FOREWORD by Alex Price, CEO, Fiera Real Estate UK
Every modern British political generation has faced crises, from Churchill (World War II) to Macmillan (Suez) to Thatcher (The Falkland’s) to Brown (Global Financial Crisis). Boris Johnson’s tenure as PM has only just started but he is already facing this generation’s political crisis, leaving the EU in three months’ time with only the barest of bones of a future arrangement in place. In the past, politicians have reacted to crises usually not of their own choosing and not of their own making, always seeking a solution that is the least damaging to the nation’s interests.
This time, for the first time in my lifetime, it’s both the choice and policy of the new Prime Minister to accelerate the crisis and to claim he will accept “no deal” as a policy despite its likely damage to the UK’s economy, blaming an EU that is unable to be flexible due to its scale and complexity. This moment has arisen due to a British governing class ideology built on memories of the past, a UK electorate disenfranchised by the inequality of the present and a lack of European consensus over dealing with its future challenges. The question now is how UK real estate investors should be planning for this uncertain future.
In the short-term investors should focus on ensuring their UK real estate assets have the quality and financial headroom to sustain a short-term shock and accept a market that is risk adverse and lacking confidence. At Fiera Real Estate we make money from supplying shelter and service to our customers. Within the UK division of Fiera Real Estate, we use our deep knowledge of the market to assess risk and return, an operating partner model to access the broadest opportunity set and the local skills required to execute. Our investors have benefited over twenty-five years from superior returns due to this vertically integrated business model.
Brexit is a short-term threat but it is also a once in a generation opportunity for long-term investors, provided they can look beyond the nouveau Churchillian rhetoric of our new Prime Minister.
This paper discusses the appeal of post-Brexit Britain to real estate investors.
1) Why Real Estate?
i) Real Estate in a multi-asset portfolio
iI) Why UK Real Estate
2) Why Now?
3) Fiera Real Estate Investment Thesis