Our changing world
2021 marked a gradual return to physical meetings at the IVSC after more than a year of pandemic-inflicted restrictions. It has been extremely satisfying and rewarding to see people again – staff and fellow board members alike – to reflect on the importance of face-to-face meetings and the relationships that sustain a global organisation like the IVSC.
As we emerge from the COVID-19 pandemic, our world faces many new and evolving challenges including geopolitical tensions and conflict in Europe, mounting inflationary and supply chain pressures leading to macroeconomic and market uncertainty, and a climate crisis which is growing in ferocity all the time. Like the COVID-19 pandemic, these are challenges that will affect us all and ones that will necessitate collective and collaborative action.
Against this backdrop, the core facets of professionalism – impartiality, integrity, ethics and standards – take on even greater relevance. Confidence is sometimes in short supply. In a world that continues to be defined by great uncertainty, the role of professional valuers and International Valuation Standards in determining reliable asset valuations and bringing confidence to our global financial system is absolutely vital.
A new milestone for valuation standards
Despite the pandemic restrictions, not to mention the huge additional pressures placed upon many of our volunteer board members and stakeholders around the world, we have had another very busy and productive year. In June 2021, we published the latest edition of IVS, which became effective for valuers in January 2022. This followed an extensive public consultation period throughout 2020. The latest edition of IVS marks a significant milestone in the evolution of the standards and the harmonisation of valuation practice worldwide. Since the standards were published, a number of VPOs have issued translations and introduced training programmes to support its uptake by professionals.
The IVS sit at the core of our mission as a global standard setter – to raise standards of valuation practice by setting high-level, internationally agreed standards and by promoting valuation professionalism. The latest iteration supports this goal and is a testament to the expertise and dedication of our technical boards.
The IVS are also referenced extensively in other publications and adopted through valuation standards and guidelines issued by other entities.
In May 2021, following a collaborative project spanning more than two years and involving the IVSC and other valuation bodies, the United Nations Human Settlements Programme (UN-Habitat) published a manual setting out a practical approach to the valuation of unregistered land. IVS forms the basis of this hugely significant publication, which offers hope for millions of people occupying unregistered lands in many of the poorest regions on earth today. The guidelines establish, for the first time, a framework that will allow effective valuation of unregistered lands, allowing for fair land transactions, including development-related displacement. It is also acts as an enabler for land registration and the recognition of occupancy, and as a lever for regional and national economic and social development. Land valuation is part of putting people and places on the administrative and market map, and we can be proud of the part the IVSC is playing in driving this agenda forward.
Improving our engagement
Like many organisations, the IVSC has relied on the power of online platforms to conduct business over the past year, from board meetings to consultation roundtables and market outreach with valuation stakeholders around the world. At times, this has felt somewhat impersonal and less preferential. However, this emphasis on virtual collaboration has had its upsides, certainly in terms of wider and more frequent engagement with constituents around the world and in supporting our efforts to operate on a more sustainable and climate-conscious footing.
Much of this pandemic-initiated ‘legacy’ approach will remain core to our future activities.
In May 2021, we hosted our now annual Valuation Webinar Series, which was sponsored by Kroll. During the five-webinar series, we welcomed more than 3,000 attendees from 91 countries and heard insights from some of the most prominent valuation, business, finance and regulatory leaders in our profession. This series was born out of a need to adapt and find ways to remain connected with our network of member organisations and as a facilitator of valuation thought leadership. It proved, if ever it were needed, that the profession is vibrant, extremely international and filled with professionals who are committed to learning and improving together. We look forward to hosting this series and other online webinars, updates and roundtables in the future.
The value of our people
This year we have also welcomed more than a dozen new board members from around the world. We have appointed board members for the first time in Ecuador, Ireland, Nigeria, Kenya and Uganda. We have also been inundated with offers of support for new working groups – set up to assist our technical boards – tasked with leading exploratory work and outreach on topics which have been identified as core elements of our future technical work programme, including topics such as ‘ESG’ and ‘Social Value’.
It is no secret that the success of IVS is down to the 100+ board and working group members who volunteer huge amounts of time and effort to its cause. In a recent Perspectives Paper issued by our Business Valuation Board we referenced the ubiquitous corporate phrase “our people are our most valuable asset”, posing the question; how do you put a value on what is ostensibly an intangible asset? I would recommend reading that paper if you have not done so already. However, I can say that the contribution of IVSC’s people, through IVS and the continued evolution of the global valuation profession, is certainly very tangible to me and to the IVSC’s Trustees.
The year ahead will present new challenges for our profession and for the world. Extreme climate events, military conflict in Europe, supply chain disruptions, soaring inflation and threats to living standards will spur a backdrop of continued uncertainty. The valuation profession will play an important role in mitigating some of the consequences of these factors, for example by enhancing confidence in asset valuations which underpin global financial markets, and by working collaboratively on frameworks to drive forward important ESG agendas.
Above all, we must continue to work together and with a shared purpose, drawing on the strength of our global network to ensure the valuation profession evolves to improve the world around us.