Cutting the mustard: Meet EG’s Rising Stars 2019

Steve Jobs, one of modern history’s most influential innovators revolutionised the technology industry. And yet he once famously said that “technology was nothing” in an interview with Rolling Stone. “What’s important is that you have a faith in the people,” he added.

Such a level of focus on the power of the people working in any given industry resonates more than ever in the real estate sector as it navigates through a period of change, transformation and uncertainty.

In an industry which is working to improve its commitment to diversity, digital transformation and sustainability, there is nothing quite like a healthy dose of much-needed fresh perspective.

Now in its fifth year, EG’s celebration of property’s Rising Stars is back for 2019. Here we introduce 10 of the brightest players in the sector aged 35 or under who are  dedicated to making a change.

Enrico Faccioli, 27, chief operating officer, Gyana

What do you think it takes to be a Rising Star?

It is really about trying to understand your skill set, where you want to go – in terms of as a person but especially in your professional life. And trying to make all the steps up to that basically, trying to work towards that every day and trying to be better every day. Just a small change in that direction.

What is the biggest challenge you face on a daily basis?

We are a very disruptive company. Data science, by that I mean deep tech, trying to engage and educate more traditional sectors has always been a bit of a challenge. But that’s changing, which is very helpful. So it will get easier with time.

Who inspires you and why?

Generally speaking, entrepreneurs and people who are trying to make new and disruptive tools to help humans are very inspirational. Because there is so much that can be done, and there’s not much recognition especially of social impact. They [entrepreneurs] deserve more credit for that.

Joyeeta Das, 35, chief executive and founder, Gyana

How would you describe Gyana in a sentence or two?

Gyana is a technology company and it empowers different articles like finance, real estate and, at this point, even oil and gas and smart governments with the power of data. Data that provides insights to them to do their business much better.

What do you think it takes to be a Rising Star?

Tenacity. To not give up, to make up your mind about what you’re going for, then know that, no matter how much you’ve prepared yourself mentally, you’re going to actually meet a lot more obstacles. Like many, many faults bigger than anything you’ve factored in. But you still keep going.

How would you describe the work you do in one word?


What is the biggest challenge you face on a daily basis?

The biggest challenge is to be a leader, to make good decisions with the limited data. We have to make decisions on the fly, really fast. And we don’t always have enough data points. So you rely on your instinct and experience, and making sure your personality or ego is not making those decisions is very important. It’s a big challenge keeping those things aside.

Who inspires you and why?

I am almost always inspired by leaders who did not do obvious things but were able to make massive changes with things they persevered after. I’m really inspired by Nelson Mandela, who I think is the biggest example of tenacity in the world. I also think that I’m a really big fan of Steve Jobs. Regardless of what people say, what he created is so huge it’s absolutely outstanding.

Adam Eagle, 27, litigation associate, Clifford Chance

What does it mean to you to be a Rising Star?

It means being an agent of change in our industry and pushing the boundaries of what has already been done.

What’s your ultimate career goal?

I want to achieve something that lasts beyond my own lifetime: a positive development toward sustainability and environmentally conscious development. I would like to achieve that through my work at The Lifescape Project [an environmental not-for-profit Eagle runs along with others at Clifford Chance and AECOM].

What’s the best piece of advice you have been  given?

Work hard and always be ambitious. There also has to be some time for enjoyment.

Eleanor Bowden, 35, chief executive, Abode Impact

What does it mean to you to be a Rising Star?

When you put your head above the parapet and try to do new and interesting things it’s good to have that industry recognition that this is new and useful. Getting that validation from the industry is really important.

What’s the best piece of advice you have been given?

My first boss was brilliant at taking me to the side and telling me: “You’re unique, you’re special and you think about things in a different way”. That sunk in. If he hadn’t taken me to the side and given me that backing I wouldn’t have believed I could do it.

Who’s your role model?

Ian Graham, chairman of L&G ’s affordable homes business. He’s well known in the industry for being extremely astute, extremely intelligent… and he’s also a lovely human being with no ego. I think it’s very unusual you get those things together. That’s something I really aspire to.

Rupert Parker, 31, head of future-proofing, Avison Young

What is your ultimate career goal?

To ensure the surveying real estate industry doesn’t fall foul to the rise of technology – I think the two need to be harmonious.

What’s the best piece of advice you have been given?

To live in the moment, take a step back and appreciate everything that is happening.

What can real estate do to attract young talent?

It needs to wake up to the fact that things are changing. For young people, the idea of a career is less appealing than it was five-10 years ago, simply because of the idea of remote working now that digital nomadism is coming to the fore.

Rosanna Lawn, 25 (top), and Harri John, 25 (below), co-founders of CREation

What does it mean to you to be a Rising Star?

RL: It’s about inspiring people to be the best that they possibly can and create opportunities for people to do that.

HJ: I came into property at a very low point in my life, when I struggled a lot with confidence and mental health. Setting up CREation was amazing and being recognised shows all the hard work you’re putting in. It’s an amazing feeling.

Who’s your role model?

RL: Greta Thunberg. She’s a boss. She’s 16 years old, goes around the world and sits and talks to parliament, and says: “I’ve researched this, you’re wrong, and this is why you’re wrong and this is what we need to do.”

HJ: My mum. She’s from a working-class background, put herself through education, became a lawyer and raised me single-handedly while holding down a job through tough periods. She has taught me that you don’t have to have anything to be someone.

What is your ultimate career goal?

HJ: To empower other people to step up and realise that they can be someone too.

RL: I want to be in a job where I really enjoy what I do and create a space and environment where others do too.

Raya Yunakova, 31, programme director, Pi Labs

What does it mean to you to be a Rising Star?

I’m very happy to be nominated. It’s a recognition of my effort and the increasing importance of tech.

What’s the best piece of advice you have been given?

Work with people you respect and like, and be that person for others as well.

Who’s your role model?

Sandy Gumm from Prestbury. She’s super smart, super professional, and someone I really admire and aspire to be like one day.

Matthew Sampson, 33, development director, U+I

What does it mean to you to be a Rising Star?

It’s great to be associated with the other guys who have been nominated. They’re all doing some really interesting stuff – particularly those who are doing things off their own bat.

What are the challenges young people face in their career in property?

The market has changed quite a lot. When I first started, the old-school attitude was hierarchical, you do your time until you become a partner or director… I don’t think there’s as much age discrimination as there used to be.

Who’s your role model?

My dad. He was a colonel in the marines, and I was a failed marine drop-out. But he was always really supportive and encouraging of me leaving the family tradition and going into property.

Isabel Sheppard, 30, associate asset manager, Aviva Investors

What challenges do young people face in their career in property?

Property is a diverse career. Choosing what you want to specialise in, and making the most of all the different avenues you could go down to find something that plays to your strengths, can challenge some people. I think young people should be open to those avenues and not necessarily stay on the path that they immediately find themselves on.

What is your ultimate career goal?

I want to have a varied role, working with lots of different people and to do something that I love.

What does it mean to you to be a Rising Star?

It means you have been recognised for your achievements and you should feel proud of those. You have an exciting future ahead and you should grasp every opportunity.

Additional reporting by Lucy Hangartner

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