“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.