INREV 2009: The time to invest “is coming”

Leon Bressler, managing partner of New York-based Perella Weinberg Partner’s real estate investment management business, tells delegates at the annual conference hosted by The European Association for Investors in Non-Listed Real Estate Funds (INREV) that his firm sees opportunities across all sectors and in different countries in Europe.

Leon Bressler, managing partner of Perella Weinberg Real Estate UK, told delegates at the annual INREV conference today that he felt “the time is coming” to invest.

Speaking at a panel discussion at the Athens conference, he said the firm – which raised opportunity fund Perella Weinberg Real Estate Fund I around 18 months ago – saw opportunities in different sectors and different countries in Europe.

“The timing for opportunity funds without legacy issues is extremely good. You can make high returns with low-risk property in core countries,” he added.

On the subject of leverage, he pointed out that there was a variety of ways to enter into transactions in a deleveraged environment, such as acquiring debt. “New situations require a new approach,” he said.

His comments followed responses earlier in the day from delegates answering an impromptu question about their long-term return expectations for opportunity funds as well as for core and value-added vehicles.

For core funds, 58 percent said they expected returns in the 6-8 percent range. For value-added 48 percent said they expected 10-12 percent. However, there was a far wider spread of responses for opportunity funds. A quarter of delegates said opportunity funds would return 16-18 percent, while another quarter said 14-16 percent. Some 14 percent said they expected opportunity funds to return just 12-14 percent.

The issue of debt and de-leveraging was high on the agenda at the conference, which is being held in Athens for the first time, with a number of panel discussions dedicated to the subject.

Earlier in the day, INREV released findings from a study suggesting 88 percent of investors in non listed vehicles were concerned about their funds breaching their banking covenants.

The study also found that around one fifth of investors had committed new equity to existing funds in response to debt issues, though in general investors have been reluctant to meet capital calls.