In times of crisis, people have a tendency to retreat to the comfort and safety of their homes until they feel confident that they can handle the upheaval outside. Investors are people, too, so when the capital markets froze and real estate values started crashing to the ground, cross-border investing, which had been growing rapidly during real estate’s heydays, contracted sharply, falling about 60 percent from its peak.
From the Current Issue
A year on from the collapse of Lehman Bros, and two years on from evaporation of the securitisation market, it is clear that we have lived through the worst global financial market crash in history. Neither the 2000 “dot.com” crash; nor the intermittent emerging market crises of the 1980s and 1990s; nor even the 1929 Wall Street Crash came close to the global, synchronised seizure of the capital markets that have been a feature of recent times. Former investment bankers now find themselves working as de factocivil servants, large swathes of the retail banking system exist by government fiat, and the stars of the boom years are mired in legacy issues.
During the past year, numerous investors and market participants have enquired about the true level of activity in the secondary market and the opportunity to acquire real estate fund and partnership interests through such transactions. The simple answer to their question is that the dislocation that has impacted the global economy, and specifically the real estate sector, has stimulated activity in the real estate secondary market.
Based in Munich, the Bayerische Versorgungskammer (BVK, literally Bavarian Care Chamber) is one of Germany’s largest pension schemes and asset managers. The BVK’s constituent pension schemes, with an aggregate 1.7 million active members and Ä47 billion in assets under management, are young and assets under management are expected to double within the next 10 years. Editor Richard Fleming spoke recently with Daniel Just, deputy chairman and CIO at the BVK, about the asset manager’s realigned strategic asset allocation and real estate activities.