Having obtained an Engineering degree from Oxford, and a Masters in Simulation and Control from Manchester, Gabriel Kassir pursued a career in management consultancy. He gained an international perspective of business when he set up the Oxford Academy of Management in 1997. Gabriel founded GRE Assets in 2006 and is the sole shareholder of the company, with an active role as CEO spanning over all departments.
As founder, he has built the company around the core values of integrity, transparency and looking after its staff. GRE Assets is unique in offering full investment portfolio services to its clients and this is something Gabriel is particularly proud of.
In this interview, Gabriel Kassir shares his vision for the company when he established it in 2006, tell us more about his role at GRE Assets and reveals his top business advice.
What was your vision when you set up GRE Assets and how has it changed since?
We were looking at creating an environment for investors, where they are in control. Rather than investing their money in a fund, we wanted to buy property on their behalf. This means they have the title deed and control it, while benefiting from the discount a bulk buyer gets. We also wanted to create a platform where investors can easily exchange properties online without having to come to us, which is something we are working on at the moment.
As part of our company strategy, we have expanded internationally since 2006 into Spain and the Middle East. We wanted to have three bases of finance – the British pound, the Euro and US dollar, which we have since done. Our head office is in the UK, we chose Spain as the location of our European expansion as it attracts international clients and have an established office in Saudi Arabia, where the Saudi riyal is pegged to the US dollar.
What is your role at GRE Assets?
As a CEO, my role is to set the strategy for the expansion of the business. You need tactics to implement the strategy, without them you would be slow to succeed. Equally if you had tactics without a strategy, failure would only be a matter of time.
I also look at the bigger picture and then guide the team to implement the plan. This involves exploring the environment outside the company, which is where the opportunities and challenges are, but I also look at the company’s own strengths and weaknesses. It’s important to utilise your strengths and do something about your weaknesses.
Fundamentally, I work across four main areas – our product, market segment, finance and human resources.
What piece of business advice do you hold in high regard?
Measure three times and cut once with speed and accuracy. It’s all about planning and preparation, but when you do act it must be decisive. This is most relevant to our business when it comes to rapid deployment internationally. For example, when we expand in Spain or the Middle East, we spend a significant time planning to ensure we have everything in place, but when we implement we do so quickly.
GRE Assets is a property investment company with major residential schemes in the UK and Spain.