An Interview with Sava Zurnic
We speak with Sava Zurnic, MPM Master Project Manager at USA Escrow Fund – a global corporation specialising in project financing, escrow services and project management. For the past five years, Sava has been managing European projects as the company’s Project Director for Europe and has focused on projects in South-Eastern Europe.
Tell us about some of the most important projects USA Escrow Fund has worked on in 2019.
In 2019 we spent a lot of time working with our newest clients in preparation for the exciting projects we’ll have in the future. We also wound down and completed a few projects which resulted in excellent results for both our clients and our company, and we had the opportunity to see how businesses can be built and flourish with financial help which is custom-made for their needs.
What would you say are the company’s top three priorities towards its clients?
When it comes to prioritising the needs of our clients, we approach this task with great attention to detail. We assess the true needs of our clients and prioritise accordingly. For that purpose, we assign a specific project manager to every project we handle. They meet with the clients in person, and through getting first-hand knowledge of the planned project, they are able to ascertain perfectly the sequence of priorities to suit both sides perfectly. The top three priorities in our company’s service to our clients are a personal approach to each project, frequent project oversight and making sure that we create custom financing programs for our clients’ specific needs.
The biggest challenge we face is the conflict between the western way of doing business and the old socialist ways the countries in South-Eastern Europe are used to.
What are some of the main challenges you face when working on projects in South-Eastern Europe?
All of the countries in this part of Europe have recently gone through significant changes in their respective political and social systems. The biggest challenge we face is the conflict between the western way of doing business and the old socialist ways these countries are used to. Often, we are able to find common ground, but this is not always the case. In some cases, we, unfortunately, have to reject a project because of dishonest clients who present us with misinterpretations, governmental bureaucracy which very clearly would be a great obstacle in project performance, and very frequently, laws of the region which would make it almost impossible to ensure the safe financial return for our investors or a way to properly put up legal liens enforceable by law. Sometimes it is possible to work around those obstacles, but sometimes they are insurmountable.
What are the current financing trends in the construction sector in Europe?
What we see as trends, when it comes to financing, does not necessarily reflect the trends that the industry promotes. We form our view of trends and financial needs based on the information we get from the applications we receive from our potential clients, as well as from our people in the field. Currently, the need for niche financing is trending in our company and we have to be very creative in our approach to financing the projects we select.
Are there any exciting projects you’re working on in 2020 that you can share with us? What are your goals for the new year?
We have several new projects planned that I’m very excited about. The most exciting thing for me personally is the fact that they are in the tertiary sector and cover service and energy. Some of the projects are not necessarily huge by industry standards, however, I find them very exciting because their impact on these sometimes-struggling economies is of great importance and has a positive effect on them.
A few ongoing projects I am looking forward to in the coming year include a solar power plant, an elderly care facility, a hotel and villas complex located in South-Eastern Europe, warehouses and a transportation logistics centre in Western Europe.