Apollo’s Azrack: bank real estate books and industry consolidation are opportunities in Europe

Joe Azrack, Apollo Global Management’s head of real estate, has been speaking with PERE ahead of his appearance at next month's PERE Forum: Europe in London.

Joe Azrack, managing partner of real estate at Apollo Global Management, has identified two of the biggest opportunities in Europe for opportunity funds.

Speaking ahead of next month’s PERE Forum: Europe, held in London on June 23, 24, Azrack said: “In the near term, the big opportunities in Europe are to help the banks reduce leverage and recapitalize by taking real estate loans and properties off their books, and secondly to consolidate real estate platforms, operating companies and managers who do not have the capital or the scale to compete in the current market environment.”

He said the current market resembled the early 1990s in the US when dealmakers “probably never worked harder, longer and for less compensation.” He added: “But the fruits borne from that hard labour, once you fought through those early years, were bountiful. There are a lot of challenges currently facing our industry, but if you can find the right platform and you are willing to put in the time and labour, you will be very happy in year four, five and beyond.”

Azrack, whose firm agreed to take over Citi Property Investors earlier this year, is one of a number of high-profile industry professionals taking part in the annual PERE European Forum, taking place in 33 days’ time.

Other participants making their first ever appearance at the event include Bruce Flatt, senior manager partner and chief executive of Brookfield Asset Management, Owen Thomas, CEO of Asia and chairman and chief executive of Morgan Stanley Real Estate Investing, and Ron Rawald, head of European Real Estate at Cerberus Capital Advisors.

Details of the event can be found here