Crash Parties, Escape Dull Chitchat and Make Powerful Friends: What Davos Elites Know
Kanebridge News
    HOUSE MEDIAN ASKING PRICES AND WEEKLY CHANGE     Sydney $1,635,570 (+0.09%)       Melbourne $990,779 (-0.14%)       Brisbane $1,002,534 (+0.89%)       Adelaide $899,189 (+1.63%)       Perth $853,385 (-0.01%)       Hobart $727,599 (-0.08%)       Darwin $665,330 (-2.24%)       Canberra $1,030,329 (+2.00%)       National $1,054,780 (+0.44%)                UNIT MEDIAN ASKING PRICES AND WEEKLY CHANGE     Sydney $758,114 (+0.56%)       Melbourne $494,774 (+0.21%)       Brisbane $562,776 (+0.42%)       Adelaide $448,109 (+2.19%)       Perth $451,267 (-0.77%)       Hobart $504,603 (-1.31%)       Darwin $357,621 (+2.79%)       Canberra $496,414 (-0.41%)       National $532,600 (+0.26%)                HOUSES FOR SALE AND WEEKLY CHANGE     Sydney 10,429 (+70)       Melbourne 14,915 (+41)       Brisbane 7,933 (-18)       Adelaide 2,089 (-116)       Perth 5,787 (-101)       Hobart 1,241 (+4)       Darwin 244 (-2)       Canberra 988 (+18)       National 43,626 (-104)                UNITS FOR SALE AND WEEKLY CHANGE     Sydney 8,586 (+58)       Melbourne 8,221 (+87)       Brisbane 1,635 (+21)       Adelaide 372 (-9)       Perth 1,517 (-36)       Hobart 198 (-10)       Darwin 404 (-2)       Canberra 1,028 (+31)       National 21,961 (+140)                HOUSE MEDIAN ASKING RENTS AND WEEKLY CHANGE     Sydney $820 (+$3)       Melbourne $600 (-$5)       Brisbane $650 ($0)       Adelaide $600 ($0)       Perth $680 ($0)       Hobart $550 ($0)       Darwin $750 ($0)       Canberra $680 (+$10)       National $676 (+$1)                UNIT MEDIAN ASKING RENTS AND WEEKLY CHANGE     Sydney $760 (-$10)       Melbourne $595 (-$5)       Brisbane $640 (-$3)       Adelaide $500 (+$5)       Perth $620 ($0)       Hobart $450 ($0)       Darwin $540 (-$10)       Canberra $550 (-$10)       National $596 (-$5)                HOUSES FOR RENT AND WEEKLY CHANGE     Sydney 5,832 (+125)       Melbourne 6,113 (+155)       Brisbane 4,426 (+39)       Adelaide 1,506 (+63)       Perth 2,727 (+138)       Hobart 431 (+13)       Darwin 95 (-3)       Canberra 602 (+6)       National 21,732 (+536)                UNITS FOR RENT AND WEEKLY CHANGE     Sydney 10,046 (+377)       Melbourne 6,071 (+301)       Brisbane 2,272 (+28)       Adelaide 373 (+1)       Perth 740 (-4)       Hobart 143 (+14)       Darwin 136 (+6)       Canberra 746 (+30)       National 20,527 (+753)                HOUSE ANNUAL GROSS YIELDS AND TREND       Sydney 2.61% (↑)        Melbourne 3.15% (↓)       Brisbane 3.37% (↓)       Adelaide 3.47% (↓)     Perth 4.14% (↑)      Hobart 3.93% (↑)      Darwin 5.86% (↑)        Canberra 3.43% (↓)       National 3.33% (↓)            UNIT ANNUAL GROSS YIELDS AND TREND         Sydney 5.21% (↓)       Melbourne 6.25% (↓)       Brisbane 5.91% (↓)       Adelaide 5.80% (↓)     Perth 7.14% (↑)      Hobart 4.64% (↑)        Darwin 7.85% (↓)       Canberra 5.76% (↓)       National 5.81% (↓)            HOUSE RENTAL VACANCY RATES AND TREND       Sydney 0.8% (↑)      Melbourne 0.7% (↑)      Brisbane 0.7% (↑)      Adelaide 0.4% (↑)      Perth 0.4% (↑)      Hobart 0.9% (↑)      Darwin 0.8% (↑)      Canberra 1.0% (↑)      National 0.7% (↑)             UNIT RENTAL VACANCY RATES AND TREND       Sydney 0.9% (↑)      Melbourne 1.1% (↑)      Brisbane 1.0% (↑)      Adelaide 0.5% (↑)      Perth 0.5% (↑)      Hobart 1.4% (↑)      Darwin 1.7% (↑)      Canberra 1.4% (↑)      National 1.1% (↑)             AVERAGE DAYS TO SELL HOUSES AND TREND         Sydney 28.9 (↓)     Melbourne 30.3 (↑)        Brisbane 30.8 (↓)       Adelaide 25.4 (↓)     Perth 36.1 (↑)      Hobart 37.8 (↑)      Darwin 35.1 (↑)        Canberra 28.5 (↓)     National 31.6 (↑)             AVERAGE DAYS TO SELL UNITS AND TREND         Sydney 29.6 (↓)       Melbourne 30.2 (↓)     Brisbane 29.6 (↑)        Adelaide 25.4 (↓)     Perth 38.3 (↑)      Hobart 30.1 (↑)        Darwin 46.7 (↓)       Canberra 38.0 (↓)     National 33.5 (↑)            
Share Button

