It’s an old saying that has stood the test of time: “A problem shared is a problem halved.” It’s how agony aunts work the world over, and investors and investment managers active in the real estate world could certainly use an agony aunt right now. In many respects, though, in various aspects of current political and economic behaviour around the world, it’s as if the saying is being stood on its head and turned into “My problem may be your problem, too, but I’d rather deal with my problem by myself in my own way. Butt out.”
From the Current Issue
Investing in Asian real estate holds great promise for non-Asian institutional investors. But while there are great rewards, the risks are also great. However, many have overcome their fears of investing in the region, and allocations to Asian real estate by European and North American investors have been going up.
I became a portfolio manager for the German real estate and infrastructure group of Generali when I joined the indirect investment team during the middle of the financial crisis. From speaking to senior professionals, whom I knew from internships, I was able to land a job at an institutional real estate investor.
Uncertain conditions in the European commercial real estate market have created great opportunities for equity-rich German open-end funds (GOEFs). Over the past couple of years, while debt remained scarce and many investors stayed on the sidelines, GOEFs have continued their strong acquisition programmes, making one headline after another. In 2009, they invested Ä3.6 billion in Europe alone, with more than 50 acquisitions spread across 15 different markets.
The Townsend Group provides global property investment advice to more than 85 clients on both a discretionary and non-discretionary basis, representing real estate allocations in excess of Ä72 billion. Senior editor Sheila Hopkins spoke recently with Adam Calman, who joined Townsend as head of Europe in April 2009 and set up the firm’s new London office, its first outside the United States.