CBRE launches Deal Flow platform and Small Caps team in UK

07 June 2017 Consultancy.uk

CBRE has launched Deal Flow, a new digital platform in the UK, in a bid to create an additional avenue to connect investors with properties across the national market. The firm also announced the creation of a small capital team to advise on deals below £10 million, chaired by industry veteran PJ Thibault as the firm aims to increase its presence in the small-cap segment of the UK real estate advisory market.

CBRE has launched Deal Flow, a new online listing platform service for the UK market. With the country cited by a recent report from the firm as the top destination for investment, Britain remains a key area of interest for global property investors, while its capital remains a key hub of interest for retail players, with London cited as the second biggest hot-spot city for investment in 2016.

Developed by CBRE to provide property investors with information of the company’s open-market sales across all sectors and geographies, the real estate consulting firm hopes that Deal Flow will enable them better serve its global investor base with offerings on the market in the UK. In addition, the firm says that the new tool will boost transactions due to its ability to identify and match investor trends.

Commenting on the UK-launch of the new Deal Flow platform, Stephen Hubbard, Chairman of CBRE UK, said, “Technology is becoming an ever more important consideration for the real estate industry and this new platform will provide us with a state of the art marketing tool which will allow us to provide a more efficient service for clients across the globe.”

CBRE launches Deal Flow in UK and Small Cap team

The new service follows the roll-out of CBRE’s Small Caps team, a bespoke service for small-cap investors, earlier this year. The team is focused on supporting deals valued at £10 million or less, for which the firm’s services were leveraged 207 times in 2016, with a total transaction value of £785 million. The new team, as well as Deal Flow service, expand the firm’s wider presence in the market by driving a new source of revenue – outside its traditional high-profile transactions.

The new initiative is chaired by PJ Thibault, Executive Director at CBRE and Head of the Portfolio and Special Situations team. A former Equity Partner of Cushman and Wakefield of some 23 years, Thibault said of the specialist team’s creation, “CBRE is well known in the UK market for transacting on large, high profile lot sizes but is less associated with successes in small cap markets. The foundation of our business is to provide expertise in all deals no matter what the size and the Small Caps team will provide a tailored, bespoke service to investors looking at these smaller transactions. The real estate market is changing rapidly, and small commercial real estate deals have grown increasingly attractive to investors wishing to step up the property ladder from the auction market or move across from residential investment.”

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Late payment culture cripples productivity of SMEs

29 March 2019 Consultancy.uk

UK SMEs are seeing their efforts to grow stifled by late payments, causing thousands to enter insolvency proceedings each year. According to experts from Duff & Phelps, this also has a major impact on the UK’s economy, meaning late payment culture must be tackled if the country is to dodge yet more economic stagnation in the shadow of Brexit.

Small and mid-sized enterprises in the UK face a myriad of pressures at present. Brexit anxieties are keenly felt by SMEs, with more than nine in 10 suggesting recently that economic conditions have worsened in the last 12 months. 66% of SME leaders also expect conditions to further worsen in the coming year.

At the same time, firms are keen to see value for money from investing in external expertise. Consulting fees which weight much more heavily on smaller firms, who spend £60 billion per year on professional services, but feel that more than £12 billion of that figure is wasted on unnecessary or bad advice.

Late payment culture cripples productivity of SMEs

Above all, however, SMEs are extremely vulnerable to late payments, and, according to a new study, the situation is only getting worse at present. According to corporate rescue consultancy Duff & Phelps, small businesses in the UK are facing a collective bill of £6.7 billion per annum due to late payments by other companies, while the average value of each late payment now stands at £6,142. This has risen from £2.6 billion in 2017, illustrating the plight of SMEs, particularly with uncertain economic times ahead.

Indeed, the spike in late payments has already caused significant productivity issues for SMEs, which in turn compromises their financial stability. With staff wasting hours chasing down late payments and businesses becoming preoccupied with short-term cash flow problems, they are less able to concentrate on creating new value for the firm, which in many cases gradually slides toward insolvency.

Small businesses across the UK are facing major cash flow pressure, leading to increased financial instability as a direct result of a late payments culture. This is likely a big driver of the UK’s 20% boom in insolvencies over the last three years, especially as it has a knock-on effect on other SMEs within the supply chain of those struggling firms. Approximately 50,000 small businesses fail each year because of late payments, amounting to a shortfall of more than £2.5 billion for the UK economy. 

Commenting on the findings, Paul Williams, Managing Director, Duff & Phelps, said, “In this modern era of technology, which is designed to enable business agility, late payments are particularly galling as there are no excuses. The day of the ‘cheque is in the post’ is long over!... More can be done to avoid businesses reaching this situation in the first place. SMEs underpin the economy, so prioritising timely payments will help allow business owners to focus their time and energy on providing good quality products and services and adding value to the customer experience, rather than chasing outstanding payments.”

The UK Government currently promotes its voluntary Prompt Payment Code to encourage good practice, but late payments by larger companies remain a common pain point for many SMEs. There may be hope for an end to late payments, however, following an announcement in the Spring Statement from Chancellor Philip Hammond. The Government aims to crack down on the practice, with Hammond stating big companies should hire a Non-Executive Director to be responsible for reducing late payments to small suppliers. The statement also advises that organizations publish payment practices in their annual reports.