The Round-Up, March 2023
To our valued clients and friends,
The recent anniversaries of the first Covid lockdowns in Europe and the war in Ukraine are sobering reminders of the challenges we have all faced over the last few years. Many of us in the real estate industry have experienced the first major downturn of our careers, with instability in capital markets causing new deals to grind to a halt. On the human capital front, larger institutions, particularly those headquartered in the US, have been reticent to take on new headcount, citing recent hiring spurts and ongoing uncertainty as reasons to remain cautious. Some functions have remained busy, with capital raisers and value-creation focused asset managers in high demand; sectors such as meds and sheds have also proven to be resilient, but, on the whole, slow and steady has been flavour of the month.
An unintended, but positive consequence of this has been the increased focus on networking. Many of our clients and candidates tell us that what they love most about the real estate sector is the people, but often this falls to the wayside when markets are bullish. The recent slowdown has been a great opportunity for everyone to reconnect with old contacts or build new relationships. Since the start of the year, we have been delighted to host several roundtables, covering HR and Life Sciences, attend a variety of fascinating conferences and panel discussions across Europe, and go on site tours with clients.
As Q1 comes to an end, it is still very hard to predict how 2023 will pan out. Just as Jeremy Hunt announced that the UK economy is forecasted to avoid a recession, and inflation is set to fall to below 3% by the end of the year, bringing relief to households up and down the country, the issues surrounding SVB and Credit Suisse remind us how close we are to another financial crisis if confidence plummets. In the modern, global, social media age, we are as interconnected as ever; (mis)information and sentiment can spread rapidly, and one small shock can quickly reverberate across markets.
In this quarter’s newsletter, we are delighted to feature an in-depth interview with Eric Adler, President and CEO of PGIM Real Estate, in which Eric gives his views on working through a downturn, how the role of Private Equity investment has changed since the GFC, and why he’s described himself as an ‘odd American’.
Interview with Eric Adler
Eric Adler is the President and Chief Executive Officer of PGIM Real Estate, one of the world’s largest real estate investment managers, offering a broad range of real estate equity and debt solutions across the risk-return spectrum. Based in London, Eric is a member of PGIM Real Estate’s Global Management Council, the Global Investment Committee and the Global Operating Council. He also has oversight of Montana Capital Partners, a $3bn Swiss-based secondaries private equity manager acquired by PGIM in 2021.
Previously, Eric was global chief investment officer of PGIM Real Estate and earlier served as head of the European business. Before joining PGIM Real Estate in 2010, Eric co-directed Tishman Speyer’s European activities and was a member of its Global Management and Investment Committees. Earlier, Eric worked for Morgan Stanley Real Estate, where he led investment activities in Germany, France, Italy and Spain. He also had overall operational responsibility for its Special Situations Fund II. Earlier, he worked for Credit Lyonnais and Unibail in Paris.
Eric has a bachelor’s degree in business administration, summa cum laude, from University of Arizona. He also holds a graduate business degree from HEC Business School in France. Eric is a founding member of the European Advisory Board of the Zell/Lurie Real Estate Center at the Wharton School. He also serves on the Editorial Board of The Academy of Real Assets, a UK organization that aims to have a significant positive impact on diversity within the real assets industry through philanthropic and educational activities with underserved youth.
