Engel & Völkers’ Annual International Awards Ceremony – Mallorca 2013
Christian Völkers, CEO and Founder of Engel & Völkers AG, extended an invitation to friends, colleagues and guests to attend the Engel & Völkers International Awards ceremony in Majorca on 13 July.
The event kicked off with a polo tournament which took place for the fifth time on the private estate of the property entrepreneur in Port d’es Canonge on Majorca’s southwest coast. The event is quickly developing into a fixed date in the social calendar of the island’s high society. More than 600 colleagues, friends and international guests took Mr. Völkers up on the invitation to his finca property ‘Son Coll’, including the actor couple Christian Ulmen and Collien Ulmen-Fernandes, the singer Vicky Leandros, Christian Prince and Astrid Princess zu Stolberg, Hendrikte Neues and the painter Natasha Zupan, as well as many other well-known figures from the worlds of politics, media, culture, business and sport. “Polo is my favourite sport and my main hobby. The main one besides fine real estate,” said Christian Völkers, who has been actively and passionately involved in the game of polo for many years. “It is a special privilege to be able to indulge in this passion at ‘Son Coll’ and to share this experience at the same time with so many friends and contemporaries.”
The exciting tournament with sensational backdrop brought together human and animal agility to form a strong team that interacts with one another in constant dynamic flux. The game is all about speed and precision. The historic ‘Son Coll’ estate makes for a tranquil contrast to this energetic display. The tournament took place in glorious sunshine, set against a spectacular backdrop with views overlooking the Mediterranean and surrounding vineyards. The enthusiasm at the nimble Argentinean polo ponies and their artistic riders, who galloped across the grass at up to 60 kilometres per hour, could not be missed amongst the spectators on the sidelines. Vicky Leandros, an old friend of the host and one of the many regular guests at his private polo party, said: “I’ve always been fascinated by the dynamism and speed of polo. The ‘Son Coll’ estate makes for a wonderful picturesque setting that combines both the fast pace of the game and the tranquility and might of an outstanding property. Being able to enjoy the sport in these idyllic surroundings is an unforgettable experience.”
More than 60 horses had been transported by ferry from the Spanish mainland or by transporter from Germany for the tournament. The horses were ridden over to ‘Son Coll’ from the neighbouring estate, due to the fact that the property can only be reached via miles of incredibly narrow winding roads. A total of six top-class teams of three players each competed against one another. The teams were put forward by the sponsors Forest Lakes Country Club, Bentley, Cartier, Kaldewei, Gira/Dornbracht and Engel & Völkers, respectively. The top international players present included Gastón Maíquez, Daniel Crasemann, Christopher Kirsch, Bolko Kissling, and Oliver and Christopher Winter, all of whom are good friends of Christian Völkers. The Winter family is one of the most famous polo-playing families in Germany. The host Christian Völkers also got into the saddle on all three tournament days and played on the Engel & Völkers team. Spectators treaded in the divots of turf kicked up by the horses’ hooves and the polo mallets.
At the end of the sporting contest, the team Bentley emerged as the overall winner and was presented with the coveted Engel & Völkers Polo Cup trophy. Polo is a tough sport and the welfare of the animals and players of paramount importance. “It was a fair match and neither any of the polo ponies nor any of the players got injured,” reported the passionate equestrian fan Christian Völkers at the start of the trophy-giving ceremony. Polo enthusiasts, celebrities and friends followed the tournament from the sidelines, all clothed according to the dress code “summery in white”.
Once again this year, the Polo Cup was held under the aegis of the Engel & Völkers Charity, founded in 2008, and carried the motto “It’s time to share”. A total of 25.000 euros was raised for the E&V Charity. All proceeds and donations will go directly to the primary school project in Togo, one of the poorest countries in the world. These latest donations will contribute to ensuring the completion of the second school building and to covering general running costs.
An Argentinean-style barbecue was held in the evening after the tournament in the gardens of the estate. Guests were treated to wine produced on the estate and South American specialities. They then danced to live music at a party that went on late into the night.
“The event also saw the launch of our new website and the technology behind our social media programmes” says Craig Hutchison, CEO of Engel & Völkers Southern Africa. “The growth and planned growth in Engel & Völkers is phenomenal and it is always of great interest to chat to the licence partners worldwide and to gather the best practices and methods to apply to our local markets. The cross selling with various licence partners worldwide has also definitely increased versus four years ago, as South Africa is becoming more of a destination to international investors and as South Africans also start investing in properties abroad” Craig continues.
“One of our very own property sales advisors from our Potchefstroom shop, Theo Volschenk, attended as a finalist for the most units sold worldwide. This is quite an achievement as the competition includes candidates from across the globe. We are very proud to have Theo as part of our group and this emphasises that our staff is on worldwide standards. The brand continues to grow from strength to strength and it is fantastic to be part of this growth and the vision” Craig concluded.