Nick Talbot speaks to Ben Elder, the new Chair of the IVSC Tangible Assets Board about his role at RICS and his views on changes to the valuation profession on the horizon. 

Nick Talbot: Tell us a little bit about yourself and any Valuation Professional Organisation you belong to.

Ben Elder: I am married to Jennifer and we have a son Tom who is a successful Chartered Surveyor in London. We live in beautiful rural Derbyshire in the UK. I am a Fellow of RICS having originally qualified in 1981.

NT: What organisation do you work for?

BE: I work now work for RICS as their Global Director for Valuation having held leadership positions at the College of Estate Management, Nottingham Trent University and before that Elder’s Chartered Surveyors.

RICS has approximately 120,000 members working in over 140 countries worldwide, many of them undertaking valuation work.

NT: What are the main markets that you work in?

BE: Everywhere and everything tangible! I am lucky to have a great colleague Steve Choi who works out of our New York office who handles everything valuation relating to intangible and business assets. It’s a real honour to work with professionals in such a diverse section of valuation from around the globe.

NT: How are you and your VPO involved with IVSC and International Valuation Standards?

BE: RICS was a founder member of IVSC and has supported it since its inception. I am very proud to have been invited by IVSC to Chair the Tangible Assets Standards Board and to take a seat on the overarching IVSC Standards Board. For the past five years I have been active in IVSC as part of the Advisory Forum Working Group Executive.

NT: What trends in valuation are you seeing at the moment? 

BE: A polarisation in client requirements – some just want the number produced at the least cost, other are demanding greater input from the valuer about what the numbers mean particularly going forward in time. 

NTWhat are the key challenges you face relating to valuation?

BE: Change… change driven by technology and big data. The skill set of many valuers around the globe is being challenged as new sources of information become available. How we convert information into knowledge is critical to the profession.

NT: What opportunities do you think the valuation profession has over the next few years?

BE: There are fantastic opportunities to help secure global financial stability and for their work to be recognised for the value it adds to the business community.

NT: How would you like to see the valuation profession evolve over the next few years?

BE: To move to a position where transparency is available at all levels of valuation, exposing how and why judgement calls have been made in the valuation process – so we have nothing to hide. To become a Profession.

NT: What are your interests outside of valuation?

BE: I enjoy walking and gardening as well as occasionally snow skiing. Reading and discussing academic issues over a glass of wine is also time well spent.