Crash Parties, Escape Dull Chitchat and Make Powerful Friends: What Davos Elites Know

The elbow-rubbing tactics on display in the Swiss Alps this week can apply to any business gathering or cocktail party, regardless of your VIP status

By CHIP CUTTER AND EMILY GLAZER
Tue, Jan 16, 2024 9:44amGrey Clock 4 min

For a master class in power networking, it’s tough to beat the one taking place in the Swiss Alps this week.

The annual World Economic Forum brings the planet’s power brokers together for morning-to-past-midnight meetings over coffee, cocktails and fondue. For the thousands of CEOs, billionaires, intellectuals and world leaders descending on Davos, the setting is unrivalLed in its potential to spark relationships, dealmaking and big ideas for the year ahead. After all, there are few other places where you can run into Al Gore at the hotel bar and wait next to Bill Gates to pass through the metal detectors.

MaximiSing all that powerful proximity and turning it into actual connections takes skill, chutzpah and the ability to think on your feet. What to do if you spot Sting in the elevator? How to know whether a tête-à-tête merits more than a minute of your time? And how do you divine someone’s importance without peering at the badge dangling at their midsection?

The tricks of Davos movers and shakers can apply to any business gathering or cocktail party, regardless of your VIP status. Here’s how they do it.

Names and spaces

For Salesforce Chief Executive Marc Benioff, getting the most out of the high-powered gathering often comes down to location—in this case, the top of a staircase in the Davos Congress Center, the main hub of the event.

The Davos regular said he plans to spend an hour each day of the forum perched there or in an adjacent hallway. Why? In a single hour—amid a packed calendar of meetings, lunches, dinners and other engagements—he might see 100 people he would otherwise not encounter all year.

“The amount of serendipity that happens is unlike anything I’ve ever experienced,” said Benioff, who has attended the forum for two decades and hosts parties and gatherings that people vie all week to get into. “It’s an incredible thing.”

Benioff has a hack for dealing with a common conundrum in Davos and beyond—forgetting your conversation partner’s name. The Salesforce chief said he sometimes takes photos of their badges if he isn’t able to take notes. If he exchanges contact information with someone, he gives his cellphone number or email and recommends they text, email or tweet at him.

“I’m generous with my contact information,” he said. (At least one reporter can attest to that.)

Or, simply ask the person to repeat their name, said Alisa Cohn, an executive coach and author attending her third Davos. She phrases the question with a touch of humoUr, asking: “‘Listen, this has been a great conversation, and I’ve already forgotten your name. Can you remind me?’”

Few people respond poorly, she said. “The truth is, they will ask you the same question because they forgot your name, too.”

Big deal, or big whoop?

Seated next to an unfamiliar guest at a dinner or lunch, several CEOs said they weren’t above stealth under-the-table googling, surreptitiously reading up on their Davos dining companions to make better conversation or to understand what, exactly, it is that they do.

When introducing herself to someone new, Cohn gives people conversational “hooks” to latch on to. For her, that means explaining she is also an angel investor, based in New York, and a fitness fanatic with a love of kettlebells. The icebreaker often spurs people to detail their own fitness routines.

True Davos experts know how to escape a long, dull or—horrors!—low-status conversation partner. Nick Studer, head of consulting firm Oliver Wyman Group and a longtime Davos attendee, believes there is value in all sorts of conversations. But he has perfected the art of extraction with a favoUrite line: “Anyways, it’s obviously fantastic [chatting]. I mustn’t keep you from your guests.”

Most people follow his lead, he said, “as long as you wrap it up appropriately and politely.”

No ‘Windexing’

One big Davos no-no is what the finance executive Anthony Scaramucci has come to describe as “Windexing.”

Say you are chatting with someone interesting, but notice out of the corner of your eye that the British prime minister or a well-known billionaire-entrepreneur walks into a room. You might suddenly feel the urge to move on, and look past the person you are talking to “like he’s a sheet of glass,” Scaramucci said. “Don’t be that person.”

