There’s a human element that in the world of property that is too easily overlooked

Rick Santos is the Chairman, CEO and owner of Santos Knight Frank. The company established by Mr Santos in Manila 25 years ago as the country’s first fully integrated real estate service provider.

Mr Santos rebranded his company with Knight Frank as his new long-term partner with effect from 1 January 2017. Founded in 1896 and headquartered in London, Knight Frank is the largest privately owned global real estate consultancy, with more than 500 offices in 60 countries across the globe – this includes a strategically important partnership with Newmark Grubb Knight Frank (including the market-leading West coast operations of Newmark Cornish & Carey) in the United States.

Mr Santos was born in the Philippines (his father is from Zamboanga) and raised in San Marino, California, USA. His education covered UC Berkeley, London School of Economics and Oxford University. A post graduate thesis on “Spatial Implications of Information Technology on Office Location Theory” gave him his passion for the real estate sector and, in particular, the global impact of the outsourcing revolution.

Since founding the business in 1994, Mr Santos has grown it to its current size of more than 1,500 staff operating across the country. That growth has been organic and the business now consists of 11 stand alone, market leading business lines with specialist teams focusing on: Tenant Representation & Office Agency; Research & Consultancy; Valuations; Investments & Capital Markets; Facilities Management; Technical Services; Property Management; Project Management; Asset Management; Residential Services and Shared Services.

Mr Santos’ and his Philippine team were instrumental in the growth of the Business Processing Outsourcing sector and were pioneers in bringing many of the multinational BPO and offshoring companies to the country. That sector now employs more than 1.5 million people and generates annual revenues in excess of US$26 billion.

In addition to running the day to day business, Mr Santos takes charge of the cross-border investment team that focuses on the in-bound and out-bound movement of institutional and private investment capital and is also seeking to develop Real Estate Investment Trusts (REITs) opportunities in the Philippines.

Mr Santos previously served as Managing Director of CBRE Hong Kong, was a member of the CBRE Asia & Asia Pacific Board and the Head of Institutional Investment Properties for Asia.