The Fund Manager – The Property Chronicle
Select your region of interest:

Real estate, alternative real assets and other diversions


Latest Article

… was a famous quote of appreciation attributed to Martin Winterkorn, Volkswagen's former CEO, when closing the door of a KIA sedan at a car exhibition a few years ago. While Mr Winterkorn moved from the boardroom to the court room battling accusations in the wake of Volkswagen's emission scandal, the automotive world’s attention shifted from the ascent of Korean car manufacturers to their counterparts in China.  Reading through Tom Stacey’s recent 'China is on course to build the... Read More >

Recent Articles:


Back to school, back to work, back to life. La rentrée means much more than just ‘back to school’.  The word also signifies a return to social and professional normality after an extended break. This September, after 18 months of Read More >

The Biden administration may yet rue its tax and spend agenda. Writing a year ago, during the uncertain early days of the pandemic, we predicted that the US government would come to the rescue of the private sector in a manner that was likely Read More >

If I could summarise my most successful investments in one equation it would look something like this: Cash + Optionality + Astute Capital Allocation = Compounding Machine Good businesses generate lots of cash. Great businesses generate Read More >

“Rain does not fall on one roof alone.” (African proverb) Albeit debating the reasons along ideological lines, the world is getting to grips that climate change is an undeniable fact. Apart from pandemics, the subject is likely to Read More >

Poland offers attractive investment possibilities post-Covid. We have now undergone a year and half of unprecedented interference in all aspects of our lives including, of course, in business. In an attempt to combat the serious consequences Read More >

Originally published March 2021. Some trends in investing are cyclical (mean reverting) and some are structural (permanent). Distinguishing between the two is crucial for investors. Cyclical trends mean-revert eventually, but can spend Read More >

Originally published April 2021. This year, a Paris property pioneer celebrates 50 years living and working in France. In half a century of developing office properties, the resilient Paul Raingold has navigated many cycles of boom, bust and Read More >

What Blackstone's recent US housing deals tell us. In late June 2021, Blackstone acquired Home Partners of America Inc (HPA), a company owning roughly 17,000 single-family homes across the US, which is as much of a rent escalation play as it Read More >

Originally published April 2021. Inflation is in the news again. Many prices are rising even before we can physically get out and spend, and governments are pouring vast amounts into the economy.  Whichever side of the inflation debate Read More >

Is this the digital worlds last frontier? "We are all now connected by the internet, like neurons in a giant brain" –Stephen Hawking Looking at a map depicting global internet user penetration verifies this thought, but also leaves an Read More >

A casual geographic inspection of property yields across the UK’s CRE – inclusive of its PRS – reveals a premium not merely outside London, but the entire South. To be clear, this ‘Northern value discount’ does not capture poor Read More >

Originally published January 2021. A few months ago I came up with a simple way to categorise companies and their shares based on their most important attributes. For me, those most important attributes are quality, defensiveness and Read More >

There is a tendency to over-emphasise China at the expense of a full appreciation of the activities of other foreign actors, including entities from the European Union. Investment inflows over the past 20 years introduced a steep change in Read More >

Originally published January 2021. Nick Sleep is one of the greatest investors I’ve ever come across. Sleep managed the Nomad Investment Partnership for over a decade, along with his partner Qais Zakaria, delivering returns of 921% versus Read More >

Originally published January 2021. Real estate distress cycles generally offer rich pickings to investors, but that’s unlikely to happen this time – and here’s why. This article discusses the potential path for a distress cycle in US Read More >

Last week, I went to an airport. This was my first time since February 2020 – a period of over 500 days. I felt both excitement and trepidation at revisiting this once too-familiar routine. Just a few years ago, I might have passed through an Read More >

Could this provide a ‘Goldilocks’ scenario? Economic commentators and central bankers seem at last to be taking inflation risk seriously, rather than assume that current inflationary pressures constitute a short-term phenomena as the Read More >

The biggest risk a business faces is having bad management. That’s according to Warren Buffett in his latest shareholder meeting. I agree. Assessing company management is one of the most important jobs an investor faces, but it’s far from Read More >

FTSE ST Real Estate Investment Trusts (FTSE ST REIT Index) increased slightly from 849.11 to 868.08 (2.23%) compared to the last monthly update. Currently the Singapore REIT index is still trading with a range between 816 and 880.Yield spread Read More >

Surfing a wave of institutional adoption... and liquidity. The best investments are often the least comfortable ones. This is certainly the case with our decision to add bitcoin exposure to Ruffer’s portfolios in November last year. Many Read More >

The brasserie next to my office is a classic. A chalkboard shows the plats du jour. The waiters in crisp black waistcoats glide between tables. The corner terrasse catches the lunchtime sun. Customers watch the world from wicker chairs facing Read More >

I love companies that can grow for decades. The best sort of growth reinforces the business model, which in turn makes future growth more likely. Network effects and economies of scale from greater purchasing power, or leveraging fixed Read More >

“I have little doubt that with excess savings, new stimulus savings, huge deficit spending, more QE, a new potential infrastructure bill, a successful vaccine and euphoria around the end of the pandemic, the US economy will likely boom. This Read More >

Originally published in March 2021. Like many readers, I took advantage of the best snow in years to go sledging with my daughters. As Daddy bombed down the hill like Bowser in Mario Kart, my mortality flashed before me and I realised I was Read More >

