In my previous life as a RE Fund Manager, I was not very interested in meeting other professional investors. But one of the best bits about being proprietor of The Property Chronicle is that I get to meet with, and hear what is on the minds of, very senior, very smart buyside types and their consiglieres. In recent weeks, a couple of topics have cropped up frequently.
WeWork. I have lost count of the number of times I have heard, “Of course, this is not just hindsight, but…” What follows
is a look of incredulity that anyone could have bought the assertion that the WeWork model was new, let alone its Pre/non IPO valuation. One potential investor told me that he was summoned by the WeWork bankers to attend the court of Adam Neumann at, where else,
The Ned, only for 55 minutes of the hour-long meeting to be taken up with Neumann recounting his life story. Another tells me that WeWork’s fundraising problems were partly, but notably, semantic. WeWork’s own insistence on being described as a tech company meant it did not quite fit her pure, RE investment mandates. Problem was, her tech colleagues felt the same.