On the Road with Marinus Dijkman (REP)

AFIRE 2010 European Conference, Grand Hyatt Hotel, Berlin, Germany

This is where US and European Investors meet. AFIRE is the Association of Foreign Investors in Real Estate. Their conferences are one of my highlights of the year. For a long time, stabled in Amsterdam and Frankfurt; since two years travelling Europe; from London (2009) and now (2010) to Berlin. A good choice. The conference was attended by more than 150 professional investors from Europe and the US. The theme 'Handing off the Baton' was referring to the race to recovery, the "baton" of capital creation and economic growth must eventually be passed from public sector stimulus programs to private sector spending and investment. Will this hand-off occur in 2010?
By Marinus Dijkman, Editor in Chief, Real Estate Publishers (REP)

DSC00710 group 3 AFIRE

Panelists Roger Orf, President and CEO of Citi Property Investors; Steven A. Kohn, President and Principal Cushman & Wakefield Sonnenblick Goldman; Greg S. Vorwaller, COO, CBRE Capital Markets

A great line of speakers passed in nearly six hours in the Grand Hyatt Hotel, Berlin. Raymond Torto (Global Chief Economist CB Richard Ellis) and Jacques N. Gordon (International Director, Investment Strategy and Research LaSalle Investment Management) opened the day with a session on The Economy.

"Fundamentally Speaking" was the title of Mark Roberts (Global Head of Real Estate Invesco Real Estate) presentation on the global economy. Talking on cautious optimism over the US economy and questioning "is there really a reason to be optimistic?" A bright overview and lots of inside information but not a straight answer to this essential question. But be honest, if someone really good give that answer; it should not be wise to tell it here.

"The Sword of Damocles" was hanging above the panel lead by Bart R. Steinfeld (International Director Jones Lang LaSalle) looking at the amount of debt and looms in on the Real Estate Market. The big question was: "will it end with a bang or with a whimper?" Panellists in this session were Claus-Jurgen Cohausz (Member of the Managing Board of Westdeutsche ImmobilienBank), Christoph Donner (Chief Credit Officer & Member of the Board Aareal Capi

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