Seven wonders

Eurobuild Awards
From the very beginning, the engine driving the development of our sector has been the special people at the heart of it: those special characters who hate sitting around doing nothing. Oscar-winning films could even have been made based on their careers. meet the real Personalities of the Year!

I’m certain that if the story of what any of them had achieved was ever transferred to the silver screen, we would have an extraordinary epic about how to negotiate effectively, how to manage an organisation, how to talk with employees, and where to go bargain hunting. Maybe it would also give us an insight into how to become a personality. Or maybe you either just have this quality or you don’t? Some people seem to be just born with a unique set of characteristics, an inborn talent to be charismatic and successful. And to that they the in-depth market knowledge required to be successful as well as a high level of competence and professionalism and having nerves of steel. Then the big money comes into play and with it huge responsibility. Each year Eurobuild has the privilege to pick out a select few who have stood out in this regard and nominate them for the Personality of the Year in Commercial Real Estate Award. So who are this year’s candidates, what’s their recipe for success and what has paved their way on the road to the summit?

The first of this year’s nominees we take a look at is a man who has for many years both intrigued us and commanded our respect. Few people have done as much on the investment market as Maciej Dyjas, the managing partner of Griffin Real Estate and the managing partner of Cornerstone Partners. We’ve nominated him for the unprecedented rapid growth of Griffin Real Estate, which has turned itself into a major player by taking over and strengthening a while series of companies and real estate platforms. The strength of Griffin’s results are well known to everyone, but few may have an insight into any of the characteristics our nominee believes has helped him in business. In answer to this question, he replies that for sure it is his ability to concentrate on what is important but also to set long-term goals and realise them despite the changing conditions.

Also nominated for our Personality of the Year is Radosław T. Krochta, for his key role in the rapid growth of MLP Group, which in a short time has built up a warehouse portfolio across Poland and abroad. In his opinion what helps in business is above all the determination to pursue your goals, which itself comprises several characteristics, such as motivation, self-confidence and a willingness to take risks. “These past five years have gone very well for MLP Group, as we have managed to achieve one important goal our shareholders expected of us: we have doubled our market capitalisation. This has only been possible because we achieved several smaller goals, such as expanding in Poland as well as into Germany, Romania and Austria; but above it has been due to building a responsible team and introducing a new modern warehouse format,” explains Radosław T. Krochta.

This is also the year to recognise the achievements of Przemo Łukasik. In the last few months, the architect, who founded the Medusa Group studio, stunned the world with the design for the Nobu Hotel in Warsaw – a unique, visionary combination of tradition and modernity, but also one that has seamlessly fitted an international brand into a local context. He points out that he owes his and Medusa’s success not only to himself, but to the work of his entire team, including that of architect and co-owner of the company, Łukasz Zagała. “Medusa Group is, above all, its people. We work on projects in groups, and we are happy as a group when an investor or office user praises us. And as a group, we try and resolve the challenges our clients set us, and so it is from the group that the most carefully considered solutions emerge, which still have their own distinctive character,” Przemo Łukasik tells us.

In April it was revealed that Krzysztof Misiak had been appointed as the new director of the Polish branch of international consultancy Cushman & Wakefield. He has been with the company for 13 years and prior to his promotion had held the role of office department director for Poland. In recognition of his many years of diligent work in furthering C&W’s growth on the Polish office market, including in the regions, he was promoted to head of the Polish division. He believes the key to his success has been his soft skills along with his business acumen, both of which have been honed over many years. In this segment, steadfastness and consistency are certainly useful, but so is being introspective and self-critical, which enable personal development and learning new things.

The next nomination that we’re going to look at is Artur Sutor, for his role in establishing Cresa Polska, a company that he has built at a prodigious pace to join the ranks of the premier real estate advisories, as well as for his achievements in redefining what a real estate consultancy can actually be. He’s not only an effective manager but also an expert on the leasing market. For example, last year he was involved in the largest leasing deal on the Polish market, representing MBank, which took up 45,600 sqm in Mennica Legacy Tower in Warsaw. So what’s his individual recipe for success? “Although the entire market revolves around buildings, for me it’s the people who will work in these offices that are more important. Companies have histories, needs and sometimes also problems that we try and manage. My work gives me a lot of satisfaction, especially when a client stays on with us for several years and recommends us to others,” argues Artur Sutor.

This year Barbara Topolska, the Poland country manager of CPI Property Group, has also been nominated for the award. We’ve nominated her for developing and implementing the growth strategy of CPI Property Group in Poland, one of the most active investors in the office market, with its own innovative approach to managing its property portfolio. In October last year, the company announced it would invest EUR 800 mln in Poland at around the turn of the year and many reacted to this with disbelief. Soon afterwards we all looked on with admiration as several acquisitions went through and, as a result, the company is now the owner of the largest Warsaw office property portfolio in terms of gross leasable space. This wide-ranging activity has gone in tandem with her approach to her work. “Seeing the market as a process while at the same time assessing the consequences of our actions, and being prepared for quick reversals in policy in response to ever changing circumstances, of course requires an open mind, as well as flexibility and above all a willingness to meet challenges,” Barbara Topolska believes.

Among those nominated there’s also someone from the retail sector – Jacek Wesołowski, the managing director of Trei Real Estate. We felt that one of the most iconic achievements of last year was the expansion of the Vendo Park chain of small format retail parks, which are still regularly coming onto the market despite the massive disruption caused by the pandemic. He also deserves recognition for the part he has played in negotiations with retail tenants. As Jacek Wesołowski points out, he enjoys professional challenges and is looking to continue his professional development. However, having already had many years of working experience of all the various stages of real estate development he feels fully prepared for whatever lies in store and that there’s almost nothing now that could surprise him.

The road to success for each of those nominated this year has neither been short nor straight – it has required strength and determination, passion and sacrifice, as well as a good helping of luck – which includes the people that they have met along the way. Out of the seven nominees, there can only be one winner, the identity of whom will be chosen by those present at the Eurobuild Gala. Prior to that three of the seven nominees will be chosen to go into the final vote by the entire Eurobuild jury. But let there be no doubt about it – all seven have truly been personalities of the year!