25 June 2024 9am – 8pm + Add to calendar Conference Merchant Taylors Hall

Adapting to Change - Embracing Opportunity - Investing for Tomorrow

We are thrilled to introduce the inaugural AREF Conference, proudly sponsored by Citco and set to take place at Merchant Taylors Hall in the heart of the City of London.

Open to members and non-members, this event will encompass an optional breakfast session, a lunch, multiple engaging sessions and events throughout the day, culminating in the AREF Summer Drinks Reception in the evening which is proudly sponsored by Mills & Reeve.

 Download Conference Flyer (pdf)

Full Delegate Programme/Schedule including Speaker Biographies:

For more information on the individual sessions, including speaker biographies, please click on the blue arrows below to expand each section (details for delegates on how to book individual sessions are included under each bookable session).

Registration timings

For those attending the DEI breakfast, please arrive for registration at 9:15am.
For those not attending the breakfast, please arrive for registration between 10:00-10:45am (tea and coffee will be available until 10:45).

9.30am - Tackling Diversity in the Industry Breakfast (bookable session)

9.30 AM – 10.45 AM
Breakfast
Upstairs in The Drawing Room

Start your day with thought-provoking conversations led by industry leaders while networking with real estate professionals dedicated to fostering positive change. Enjoy an informal breakfast with tea and coffee, followed by a panel discussion where our outstanding speakers will explore ways to drive industry transformation.

This is an optional breakfast, please book your space if you wish to attend.

Our speakers include: 

  • Moderator: Sophie Reguengo, Partner, Ogier
  • Joshua Bond, Bond Land
  • Sue Brown, Real Estate Balance
  • Natalie Gill, PGIM

Sophie Reguengo

Partner, Ogier

Sophie is a highly experienced investment funds and regulatory lawyer having practiced for over 15 years' in the funds industry. She is focussed on private equity and real estate structures. She is recognised as a "Rising Star" by IFLR1000 and regularly attends and speaks at conferences in Jersey and London. Sophie is the Diversity and Inclusion jurisdictional lead for Ogier in Jersey and believes that equality is better for everyone.

Sophie is an alumna of Bristol University and the University of the West of England.  She holds a Masters in Commercial Law and Human Rights.

Sophie features in the Citywealth Leaders List and is recognised as a "Rising Star" by IFLR1000 and has also been recognised in Legal 500.  Prior to joining Ogier at the beginning of 2018, Sophie trained and worked at another leading offshore firm, both in Jersey and in Hong Kong.   

Joshua Bond

Founder & Managing Director, Bond Land

With a lifelong passion for property, Joshua founded Bond Land, a specialist Investment and Development consultancy based in London. Bond Land focuses on Capital Markets, BTR, PBSA, Co-living, Residential, Affordable housing, and Industrial & Logistics investment and development opportunities, serving both buyers and sellers. 

Joshua's career trajectory has been marked by dedication and innovation, he identified a gap in the market for agencies curating off-market deals that match client requirements which is shaping Bond Land's client-focused approach.

Joshua founded Bond Land amidst economic uncertainties, navigating through Brexit and the pandemic. Adapting to changing client demands has been a crucial aspect, which has prepared the company for future economic climates. Building Bond Land from scratch to now being a 2x Award Winning agency for the 2023 UK Reif Property Agent of the Year and the 2024 Young Norwood’s Commercial Agent of the year stands as Joshua's proudest achievement. He attributes this success to his exceptional team and emphasises the importance of enjoying the process from start to finish.

Beyond his role at Bond Land, Joshua is dedicated to driving positive change within the industry. He actively seeks opportunities to collaborate with like-minded individuals and organisations, contributing to the advancement of sustainable and impactful real estate practices.

Sue Brown

Managing Director, Real Estate Balance

Sue Brown is managing director for Real Estate Balance, a campaigning organisation working to improve diversity and inclusion in the real estate industry. Sue has four decades of business, property and economic-development experience.

Sue joined Real Estate Balance in April 2020 from London First, where she was executive director with responsibility for property, planning, the environment and development since 2016. Sue started her career in government, serving as a senior advisor in a variety of high-profile roles, before going on to establish her own real estate consultancy.

Sue was a driving force behind the launch of MIPIM, the world’s largest real estate investment conference that takes place each year in Cannes. Sue was the co-founder and co-chair of REWIRE, the network for women in property. At the EG Awards in October 2023, Sue won the ‘Outstanding Individual Award’ in recognition for her services to the property industry.

