are not only located in Warsaw and Kraków.

Sebastian Bedekier: I agree, but what should an investor do in a town with 100,000 people, where, even if he finds competent staff, he can’t find an office building? Such a town is immediately crossed off the list.

Izabela Kazimierska: I remember an example in Poznań. When office buildings were not available there, the city offered temporary space to the company until the final premises were ready.

Sebastian Bedekier: But how many mayors in smaller cities have temporary space prepared for such investors? We should also bear in mind that people do not move willingly.

Sławomir Gajewski: Let’s think for a moment about what we are talking about... We are looking for the third group of cities where the business services sector could develop. The big competitive edge Poland has is the fact that we created regions that could counterbalance the centre. This creates the opportunity for the development of companies and employees. We should respect what we already have and think about how to improve it. We have centres in Olsztyn, Opole, Lublin and Bydgoszcz that can operate on a smaller scale. How can we make this work on a larger scale? Naturally, we have to take into consideration the competition in Romania and Bulgaria, but we have still had the advantage of being the leader for a long time now.

Tomasz Szpyt: In the foreseeable future, how is the common services sector going to develop?

Sebastian Bedekier: For five or ten years we can expect considerable growth.

Sławomir Gajewski: It is difficult to find in Poland a service centre that is not expanding. Centres will continue to evolve towards more complicated processes. We are not talking about an ordinary back office, but more often about KPO centres (knowledge process outsourcing), similar to those in Canary Wharf, Boston and Shanghai. We are delighted by what is going on in London, but are not aware that the same activities are being performed in Kraków and Gdańsk.

Ryszard Piskorz: We have a lot of educated staff, but we lack managers with more than ten years of experience. Young people in Poland learn fast. However, we cannot cheat time and you simply have to make mistakes. This may hinder us a little and the development may end at half of a generation, when we lose that hunger and ambition. It isn’t just a question of costs, but as soon as we feel spoilt, as in Western Europe and America, this mechanism will stop functioning as smoothly.

Anna Florczyk: All of this depends on the city. Managerial staff have been fostered in Warsaw for 26 years. The city has no shortage of it. This started later in other markets and there could be a shortfall there. Success in this business depends on the quality of the managers and how well they can modify the range of services provided. I don’t mean the more complicated functions, but those that are based on research and development.

Around the table:

Karol Patynowski

associate director, tenant
representation, JLL Poland

Karol has over eight years of experience in the real estate market tenant advisory. He is responsible for strategic advisory to key corporate clients, including various markets, define real estate strategy, commercial negotiations. Karol has cooperated with numerous leading Polish and global brands, including Accenture, The Boston Consulting Group, Cisco, Eurobank, Honeywell, KPMG, Play, McKinsey, Philips, P&G, Samsung, Unit4, IMS Health, Wolters Kluwer, and many more.

Łukasz Targoszyński

lawyer, Baker & McKenzie Krzyżowski i Wspólnicy

Łukasz focuses his practice on civil and commercial law, with special regard to dispute resolution and litigation, mergers and acquisition transactions and day-to-day corporate maintenance. He is also experienced in matters relating to regulatory (gambling) law, as well as European Union law. Łukasz graduated with honours from the faculty of law at the Warsaw University in Warsaw. He has been employed by Baker
& McKenzie since June 2012. Prior to this he also worked for Advocate Law Firm Banaszczyk
& Co. Since 1 February 2016, Łukasz has also been a legal and business advisor to the management board of the Association of Business Services
Leaders in Poland (ABSL).

Karol Klin

regional director of Echo Investment’s office and hotel projects department

He is responsible for supporting the leasing processes in Warsaw, Łódź and Gdańsk.
Prior to joining the company, he was employed as a regional manager of Skanska SPP and as a commercial director of GTC. During his carreer, Karol has also held the position of manager for real estate consulting companies such as CBRE and JLL, where he was responsible for advising corporate tenants as well as developers acting on the Polish commercial market. He graduated from the faculty of law and administration of Lublin University. He holds RICS and CCIM certification.

Sebastian Bedekier

Poznań regional director, Colliers International

Sebastian joined Colliers International in 2012. He is responsible for developing new business in the Poznań region, acquiring new clients and advisory in leasing office space. He cooperates with companies representing sectors such as: financing, legal, audit, medical, IT, new technologies, air transport and many others. Sebastian specialises in the BPO / SSC projects. He has wide experience in working with the public sector. Before joining
Colliers, Sebastian was the head of the investor relations department of the City of Poznań.

Ryszard Piskorz

head of international operations centre,
BNP Paribas Securities Services
Ryszard has over thirty years’ experience in both the fund management and securities services sectors holding a number of operations and finance director roles. He has led the establishment and growth of the BP2S European fund services centre since 2010 to app. 650 staff operation delivering high quality and efficient services to institutional clients. Having graduated in mathematics and obtained a masters in management science from Imperial College, London University, he is both a UK Chartered Accountant and Chartered Banker. Ryszard’s achievements were recently recognised by his peers when he was voted as the Business Centre Manager of the year 2015 for the CEE region.

Anna Florczyk

tax manager, Credit Suisse

Izabela Kazimierska

business development manager,
Randstad Polska

Sławomir Gajewski

president of the board, Torus

Sławomir is a graduate of the faculty of law at the University of Gdańsk. He has always considered the TriCity to be the most interesting conurbation in Poland. He gained his experience in the Pomerania Development Agency and Gdańskie Wydawnictwo Oświadowe [Gdańsk Educational Publishing House], which made it possible for him to be appointed president of Torus – a Gdańsk-based developer affiliated with Gdańskie Wydawnictwo Oświatowe. Torus has completed an office area of almost 75,000 sqm in Gdańsk.

Karina Trafna

sales director at Legg Mason TFI

She is a graduate of Finance and Banking. Since 1999 she has been active in the financial industry in banks including BRE and Citibank. She has always worked with clients, at first they were corporate clients and later they were retail clients. In Legg Mason Investment Fund Company she has been responsible for the organization of work of the sales team as well as the development of the distribution network for eleven years.