As my MIPIM train rolls into Aix, I notice that inside me there is A Year in Provence struggling to get out.
March 9th, 06:00
Nicky Richmond: Joint managing partner and head of property finance at Brecher.
Woken up at 5 despite going to sleep at stupid o’clock. Debating whether to have breakfast before “breakfast” where I have agreed to meet a real estate (or in the traditional yet modern world of Brecher), property lawyer at 9 30 for breakfast.
Decide that I cannot really justify 34Euro plus service charge plus room charge plus some utterly spurious MIPIM surcharge that descends on the whole of Cannes during MIPIM week and call room service to request a large pot of strong coffee, no doubt using the wrong word for “pot” to room service, who sound bemused.
This meeting with the lawyer is legal blind date and I have been forced to look at the website to see if I can find out what the lawyer looks like. I then discover that the lawyer is female not male (why did I assume otherwise?) and unfortunately has a name which is partly Thai (I believe) and partly Czech, neither of which I know how to pronounce. Good start.
We are having one of those MIPIM meetings to discuss “mutual referral opportunities” and I am just hoping that the other lawyer will be gentle with us as we ease ourselves into the day. Us, that is includes my partner, Andrew Brecher, who is delighted that I have filled his diary at this time and has arranged for an old Prague contact of his to join us. Just in case.
Then we’re off to have a meeting on a current transaction between clients and an investor I introduced them to, who happens to live down the road in Monaco. Then lunch with Investec –everyone seems to be going to that, it’s the new King Sturge; then meeting a banker who is making panel promises and then onto three simultaneous drinking focused evening events. Am trying to blag myself into the Savills dinner at Colombe D’Or but it’s not gatecrashable, so to speak. Not even for me.
Meanwhile my overpriced and lukewarm “cruche” or “flacon” has just arrived and I need to visit www.pronouncenames.com. Really.