During Jones Lang LaSalle's annual Real Estate Symposium, which took place yesterday (September 21) at the Kurhaus hotel in Scheveningen, the Netherlands, Wereldhave was voted 'Real Estate Investor of the Year' and awarded the Gouden Baksteen (gold brick). This prize is linked to an annual study into the property investment activities of institutional investors and real estate funds in the Netherlands.
In his first response to the nomination, Hans Pars, CEO of Wereldhave, said: "We are, of course, proud of the title of 'Real Estate Investor of the Year'.
"We also won this prize in 2002 shortly after the purchase of the Itäkeskus shopping center in Finland. This year our nomination can most likely be attributed to the purchase of five shopping centers in the Netherlands for 260 million. We consider being chosen for this award as an incentive to further focus on our investment strategy."
In the annual study, conducted among 23 Dutch institutional investors and real estate funds, Wereldhave received the most votes as it has shown that, in spite of difficult economic circumstances, over the past year it has been able to make the most of opportunities in the market. The award was presented by Marijn Snijders and Eric de Clercq Zubli, Chairman and Managing Director of Jones Lang LaSalle respectively.
Eric the Clercq Zubli said: "Investors such as Wereldhave, who were able to gain good returns in the difficult market conditions of the past few years, deserve to be complimented, especially as they make such an important contribution to the further professionalization of the real estate industry. The 'Gouden Baksteen', which we hand out once a year, is the form we have chosen to compliment the industry."
Marijn Snijders added: "Wereldhave is among the most financially solid of the European listed real estate funds. Their shares rank in the top five most-traded real estate stocks in continental Europe with an average daily transaction volume of around 8 million. A real winner, in our eyes."
Hans Pars said that the 5,000 prize money will be doubled by Wereldhave and the money will be spent on research focused on the improvement of sustainability in shopping centers. This research will be conducted by the Dutch Green Building Council and the results will be made public to the property sector.