« Say what you do, do what you say »
Gérard Margiocchi, former FRICS, spent 20 years at Arthur Andersen (10 years as a partner), then 15 years at DTZ (10 years as Chairman and CEO of DTZ Eurexi and 5 years as Chairman and CEO of DTZ France). He is a certified public accountant. He currently holds the position of vice-president, responsible for developing the activity of Peoplexpert in the real estate sector.
Gérard’interview (07/09/13) :
Hello Gérard, can you remind us of your professional background?
I started out in public accounting, and I am a certified public accountant. I then spent several years in the Financial Expertise Department of Banque de Paris et des Pays-Bas. It was there that I started to get interested in real estate, especially in development activities. I then joined Arthur Andersen. Twenty years of adventures. The audit, of course, and in particular the review of the programs of many promoters and construction companies of national size, as well as of projects carried out by engineering companies. Towards the end of the 80s, I devoted myself to advising companies in difficulty, then to conciliations in the 1990s. I also developed the property valuation activity, and I am quite proud to have led the team which, for the first time in France, implemented the technique of discounted cash flows, on the occasion of the biggest real estate transaction on the stock market in 1997. I finally joined DTZ, which was called Jean-Thouard again at that time, where I finally spent almost 15 years. I took over the property appraisal activity which was in decline and, in a few years, thanks to the excellence of the team gathered around me, I think I can say that this activity, under the name DTZ Eurexi , has become one of the main players in the sector. In 2009 our shareholders put me at the head of DTZ France, where I had to coordinate the various activities of the France group: rental agency, investment advice, advice to users, expertise, consulting, tertiary development and property management , as well as the franchise network. These were four years of crisis, due to the international context and also due to the financial weakness of the shareholder group. In early 2012, DTZ was taken over by UGL, a major Australian company.
Why did you leave DTZ and how did you come to recruiting?
The takeover by UGL opened the door to a period of integration at all levels, necessarily long, given the size of the group and its concern for process security. The autonomy of the leaders was diminishing, which I understood perfectly well, but no longer corresponded to my aspirations at the time. I was then approached by the head of Peoplexpert who told me of his interest in developing a new branch in the sector I know best: real estate. The challenge was interesting: Peoplexpert offered me the support of a dynamic team, I found the same concern for the quality of service as that to which I had been accustomed, I kept my autonomy and the prospect of maintaining contact with my previous relational environment. My family relationship with the leader of Peoplexpert (he is my son) and our bond of complicity also counted a lot in this choice.
How are you going to approach a new profession? Aren’t there already too many recruiting companies in this industry?
I will approach it as I have approached other professions: through quality, which involves training and motivating teams, listening to the interlocutor, efficiency of procedures, strict rules of ethics, feedback, and above all: Say what you do, do what you say! Don’t forget that I have the support of a dynamic team which has already been in existence for more than 8 years, and which is already active in other sectors, and I have another asset: I was a client from recruiting companies on numerous occasions, and I have a few ideas, especially on client expectations. The recruiting industry is tough but I’m used to tough industries. Above all, I believe that it has development potential for the near future. On the demand side, certain branches of the real estate sector, in particular the agency and asset management professions, are experiencing high employee turnover rates due to the need for permanent adaptation to the market; real estate companies, whether listed or subsidiaries of industrial or service groups, are the subject of strategic discussions, to maintain a leadership position or to improve their profitability … On the supply side, the crisis has dismissed personalities very rich that we could well argue in a few quarters …