Originally published February 2021.
That I have worked and lived on three continents has given me the chance to create amazing relationships with many different people and cultures, and more importantly, to develop the ability to put things into perspective and context. In my many interesting conversations with investors around the world, one question that often comes up is: “What are you doing in Latin America?” My knee-jerk response is usually: “I’m taking an MBA in life or learning how the world really works.” I have come to realise that geography is not a limiting factor but rather something that allows me to step outside and observe from beyond the rest of the pack.
To that point, I felt it was worth taking some time to reflect on my time in Latin America through my own lens. For context (because context is important) my lens is predominately helping Latam-based capital groups, both private and institutional, to make smart real estate investments in markets outside Latin America. I hope you can benefit from some of the things I have learned along the way.
The institutional market is highly regulated and restrictive
There are many headlines around the ‘opening of the floodgates’ when it comes to the Latin American institutional investor universe. It is true there are large pools of capital that are under-allocated to alternatives and more specifically real estate, but these same groups are highly regulated in both how they invest and what they invest in. There is still a lot of work required by the regulators to open those floodgates and allow portfolio managers to invest additional capital in foreign real estate markets.