Property Week | View from the top: James Caan
This article originally appeared in Property Week on 23 October 2020.
The former Dragons' Den star tells Sebastian McCarthy why he's backing new property stock exchange IPSX, how he foresees the pandemic affecting offices and what advice he would give new businesses.
While most of us are still acclimatising to the new normal of remote working, James Caan embraced it years ago.
“I stopped going in [to the office] five years ago,” says the Dragons' Den entrepreneur over Zoom. “I went on holiday to Phuket and fell in love with the island. I thought: 'I wonder if technology travels as far as Thailand and can I make Zoom work?' To my amazement, with a mobile phone I realised you can be based pretty much anywhere.” Caan was ahead of the game then – he now runs his business empire virtually from Monaco – and he hopes to be ahead of the game again, as the latest backer of the world’s first regulated real estate stock exchange, IPSX. The tycoon and TV personality has long been an investor in real estate, with his interests ranging from proptech platforms and industrial asset funds to London residential schemes and property management firms.
But IPSX, which will for the first time enable direct investment in commercial property via a public market, is unlike any venture he has supported before. “When you invest in a fund, sometimes it can be a bit faceless, but if you show me something that I can touch or see, it makes more sense to me, so the idea of investing in individual buildings felt quite appealing because you can drive past something, see it and get your head around it.”
Caan’s backing adds to the momentum that IPSX has been building in recent months.
Read the full article on Property Week.