Industry events / 11 March 2019

Crestbridge on hand to discuss ongoing commercial real estate opportunities at MIPIM 2019


Senior members of Crestbridge’s multi-jurisdictional real estate team will be on hand to discuss the ongoing appeal of UK and European commercial real estate against a shifting regulatory and market backdrop when they attend MIPIM this week (12-15 March).

Erin Moffat, Scott McClure, Sam Sturrock and Harry Edwards are attending the leading real estate investment event held in Cannes, which marks its 30th anniversary this year.

With more than 26,000 real estate professionals from around the world set to attend the event, the Crestbridge team will be available to talk about key issues in the real estate investment space, including the impact of the UK’s new Capital Gains Tax (CGT) rules for non-resident investors in commercial real estate, the opportunities they see in the UK and wider global real estate market, and the various structuring options open to investors.

Simon Todd, Group Head of Real Estate Services at Crestbridge, said: “It’s apt that the overarching theme for MIPIM this year is ‘Engaging the Future’ because, despite apparent volatility in some sectors, a changing regulatory landscape and political uncertainty, we are still seeing our clients identifying strong opportunities within the UK and European real estate market particularly within the alternative asset sectors.

Whilst Brexit and the new CGT rules are causing some uncertainty amongst overseas investors, for instance, the reality is that the UK market is still a very attractive one – particularly with global wealth trends continuing to drive strong demand for cross-border activity from Asian and the US where investors are seeking access to sought-after real estate assets to diversify their portfolios.

The outcome of the UK’s CGT consultation is actually a very pragmatic one. Whilst the new regime requires careful analysis to ensure managers are still structuring to suit their strategy and needs, it still offers good opportunities for investment into UK commercial real estate assets. In fact, we’ve continued to see strong deal flow and structuring activity, particularly in establishing REITs, and more well-established structures such as JPUTs. We’re also seeing a continued interest in the Jersey Private Fund where the simplification of the regulatory regime has created greater flexibility for managers.”

Meanwhile, MIPIM this year falls almost exactly a year after Crestbridge acquired Kingfisher Property in London – a move that significantly enhanced the business’ range of services to onshore clients to include unauthorised, closed-ended investment structures in the UK. This strengthened service offering to include funds, partnerships, REITs, joint ventures, trusts, carry and co-investment vehicles has been welcomed by several clients. The London office itself has doubled over the past 18 months leading to a move to new premises in the heart of Mayfair. The office continues be an important part of the business’ overall growth strategy providing a hub for business development as well as regulatory, administration, accounting and financing services to the alternative investment funds community, corporate entities and family offices.

Commenting on the growing team and its international reach, Simon added:

“Across our European network in Jersey, London and Luxembourg, our expectation is that we will continue to see rising levels of real estate activity this year, with pent up capital waiting for more certainty around Brexit. We see potential for further growth particularly in the UK PRS and student accommodation sectors, which remain strong both in London and across the UK regions, but also in certain European hotspots. Luxembourg continues to be the domicile of choice for funds and we’re seeing increasing demand due to the recent uncertainty.”

Crestbridge currently administers structures holding over US$60bn of real estate in the UK, Europe and North America, with its multi-jurisdictional business providing a comprehensive range of administration, director, management company, accounting and reporting services to real estate entities and funds. MIPIM-specific updates from the Crestbridge team can be found at the firm’s dedicated LinkedIn page.