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 wanderings.
For over 20 years, my role has offered me the opportunity to visit, almost continuously, property companies, strategic investors, asset managers, analysts, brokers, bankers as well as pension funds or insurance companies throughout Europe. These interactions with the decision-makers of the European real estate industry could take the form of a simple meeting in their office, or roadshows, property tours, investor days, conferences or fairs like MIPIM or Expo Real. First and foremost, these meetings are regular social interactions that enable us to do business and to share views and convictions on the economy and the property markets. Real estate is a handshaking industry – though it feels like a long time since we actually got to do that. Despite meetings now being virtual, the dialogue has continued with investors, and strategic issues are being discussed and addressed.
Heard from the head of real estate investment at one of the top five European long-term investors during a catch-up call: “It is not the right time to have a strategic decision on the agenda of our committee. Today, our asset allocation is the outcome of the different decisions we make alongside our long-term partners. If it makes sense for them and with them, we tend to do it – then it will have impacts on our asset allocation.” My takeaway is that 2021 is not going to be the year of transformational investment decisions but of ongoing business with familiar counterparts. More evidence of a risk-off market.