Instead, apologiSe for needing to end the conversation, he said, and offer to circle back if there is time.

Scaramucci, founder of the hedge-fund investment firm SkyBridge Capital and, very briefly, communications director for the Trump administration, started jetting to Davos in 2007.

He hosts a popular and well-attended wine night there each year. Over time, he has learned a tactic for getting into a must-attend party—even when he isn’t invited.

“I crash every single party that I can possibly crash,” Scaramucci said.

Several years ago, at a party held by a Russian oligarch, a security guard stopped Scaramucci because he wasn’t on the list. Scaramucci says he didn’t blink. Instead, he disarmed.

“I said, ‘I know I’m not on the list. I’m Vince Vaughn from ‘Wedding Crashers,’” he recalled. “Five minutes later, I was eating the caviar and drinking the vodka.”

When Scaramucci spots a mega luminary he is dying to meet, he tries to be authentic. He said he developed a friendship with David Rubenstein, co-founder of the private-equity giant Carlyle Group, by introducing himself in Davos years ago.

“I just walked over to him. I said, ‘Hey, listen, I watched you on TV, I’ve seen your interviews and I’m a great admirer of yours,’” Scaramucci said. “People are incredibly nice. Don’t make the mistake of thinking they don’t want to meet you.”

Tight timing

At major conclaves like Davos, Scaramucci and others said it is important to realise you can’t do it all. Prioritisation is key.

Denelle Dixon, who runs the nonprofit Stellar Development Foundation, said her organisation sets a theme for the conference so executives can take meetings with government officials and others around that sharp topic. This year, it is blockchain’s role in expanding access to the financial system. (Davos loves a buzzword.) “It allows us to really focus,” she said.

Saying no is essential. Salesforce’s Benioff and his team usually meet with roughly half of the 600 CEOs attending Davos. But a request for five or 15 minutes of his time is likely to fail if the person isn’t a critical customer or somebody he already knows well.

“It’s not going to get part of my time,” he said. “Maybe it’ll get part of somebody else’s time.”



MOST POPULAR
11 ACRES ROAD, KELLYVILLE, NSW

This stylish family home combines a classic palette and finishes with a flexible floorplan

35 North Street Windsor

Just 55 minutes from Sydney, make this your creative getaway located in the majestic Hawkesbury region.

Related Stories
Money
A Killer Golf Swing Is a Hot Job Skill Now
By CALLUM BORCHERS 14/06/2024
Money
Apple Sued by Employees Alleging Unequal Pay for Women
By ERIN MULVANEY 14/06/2024
Money
The unexpected reasons Australians are retiring earlier than planned
By Bronwyn Allen 14/06/2024
A Killer Golf Swing Is a Hot Job Skill Now

Companies are eager to hire strong players who use hybrid work schedules to schmooze clients on the course

By CALLUM BORCHERS
Fri, Jun 14, 2024 5 min

Standout golfers who aren’t quite PGA Tour material now have somewhere else to play professionally: Corporate America.

People who can smash 300-yard drives and sink birdie putts are sought-after hires in finance, consulting, sales and other industries, recruiters say. In the hybrid work era, the business golf outing is back in a big way.

Executive recruiter Shawn Cole says he gets so many requests to find ace golfers that he records candidates’ handicaps, an index based on average number of strokes over par, in the information packets he submits to clients. Golf alone can’t get you a plum job, he says—but not playing could cost you one.

“I know a guy that literally flies around the world in a private jet loaded with French wine, and he golfs and lands hundred-million-dollar deals,” Cole says.

Tee times and networking sessions have long gone hand-in-golf-glove. Despite criticism that doing business on the course undermines diversity, equity and inclusion efforts—and the fact that golf clubs haven’t always been open to women and minorities —people who mix golf and work say the outings are one of the last reprieves from 30-minute calendar blocks

Stars like Tiger Woods and Michelle Wie West helped expand participation in the sport. Still, just 22% of golfers are nonwhite and 26% are women, according to the National Golf Foundation.

To lure more people, clubs have relaxed rules against mobile-phone use on the course, embracing white-collar professionals who want to entertain clients on the links without disconnecting from the office. It’s no longer taboo to check email from your cart or take a quick call at the halfway turn.

With so much other business conducted virtually, shaking hands on the green and schmoozing over clubhouse beers is now seen as making an extra effort, not slacking off.

Americans played a record 531 million rounds last year. Weekday play has nearly doubled since 2019, with much of the action during business hours , according to research by Stanford University economist Nicholas Bloom .

“It would’ve been scandalous in 2019 to be having multiple meetings a week on the golf course,” Bloom says. “In 2024, if you’re producing results, no one’s going to see anything wrong with it.”

