APAM’s MIPIM Brexit Breakfast

At the APAM MIPIM breakfast, the ‘Illuminati’ of the property industry gathered to discuss the impact on the real estate industry of BREXIT. Guest of honour, Sarah Butler-Sloss, founder and driving force behind Ashden – a charity that champions and supports leaders in sustainable energy – spoke passionately about the continuing need for the property industry to drive efficient energy and sustainability initiatives.
Sarah explained that ‘the built environment is responsible for 40% of CO2 emissions so sustainable low energy buildings are vital in the move to a low carbon economy.’ She highlighted concerns about the consequences of BREXIT on the effectiveness of the regulatory environment in achieving this goal.
There was agreement around the table about the importance of low energy buildings and the fact that, particularly in new build development projects, a sustainable building, as well as energy efficiency, offers important talent recruitment benefits.
Simon Hampton of PWC echoed that the PWC’s investment in its’ London offices had significantly improved staff morale and productivity.
Amanda Clack, soon to be President of RICS, highlighted the RICS focus, as a global organisation, on the ongoing need for the industry to lead with sustainability initiatives.
Host Simon Hardwick and Chairman of APAM stimulated an impassioned debate on BREXIT. Some contributors believe uncertainty is beginning to take the shine out of the market. However, the US and European private equity firms present such as Värde and Europa explained that their investment strategies embrace volatility.
Simon Cooke, one of the founding partners of APAM, warned of the increasing weakness of the European economy and the potential for it to drag the UK into a spiral of deflation which is never good for property. Mike Sales, chief executive of TH Real Estate, was upbeat explaining that real assets were attractive to investors in an increasingly low interest rate environment.

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