Natalie Gill

Head of DEI Strategy & Industry Engagement, PGIM

Natalie Gill joined PGIM in November 2022 as vice president and head of DEI Strategy & Industry Engagement. She is responsible for driving the continued evolution of PGIM’s global DEI strategy, with a focus on developing global research and thought leadership, and partnering with industry bodies and external diversity organisations to effect positive change across the sector. In addition, Natalie has regional leadership responsibility for Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA).

Prior to PGIM, Natalie held senior DEI roles at SMBC Group and Santander UK. Natalie has had a varied career, with more than 20 years of experience in the financial services sector across treasury, market infrastructure relations and regulatory reform, working at Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley & Deutsche Bank. Natalie holds a degree in economics and business management from Newcastle University, specialising in economics of inequality and poverty, and development economics.

 

To book sessions (booked delegates only):

  • Log into the AREF website here (you can create/reset your password here).
  • Under 'My AREF', go to 'My Events' page (link).
  • Select your AREF Conference booking.
  • Click the 'My Sessions' button.
  • Tick the box of the sessions you'd like to book & then Save/Book button.

 

11.00am - Welcome from AREF's Chair

Welcome

10 mins Plenary
A welcome from AREF's Chair, Anne Breen.

Speakers

Anne Breen

Global Head of Real Estate, Abrdn

Anne Breen was appointed the Chair of AREF in March 2024 and is the Global Head of Real Estate at abrdn.

At abrdn, Anne’s role is to lead the investment approach, process and strategy for the real estate business at Aberdeen Standard. This includes the creation of a Global Houseview to support real estate investment allocations relevant to all investor outcomes, as well as the development of the risk based tools and strategic insights to deliver a strong long term risk adjusted track record for clients. Anne chairs the global committees across the Real Estate business assessing fund strategic plans for investment, distributions and asset management.

 

11.10am - Plenary 1: Keynote from Robert Peston

11.10 AM – 11.40 AM
The Great Hall

Plenary 1: Keynote from Robert Peston

30 mins Plenary
Political journalist, presenter and author, Peston, will open the Conference with a keynote address focused on current political dynamics. Drawing from his extensive expertise, Peston will dissect pressing geopolitical issues and their potential impact on global markets. 
 

Robert Peston

Political Journalist, Presenter & Author

Robert Peston is ITV’s Political Editor and host of their flagship politics and current affairs show, Peston. He covers the latest happenings in Westminster and interviews important players on the national and international political scenes. In addition, he co-hosts, with Steph McGovern, the podcast The Rest Is Money where they explore what we need to know about the economic issues that affect our everyday lives, decode business jargon, and revisit some of the biggest financial events of the last half century.

Prior to his high-profile move to ITV, Robert was the BBC’s Economics Editor, revealing the stories behind the statistics and explaining the implications of domestic, European, and global economic shifts. Before that, as Business Editor, he broadcast and published a series of exclusive and influential stories about the global financial situation. He revealed the crises at Northern Rock and RBS, the emergency rescue of HBOS, and the tumult around the credit crunch, bailouts, and austerity.

Before joining the BBC, Robert was City and Assistant Editor of the Sunday Telegraph, in charge of the business and money sections, and the FT's Financial Editor. At the FT, he was a member of the editorial board and earlier he served as its Political Editor, Banking Editor, and founder of the investigations unit.

 

11.40am - Plenary 2: Real Estate Resilience

11.40 AM – 12.30 PM
The Great Hall

Plenary 2: Real Estate Resilience

50 mins Plenary

Exploring the appeal - staying compelling, relevant, and investable now and for the future.

In this Plenary "Real Estate Funds Resilience", our unique panel will discuss the history of real estate investment and what it needs to do to remain compelling, relevant, and investable compared to other asset classes. The panel will cover how real estate funds can withstand economic fluctuations and continue to offer robust investment opportunities now and in the future

Speakers:

  • Moderator: Simon Marx, Lothbury Investment Management
  • Jenny Buck, Tesco Pension Fund
  • Robert Houston, St Brides Managers
  • Ben Mardon, Citco

Simon Marx

Head of Research, Lothbury Investment Mgt

As Head of Research, Simon is responsible for framing the outlook for the economy, as well as the real estate occupier and capital markets. He leads the development of innovative tools based on modern analytical techniques and technologies. Working alongside the senior directors, Simon helps develop the fund and corporate strategies, and working closely with the Investor Relations team to attract new capital from all parts of the world.

