They said it
“There is a lot of talk about a retreat from globalization. However, on this topic we actually need more globalization.”
Hannah Marshall, chief investment officer, UK direct real estate at CBRE Investment Management, on the importance of global alignment on impact investing, in the PERE impact roundtable.
Gaw’s passage to India
Hong Kong-headquartered Gaw Capital Partners has ventured into India with a senior hire in the country. The firm appointed Macquarie Asset Management’s former head of India real estate and managing director Nitin Gupta [his Linkedin here] to lead the firm’s entry into this key Asia-Pacific market, which has the second-largest population in the world after China. During Gupta’s 14-year tenure with Macquarie, he led transactions of more than $7 billion and advised on investments into India. Gaw’s expansion is the latest example of growing institutional interest in India’s real estate market. Other recent bets in the country include Actis’s plan to invest up to $700 million in the country’s life science real estate sector and GIC’s re-up in a retail-led mixed-use joint venture with India developer Phoenix Mills.
Invel makes ‘milestone’ hire
Invel Real Estate, the Southeast Europe-focused real estate manager, has hired its first head of investor relations, Niamh Canavan [her LinkedIn profile here]. Canavan, who will be based in London, will lead Invel’s IR team and be responsible for identifying and developing relationships with potential new investors; sourcing equity for the firm’s various products; and institutionalizing investor reporting across all jurisdictions and projects.
Chris Papachristophorou [his LinkedIn here], managing partner and founder of Invel, and former global head of opportunistic investments at RREEF, said Canavan’s appointment marked “an exciting milestone” for the firm. “Building on our proven track record, we are confident that the time is now right for our business to take the next step in raising discretionary capital alongside our traditional deal-by-deal and co-investment model,” he said. Prior to joining Invel, Canavan was director of fundraising and investor relations at BNP Paribas Real Estate.
Data collection hurdles with DEI
A continued challenge facing diversity, equity and inclusion initiatives is data collection. Although gathering data is crucial for understanding and tracking DE&I progress, doing so can prove tricky for global investors and managers given the many rules and regulations around data collection in different countries. The EU’s General Data Protection Regulation, for example, prohibits the processing of personal data such as racial or ethnic background and sexual orientation.
To help overcome these restrictions, many real estate companies, particularly in Europe, are running voluntary collection programs, according to a report from seven major industry associations in partnership with recruiting firm Ferguson Partners. However, interviewees for the report believe an industry-wide effort is needed to improve data collection. “It would be good to have some standardized guidelines on DEI to push us to discuss the topic properly and not hide behind regional differences,” one company said.
Certifying solar energy
Hong Kong-based ESR Group last week became the first real asset manager to partner with Enerbank, a major issuer of green certificates in Japan, on the country’s Green Energy Certificate system. Under the system, ESR, one of the largest listed global real estate managers in the world, will have the solar power it generates certified as alternative, renewable energy that is fed into Japan’s power grid, according to a press release. The partnership with Enerbank also will help ESR to measure and document the impact its solar panels are having as part of a decarbonization strategy. While partnerships like this are still rare, ESR’s efforts might be a shot across the bow for the broader commercial real estate market.
The inflationary environment is likely to cause a sharp increase in spending in US non-residential construction projects, according to CBRE’s 2022 US Construction Trends report. A high amount of construction is forecast to complete this year, but that trend is expected to reverse next year as total construction spending in 2023 is predicted to outstrip spending this year amid accelerating costs.
A critical first hire
Westwind Capital, a new London-based manager formed by ex-Harrison Street executive Daniel Gorzawski, has made its first hire. Mark Terry [his LinkedIn here], fresh from an 11-year stint at Tristan Capital Partners, has joined as joint chief operating officer and chief financial officer. Gorzawski said it was a deliberate decision to make the joint CFO/COO role his first hire because of the European regulatory environment, which has become more complex post-Brexit. Given the amount of focus that investors and other counterparties place on regulatory compliance, particularly for first-time fund managers, hiring the right person for the role was a critical first step as the new firm seeks to build its team, Gorzawski said. [Read our exclusive coverage of the hire here.]
Ivanhoé’s latest bet on Brazil
Ivanhoé Cambridge, the real estate investment arm of Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec, and Houston-based Hines have formed a joint venture to develop, own and operate multifamily buildings in São Paulo, Brazil. The venture will have the capacity to invest up to 750 million reais ($140 million; €139 million) of equity into a market lacking in purpose-built multifamily rental projects, according to a press release. The investment strategy will focus on projects located in urban sub-markets and feature amenities such as modular working spaces and lifestyle services, while also targeting market-leading energy efficiency and carbon reduction goals. Both real estate groups have expansive footprints in the region. Ivanhoé’s current Brazilian commercial portfolio comprises almost 18 million square feet, while Hines’ Brazil operations span 37 million square feet of real estate.
This week’s investor meetings
Tuesday, July 12
Wednesday, July 13
- Los Angeles County Employees’ Retirement Association
- Marin County Employees’ Retirement Association (MCERA)