As Raw As It Gets
We asked industry leaders for their views on the year ahead
“The market is not so easy, everyone is being very careful, very diligent. From a lending perspective, we’re ready for things to restart. So far, the focus has been more on refinancings, less so on new deals”
“People have been trying to predict when the best time to buy and sell will be since the beginning of time. They always get it wrong. People predicting that transaction activity will pick up in Q3 and Q4 are just talking, nobody really knows…”
“There still needs to be an adjustment in prices and there is still too much uncertainty out there – the UK and Germany would be the 1st places to invest as they have already seen price drops whereas Spain hasn’t shifted yet”
“At a macro level, for deal flow to restart we need stability, which is driven by interest rates. In the eurozone, inflation was higher than expected, and so over the last few weeks swap rates went up and I wouldn’t call that stability! On the flip side, investors have realised faster than expected that we are in a new normal and have changed their expectations on pricing”
“Prices in the UK have already dropped 20-25% and smaller firms need to beef up to benefit from this. Although prices may fall another 10%, if smaller firms wait until later in the year to hire and acquire, they will be up against the big boys again, whereas at the moment they have far less competition on deals”
“I’m a logistics guy, market sentiment has definitely picked up since Nov/Dec last year and firms will be thinking about hiring. The larger beasts will probably not do so until later in the year/early next as there will be blanket hiring freezes handed down from HQ in NY or wherever, however smaller more nimble firms should be picking people up”
“Capital raising seems to be an ongoing issue, at least for two more quarters. The effect of interest rates has just started hitting the banks”
“Somewhere in the next 8 – 18 months is going to be a wonderful time to invest. You want to be in the right platform with the right team around you when that moment arrives”
“The is the Golden age of the Middle East. International investors are coming this time, not only hoping to raise money, but also to invest in the local market”
“I’m finding that currently my team needs more oversight. Given the slowdown of deals, I have been more needed as a manager than before”
“This is a great time for special sits and tactical hedge fund-type investing. I’ve been getting lots of approaches from hedge funds trying to restart or grow their real estate teams”
“It could be amazing year, but it could also be very frustrating as things go by so quickly, and if we wait too long, there are lots of people waiting on the sideline and will come flooding in”
“The current deals aren’t brokered, they are all being done bilateral, off-market”
“The market is still very weird. Investors are still on hold; some are opportunistically looking”
“We don’t have many legacy assets so we are in a good position, we want to be doing deals”
“As we are value-add investors, the time to invest is now, there is distress now and we are looking heavily at new deals”
“We have a formal policy of two days per week in the office. It’s great for team culture and to train juniors etc”
“Valuations are still not right, lots of dry powder in the market. The are going to be opportunities for the smaller players in the market”
“At MIPIM you sow the seeds, EXPO is the harvest”
“It’s hard to catch the bottom of the market. There are still problems with financing”
“There are increasingly opportunities on the value-add and opportunistic sides”
A Place in the Sun
Serene Hamzawi and Peter Field attended this year’s MIPIM conference in Cannes, where, beneath a generally positive facade, uncertainty and pessimism was hard to miss:
“Overall and on the surface, I would say the mood is quite positive – you cannot underestimate the effects of the sun for a population that has been facing; professionally a drastic slowdown in activity, huge concerns about this year’s ability to do business and increasing difficulty raising capital; on a human/personal level, rising cost of living, a war on our doorstep and a long, cold, wet winter. So being able to meet again as normal after covid restrictions in the sunshine makes for a generally positive atmosphere.
“But scratch a little under the surface of the sunny ebullience and hive of activity and the uncertainty and un-ease is evident. Everyone is putting on a brave face. The conversations want to be positive, but what is definitely gone is the assumption that plans will come to fruition, that predictions are somewhat reliable, and that capital will come. Nothing can be taken for granted anymore. And our industry has been in such a long bull cycle that everything was taken for granted – access to capital and growth.
“There are no or hardly any North American LPs, no or hardly any Asian LPs. But the Middle East is very present, impossible to ignore, from the large posters plastering the Palais des Festivals to attendance. There is a large Israeli contingent as well – many are looking to take advantage of the cycle and bifurcate from tech to real estate or marry real estate and tech.
“On the topic of transactions picking up again in Q4, ‘the reality is none of us know how to predict cycles/timing’, so all this talk of transactions picking up after summer is more wishful thinking than knowledge. There is nothing real to back up this timing. Sentiment and psychology are playing an ever-increasing part in a very fast-moving environment. The reverberation and ripple effect of each piece of news are far greater and any one thing could tip things over. SVB’s insolvency could hugely affect the financial institutions space and all depositors/borrowers and create a huge ripple effect in the economy. ”
Peter Field and Will Parker were delighted to host an intimate breakfast round table focused on the Life Sciences Real Estate sector, featuring senior, experienced individuals from private equity, development, advisory and pharmaceuticals. It was a fascinating discussion, with topics including diversity in the sector, the impact Brexit has had on talent and the role government has to play. Overall sentiment remains bullish for the sector in the UK, as groups look to address the ongoing imbalance of supply and demand. The creation of clusters, and the incorporation of attractive collaboration spaces and other amenities within them, is crucial to bringing in tenants all types of size, from start-ups to big pharma. A huge thank you to everyone who as able to attend for their time and insights.
