- July 1, 2014: Vol. 6, Number 7

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Building a global footprint: Global investing will increasingly define institutional real estate markets of the future

by Benjamin Cole

As investors worldwide accumulate larger pools of capital, they are increasingly bound to seek risk-reducing diversification, not only across asset classes but within asset classes as well. Thus, even while large institutional property investors acquire a mix of property types — retail, office, industrial, mixed-use, residential — they are doing so while seeking a greater geographic spread, and even a global footprint.

Yet, unlike the bulk of the equity and debt worlds, the institutional real estate market is often not liquid and frequently involves large discrete purchases of assets that have to be managed. In other words, an institutional investor often buys a property or, even more bravely, buys into a development — in New Delhi or Hong Kong or Chicago or Brussels — with all the entanglements, risks and upside potential that such a large purchase implies. Absentee or even passive ownership of a discrete property asset is generally not a su

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