In the first of our special interviews in the run-up to MIPIM we speak to Jackie Sadek, regeneration specialist.
When was your first visit to MIPIM? Why did you decide to go?
I think it was 1998. I was doing Paddington at the time. We had scrimped the delegates pass money together from the Partnership’s funds but then someone at Chelsfield (as it then was), one of the partners, had broken their leg so it transpired we needn’t have bothered. In the end my deputy came too. It was a revelation. I haven’t missed a year since, I don’t think.
What is your best MIPIM memory?
Oh so many. The great thing about MIPIM is that it is a serious show with a great sense of humour.
One great one was when Gill Marshall of (then) Gateway to London turned to Steve Morgan of Redrow at a dinner and asked him what he “did for a living”; we got over that point, but later in the conversation when he said he owned Wolverhampton Wanderers and she said “Now Steve, I know it is every boy’s dream to own a football club” (and nearly said “but stop telling porkies”), we were howling. Needless to say he adored her and she got him out to tour her opportunities in East London a few weeks later.
And I have never laughed as much as I have laughed in The Crillon (now usually known as the Manchester Bar) with the press office people. And there was the time when I mistook Gary Neville for a senior local government officer from Manchester City Council (which he was rather charming about) which became the stuff of legend, another Crillon moment.
What does MIPIM mean to you? What drives you to continue going?
It is the chance to get projects with drifting timelines under control. One year I signed Heads of Terms on one deal and an Exclusivity Contract on a second between 4pm and 5pm on the Friday before MIPIM. It is an immutable point in the property calendar, a bit like Christmas. And it focuses the mind and helps you benchmark progress.
What is your forecast for this year’s show?
Star turn Housing Minister Brandon Lewis with some seriously innovative new products to launch. Innovation in the housing market the name of the game.
What is the one event in the Tough Guide you wouldn’t miss?
The Paul Finch round up on Thursday afternoon at the London Stand is unmissable.
One piece of advice to a first timer?
Pace yourself. And don’t get drunk on the first night (anyone who knows me who is reading this will now be laughing like a drain).