Squire Lionel Speedy 1924 - 2019


NZIV Tribute
By Jeff Alexander: President NZIV
 
On 9 December 2019, Squire Speedy, a valuer and academic without peer in the Property Industry passed away. He was 95 years old.
 
Squire, I have been told, had his first taste of valuing in the land sales era of 1943 – 1950 under the Servicemen’s Settlement and Land Sales Act 1943.
With his brother Lloyd they assisted their father Lionel Lawrence Speedy (Laurie) who was a pioneering valuer and member of the New Zealand institute of Valuers formed in 1939.
Squire helped with valuations to establish sale prices of land which, other than farm land, required under the legislation to be based on land values as at 15 December 1942. In Squire’s last publication titled “Property Matters“ a personal publication from which some of the valuing deeds of Squire have been sourced, he describes in an early chapter how stressful this was and the care with which valuations had to be made to justify prices fixed at Land Sales Committee Tribunal Hearings.
 
This held him in good stead for the future and as Squire noted:
 “Being a professional witness is one of the loneliest jobs in the world. Once you are in the witness box you are on your own. Your professional reputation can be made or marred by a single answer.” 
It was some years later that Squire completed the various exams for Membership of the New Zealand Institute of Valuers, winning the Institute’s Council Trophy. Much later Squire completed a degree of Master of Philosophy (MPhil) in property. Squire became Registered as a valuer on 17 October 1956.

(Continues below video...)
Squire Speedy speaking in 2010
(Continued from above...)

Squire had a very distinguished and influential career as a Registered Valuer becoming increasingly involved with the profession at both a practicing professional and academic level.
Squire worked on many compensation matters for both property owners and the Crown at the time of land acquisitions for the Auckland Harbour Bridge in the 1950’s through to Compensation cases including land acquired for reserves and schools in the 1970’s.
He was held in high regard for whichever side he was preparing evidence. He said of working for the Crown;
 “There was never any pressure on me one way or another. They simply wanted my independent professional opinion.”
 Squire in his professional life always saw it as a requirement to provide an independent opinion and was considered to be a valuer of the highest integrity by all who worked with or against him.
 
Squire commenced his academic teaching career in 1964.
He said in his Property Matters publication that he had 20 wonderful years as a part time lecturer, lecturing on Urban Accounting tailored for valuers.
This course enabled him to blend his knowledge in valuation and accounting, giving lectures to valuers that were relevant for their future careers. It led to the writing and publication of four text books and publishing very many papers on accounting, valuation and property economics, culminating with a first class masters degree.
 
One perhaps little-known fact among our members is that Squire, in his thirst for knowledge, purchased a Hewlett Packard HP 80 electronic calculator in the late 1960’s, the ultimate in computing sophistication at the time.
He began solving investment calculations in seconds that used to take him hours using log tables and slide rules. This, I understand, was a first for property in New Zealand, common today, but unheard of in the 1960’s. It enabled more swift calculations for Discounted Cash Flow (DCF). Up to the last, in a talk he gave to Massey University Students in 2010, he expressed his concern about the use of DCF, because as he said:
 “the accuracy all depends on the validity of the future estimates, and particularly the timing of cash flows expected to be paid out or received.” 
Squire’s achievements as an academic and author are legendary. His book on Land Compensation is cited in cases before the High Court and Land Valuation Tribunal and at arbitrations, some 35 years after the book was published.
 
A troll through the New Zealand Valuers Journal for which he was on the Editorial Board for many years shows his devotion to the profession, writing articles and commentaries on many occasions. As a member of the Editorial Board Squire was called upon to review academic articles for substance and relevance before publication to ensure they were of a high academic standard.
 
Squire is known to have written nine publications, some personal but mostly on financial, economic and property investment, two of which, through his generosity, were dedicated to the New Zealand Institute of Valuers. As for all work he did for the Institute, he donated his time at no cost. This is recorded in his book on Property Matters, when asked by the Institute to write Financial Appraisal. He said:
 “I’m sure you can’t afford to pay me a proper fee. I’m hanged if I’m going to work for peanuts on holidays and weekends, or in the early mornings. I’ll do it as a hobby”. 
Squire achieved every accolade that the New Zealand Institute of Valuers could possibly award him beyond his first, which was the Institute’s Council Trophy. He became, in order, a:
  1. Member of NZIV.
  2. Fellow of NZIV.
  3. John M Harcourt Award recipient in 1983.
  4. Life Member of NZIV 1990.  
Others recall that at a gathering in Auckland he said he was proudest of the John M Harcourt Award which he considered the highest accolade of the Institute. It was awarded to him in 1983 for: “outstanding service both over a long period and in the year the award is made”, having just complete the publication “Financial Appraisal” dedicated to the NZIV.
 
Squire will be remembered for many things, perhaps not the least for his “Rule of 72” that he devised using the Hewlett Packard, and “Speedy’s Risk Curve” developed in response to questions from students. He later dryly commented that he later found his Rule of 72 was based on principles that had been in existence since 1494, only he didn’t know that at the time, and therefore had reinvented it himself as a rule for property professionals.
 
Squire retired as a registered valuer on 1 January 2000. His legacy is remembered by numerous valuers practicing today. For those who didn’t have the pleasure of knowing him personally he will be fondly remembered, either through anecdotes recounted in his memory as a great raconteur, or by reading his many publications.
 
We thank you Squire.  Your memory and contribution to our profession will live on.

Upcoming Events

19 Feb
Kibbys Metal Pressing, 30 Katere Road, New Plymouth, Taranaki, New Zealand
27 Feb
PwC building, Level 4, 10 Waterloo Quay, Pipitea, Wellington, Wellington, New Zealand