Serene Hamzawi hosted an evening discussion and panel with HR and Talent executives, discussing current topics impacting the real estate industry. Some of the greatest challenges that groups have been facing include managing the return to the workplace and the new hybrid working model and hiring and retaining diverse talent. Compensation has also been a hot topic over recent months, as the market slowdown, combined with the cost-of-living crisis, has led to difficult conversations over pay increases and bonuses. One of the great positives discussed was the increased focus on mental health and well-being in the workplace over the last few years, with many firms creating support structures and incentive plans to help their teams. We would like to thank everyone who attended for their thoughts and input.
Keep an eye out for our latest real assets compensation surveys, in collaboration with PERE, Real Estate Capital and Infrastructure Investor, which will be published next month.
A highlight of key people moves within global real assets over the last two months
- Richard Croft stepped down as Executive Chairman of M7 Real Estate, with David Ebbrell taking full responsibility for the management of the company
- Founder Léon Bressler stepped down as Managing Partner of Aermont and will become Chairman of the firm. Paul Golding will succeed him. Vincent Rouget has left the business to start a new role in Paris, whilst Samuel Kreber, CFO, and Henning Richter, Managing Director have both been named Partners
- Palm Capital appointed Alex Gebauer as Senior Partner
- CPPIB appointed Maximillian Blagosch as Senior Managing Director and Global Head of Real Assets
- BlackRock appointed Paul Tebbit as Global Chief Investment Officer of Core Real Estate and John Saunders as Global Head of Clients
- Beverley Kilbridge was appointed Chief Operating Officer, Europe at LaSalle Investment Management
- Hilltop Credit Partners hired Claudiu Gheorghita as Chief Investment Officer
- Lesley Chen Davidson joined Telford Homes as Chief Operating Officer
- Valesco hired Ross McCaskill as Chief Financial Officer, Stephen Cahoon as Managing Director, Head of Asset Management and Derek Williams as Head of Investor Relations
- Randy Giraldo was appointed Head of Europe at Nuveen Real Estate
- Federico Monguzzi was appointed Head of Real Estate, EMEA at Citi
- Henley Investment Management appointed Will Rowson as Senior Advisor
- Richard Jackson stepped down as Managing Director and Co-Founder of Apache Capital to launch a new venture
- Varma appointed Sampsa Ratia as Head of Real Assets
- DeA Capital Real Estate hired Ashley Marks as Head of Capital Advisory
- Christian Schulte-Eistrup joined Clarion Partners as Managing Director and Co-Head of EMEA Distribution
- Pluto Finance appointed Phil Hooper as Head of Lending
- Anthony Shayle joined Excellion Capital as Director of Real Estate
- Invesco Real Estate appointed Cristiano Stampa as Head of Investments, Europe, and David Kellett as Head of Alternative Investments, Europe
- Tami Chuang joined Ardian as Managing Director, Investor Relations – Real Estate
- Unibail-Rodamco-Westfield hired Penny Cameron as Head of Development and Brent Seaton as Head of Construction
- Sara Roure joined Goldman Sachs as Co-Head of Real Estate Client Solutions & Capital Markets EMEA, alongside Alice Wilcox
- Britta Roden joined KGAL as Head of Research
- Jason Sharman joined Chancerygate as European Director
- William Clarke joined BioMed Realty as Director of Leasing, UK
- Philip Hirst joined Greystar as Director for Sustainability
- Jane Harrison joined Matter as Director, Investment Management
- Andrew Hook joined Patrizia as Fund Manager for its £1bn pan-European Property Fund
- Emmanuel Brechard and Matilda Williams were hired as Directors in the investor relations team at AEW
- Stuart Grant was appointed NED at Hongkong Land
- BlackRock hired George Maltezos as Head of BlackRock Alternatives Specialists in Singapore
- Peter Lee joined Allianz Real Estate as Head of Strategy & Capital Formation
- Kunihiko Okumura was appointed Japan Chief Executive Officer at LaSalle Investment Management
- CBRE Investment Manager hired Vida Tandean as Head of Asia Investments for Indirect Private Real Estate Strategies
- Carlton Chen was appointed Senior Director, Capital Markets at Hines in Hong Kong
- CapitaLand Investment hired Pauline Oh as Executive Director for Private Capital Markets
- Bianca Solomons was appointed as Managing Director of Investors Relations in APAC for Greystar
- Hines hired James Molloy to head up their new office in New Zealand
- Colliers appointed Chris Pilgrim as Managing Director, Global Capital Markets and Bastiaan van Beijsterveldt as Managing Director, Singapore
- Cushman & Wakefield appointed Matthew Clifford as Head of Sustainability and ESG for APAC
- JLL hired Nihat Ercan as APAC Hotels Group Chief Executive Officer
- OMERS appointed Daniel Fournier to lead Oxford Properties as Executive Chair, succeeding Michael Turner
- Danny Queenan replaced Mike Lafitte as Chief Executive Officer of Trammell Crow Co.
