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Press release

1 ABR. 2019

Global community to shed light on future of investment in real estate

RICS World Built Environment Summit 2019

More than 500 delegates from industry, government and policymaking will debate how to make informed and responsible investments in an ever-changing technological and geopolitical landscape at the RICS the World Built Environment Forum Summit, New York, 13-14 May.

Headlining the event is Parag Khanna, named one of Esquire’s “75 most influential people of the 21st Century,” and featured in WIRED magazine’s “Smart List.” He brings a global perspective to the intertwined forces shaping investment in the built environment.

Across the developed and developing world, cities are assuming an ever-greater role in the overall health, wealth and happiness of the planet’s people. At this pivotal point in human history, innovative, ambitious and holistic approaches to issues such as rapidly growing migrant populations and climate change are urgently required – and both the public and private sectors have a vital role to play. In my capacity as a keynote speaker at the fourth annual summit of the World Built Environment Forum, I’m excited about the opportunity to participate in this timely, global discussion.

Parag Khanna
Founder & Managing Partner, FutureMap

Watch the official Summit video

How can we harness new technology to mobilise private capital investment to meet the growing global demand for new infrastructure, new real estate and the renewal of existing assets?

RICS annual summit reconvenes to tackle “The future of investment in real assets” and how we harness new technology to mobilize the private capital investment needed to meet the growing global demand for new infrastructure, new real estate and the renewal of existing assets.

According to Martin J. Brühl, FRICS, CIO at Union Investment Real Estate “Ten years on from the global financial crisis we are experiencing an unusually long investment cycle against a backdrop of complex and rapidly evolving risk. Through the World Built Environment Forum Summit we aim to increase collaboration and share innovation across professional disciplines to ensure we manage property portfolios responsibly.”

At the WBEF Summit, Martin will speak as global chair of RICS’ Real Estate Investment Risk Forum - the only group of its kind, bringing together Chief Investment Officers and Chief Risk Managers from leading institutional investors, responsible for more than US$1tn of assets under management worldwide. At the summit, the group analyses the interconnected and yet distinctive risks of competing commercial real estate investment propositions.

In the context of investing in the built environment, the 2019 Summit will specifically explore key themes such as: The changing nature of work and the workplace. The impact of algorithms and tokenization. The real-world outcomes for cities and citizens. New finance models for energy and transport. Investment risk allocation.

Headline speakers include:

  • International best-selling author and Managing Partner of FutureMap, Parag Khanna as opening keynote speaker.
  • Senator Jeff Flake as the keynote speaker on day two of the Summit. His speech will look at key political and economic challenges facing the US from both a domestic and international perspective.
  • Joseph Lubin, Co-founder of blockchain computing platform Etherium and Founder, blockchain venture studio ConSensys, one of the largest and fastest-growing companies in the blockchain technology space.
  • Lamia Kamal-Chaoui, Director – Centre for Entrepreneurship, SMEs, Regions and Cities, Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) to participate in the panel discussion: People, place, possibility: Impactful investment in the 21st century’s cities. Suparno Banerjee, Vice-President and Global Lead – Public Sector and Smart Cities, Nokia Group, will also join the discussion.
  • Martin J. Brühl, Chief Investment Officer, Union Investment Real Estate to chair an investment committee discussion: Responsible investment in a complex risk landscape. Philip Barrett, a Managing Director and Global Head of Business and Investment Operations, PGIM Real Estate and Catherine Pfeiffenberger, Chief Strategy Officer, Skanska USA to also participate.
  • John Busi, President, Newmark Knight Frank’s Valuation & Advisory to lead the panel: Valuing real estate in the 21st century: How technology is redefining the art and science of valuation.
  • Kate North, Vice President of Workplace Innovation Advisory at Colliers International to moderate a session: New work, new workplaces: How technology and changing human habits are reshaping commercial real estate markets.
  • Ed Walter, Global CEO, Urban Land Institute and Billy Grayson, Executive Director – Center for Sustainability and Economic Performance, Urban Land Institute will participate in the session: Navigating climate risk and opportunity in real estate.
  • Jan Tuchman, Editor-in chief, Engineering News-Record will moderate the session: Building for the future: Modernising the construction industry. Panellists will include: Carol Lemmens, Director – Global Leader Advisory Services, Arup and Antony Wood, Chief Executive Officer, Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat.
  • Tim McManus, Vice-President - Major Projects, McKinsey and Company will participate in the session: Transport infrastructure investment.
  • Marcene Mitchell, Senior Manager for Climate Business, International Finance Corporation – World Bank Group and Greg Clark CBE, Global Advisor on Cities will participate in the panel session: A time for action.

For more information please contact

Laura Lindberg
Head of Media & Communications, Europe, RICS
t +32 2 739 42 27; e