Q&A with Francisco de Lancastre David

As the golf industry continues to evolve, more and more golf industry professionals are engaging in continuous professional development (CPD) and advancing their skills to ensure they offer value to current and prospective employers.

In a series of interviews, we explore what courses are on offer and the value they provide. In our first focus we speak to Francisco de Lancastre David, The Group Director of Golf at Abu Dhabi Golf club and Saadiyat Beach Club who recently gained a Certificate in Hotel, Real Estate Investments and Asset Management from Cornell University.

Here is what Francisco had to say about his course…

 

Why did you do the course?

In the last couple of years and as I progress in my career, I am more exposed to different areas of the business, and I am required to be more involved in topics that might not necessarily be the normal daily operations of the golf clubs, but also more involved with strategies to add asset value to the owner and from a management company perspective, how we can deliver the best financial results to the operation via investments in the asset. I felt that it would be positive for me to have further and expand my competencies in the Real Estate Investment and Asset Management area. This to help me better understand the dynamics of asset management from an owner and also from the management company perspective. Ultimately the golf industry continues to evolve and to stay ahead of the curve we as club managers need to continually look at long terms strategies, investment opportunities that will deliver growth, asset enhancements that keep the property relevant, etc. This course has given me additional tools to help me look at these deliverables from a different angle.

Did you look at any other courses?

Yes, I did, before I made the decision to enrol on this course, I did quite a lot of research to ensure this was the most suitable one for what my expectations were and to what I wanted to take from this course. I also took advice from different individuals in our industry and people that work closely with me, such as my Group General Manager Ed Edwards, and that was also instrumental to make the final decision to do the course.

How long did the course take?

You can tailor the time you wish to take to complete the course, however, I was committed to complete it prior to year-end 2018 and was able to finalize all modules just short of 3 months.

How was the course delivered?

The course was delivered online and has a mix of assignments and online classes with online exams as well. Being an online course provides you with the flexibility to manage your own time to attend all classes and complete your assignments without impacting your work commitments.

How relevant was the material?

I felt the material provided was very relevant to my current role and where I  see myself in the future as a professional in our industry. There is a mix of literature that you are required to read, but also a lot of case studies to work on which I found extremely interesting as they give you real-life examples and you can easily relate to from previous experience. The course covers 5 main competencies:

  • Financial Analysis of Hotel and Hospitality Investments;
  • Control of Hotel Real Estate;
  • Developing an Asset Management Strategy;
  • Achieving Hotel, Hospitality Asset Management Objectives;
  • Valuing Hotel Investments Through Effective Forecasting;
  • Valuing Hotel Intellectual Property and Structuring Capital Stack.

In all of the modules, you are provided with tools and templates that come in different formats, mainly in excel. These will definitely help me in the future to create a structure when I am working on these subjects.

Do you think this will make a difference in your career?

I am not sure if it will make a direct impact/difference in my career, however I do know it has helped me to expand my knowledge in a subject that I see more and more pertinent in my industry and on my role as it allows me to be better prepared and equipped to contribute for the success of the current properties I work for, their ownership group and Troon Golf our management company.

Were you able to action any learning in your current role?

Yes, working in a very fast paced environment such as the middle east, our properties always have capital expenditure projects, management, lease agreements to work on. The course has definitely helped me to understand priorities for both Troon Golf as the management company as well as our ownership group and how to best protect everyone’s interests and goals while delivering the results expected.

When would you recommend someone considers the course? (manager or director level?)

I would recommend the course to individuals that have direct exposure to their ownership groups / management companies and will be required to put together or work on large capital expenditure projects and management or lease agreements. The course delivers a great insight on how to create a strategy that adds equity and cash value to both owners and management groups.

Does it fit well with other Golf/Club education pathways?

Yes, I feel that this course definitely fits in well with my academic profile. I am a great believer that you should always keep yourself updated and I am passionate about learning. Since I have graduated from University I have completed a Master’s Degree in Golf Course Management, a Master’s in Business and Administration (MBA) and also completed the MDP1 and MDP2 certificates that are part of the Club Managers Association of Europe Diploma, apart from other courses. This course has definitely added to the previous ones and provided a specific insight on a topic that has become and I feel will become more relevant to my day to day work as I progress in my career.

