Institutional Real Estate Europe

November 1, 2010 Vol. 4 No. 10

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From the Current Issue

Europe

Changing Times, Changing Definitions: Recent Scars Change Risk Appetite and Strategies and Maybe Even the Definition of High Return

Real estate investments that proffer high returns will always have appeal. Unfortunately, the siren song of that elusive alpha sometimes leads to dubious decision making and warped perceptions of risk. That became all too evident at the peak of the most recent cycle when leverage — and the overuse thereof — became the primary tool of opportunistic fund managers and investors. In the post– Lehman Bros bankruptcy world, however, investors are faced with a very different investment environment. 

Europe

Work It Out: The Key to Bank Workout Success Is Selecting the Right Investment Management Solution

As major banks across Europe address their balance sheet exposure to commercial real estate, there is a real danger that continuing to “extend and pretend” will create a suboptimal solution for the underlying real estate portfolios involved, impacting tenants and leading to increasing voids. But that scenario can be avoided by a fundamental and innovative restructuring of their investment management plans.

Europe

Clear Visions, Muddy Waters: What Will European Cities Look Like in 2030 and Beyond?

Recent years have shown the limitations of econometric forecasting that most property funds and their advisers have become accustomed to using. Foresight scenario techniques, on the other hand, provide us with a different way to understand the future. Every day, we are faced with uncertainties ranging from pandemics — will swine flu or something worse sweep the world? — to climate change — will extraordinary weather events flood our homes or underground railways? — or financial meltdown — will a recession eventually lead to a financial depression?

Europe

Seeking Clarity: Is the Earlier Complexity of Fee Structures for Non-Listed Funds Giving Way to All-Round Transparency?

During the past four years at KTI Finland, I have had the privilege of being involved in the annual INREV management fees and terms studies; these examine the fee structures and levels found in European non-listed property funds. Although much has changed between 2007 and 2010, many of the issues that were relevant then remain so today. From the fees perspective, the non-listed real estate fund market in Europe remains diverse in its practices, both in the number and nature of the fees charged and in the bases on which those fees are charged — making comparisons between investment vehicles challenging at best.

Europe

Getting Better All the Time: The Registration System for Title to Real Estate in Ukraine Is Going Through Reform Aimed at Improving Efficiency

Real estate has always been one of the most attractive investments, and Ukraine is no exception. The domestic property market in this European emerging nation is heavily under-developed in all the sectors — office, retail, industrial, hotel and residential. The main driver behind the skyrocketing of prices before the crisis of 2008 was the lack of quality properties, and on some measures the Ukrainian market was one of the most expensive in Europe.

Europe

Shop Talk: A Conversation with Mike Gedye

Despite the uncertain economic outlook, there has been a strong rise in mergers and acquisitions (M&A) activity across world markets in recent months. Some deals have gone through, some have failed or been rebuffed, and some are still in play. Various reasons have been put forward for this higher incidence of M&A activity — a return of confidence and a willingness on the part of investors to put their heads back above the parapet, high cash balances and historically low borrowing costs, and a feeling that it’s time to go shopping, to take out competition. But the principal rationale for M&A activity at any level is usually the search for efficiency gains and synergies through consolidation and economies of scale, and efficiency gains often come at a price.

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