Simon has a wealth of experience, having spent 21 years in the industry in various research and strategy leadership roles at companies as diverse as CBRE, Close Investments, CoStar, Experian and Ernst & Young. For the eleven years prior to joining Lothbury, he was Managing Director of European Research & Strategy at LaSalle Investment Management. His primary functions were to monitor the European property markets, define fund strategies, identify acquisition opportunities and bring new sources of global capital to Europe.

Jenny Buck

Chief Investment Officer, Tesco Pension Fund

Jenny is a graduate of the University of Cambridge and has over 30 years investment experience.

She started her career in real estate and has invested in direct and indirectly in the UK and on a global basis. Her experience includes working at Grosvenor where she worked on its London estate, working for a bank doing property lending and nearly 10 years at Schroders. Her last 12 years have been with Tesco, where her role has widened from real estate to all private markets and now CIO. The Tesco pension fund has more than £11.1bn of assets under management across equities, fixed income and private markets including direct real estate, private equity, private credit, hedge funds and infrastructure.

She is passionate about education and giving young people an opportunity. She is also particularly interested in “practical” responsible investing and thinking about how the investment management industry needs to evolve to face into the changing needs of society including decarbonisation, digitalisation, demographics, deglobalisation, and destabilisation.

Robert Houston

Founding Partner, St Bride's Managers

Robert is the founding partner of St Bride’s Managers, a boutique property fund manager based in London but with investments across the UK. The firm’s clients are principally Local Government Pension Funds and private family offices. He is also the independent chairman of the UBS REPM European (ex Dach) Investment Committee and a property adviser to Gonville & Caius College, Cambridge. 

Formerly, Robert established Baring, Houston & Saunders in 1980, which was acquired by ING Real Estate Investment Management in 2005, He later became the Global CEO and Chairman. At the time ING REIM was the largest global  property fund manager with $80 billion of assets under management.  He is a former Chairman of the Association of PUTs (now AREF) and  has been active in property fund management for over fifty years.

Ben Mardon

Head of European Real Asset Fund Services, Citco

Ben joined Citco in 2018, developing a European end to end service offering for Real Estate Funds, covering core and ancillary services. 
Part of the global management team responsible for developing a global operating platform capable of servicing all Real Asset Fund types (open / closed) but also across all sectors and including RA Equity, Debt an Infrastructure as well as Hybrid Funds.

Before Citco Ben worked at State Street Global Services for 5 years where he was Head of Alternative Investment Solutions and before that he was at Cordea Savills for 6 years, as Director of Operations and Director of Finance.

Ben is an active member and contributor to the RA European Industry and a committee member with INREV and active in the local domestic market supporting bodies such as AREF.

 

To book sessions (booked delegates only):

  1. Log into the AREF website here (you can create/reset your password here).
  2. Under 'My AREF', go to 'My Events' page (link).
  3. Select your AREF Conference booking.
  4. Click the 'My Sessions' button.
  5. Tick the box of the sessions you'd like to book & then Save/Book button.

12.30 - Lunch

12.30 PM – 1.30 PM

The Parlour & Cloisters

Lunch

60 mins Lunch
A light lunch will be served in The Parlour and The Cloisters.

1.30pm - Break-out 1: Defining and Defending Against Stranded Assets (bookable session)

1.30 PM – 2.25 PM

Break-out 1: Defining and Defending Against Stranded Assets

55 mins Breakout

Join us for an insightful discussion with our expert panel on the critical topic of stranded assets.

As the focus on unanticipated devaluation intensifies, understanding and mitigating the risks associated with asset stranding has never been more crucial. Our panel will delve into the definitions of asset stranding and explore how strategic management of ESG risks can serve as a robust defense against these challenges.

Attendees will gain valuable insights into positioning assets for long-term sustainability and resilience. Don't miss this opportunity to learn from leading experts and enhance your approach to managing stranded assets effectively.

Speakers:

  • Moderator: Alex Notay, Thriving Investments
  • Sam Carson, CBRE
  • Phillipa Grant, Aviva Investors
  • Chinyelu Oranefo, Lloyds Commercial Banking

Alex Notay

Head of Sustainable Investing, Private Markets, Thriving Investments

Alexandra Notay is Placemaking and Investment Director at Thriving Investments, the fund and asset management arm of Places for People Group, overseeing a UK-wide residential investment strategy. She is an internationally-recognised expert on build to rent, placemaking and sustainable urban development, with 16 years’ strategic advisory and investment experience to private sector, government and third sector organisations across four continents.

