When Paul Bassi makes a prediction about the state of the Midlands property market, people listen. Because as his own property empire continues to grow, he is regarded as one of the region’s most influential private landlords – not to mention the largest.
Chief executive of Real Estate Investors PLC, he set up his property company in 1983, creating Bond Wolfe which initially focussed on the West Bromwich area before branching out to cover Birmingham and the Midlands.
Now, as recovery takes hold, Paul Bassi has reported a real improvement in confidence and occupier activity. REI saw its pre-tax profit for the first half of 2013 increase to £769,000 from £556,000 in 2012.
Rental income brought in £2.6 million in the half-year and gross property assets stood at £77 million.
The collapse of law firm Challinors, who occupied his Guardian House in West Bromwich had a marginally negative effect, but the high quality office space is already finding new occupiers as Sandwell Inspired Partnership Services has taken 22,000 sq ft.
Paul Bassi, the eldest son of a Black Country foundry worker, was awarded a CBE in 2010 in recognition of his services to business and the West Midlands community.
His previous roles include High Sherrif of the West Midlands, president of Birmingham Chamber of Commerce, regional chairman of Coutts Bank and a director of Birmingham Hippodrome.
In 2003 he was awarded the PwC Entrepreneur of the Year award and two years later was the youngest ever recipient Lloyds TSB Midlands Lifetime Achievement Award.
Paul Bassi, who is 51, was born in Birmingham of Sikh Punjabi origin. He is married with three children. His assets include a portfolio of UK and overseas property. His interests include prestige cars, tennis and racquetball.