A conversation with: Maurice Gauchot

Maurice Gauchot is a Board Member of Stone Estate. We sat down with him to discuss his role within the business, his observations as the world emerges from the Covid-19 restrictions, what his outlook is on real estate markets in the future, and how he spent his Summer break.

What is your role within Reech Corporations Group?

As a board member of Stone Estate, I have held an advisory role since the business was founded in 2017, and worked closely with Christophe and the founders during the first two years. Being active in the global commercial real estate sector since the early 1980s, I am able to analyse markets, investments or strategy based on that experience, and advise on asset development. Christophe and I have been close acquaintances since 2005 and we speak regularly on a range of topics related to the business and real estate market dynamics.

What have been the top trends you’ve been following this year?

The trends I am following are of course very central to my role within the Stone Estate business. Firstly, it comes naturally to me to follow the evolution of the Swiss real estate market during this time, in the light of the current recession, and its resilience as an asset class for foreign investors.

Secondly,  the digitisation of the real estate industry is also something I’ve tracked closely for some time, specifically through the lens of the European and UK markets. My interest for this is not new: in the 1990s I was part of the team that set up a unique, digital database for commercial real estate in France. So, I take huge interest in seeing where digitisation fits in, in the future!

What are your main observations as we start to emerge from Covid restrictions?

Despite the obvious initial shocks from the pandemic and restrictions imposed by Governments in many key economies, the resilience of real estate in many markets has been impressive. This asset class will continue to attract investment, especially within more stable core markets such as London, Paris and Switzerland, the latter of which has emerged again as a clear safe heaven. The Swiss market in particular has proven to be very stable and protective for investors, demonstrating opportunities to create value.

What’s next for Stone Estate?

For Stone Estate, its business as usual. We have a highly experienced team that are used to operating in challenging markets, and the time is right to work directly with investors to help them take advantage of value-add opportunities in the Swiss market. Our model means we are active in many sectors and have the ability to create value through proactive, forward-looking asset management.

How are you spending the Summer break?

The French and Swiss real estate sector slows down in August! So, it is a perfect time for holidays – I’ll be spending a few days in a small village of the Luberon region followed by two weeks on the French Riviera. Unfortunately, due to the pandemic restrictions, activities will be limited, with no concerts or other cultural festivals this year!

Maurice Gauchot is a Board Member of Stone Estate. Previously, he was Chairman and CEO of CBRE France for over 16 years, and has sat on the board of Banque de France.

Before his role at CBRE, Maurice headed up the French operations of Hines, a leading US property developer, where he led major developments including developing major towers within the landmark La Defense complex on the outskirts of Paris, and redeveloping the former Renault factory in Billancourt, Paris