The Round-Up, May 2022

The New Normal

To our valued clients and friends, 

As more and more countries around the world lift Covid restrictions and return to the ‘new normal’, the working from home debate is intensifying. The topic has been highlighted in recent weeks, in both the public and private sectors, with the issue becoming increasingly divisive. Whilst employees have generally enjoyed the flexibility that has been afforded to them over the last two years, many employers and government figures are keen to bring people back to offices and city centres, either using the carrot or the stick.

Prior to covid, the increased focus on employee welfare and mental health in the workplace was tipping the scales in favour of a better work/life balance and flexible hours. Now, following the relaxation of government-mandated work from home orders, combined with market buoyancy, we are entering into a power-struggle between individuals and the corporate. Are we going to see a major pushback from companies over worker-power? Or will those companies that refuse to bend to modern lifestyles start losing out on top talent? If we are on course for a recession, and the hiring market slows down, employees may find they are no longer able to have a say over where they work.

As highlighted by the recent merger of Blackstone’s The Office Group and Brockton Capital’s Fora, as well as Alpine Grove Partners’ acquisition of The Argyll Club, the flexible working sector is proving attractive to investors looking to capitalise on companies reducing their office footprints and enticing employees back to the workplace through various amenities. What seems to be becoming clearer is that “flexible working” in one form or another, seems here to stay, at least in those industries where it is physically possible, but what impact will it have on office cultures, training juniors, and productivity? In this edition’s ‘As Raw As It Gets’, we asked individuals across the real assets sector for their insights and views on the matter.

One sector that is not so affected by this debate is the life sciences real estate sector. Due to the necessity for lab space for work, the asset class has remained robust and resilient over covid, with investors increasingly flocking to a sector that raised a record level of venture capital funding in 2021. With existing stock in limited supply, and managers getting increasingly desperate to grow their exposure, pricing is becoming unreasonable. To make up for this shortfall, developers are repurposing other assets, with retail a prime candidate due to the underlying features such as high floor-to-ceiling height and goods lifts. But here the sector faces another shortfall, this time in terms of human capital, as there are few people currently with the right skillsets to design and build specialised lab space.

Many life science companies are looking to grow their teams, fuelled by the influx of capital, and need the space to do so. There will be some investors that can capitalise on this growth, but we are likely to see a shakeout in 2022 and 2023 as those firms that aren’t wholly committed back away due to the pressure on pricing and talent. In this newsletter, we’re honoured to feature Dr. Glenn Crocker, Executive Director at We Are Pioneer Group and Senior Consultant at JLL Life Sciences, who gives his views on the life sciences sector.

Many life science companies are looking to grow their teams, fuelled by the influx of capital, and need the space to do so. There will be some investors that can capitalise on this growth, but we are likely to see a shakeout in 2022 and 2023 as those firms that aren’t wholly committed back away due to the pressure on pricing and talent. In this newsletter, we’re honoured to feature Dr. Glenn Crocker, Executive Director at We Are Pioneer Group and Senior Consultant at JLL Life Sciences, who gives his views on the life sciences sector.

Compensation is one of the topics we get asked about most often, and we were delighted to partner with PERE, Real Estate Capital, and Infrastructure Investor on our latest salary surveys, covering real estate private equity, real estate debt, and infrastructure. You can find links to the full articles and data below.

Best wishes,
Will Parker

As Raw As It Gets

We asked leaders about “hybrid working”

It is compulsory to come in for quarterly results/ internal presentations etc. For client meetings it can’t be that the client comes in with more people than we so people have to come in ”  

We want to keep flexibility and look at both sides. We don’t want to force people into the office but tempt them in, i.e. fill the fridge, free food and drinks, and other incentives”

People do their job better in the office, they have the equipment they need around them and there are no family etc. to distract them. It also keeps work and personal life compartmentalised”

Juniors have been back full time for about a year now as we were finding it hard to train them and many of them share flats/houses and were finding working from home difficult. We have reinstated team lunches which were always helpful pre-covid; we think it helps motivate the team”

