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Finance and Investment alumnus talks about his career journey since completing his Master's

Salman Shahid

I found Brunel to be very diverse and culturally rich

Salman, Alumni

CEO and Director of Operations and Finance, Mayfair Holdings Group and Maykenbel Properties (UK)

Finance and Investment MSc - 2011

From Pakistan

Previous Institution

University of Greenwich - International Baccalaureate

Tell us about your career journey since you graduated…

I am currently based in the UK. I am a UK property entrepreneur, and at the age of 29, established my own real estate company called Mayfair Holdings Group (UK). The company invested in underdeveloped homes and converted them into quality accommodation; the company now holds a multimillion pounds portfolio across London, the West Midlands and Bedfordshire. My company has contributed towards society by providing affordable long-term housing to young students and professionals. As a founder and CEO, my role is to find solutions to the current housing crisis by developing new homes in areas with shortages of homes; our key responsibility is to build longterm relationships with clients by providing exceptional customer care and service. My company has grown rapidly, and I have been able to use the concepts learned during my course at Brunel, including planning and analysis, financial modelling, risk management and regulatory framework.

After completing the course, I joined Maykenbel Properties; a Central-London based property company who are pioneers in developing the concept of serviced accommodation in UK. The company holds a portfolio of over 300 residential homes and hotels in London in finest neighbourhoods of Mayfair, Knightsbridge, Chelsea, Belgravia, Kensington and Paddington. Maykenbel has provided residences to many famous celebrities, government officials, footballers and members of the Royal and ruling families from all over the world. I have been appointed to the position of Director of Operations and Finance, and am actively involved in building clients-relations, acquisition, planning, appraisals, budgeting and risk management. I have been able to help make a big contribution to promoting UK tourism and in the last few years, Maykenbel have created thousands of jobs in hospitality and the construction industry. During this time, I have been able to complete extensive research on factors affecting the London serviced accommodation industry, including the impact of currency exchange rate on the revenue; one of the key pieces of research is the comparison of serviced apartments vs the hotel industry. I am involved in training and mentoring young graduates under the company’s hiring schemes, giving them the guidance and knowledge of planning objectives, settings goals, resources and business operations.

What does a typical day at work involve for you?

Overseeing finances and to design, direct, manage and implement the strategic decisions into the financial functions in compliance with the company’s policies and regulatory framework. To support management in establishing and developing departmental and organisational budgets. To monitor the progress of various projects simultaneously by approving expenses, investigating and reporting variances, ensuring that project billings are issued, and payments collected. To produce budgets and forecast adjusted statements of financial position, financial performance and cash flows for various projects. I am actively involved in working closely with the Treasury Department in projecting cash flows and adjusting the financial statements accordingly. I also complete financial modelling, analytical exercises, and formulating and administering various methodologies across business units within the portfolio.

What’s been the highlight of your career so far?

I have been privileged to work closely with many national and international humanitarian charity organisations, which include WaterAid UK, Human Appeal and Shaukat Khanam Cancer Hospital.

How would you say Brunel helped you to get where you are today?

Brunel has been an exceptional learning ground; the great teachers gave me a lot of inspiration. During the course, I was also given many opportunities to be a group course leader and was actively involved in encouraging and exchanging views about the course with fellow students, particularly from international countries including Pakistan, India, Iran and China. This has sharpened my leadership, management, team bonding, decision making, quantitative and qualitative skills.

Why did you choose to study at Brunel and why would you recommend Brunel to others?

Yes, I would definitely recommend Brunel to others. I feel very fortunate to be part of Brunel; it’s here that I found many like-minded fellows and the very knowledgeable teachers.

What is your best memory of studying here?

I found Brunel to be very diverse and culturally rich. I came to know many international students and had the opportunity to learn different cultures of the world, which was very valuable to me.

What would be your top tip or advice for new graduates as they begin their career journey?

Be humble and compassionate in every walk of like. If I could sum up the ultimate definition of success it would be ‘hard work and failure’.

#IamBrunel