Property Flash


As issued by Sapoa

October 5 2023

The South African Property Owners Association (Sapoa) has honoured property pioneer Ian Watt with a lifetime achievement award for his contributions to the real estate industry.

Watt is honoured and celebrated for his remarkable efforts to transforming the landscape of South Africa’s commercial property market.

Watt is a former managing director of Old Mutual Properties. After a 40-year career with the company, Watt left in 2007 as a director of Old Mutual Investment firm Property Investments and founded Retail Xpressions, an advising service for property owners, investors, and managers.

Watt was the first South African to serve as an ICSC trustee. He was also the chairman of the ICSC’s 2005 Retail Real Estate World Summit in April in Istanbul.

The ICSC is the global trade group for the shopping centre business, with 44,000 members in 80 countries.

“I had a long, long career in the property industry beginning with Old Mutual in 1969. It’s been interesting and beneficial to me.

“I’ve seen a lot happen and huge changes in the industry, and it’s been absolutely amazing. I’ve been fortunate to have travelled to so many countries and been involved in various ways in the development of the industry and companies that have thrived, and it’s been rewarding to see all of the people I’ve worked with over the years and the roles that they now fulfil in the country and around the world, and the industry is in a better place,” he said.

“The most important thing is that everything I’ve been involved with has made a contribution to the country and consumers and retailers or people operating in the industry, and that’s been a significant thing,” Watt said.

He said that SAPOA helps people get established and builds relationships.

“Even with the relationship have been able to build overseas a lot of it came with the support of SAPOA, which I value tremendously,” Watt said.

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