Alex is a published author and editor of over 30 books and reports on real estate including the renowned ULI UK Best Practice Guide on Build to Rent (2014, 2016). Alex is vice-chair of the ULI UK Residential Council, chair of the BPF working group on residential ESG, serves on BPF’s Build to Rent Committee, AREF’s ESG / Impact Investing committee and is a Member of CREFC Europe. She is also a non-executive director of Essensys plc, Co-Chair of the Creative Land Trust, SouthWest Board Member for LandAid and trustee of the SunScreenIT Foundation.

Sam Carson

Head Of Sustainability, Valuations and Advisory Services , CBRE UK

Sam is passionate about helping businesses become stronger through sustainability and to use energy more efficiently. Sam recently joined CBRE Global Investors. Before this he worked for Carbon Intelligence since 2011 and played a key role in the development of their data services, wellbeing and approach to Commercial Real Estate clients. 

Sam directed how Carbon Intelligence addressed Net Zero Carbon in Commercial Real Estate. He was a member of the UKGBC Advancing Net Zero working group and the UKGBC Energy Use Intensity Metric working group. He has worked with IPUT, Hermes Real Estate, Aviva Investors and others in the development of Net Zero planning.

Sam is also well engaged in the Commercial Real Estate industry, to help understand the key challenges across the sector. He sits on the GRESB European Benchmarking Committee, the BBP REEB Benchmarking Committee and is a member of the UKGBC Future Leadership Forum Advisory Board, and is a co-author of the UKGBC “Scope 3 Guide for Commercial Real Estate”.

Phillipa Grant

Director of Sustainable Investments, Aviva Investors

Phillipa joined Aviva Investors in March 2024 and before this spent over 8 years at AESG, as Partner, Global Director of Sustainability.

Phillipa is a chartered engineer and accomplished leader, with 10 years of experience managing ESG consultancy and advisory teams spanning the built environment sector. Having worked across both the UK and Middle Eastern markets, Phillipa’s breadth and depth of knowledge covers the full life-cycle of built assets, providing upstream ESG advisory to support policy making and investment decisions, to downstream delivery through design and engineering services.

Chinyelu Oranefo

Director, Sustainability & ESG Finance, Lloyds Commercial Banking

Chinyelu is a Director in the Sustainability & ESG Finance Team at Lloyds Bank where she leads on ESG strategy for the Real Estate & Housing sector, structures ESG-linked transactions, engages with clients on sustainability and represents Lloyds Bank on committees and collaborations with various industry organisations including the LMA, CREFC, GFI and World GBC. Prior to joining Lloyds, as a lawyer, she delivered finance transactions for clients across a number of sectors and was at the forefront of advising clients on the evolving Sustainable Finance ecosystem.

 

To book sessions (booked delegates only):

  • Log into the AREF website here (you can create/reset your password here).
  • Under 'My AREF', go to 'My Events' page (link).
  • Select your AREF Conference booking.
  • Click the 'My Sessions' button.
  • Tick the box of the sessions you'd like to book & then Save/Book button.

1.30pm - Break-out 2: Future Visions: Exploring Horizons in 2040 (bookable session)

1.30 PM – 2.25 PM

Break-out 2: Future Visions: Exploring Horizons in 2040

55 mins Breakout

Join us for an exciting and interactive event where four distinguished speakers will each present their visionary ideas on the future investment landscape. Each speaker will offer unique insights into the transformative factors shaping portfolios in 2040, this could be from groundbreaking technological advancements to evolving consumer behaviors and the rise of emerging industries.

After all presentations, the audience will have the opportunity to vote for their favorite idea, making this event not only informative but also highly engaging.

Speakers:

  • Moderator: Kasia Dziewulska, CBRE UK
  • David Hedalen, Aviva Investors
  • Marie Hickey, Savills
  • Richard Pickering, Cushman & Wakfield
  • Matthew Richardson, Income Analytics

Kasia Dziewulska

Global Director of Client Services, CBRE

Kasia Dziewulska has 20 years’ experience in Client Care and Research, and has been at CBRE since 2013. In her role, Kasia has strategic client responsibility within Research, including direct oversight of global and regional client relationships.  

