Managing Director, Mark Bridgman, recently celebrated 15-years with Viranda. We recount some of his memories to date and share what has kept him inspired since 2005.
Coming from the grit and grey of central London to a sunny beachside location was part of the appeal for Mark to join Viranda, but the real drawcard was its longevity in the marketplace, its diverse client base and a workplace culture that resonated with his personal values.
- How did you discover Viranda and what interested you to join the team?
After five years in the UK and our first child on the way, we returned to NZ. I hadn’t heard of Viranda but I became interested in the business because of its rich history and values. Chairman, Andrew Guest has a depth of knowledge and strength of character that draws you in. I was at the stage in my career where I wanted to dip straight in and deal with a diverse client base. Although initially a six-month contract, I could see how it would give me a fantastic chance to re-enter the NZ marketplace after being away for some time.
Coming from a corporate background, it was refreshing to join a small team who were supported to excel without hierarchy and encouraged to focus on a very tailored solution for every client.
The opportunity to expand my responsibilities and permanently join the team was an easy decision for me.
- What are some of the biggest industry changes you’ve witnessed to date?
Dealing with unique circumstances and challenges is a given in any business and the GFC and Covid-19 are good examples. Identifying new ways of doing things becomes essential, especially in the downturns.
We now live in a tech-saturated, info-overloaded world! That’s possibly the biggest change I have seen. The speed at which people access media and advice is staggering. It’s crucial in our role to constantly dissect information and form an accurate picture before advising clients.
The differing sectors; industrial, retail, office – all have their unique complexities and it’s vital to stay abreast of the current market and anticipate the changes across each sector.
I have seen clients diversify over the years and enjoy the fruits of their investments. I’m also seeing generational shifts where the children may now be involved in their parents portfolio. Seeing people progress through the stages of life and the passage of time is hugely rewarding.
- Is there a typical week at Viranda, what does it look like?
Every day is busy but different from the last. Our client base is rapidly increasing so there has been a period of building up a strong team around us to manage this growth. Fostering staff requires -open communication – lots of -checking in, emails, Whatsapp and so on, but it’s very satisfying.
Viranda Group has many entities so it’s important to stay across the daily changes and investigate new business opportunities. That can mean being onsite at one of our land development projects one day, to visiting a prospective building or clients the next.
Like many, the typical working day isn’t 9-5 anymore, so when I am free I love to get out of the city and enjoy what rural New Zealand has to offer with my family and friends. –
- Quick-fire thoughts…
Most challenging aspect of the industry? Interestingly, the challenges are the same things that keep it engaging. Hunting out the right investment opportunities for a client requires out of the box thinking and providing better service than your competitors – not just once, but consistently. It’s highly-competitive.
Best part of the industry? The amazing people I’ve met along the way and seeing them succeed. In its simplest form, we’re in the business of creating wealth for our clients and that requires trust and strong relationships with all involved. Along with the client, there are contractors, suppliers, solicitors, banking- reps, accountants, real estate agents and so on. Everyone in some way is connected to the outcome – it’s a people business first.
Finally, staff development is something that inspires me. The sky’s the limit at Viranda for those who have the passion and drive to succeed. Over the years, I’ve seen many of our team fully maximise the opportunities in front of them.
Having fun along the way too – that’s worth highlighting!