One of the high-points of the ten years I lived in the US, was going to John Hynes the third's 50th birthday. It was in Chatham, a beautiful New England beach resort, in the summer. So it was a lovely sunny 28 degrees.
The beaches on the east coast of the US is one of the reasons, Catherine and I have decided to move back to the US, to Florida, in 2022. My 'Green Card' - US permanent residence card, runs out that year too.
Another is that my dad loves Florida. He's planning to retire to Naples, Florida, as soon as He's finished up with his work. I moved back to England from the US in 2015 to spend more time with him.
John is an institution in Boston. His father was a famous newscaster and his grandfather, John B Hynes, was a notable mayor of Boston. There are lots of buildings named after him, such as the Hynes Convention Centre, pictured above.
I have listened to John talk many times about business. We were pretty close for a while. John and his beautiful wife, Tracey, even came to our wedding - their presence honoured me since ours was a rather humble affair - I was still a student in the middle of my MBA degree.
The City that Jack built - New Songdo City, South Korea
One building project he pioneered and completed as CEO of the Gale Corporation was the construction of New Songdo City, billed as ''the Hong Kong of the 21st century," for a cost of $25 Billion.
I was entirely in awe of the fact that here's this family man, with two children, who made this brutal 15 hour trip to South Korea once a month for several years.
The second big project he worked on was the $3.5 Billion Seaport redevelopment in Boston. He talked about how a $200 Million investment, paid off exceptionally well in the end.
However, he was always honest about the fears that a developer goes through. He also talked about the importance of developing relationships, for example with Morgan Stanley, to secure his last big loan for the Seaport development.
Having important business relationships is something I have found crucial. In addition to my 1900 LinkedIn contacts, I have many close friends in diverse fields of business.
- From finance to technology, from Business to the Law
- Who I go to for advice, help and sometimes for work. You never know how someone you talk to today may one day come in useful in your business, and you in theirs.