A financial adviser at a major Wall Street bank who competes on the amateur circuit told me he completes 90% of his tasks by 10 a.m. because he manages long-term investment plans that change infrequently. The rest of his workday often involves golfing with clients and prospects. He’s a member of a private club with a multiyear waiting list, and people jump at the chance to join him on a course they normally can’t access.

There is an art to bringing in business this way. He never initiates shoptalk, telling his playing partners the round is about having fun and getting to know each other. They can’t resist asking about investment strategies by the back nine, he says.

Work hard, play hard

Matt Parziale golfed professionally on minor-league tours for several years, but when his dream of making the big time ended, he had to get a regular job. He became a firefighter, like his dad.

A few years later he won one of the biggest amateur tournaments in the country, earning spots in the 2018 Masters and U.S. Open, where he tied for first among non-pros.

The brush with celebrity brought introductions to business types that Parziale, 35 years old, says he wouldn’t have met otherwise. One connection led to a job with a large insurance broker. In 2022 he jumped to Deland, Gibson Insurance Associates in Wellesley, Mass., which recognised his golf game as a tool to help win large accounts.

He rescheduled our interview because he was hosting clients at a private club on Cape Cod, and squeezed me in the next morning, before teeing off with a business group in Newport, R.I.

A short time ago, Parziale couldn’t imagine making a living this way. Now he’s the norm in elite amateur golf circles.

“I look around at the guys at the events I play, and they all have these jobs ,” he says.

His boss, Chief Executive Chip Gibson, says Parziale is good at bringing in business because he puts as much effort into building relationships as honing his game. A golf outing is merely an opportunity to build trust that can eventually lead to a deal, and it’s a misconception that people who golf during work hours don’t work hard, he says.

Barry Allison’s single-digit handicap is an asset in his role as a management consultant at Accenture , where he specialises in travel and hospitality. He splits time between Washington, D.C., and The Villages, Fla., a golf mecca that boasts more than 50 courses.

It can be hard to get to know people in distributed work environments, he says. Go golfing and you’ll learn a lot about someone’s temperament—especially after a bad shot.

“If you see a guy snap a club over his knee, you don’t know what he’s going to snap next,” Allison says.

Special access

On a recent afternoon I was a lunch guest at Brae Burn Country Club, a private enclave outside Boston that was the site of U.S. Golf Association championships won by legends like Walter Hagen and Bobby Jones. I parked in the second lot because the first one was full—on a Wednesday.

My host was Cullen Onstott, managing director of the Onstott Group executive search firm and a former collegiate golfer at Fairfield University. He explained one reason companies prize excellent golfers is they can put well-practiced swings on autopilot and devote most of their attention to chitchat.

It’s hard to talk with potential customers about their needs and interests when you’re hunting for errant shots in the woods. It’s also challenging if you show off.

The first hole at Brae Burn is a 318-yard par 4 that slopes down, enabling big hitters like Onstott to reach the putting green in a single stroke. But to stay close to his playing partners and keep the conversation flowing, he sometimes hits a shorter shot.

Having an “in” at an exclusive club can make you a catch. Bo Burch, an executive recruiter in North Carolina, says clubs in his region tend to attract members according to their business sectors. One might be chock-full of real-estate investors while another has potential buyers of industrial manufacturing equipment.

Burch looks for candidates who are members of clubs that align with his clients’ industries, though he stresses that business acumen comes first when filling positions.

Tami McQueen, a former Division I tennis player and current chief marketing officer at Atlanta investment firm BIP Capital, signed up for private golf lessons this year. She had noticed colleagues were wearing polos with course logos and bringing their clubs to work. She wanted in.

McQueen joined business associates on the golf course for the first time in March at the PGA National Resort in Palm Beach Gardens, Fla. She has lowered her handicap to a respectable 26 and says her new skill lends a professional edge.

“To be able to say, ‘I can play with you and we can have those business meetings on the course’ definitely opens a lot more doors,” she says.

MOST POPULAR
11 ACRES ROAD, KELLYVILLE, NSW

This stylish family home combines a classic palette and finishes with a flexible floorplan

35 North Street Windsor

Just 55 minutes from Sydney, make this your creative getaway located in the majestic Hawkesbury region.

Related Stories
Money
A Killer Golf Swing Is a Hot Job Skill Now
By CALLUM BORCHERS 14/06/2024
Property
It’s a slam dunk as a covetable $2m KDR site complete with basketball court hits the market in the Hills District
By KANEBRIDGE NEWS 18/04/2023
Money
Apple Sued by Employees Alleging Unequal Pay for Women
By ERIN MULVANEY 14/06/2024
0
    Your Cart
    Your cart is emptyReturn to Shop