Simon Dalgarno celebrates 25 years

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25 Years at Leadenhall: Simon Dalgarno celebrates

Celebrating 25 years in style

After 25 years at Leadenhall (and in the valuation profession) I was lucky enough to have the entire month of May off as leave. During my time off, I went on a pilgrimage – which was both professional and personal.

Leadenhall at the Leadenhall Market

I started my trip in London, which I had not visited since 1993 – this was the professional part.

I visited Leadenhall Market (it was great to see the historical location that our firm was named after) and spent some time discussing valuation topics with my colleagues at Valuation Consulting. It was great to meet the extended team at Valuation Consulting and to spend time with fellow Valuation Director Kelvin King who I hadn’t seen (outside of video calls) since we were at the VRG Affiliate meeting in Brazil in 2017 (the same trip where I left my shoes behind). It was nice to gain a better understanding of the similarities of our work and of our cultures – concentrating on delivering good work!

To Scotland, home of the Dalgarno clan

Then it was off to Scotland for the personal phase of my pilgrimage. For those of you who are not aware, the origins of the Dalgarno name are Scottish. We visited Shetland, Skye and Aberdeen. We went bird spotting and enjoyed the scenery. This time to reconnect with my roots and to reset from my usual routine reinforced the importance of balance (one of our key corporate values).

Here are a few happy snap I took along the way: 

What’s next?

After 25 years in the industry, it was a great time to reflect on the past and how the industry might change in the future!

My conclusion is we provide more than “just a number”. We provide our clients with a personal valuation opinion, information on how to increase value, of the risks involved and how the risks can be can managed. This requires professional expertise and judgement. I don’t think this will change in the foreseeable future.

A colleague, (Tim Lebbon, the founder of Leadenhall) recently asked Chat GPT to describe the common errors in financial valuation. The response, particularly the final paragraph, resonated strongly with me:

“To minimise these errors, it is important for financial valuations to be conducted by experienced professionals with a deep understanding of the asset being valued and the market conditions in which it operates. Robust data analysis, sensitivity analysis, and an understanding of the external factors that can impact value are also important in ensuring accurate valuations.”

In the short-term, artificial intelligence (AI) will streamline the collection of information, perform some of the analysis (e.g. undertake sensitivity testing) and even partially write reports.

In the longer-term, AI may be able review vast data sets, eliminate bias in forecasts and produce better valuations. If screenwriters (and actors) are concerned that AI will take their creative jobs, then I think we would be naïve to believe AI will not change the valuation profession, which (currently) relies to a large extent on the collection of professional experience obtained over a career. AI will soon collect (and learn) the expertise of many experts by reviewing thousands of reports.

In conclusion, Leadenhall has been around for 40 years and I have been in the industry for 25 years. When I started with the company, I had a clear vision of what I would be doing in the future. The industry has changed and evolved in that time. The rate of change is increasing and whilst I don’t have a crystal ball, I believe there will be a role for Leadenhall and our independent and unbiased valuation opinions for many years to come.

Perhaps this will be a good topic to ruminate on during my next trip, I’ll let you know! 

– Simon Dalgarno, Leadenhall Director

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