GMO 2020: A New Decade, recap
As 2020 is the start of a new decade we wanted to try to look forward and consider what will/may influence retail and real estate funds, in particular GMO, as we move towards 2030. 200 participants joined our panels of experts in an open discussion on what technologies are impacting the retail and real estate markets.
Five Insights Learned
- The outlook for bricks and mortar German grocery stores looks stable. Digitalisation is not the same as e-commerce with retailers focusing on addressing customer needs and focusing on overall retail experience.
- Drone deliveries could provide a low cost, high speed, environmentally friendly solution to last mile logistics, potentially working together with grocery stores in the future.
- Blockchain has the ability to revolutionise the way real estate sector operates from smart contracts to management and execution of property sales and leases.
- The continuation of a lower for longer interest rate environment will result in debt remaining cheaper for longer and the yield gap will remain between food retail assets and government bonds.
- Greenman OPEN targets to achieve €1bn AUM by the end of 2020.
Dr Holger Wolf
Partner at White & Case LLP
Holger is a real estate transaction lawyer who specialises in foreign and domestic public and private investors on complex national and cross-border real estate transactions (asset and share deals), including acquisition financing as well as refinancing and restructuring of real estate companies. His main focus is on commercial real estate. In addition, Holger has experience with structured financing in the field of real estate as well as capital markets transactions for real estate companies (including IPOs). He advises domestic and foreign investors in the overall structuring of their real estate investments on the interface with tax, corporate and finance advice.
Dr Angelus Bernreuther
Head of Investor Relationship Management at Kaufland Germany
Since his early study days in geography, Angelus was always passionate about retail and real estate. No other industry is more exciting in his opinion. In the age of digitalization, it has never been more important to find smart solutions. Angelus enjoys these current challenges as he did before as a consultant, researcher and property developer. Currently he works in the business development and relationship management for Kaufland, one of the global leaders in food retailing. His philosophy for life: It's all about people, relations and trust. And as a born Bavarian: Think global, act local.
Senior Vice President of Hamburg Commercial Bank
Since the early 90s, when studying geodesy, specialising in real estate valuation, urban development and urban planning, it was clear that it will always be bricks and stones that will be a key driver for his working life. Now for more than 20 years Christian is working in the financing sector, responsible for international clients with his primary focus on the retail sector and on refurbishments and developments. He enjoys long lasting relationships, when boundaries become blurred between being a client and a friend. Finally, he greatly appreciates the continuous development of real estate all around the world, hopefully creating something sustainable and unique as well as aesthetically pleasing - always driven by his positive mentality; even the longest walk starts with the first step.
Emily Bohill (Moderator)
Managing Partner, Bohill Partners
Emily Bohill is a Managing Partner at Bohill Partners, who helps real asset investors to build and retain best in class teams in Europe. She has deep and long-lasting relationships with a wide range of talented professionals across Europe. This experience puts her in an excellent position to advise leading real asset businesses on recruiting and retaining top talent. Whilst she has worked with top tier firms across the sector, she has a particularly strong track record of making senior hires for real estate private equity funds. Before she founded the firm in 2008, she ran the European real assets practice at Armstrong International and was a founding member of the Soros-backed search firm Skillcapital. Emily graduated from Trinity College, Dublin and St. Petersburg State University with an MA in Business and Russian. She speaks French, German, Irish, Russian and Spanish.
SVP Markets at Manna.Aero
Lynda is SVP Markets at Manna, where she leads the drone delivery services company's commercial partnerships and global operations. Prior to joining Manna in January 2019, she spent most of her career in travel and technology, where she held a variety of business development, sales and marketing leadership roles at Amadeus IT Group and GoLitely.
NEWS & Insights
First Panellist Announced
GMO is delighted to welcome Dr Holger Wolf, Partner at White & Case LLP to join our panel of experts for our GMO 2020 event. Holger is a highly experienced real estate lawyer with a particular focus on commercial real estate. During the panel discussion Holger will discuss how environmental standards and technology are affecting the industry and how the rise of Blockchain is changing how we buy, manage and sell real estate in the future.
