M7 and Oxford: Our Story

In 2021 Oxford acquired M7 Real Estate, today we take a look back at the milestones, the impact, and talk to M7’s CEO David Ebbrell.

July 3, 2023

Partnerships are pivotal to how we advance our global strategy. In 1960, Oxford was born out of a handshake between two entrepreneurs to develop a single medical office building in Edmonton. Fast forward to today and we have kept the same collaborative spirit, but now at a global scale. Today we invest, asset manage, develop and partner in eight sectors, four continents, and over 20 countries. Our growth in the last decade has also been fueled by investing in and alongside likeminded specialists who can grow with us over the long term.

Our plan? To task M7’s 200+ team of on-the-ground specialists to source the right opportunities for Oxford to increase our exposure to European logistics, aggregate assets, deploy capital at scale, and build a pan-European supply chain network. To look closer at the ingredients of a great partnership, let’s check back in on our work with M7.

In Their Words:

Going beyond the numbers, let’s hear from M7’s CEO David Ebbrell to better understand the impact of this partnership.

Q: What sparked the partnership with Oxford?

David Ebbrell: I had a breakfast with the Oxford team back in October 2020 to talk about things we could do together. Somewhere during that hour’s breakfast, I had a moment where it became utterly apparent to me that Oxford could be the best partner to take M7 to the next level. I left this breakfast, which I had with former M7 Chairman, Richard Croft, and we both walked out and we said, ‘we should be doing a lot with these people. They are funny, they're engaging, they're bright. They see the world similarly to us.’ So, we shouldn't be just talking about what little things we can do together. We should be talking about what we can do together on a really big scale.

Q: Why did you say ‘yes’? What sold you on becoming part of the Oxford business?

DE: To go to the next level, we needed to partner with somebody who had the fire power and the energy to take us into there. Oxford was that organization. And I think what Oxford does for M7 is it takes us from a very good and very successful tier- two manager to a tier-one manager. And what we do for Oxford is we give them manpower and infrastructure in locations they need.

Q: Thinking back to over a year ago, where was M7 prior to joining Oxford?

DE: Because the way that our business had evolved, our growth was limited, because everything is organic. So, what it does for us, it allows scale. Also, they've got lots of interesting ideas where they need manpower to deliver on them. So, you've got two different idea engines. They've got the financial firepower, we've got the manpower. You put those two together and the future is brighter and more exciting.  

Q: What is different about working alongside Oxford vs. other potential partners?

DE: They're very transparent. When we were putting the sort of the finishing touches to our first venture together, we were able to meet for a bite of lunch. And the thing that struck me within 15 minutes of sitting down to lunch was the amount of laughter there was around the table.

So not only were good ideas being discussed, but people were being human, and being human creates better businesses. So, I think we've got good people. I can tell you, categorically Oxford has great people. I think those two things combined in the commonality of purpose are very, very exciting.

Q: What would you say today to an organization looking to grow with Oxford?

DE: I genuinely don't think that I would have entered into a relationship, the relationship that we have done with Oxford, with any other organization. It took an hour and a half to make the decision that they were the people we were looking for. They're just a good organization whose spirit appears to me to be grounded in all of the things I think are important – around people, around responsibility, around the way they do business transparently and honestly.