Originally published in April 2021. Needless to say, covid-19 has caused significant dislocations in all aspects of our daily lives. One of these has been a major shift in working practices. Almost overnight, those of us who were primarily Read More >

Environmental, social and governance (ESG) considerations among global real estate investors and their stakeholders have gained traction over the past few years due to the increasing attention on climate change, heightened by the Covid-19 Read More >

Originally published in April 2021. Often in life, what you don’t see is more important than what you do. You can look round a house as many times as you want, but you won’t get a true sense of what the neighbours are like until you Read More >

The UK’s sailed through many a rough patch and come out all the better – so Brexit’s not a worry! But why the hell can’t we win the America’s Cup? After too many years in the City, experience has taught me that stuff happens if Read More >

This article was originally published in December 2020.. The spring lockdown did not stop UK M&A in its tracks, but activity slowed. Faced with the fog of economic uncertainty, some buyers put their chequebooks back in the drawer, and Read More >

Working at home is something many of us have got used to – maybe too used to – over the past year. In a strange way we are recapitulating the experience of our ancestors. For most of human history, home working was the norm – whether Read More >

This article was originally published in January 2021. Traditionally, real estate was often viewed as little more than a downside hedge for a diversified portfolio. This reflects its low correlation with equities and bonds and its perceived Read More >

The 60th week of a long holiday is about to start. France, the single most visited tourist venue on the planet, is having a vacation – from tourism. In 2019, France sat at the top of the global tourist visits league – as it has for decades. Read More >

Many parts of the economy have suffered no ill effects from Covid – the US government should restrain its largesses One year after the emergence of covid as a threat to our daily existence, a peculiar narrative has taken hold whereby the Read More >

When the annual PERE/Sousou Partners 2021 compensation survey appeared in my LinkedIn feed earlier this year, I couldn’t help but notice the somber headline: Private real estate firms cancel bonuses during the pandemic!  Briefly Read More >

When thinking about successful emerging market investing, the following quote comes to mind: “In an unfamiliar culture, it is wise to offer no innovations, no suggestions, or lessons.” (Maya Angelou, American poet and civil rights Read More >

“We don’t know what we don’t know,” as Donald Rumsfeld once said when asked whether intelligence gathered had been shared adequately across the US intelligence community. Applied to the economies of Africa, the meaning goes even deeper, Read More >

With its resurrection following the Second World War and the unification of East and West, Germany has had a remarkable journey over the past 75 years. In particular its stable and reliable public service has been a model for others. This has Read More >

This article was originally published in March 2020. Many of us are guilty of equating status, success and ultimately happiness, with material possessions. Even if, like me, you make a conscious effort to avoid such associations, most of us Read More >

THE word of this extraordinary winter in Paris has been couvre-feu. The very expression is still heavy with associations from the 1940s occupation, even if the order to “cover your fires!” was originally intended to protect medieval wooden Read More >

Öslem Tureci and Uğur Şahin – the founders of BionTech, which, together with Pfizer, pioneered one of the first covid-19 vaccines – are remarkable individuals in a wider sense. While their scientific research and business success, leading Read More >

For almost a year, we have personally witnessed friends and colleagues sharing pictures of their working-from-home digs. At the onset of the pandemic, we would see shots of a laptop on a bistro table situated on patios, balconies or even Read More >

Jeff Bezos has just announced he’s stepping down as Amazon’s CEO. Whatever happens to Amazon from here, and whatever your opinion of its founder, Jeff Bezos will go down as one of the best businessmen of all time. His achievements at Amazon Read More >

What do investors want right now? Which are their preferred opportunities, and what do you need to know about them? This series sums up what one European investment adviser has gathered from his online meetings, conferences and other Read More >

On 20 January 2021 the Czech lower house of parliament passed a bipartisan bill that, if enacted, would potentially pose a significant threat to one of the EU’s core elements, its single market with 450 million consumers. If approved in the Read More >

Investing is one of those rare pursuits where amateurs can have an advantage over the professionals. It happens in almost no other field. If I competed against any professional sports person, I’d lose every time. If I was asked to perform Read More >

This article was originally published in Winter 2019. With Brexit uncertainty hitting London hardest and high-grade office supply tight in the capital, investors are looking to other UK cities Brexit and now the general election have been Read More >

Consumers won’t turn back from e-commerce now – so what do institutional investors need to know about the logistics property market? The influence of e-commerce on the daily life of many Americans became clear to me when my 92-year-old Read More >

There are naturally those sceptical of any new way of thinking or challenge to the status quo. The notion of universal basic income (UBI) as a panacea to what ails society is of course an attractive one but is not a mast to which many advocates Read More >

While some argue that covid-19 measures are the start of a permanent new universal basic income (UBI) to mitigate the risk that societies are entirely torn apart, others see UBI as a draw for (younger) people to migrate to cities. Another line Read More >

With each economic crisis that has hit since 2008, we have witnessed the central banks of many developed nations engaging in ever more voluminous quantitative easing. Against this backdrop, we should not have been surprised that supporters of Read More >

China’s position on the world stage is changing rapidly as it moves to become a strategic competitor to incumbent economic powerhouses. Not least because of the recent trade conflict between the US and China and its long-term fallout as well Read More >