Vertical Farming in Japan
In a factory in the north of Japan lives a futuristic lettuce farm. Robotic arms transplant lettuce seedlings into giant racks where they grow under LED lights, producing 30,000 lettuces a day. This factory is one of the world’s most sophisticated “vertical farms”, in which plants are grown indoors in stacked layers, often without soil.
Vertical farms have many benefits including dramatic reductions in the use of land, labour, water and fertiliser. They can be built anywhere, reducing the need to transport vegetables large distances to market.
Will this decade see an increase in the number of vertical farms as retailers look to bring logistics costs down.
Bafin approves Germany’s 1st Real Estate-Backed Token
Bafin, Germany’s regulators have approved a real estate-backed token for institutional and retail investors for the first time in history. This will be the first time the regulator has approved a prospectus regarding blockchain-based real estate bonds.
The move to tokenisation of real estate resolves issues around lack of liquidity and high transaction costs in the industry.
Drone Delivery stepping up in 2020
Drones, a far cry from early sci fi models, are flagged to be everywhere in the coming decade, delivering everything from our favourite books to midweek take-out. For example, with climate change a pressing issue globally, these flying wonders were used in China as a low-pollution and climate-friendly alternative to traditional fireworks, marking another forward step for drone technology into our daily lives.
They have also proved their worth, helping relief agencies cope with natural disasters, such as the bushfires throughout Australia, a testbed for search and rescue activities in future climatic calamities.
Global companies such as UPS, Uber and Amazon are growing their drone delivery services and here in Ireland Manna Aero are revolutionising food deliveries with their drone service. More on the topic can be read here.
How are changing demographics influencing food retail strategies?
Across the world millennials now represent a dominant customer group in terms of both numbers and purchasing power and as such their consumer demands can't be ignored by retailers. As we enter a new decade, retailers are looking at driving factors such as mobility, digitisation, community and sustainability in order to satisfy customer needs.
Where once the car was of utmost importance to the consumer, and offering parking was a key way to drive traffic to your business, now a more wholistic approach will need to be considered. From pedestrian paths, cycle lanes, secure bike racks and taxi drop off points to a variety of public transport options, the customer’s needs will have to be considered, before, during and after their visit.
A broader scope is also being seen when it comes to sustainability. Searching for savings on electricity and heating is no longer enough to satisfy customers and so we will begin to see retailers and businesses offer smart green areas designed to protect diversity and even produce organic products such as fresh vegetables or home insects and birds.
Whilst Millennials are driving these changes all age groups will ultimately benefit from these changes. Lasting success will only be guaranteed through adaptation and change over the coming decade.
Record inflows into German Open-ended Funds
Germany’s open-ended retail real estate funds saw record inflows in 2019 as the gap widened on the spreads between government bond yields and returns from the property market, as new data published by Berlin-based rating agency Scope shows.
As a comparison, the average yield on 14 open-ended mutual real estate funds over the past 15 years has always shown a positive differential, or premium, over German government bonds, with this spread, or “excess return” only widening since 2013. Net inflows in 2019 were only exceeded in 2009 and 2016.
As Frank Netscher, analyst at Scope, puts it: “The 3.8 percentage-point spread between yields on open-ended real estate funds and German government bonds has very rarely been so wide. “On the one hand, yields on government bonds have fallen steadily, with the yield on 10-year German bonds in negative territory for much of 2019. On the other hand, yields on open-ended real estate funds have also risen steadily, driven primarily by increases in the value of properties in fund managers’ portfolios.” Read more here in ReFire: https://www.refire-online.com/markets/record-inflows-into-german-open-ended-funds-as-yield-spreads-widen/?utm_source=dlvr.it&utm_medium=linkedin
REGISTER Your interest
Ailesbury Suite, Intercontinental Hotel
Simmonscourt Road, Ballsbridge, Dublin
Parking is available onsite for a cost of €3 an hour.
Sandymount, the nearest DART station is 400m away.
The 4, 7, 7a, 7d, 18, 27x, 702 and 703 bus service Merrion Road.
We would love to hear your feedback: tell us what you loved about the event, what you liked on the day and what we can strive to do better next time. [email protected]