No pressure to come in for set number of days per week, however in practice I go in 2-3 times ad hoc. Prior to covid, I wasn’t in the office a lot anyway as I was traveling a lot to meet clients and that continues to happen” 

Working from home is great for more experienced workers, who know what they are doing and need less time with others, but it is worrying for juniors who lack mentors and colleagues to learn from. They’re also the most likely to be in small flats with less than ideal working environments, and also less likely to speak up about the disconnect”

We have made some calls ‘in-person attendance only’ so no Zoom or Teams link is provided and people have to come in for them”

The more people are in, the more people have a reason to go in”

No real directive but most of us are in most of the time. We can’t afford to be as agents, plus most of us want to be quite frankly”

“We feel we have to draw people back into the office as we are selling office space to clients so we need to send out the right message”

As the talent market quiets down, which it is bound to, employers will be able to set rules more”

We don’t have any specific rules in place, the output is very visible in our industry and if the output is right we’re good with it. ”

The team are in the office 2/3 days a week, and it has to be spread, Monday is compulsory, and there has to be someone in on Fridays”

I’m very happy with the hybrid set up and don’t want to go back to 5 days in the office” 

There’s always been masses of autonomy here and if that doesn’t work for you it’s not the right business for you”

Expert Opinion

Interview with Dr. Glenn Crocker MBE

Dr. Glenn Crocker is an Executive Director at We Are Pioneer Group, where he runs the investment arm of the business, and a Senior Consultant and former Head of UK, UK at JLL Life Sciences. During his career, he has co-founded, invested in, and exited many successful life science companies. He is a non-executive director of BDD, BioAscent Discovery, Alderley Park Ventures, and the UK Science Parks Association and a governor of Trent College.

Glenn has a DPhil in Immunology and is qualified as a Chartered Accountant with EY. At EY he was UK Head of Biotechnology and worked in Palo Alto, CA, and Cambridge, UK before becoming founder and CEO of BioCity Group. As CEO, and subsequently Executive Chairman, of BioCity he was responsible for building a successful business and achieving a good exit for shareholders.  In 2014 Glenn was awarded an MBE for services to the biotechnology industry.

In this interview, Glenn gave his views on where the life sciences sector currently is, the challenges it faces, and how he sees it developing over the next few years, both in the UK and Europe.

FULL INTERVIEW

Compensation

We were delighted to collaborate with PERE, Real Estate Capital and Infrastructure Investor for our latest compensation surveys

PERE

“Wage inflation for juniors and a return to growth for seniors are among the key takeaways of this year’s compensation report”

For the full article,
please click on the image below

Real Estate Capital

“Recruiting property debt specialists
are becoming more expensive
as market entrants hunt for talent”

For the full article,
please click on the image below

Infrastructure Investor

“As the infrastructure sector’s heavyweight asset managers continued to focus on product diversification, 2021 saw the gap in compensation between …

For the full article,
please click on the image below

Key Moves

A highlight of key people moves within global real assets over the last two months

Europe

  • Multi Corporation appointed Elmar Schoonbrood as Co-Chief Executive Officer
  • Stavros Efremidis was appointed Chief Executive Officer of Corestate
  • Patrizia hired Christoph Glaser as Chief Financial Officer
  • Will Dear joined Sculptor Capital Management as Co-Head of European Real Estate
  • Sebastiaan van Loon joined Deutsche Bank as Head of Real Estate, Gaming & Lodging, Europe
  • Madison International Realty appointed Alex Lukesch as Head of European Investments
  • Jens Stender joined NREP as Partner and Head of Global Capital Markets
  • American Tower Corporation appointed Pieter Nel as Chief Executive Officer for Europe
  • Rachel Hanke joined Europa Capital as Managing Director, Portfolio Management
  • Andreas Norberg joined Barings as Head of Nordics Real Estate, with Jenny Tuleby replacing him at CBRE IM as Head of Investment Operations, Nordics