- Fiera Capital Corporation hired Wenzel Hoberg as Global Head of Real Estate
- Lincoln Property Company appointed David Binswanger and Clay Duvall as Co-Chief Executive Officers, succeeding Mack Pogue and Bill Duvall
- LGIM Real Assets hired Alexia Gottschalch as Head of Real Estate Equity, US and Tim Watson as Head of Investment and Portfolio Management, US Real Estate Equity
- Rami Jurdi was appointed Chief Financial Officer of Empire Communities
- Jonathan Lulu was hired as Managing Director for Pantheon
- Greystone hired Brett Hill as Managing Director
- CBRE hired Robert Bernard as Chief Sustainability Officer and Senior Vice President
A look at some of the largest real estate deals over the last two months
- Globally, the number of unlisted real estate funds to reach final close declined by over 34% in 2022, compared to 2021, with capital raised falling by over 26% to $182bn
- In Europe, this decrease was even more pronounced, with fundraising falling by 50% Y-o-Y. Only 75 funds reached any stage of financial close in Europe, with $25.75bn in capital raised
- European Real Estate Investors are more cautious than their North American and Asian Pacific counterparts, with 37% planning to reduce their total allocations over the next two years, as opposed to 20% and 5% respectively
- Nearly $175bn of real estate credit globally is in distress with property values falling by 20% in the UK and 9% in the US
- Investment into the UK PBSA market reached £7.7bn in 2022, up 69% Y-o-Y
- New York Life’s Candriam Group acquired an additional 31% stake of Tristan Capital Partners, taking its total to 80% and giving it majority ownership
- QuadReal acquired an interest in real estate development lending platform Precis Capital Partners, with plans to deploy up to £1bn into its development loans
- Vantage Data Centers is set to develop a 5-acre, 48 megawatt, £500m campus in North Acton
- The European life sciences sector is set to rebound from the slowdown seen in 2022
- UK hotel transactions slumped to a total of £3bn in 2022, 27.5% lower than 2021
- M&G sold a Premier Inn asset in Holborn to Whitbread for c. £37.5m to raise funds to meet redemption requests for its £5.2bn Secured Property Income Fund
- Many US and APAC investors plan to delay adoption of ESG policies due to challenging market conditions
- The UK’s proposed rules to eradicate greenwashing in investment funds set a higher bar than those already enforced in the EU
- Castellum was ranked the most sustainable property company in Europe, and fifth globally, by S&P Global
- More than 75% of Europe’s office buildings are at risk of obsolescence by the end of the decade due to factors including changing work patterns and occupier demand for green assets
- Chenavari launched a new Paris-based lending business to finance the redevelopment of assets to meet environmental regulations
- Lone Star Funds has set a $6bn capital raising target for its latest global real estate fund
- Tristan Capital Partners raised €2bn for its latest value-add and opportunistic fund
- BentallGreenOak held the final close of its third UK Secured Lending Fund, with £1.433bn of capital commitments
- M&G raised €578m for a new European Living Property fund, investing in student, PRS and retirement housing
- Nuveen launched its first dedicated pan-European diversified value-add strategy, raising €180m of initial commitments
Leave A Comment