InFocus: Richard Jackson

Richard JacksonRREF chatted with alumnus and co-founder of Apache Capital Partners Richard Jackson on his career, interests and time at Reading.

By Lindsey Keys, Alumni Relations & Events Assistant, REP & RREF.

Why were you attracted to a career in Real Estate?
Initially because my father’s family has been in real estate for 5 generations, so it seemed a logical career choice! But I remember aged 14 being asked a question at a school careers convention - what does everyone need? The essentials are food, clothing and a roof over your head and the latter particularly interested me and over 20 years later it still does.

What qualities have helped you reach this stage in your career?
I think at the heart of everything is hard work, you don't get anywhere without working hard, and it is this that creates the luck that everyone needs in life.

As my career has developed I have sought to build lasting long term relationships with all aspects of the industry with investors, shareholders, partners, advisors, founders etc. Repeat business is the easiest business and this can only be done if you are honest, do what you say you will do, be fair but commercial and ultimately you build a track record and people want to do business with you. A good deal is when both parties walk away happy.

I think one very important factor is that property is not inherently complicated, areas can become very technical but fundamentally the things that complicate matters are people. I find clarity in understanding the other sides’ position on a particular point of negotiation and vice versa is the easiest way in navigating a solution that is satisfactory for both parties and getting a successful conclusion.

How has your perspective changed throughout your career?
As your career progresses you become more experienced dealing with an increasingly larger range of issues and challenges. This is the interesting part, if everything was easy it would be boring! You become more rounded as an individual as further doors open and the experience continues to grow, helping to identify new partners and opportunities, analyse, assess risk and opportunity with greater clarity and for me seek to deliver the best returns to our investors.

Increasingly I see the critical importance of a good team, our business is only as good as the people in it, learning to delegate and trust people, whilst not losing sight of the bigger picture and detail is increasingly important as we grow.

How do you feel your time at Reading influenced your career?
Very much so, it was a fantastic course and the tutors were excellent. I of course preferred some modules more than others but it was a diverse degree that offered investment, economic, property, legal and technical experience that isn't often found in other degrees. It offered a direct line of sight to your future career in the industry.

Even though I knew I liked investment and development, I didn't really know which path I was going to take, with the exception that I knew I always wanted to have my own business one day. Reading was the first step in the process before I co-founded Apache Capital Partners in 2008.

Are the links you created at Reading, and the people you met, still relevant for you today? Yes the links created and nurtured at Reading are very relevant today and I suspect always will be. One of the best long term benefits of the course is the friends you make, I regularly do business with or see friends that I met on our course. This 'club' will no doubt serve us all well for the rest of our working lives and friendships.

As an alumnus of Reading how connected do you feel to current students and Henley Business School?
I enjoy being part of the mentoring programme and had the pleasure of mentoring some great candidates. It is nice to put something back and impart even a little knowledge if it is at all helpful to them.

Looking to the future, where do you see your business heading?
I want our business to become one of the leading fund managers in the UK and Middle East. With our PRS Platform with Moda Living we hope to become one of largest Owner Operators building a long term generational platform.

Outside of the office, what else interests and inspires you?
My main interest is without doubt my family, I am married, have two young sons and I am enjoying introducing them to a range of our interests such as sailing and skiing. They don't have to do them if they don't like to, but at least they have the door open to them if they want to pursue. When I have time (which is not often) I enjoy travelling, going to restaurants and watching a movie and reading to relax.

In terms of what inspires me, I don't have any one person but a collection of people throughout my life that have inspired me and that have driven me and my ambitions. I watch and try and learn lessons from all sorts of people from leaders in industry, sportsmen and women, entrepreneurs, colleagues, family and friends who all have interesting things to say.

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