Americas

  • Lindsey Wright joined KKR as Managing Director and Head of Investment Services for the firm’s US real estate credit business
  • AXA IM Alts appointed Stephan Ackermann to the newly created Head of North America Client Group role
  • Michael Ryder joined Investcorp as Senior Advisor to help launch an investment platform focused on North American infrastructure
  • Madison International Realty appointed Kenny Moon as Managing Director of Real Estate Platform Investing
  • Don Domoretsky joined JLL as Executive Vice President in its Life Sciences Consulting Group
  • PGIM Real Estate appointed Christy Lockridge as the business’s first Chief Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Officer, based in Chicago
  • Anthony Corriggio joined Cohen & Steers’s private real estate team as Senior Vice President and Portfolio Manager

APAC

  • ICG’s Real Estate arm launched an APAC business with the hiring of a team of four members from ESR’s ARA Private Funds, David Kim, Stephen Tang, Rohan Neville, and Isaac Leo
  • CICT appointed JTC Chief Executive Officer, Tan Boon Khai, as Non-Executive Independent Director
  • Michelle Shi joined UBS Global Wealth Management as Head Chief Investment Officer, Global Investment Management, Alternative Solutions, APAC
  • Manulife Investment Management named Jessie Liu as Head of Transactions and Portfolio Management, Real Estate, Private Markets, Asia
  • CBRE appointed Luke Moffat as Regional Managing Director and Head of Advisory and Transaction Services for APAC
  • Ananth Ramchandran joined CBRE as Head of Advisory & Strategic Transactions, Hotel & Hospitality, Asia
  • JLL appointed Pamela Ambler as Head of Investor Intelligence and Strategy, Asia Pacific

Transactions

A look at some of the largest real estate deals over the last two months

Geographical Focus: Nordics

Sector Focus: UK Industrial & Logistics

Market Insights

Market Trends

  • Despite geopolitical events, total European real estate investment volumes for 2022 are predicted to reach between €300-330bn, 5-10% above the five-year average
  • European hotel transactions reached €16.4bn in 2021, double that of 2020, but still 40% down on 2019 due to significantly fewer portfolio transactions
  • Real Estate M&A activity hit an all-time high in 2021, as firms looked for access to retail capital, tried to avoid potential capital gains tax rises, or gained access to new sectors and geographies
  • The US SEC proposed new governance that would require public companies to report the climate-related risks of their business activities
  • While real estate debt professionals see potential distress opportunities emerging in China, they believe lenders should focus on high-quality developers
  • Deloitte reduced its London office footprint by about a third in the past year, as its staff did not want to come in more than two days a week

Life Sciences

  • UK Life Sciences attracted a third of the €32bn total investment in the asset class in Europe over the last five years
  • However, the lack of investable options means that much of £20bn of investor capital currently chasing UK life sciences property could go unallocated
  • Breakthrough Properties, the life sciences joint venture of Tishman and Bellco Capital, raised $3bn for a new fund to buy and build new assets in the U.S. and Europe. It is the largest real estate fund dedicated exclusively to the life sciences sector
  • Oxford Properties and Reef Estates were selected as preferred development partners for a £350m, 300k sq. ft. life sciences hub near London Bridge
  • Brookfield announced the creation of a new life sciences platform called ARC, bringing its 1.6m sq. ft. UK life sciences assets under one management
  • Life sciences property and data centres are among the real estate assets likely to suffer the most as the cost of building materials continues to rise

Fund Raising

  • Goldman Sachs raised $3.5bn for its latest real estate equity fund, the first of its kind for Goldman since the 2008 financial crash. The fund will target Core+ and Value-Add deals in the US, Europe, and Asia

Infrastructure

  • AGL Energy rejected Brookfield’s A$8.5bn takeover bid
  • KKR raised $17bn for its fourth infrastructure fund, exceeding its initial $12bn targets by more than 40 percent
  • Ardian raised $5.25bn for the largest-ever infrastructure secondaries fund
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