Full house for RICS Tri-State Chapter event in Manhattan.
A capacity crowd had the unusual opportunity to hear four leading foreign real estate investors discuss their plans for investment, especially in the U.S., in the year ahead. The event was hosted by Colliers International in their new, well-appointed midtown Manhattan offices, with Colliers Tri-State President Michael Cohen providing a welcome and introduction – including to special guests RICS Global President Louise Brooke-Smith and RICS Americas Chair John Hughes, who were visiting New York.
The panel featured Martin Brühl, FRICS, RICS President-Elect, Head of International Investment Management at Union Investment Real Estate in Germany; Elchanan Rosenheim, Managing Director of Profimex in Israel; Frank Lively, Executive Vice President, Wafra Investment Advisory Group, Inc. in Kuwait; and Timothy M. Walsh, President and COO of Gaw Capital Group USA, LLC, Hong Kong. Julian Josephs FRICS, a Washington, D.C. area developer, adjunct professor at Johns Hopkins and Georgetown Universities, and RICS Americas board member, moderated the discussion.
Here are some highlights:
- Union's country selection model narrowed from 183 nations to 36 core countries based on macro-economic base data, Bruhl said. Union’s U.S. portfolio contains nine assets valued at EURO2BN, and Union is targeting EURO2BN in the U.S., Mexico, Canada and Chile this year, with green building credentials a key Union investment criterion.
- Profimex is Israel’s top exporter of funds into global real estate, said Rosenheim. The firm works exclusively with local partners and is targeting the U.K., U.S., Germany and France for future investments. Multifamily, retail & entertainment are key investment focus areas, with an interest in transit-oriented developments.
- Wafra, the Kuwait Social Security Investment Fund, has $17BN in real estate assets under management including $750M in the U.S., said Lively. The fund focuses on high-end properties in the office, multifamily and industrial sectors, plus select hotel assets. Liquidity is central to Wafra and the exit strategy is key.
- Gaw Capital has more than $9BN in assets under management, with the real estate portfolio diversified across China and the Asia-Pacific region, the U.S. and Europe, said Walsh. Gaw's strategy focuses on creative offices, creative hospitality and the core separate account business, and also made an initial move into university town hospitality properties.
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