William J. Ferguson, CEO of Ferguson Partners Ltd, the prestigious international management and executive placement firm headquartered in Chicago, has written a new book entitled Market Discipline. It describes opinions of Canadian investment executives on the reasons behind the stable growth of that country’s economy and real estate industry during the disastrous Great Recession in the United States and globally. As president of REALpac, the Real Property Association of Canada, Ferguson enjoyed access to Canada’s industry leaders in providing core input to this new book, which is sub-titled “The Competitive Advantage: Lessons from Canada’s Real Estate Leaders”.
The book begins with lauding the wisdom of Canada’s bankers in giving priority to risk management over short-term returns – a conservative stance that proved the exact opposite of the “derivative-induced cloud of debt” amassed by American financial institutions, estimated in the hundreds of millions of dollars. The resultant strength of Canadian financial institutions in support of the country’s vibrant real estate industry is now being realized in the purchase of failed U.S. assets by major Canadian banks.
In addition to Canadian fiscal conservatism, Ferguson emphasizes the underlying principles and values of that country’s investment industry leaders. Prior boom and bust cycles provided valuable experience for structuring “stronger, healthier and forward-looking organizations”. The author describes core values of these leaders learned in childhood, values which guided the solid leadership principles of balanced expansion in real estate investment both in Canada and in markets beyond their borders, including the United States.
This book of only 150 pages includes a great deal of valuable information for real estate investors throughout the world. It is listed for sale on Google for those of you who have an interest in learning from successful competitors north of the border.