Why did you do the course?

In the last couple of years and as I progress in my career, I am more exposed to different areas of the business, and I am required to be more involved in topics that might not necessarily be the normal daily operations of the golf clubs, but also more involved with strategies to add asset value to the owner and from a management company perspective, how we can deliver the best financial results to the operation via investments in the asset. I felt that it would be positive for me to have further and expand my competencies in the Real Estate Investment and Asset Management area. This to help me better understand the dynamics of asset management from an owner and also from the management company perspective. Ultimately the golf industry continues to evolve and to stay ahead of the curve we as club managers need to continually look at long terms strategies, investment opportunities that will deliver growth, asset enhancements that keep the property relevant, etc. This course has given me additional tools to help me look at these deliverables from a different angle.

Did you look at any other courses?

Yes, I did, before I made the decision to enrol on this course, I did quite a lot of research to ensure this was the most suitable one for what my expectations were and to what I wanted to take from this course. I also took advice from different individuals in our industry and people that work closely with me, such as my Group General Manager Ed Edwards, and that was also instrumental to make the final decision to do the course.

How long did the course take?

You can tailor the time you wish to take to complete the course, however, I was committed to complete it prior to year-end 2018 and was able to finalize all modules just short of 3 months.

How was the course delivered?

The course was delivered online and has a mix of assignments and online classes with online exams as well. Being an online course provides you with the flexibility to manage your own time to attend all classes and complete your assignments without impacting your work commitments.

How relevant was the material?

I felt the material provided was very relevant to my current role and where I  see myself in the future as a professional in our industry. There is a mix of literature that you are required to read, but also a lot of case studies to work on which I found extremely interesting as they give you real-life examples and you can easily relate to from previous experience. The course covers 5 main competencies:

  • Financial Analysis of Hotel and Hospitality Investments;
  • Control of Hotel Real Estate;
  • Developing an Asset Management Strategy;
  • Achieving Hotel, Hospitality Asset Management Objectives;
  • Valuing Hotel Investments Through Effective Forecasting;
  • Valuing Hotel Intellectual Property and Structuring Capital Stack.

In all of the modules, you are provided with tools and templates that come in different formats, mainly in excel. These will definitely help me in the future to create a structure when I am working on these subjects.

Do you think this will make a difference in your career?

I am not sure if it will make a direct impact/difference in my career, however I do know it has helped me to expand my knowledge in a subject that I see more and more pertinent in my industry and on my role as it allows me to be better prepared and equipped to contribute for the success of the current properties I work for, their ownership group and Troon Golf our management company.

 Were you able to action any learning in your current role?

Yes, working in a very fast paced environment such as the middle east, our properties always have capital expenditure projects, management, lease agreements to work on. The course has definitely helped me to understand priorities for both Troon Golf as the management company as well as our ownership group and how to best protect everyone’s interests and goals while delivering the results expected.

 When would you recommend someone considers the course? (manager or director level?)

I would recommend the course to individuals that have direct exposure to their ownership groups / management companies and will be required to put together or work on large capital expenditure projects and management or lease agreements. The course delivers a great insight on how to create a strategy that adds equity and cash value to both owners and management groups.

 Does it fit well with other Golf/Club education pathways?

Yes, I feel that this course definitely fits in well with my academic profile. I am a great believer that you should always keep yourself updated and I am passionate about learning. Since I have graduated from University I have completed a Master’s Degree in Golf Course Management, a Master’s in Business and Administration (MBA) and also completed the MDP1 and MDP2 certificates that are part of the Club Managers Association of Europe Diploma, apart from other courses. This course has definitely added to the previous ones and provided a specific insight on a topic that has become and I feel will become more relevant to my day to day work as I progress in my career.

Date: 11/03/2019
Author: Adam Keable

Colt Mackenzie McNair is the leading specialist executive search firm providing effective recruitment solutions to the global golf industry. With offices in the UK, North and Central America, and Hong Kong, our team of recruitment experts have successfully searched and recruited talents for jobs in the golf-related clubs, resorts, real estate, retail and tourism sectors throughout Europe, the United States, the Middle East, Africa and Asia Pacific. CMM's unrivalled market intelligence and golf industry experience delivers an effective solution whatever the mandate.

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