Jay Robson French MSc MRICS
Chief Executive Officer, MSW EMEA
Years of Real Estate Experience: 20
Years with Matthews Southwest: 12
With over 18 years of International Corporate Finance and Real Estate Investment and Development experience, Jay began his professional career with the Olympia & York Executives who are renowned for bringing major successful landmark developments to the market such as Canary Wharf in London, First Canadian Place in Toronto and Battery Park in New York City.
Jay joined former key Olympia & York Executives at Commercial Property Investments (later merging with Matthews Southwest) in London in 1997 as an Associate assisting in international property and finance projects throughout the entire development and investment life cycles. Deal highlights and clients included the Norwich & Ipswich Railway Station Regenerations with Network Rail UK, Canadian National Railways European Headquarters in Trafalgar Square, London and acquisition advisory work for Brookfield Properties. During this time Jay was involved in large scale projects and major transactions totalling over 1 Million square feet in complex financing (securitization), “on time on budget” construction delivery and ongoing asset management/disposal programs for Tier 1 clientele.
Promoted to Director at Matthews Southwest (“MSW”) in both Canada and the United Kingdom after only 3 years, Jay was an integral part of MSW's Core North American Executive Team (5 members) that delivered over 4 million square feet of AAA Landmark Blue Chip commercial, hospitality, residential, industrial and retail space in Toronto, Dallas and Calgary valued at over USD 3 billion. Clients and partners included Bell Mobility, Government of Ontario, H&R Real Estate Investment Trust (TSX:HRT), Trans Canada Pipelines (NYSE:TRP), Ritz Carleton, Merrill Lynch, Maritz Canada, Foster & Partners, DTZ, RBC Capital Markets and EnCana (NYSE:ECA) the last of which is Canada’s largest, single tenanted corporate office tower (The Bow) sold to HR REIT after tender for circa USD 1.5 billion in 2007.
During 2007, Jay was recruited to support the creation of Arady Properties P.S.C. in Abu Dhabi, UAE establishing the company in the emerging Middle East Private Equity Real Estate industry. With Qatar Investment Authority and H.H. Sheikh Hamdan bin Mubarak Al Nahyan as its prime shareholders and an original capital of USD 50 million, Arady's balance sheet grew to USD 500 million by September 2008.
In 2009, Jay Co-Founded Wyndham Capital Partners (UK) with Mr. Michael Head (ex-CFO of Qatari Diar) and was its Chief Investment Officer. The company’s activities are grounded in real estate transactions with proven capability to develop, finance, acquire, dispose and manage real estate assets. The company generated fees of USD 1 million in its first year and originated transactions of more than USD 7 billion with Pramerica and High Net Worth Private Family Offices as its key clients.
As of 2012, Jay accepted an offer to join, structure and grow AECOMs MENA Development and Investment Team working with AECOM Capital, the new private equity investment and development arm of AECOM (NYSE:ACM) a USD 8 billion revenue, Fortune 500, 45,000 professional real estate services company focused on generating new advisory and project revenue from its global list of institutional and sovereign wealth clientele. Jay reports to the Investment Committee in New York as well as covering the EMEA region as its Director sourcing and implementing advisory mandates, co-investments/developments and the creation of joint venture investment platforms with regional Soverign Wealth Funds’s.
Jay holds an Economics and Political Science Degree from Simon Fraser University, Canada (Full Scholarship) and a Masters Degree in Property Development and Finance from London University (South Bank), United Kingdom. In addition, Jay successfully passed the license course for Commercial Real Estate Agents in Alberta, Canada as well as being an official Member of the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors in London, England (MRICS).
Jay is married with a daughter, holds UK and Canadian Passports and speaks English and French fluently.