Five Minutes with Morgan Garfield

Posted by Property Week on 5th Sep 2014

What is the worst travel experience you've had while working in the property industry? 

3 hours in the rain on the side of the A11 after having a blow out on a site visit to Great Yarmouth, amazingly we still bought the shopping centre  

The best work event you've ever been to? 

Being flown down for a day’s wine tasting at Chateau Lafite with Rothschild (back in the pre-crisis days.) 

Best decision you've ever made? 

Opting not to take up a place at Swansea University and to try and get into Cambridge University, it was not something you did from my very normal Valley’s comprehensive but it has shaped all sorts of things from then on.   

Greatest achievement? 

Starting Ellandi in 2008 and managing to make a success of it. 

Best advice you've been given? 

When I joined Rothschild as a graduate, an old hand told me the way to learn was to work with the brightest people where there is high deal flow. 

Your favourite property in the UK (it can't be one you own/manage/advise on)? 

We are blessed in the UK with so many historic buildings, I love the National Trust properties, but my favourites are probably the central Cambridge Colleges which are beautiful architecturally and also bring back a lot of great memories. There are lots of great modern buildings but will they stand a comparable test of time? 

What's the best thing about the industry? 

The people, the camaraderie and the fact that personality has not been eliminated by process and procedure, as it has in many other sectors. 

And the worst thing? 

The level of analysis is not always as good as it should be given the quantum of money being invested in our sector. I don’t see any reason the sector can’t have both personality and high quality analysis. 

What one thing would you change about the industry if you could? 

A more open and collaborative relationship between landlords and tenant and a genuine flow of information that would help both sides. 

If you weren't doing your current job, what would you like to be doing? 

Coordinating an aid programme somewhere in the developing world (finally using my geography degree.) 

What could have the most impact on the industry in the next ten years? 

Reform of the Landlord and Tenant Act and a move to shorter and more flexible lease terms could benefit landlords and tenants alike by creating a more dynamic business environment and rewarding landlords that provide a tenant focused service. Effective business rate reform would also have far reaching benefits, especially for regional economies and small businesses. Sadly, we may be waiting a long time for either. 

Your first car? 

A bright yellow Citroen 2CV, maybe the reason I’ve never been a petrol head.

Have you ever had any interesting housemates? 

Over the years I have lived with far too many rugby players, loads of stories none of them printable in PW. 

What is your ideal holiday? 

Skiing – snow, sun, 50% sport and 50% apres-ski.

Your childhood ambition? 

Growing up I rarely thought of anything beyond my next football or rugby match. I’ve always believed in doing what I enjoy to the best of my ability and felt that this would take me in the right direction. I’ve never been a life planner.

Favourite way to relax? 

Playing in the garden with my kids.

Your favourite book? 

I’m not really a reader – currently its Horrid Henry or the Mr Men with my 6 and 4 your old boys

If you could live anywhere in the world, where would it be? 

On a hill farm in Wales with loads of space and awesome views, although I know I will never convince my family or colleagues to relocate. 

Your most annoying habit? 

Allegedly I snore when I’ve had a few beers, which given I work in the property industry is quite often.

If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be? 

Being able to sing, being a tone death Welshman is shocking! 

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