She provides client led leadership ensuring that clients benefit from CBRE’s in-house intelligence, thought leadership and data products. She closely collaborates with regional Client Care programs and is deeply passionate about CBRE becoming a true strategic advisor wherever the clients are based or expanding to.

Following a career in capital markets Research, since 2006 Kasia has been involved in client management and business development, working with institutional and private equity clients. Kasia was a Business Development Director at PPR (now part of CoStar) where she was responsible for growing global client relationships and where she gained a wide exposure to North American investors and institutions.  

Prior to that, she was a Global Client Management Director at DTZ and a member of Corporate Finance Executive Board. She designed and implemented client management programs at the regional and global level working closely with all business lines. She was directly responsible for top 20 clients and also developed a unique client selection and review process to ensure the business focus on key growth relationships.

David Hedalen

Head of Real Assets Research, Aviva Investors

David Hedalen is Head of Real Assets Research at Aviva Investors. He leads a team tasked with delivering both thematic and fundamental research to the various investment desks across Real Assets. David is part of the senior team, delivering challenge and corroboration where required as well as offering insight into strategy formation and portfolio construction. David and the RA Research team also develop and maintain propriety models which underpin investment decisions and market outlook.

Prior to joining Aviva Investors, he was with abrdn where he was Head of UK & European Real Estate Investment Strategy, a role which covered both research and strategy functions across the real estate business. Before that, David worked in London and Stockholm for IPD (now part of MSCI Real Assets) where he managed accounts and analysis for several large asset management houses in Europe.

Marie Hickey

Director, Commercial Research, Savills

Marie heads up Savills Prime Global Retail and European Hospitality research team and has over 15 years of experience.  She has a special interest in understanding wider global drivers and consumer trends in order to assess what this means for occupational and investment markets across Europe and other key destination markets globally.  Her approach is always forward looking in terms of the opportunities and potential challenges the evolving hospitality and retail landscape poses to occupiers and investors. 

Richard Pickering

Head of Innovation, EMEA, Cushman & Wakefield

Richard leads strategic innovation for the EMEA business of Cushman & Wakefield.

Working closely with global transformation, technology and regional counterparts, his responsibilities include guiding the development of the firm’s digital platform in EMEA, driving transformation projects to an overarching business vision, developing the EMEA operating model for Analytics, and acting as the lead EMEA sponsor for digital product development.

Richard is also a keynote speaker on the future of real estate. He publishes a bi-weekly blog, Futures /Cut, with a readership of 6,000, which addresses how technology, society, urbanism and economics are transforming the real estate industry. He is passionate on the subject of regeneration and is the sponsor of a current campaign on the Future of Cities.

Originally trained as a lawyer, Richard since held roles in real estate consulting, and as Head of the UK Insight team for Cushman & Wakefield. He founded C&W’s Futures programme and his immediately prior role was as Chief Strategy Officer for the UK business. He sits on C&W’s UK Exco, its EMEA leadership team and chairs the innovation chapter of the EMEA OpCo.

Matthew Richardson

Co-Founder & Chief Executive Officer, Income Analytics

Matthew Richardson is the Co-Founder & Chief Executive Officer at Income Analytics Ltd. He has more than 35 years experience of working in the European, US and Asian property markets.

Matt was previously Director of Research - European Real Estate, at Fidelity International in London. He joined Fidelity in March 2007 and was responsible for establishing the award winning research, strategy and risk management processes for their European real estate funds. Prior to joining Fidelity, he was Head of Property Finance at Experian Business Strategies in the UK. Between 2000 and 2003, he was Executive Director at Freeman Publishing Inc, delivering business information solutions to the property sector.

Between 1996 and 2000, Mr Richardson was founder and Managing Director at Property Market Intelligence Limited in Hong Kong. Prior to that, he held a variety of roles, including Director Asia Operations at Dow Jones Teleres; Regional Research Director - Asia Pacific at Brooke Hillier Parker (now CBRE); Manager, Central London Research Team at Hillier Parker (now CBRE) and Senior Analyst at MSCI IPD in the UK.

Matt is a visiting lecturer at Oxford Brookes University in the UK and has also lectured at the London Business School, Maastricht University, London School of Economics, UCL and Cambridge University in recent years. He is a regular speaker and panellist at industry events.

Born in 1966, Mr Richardson was educated at Launceston College, Cornwall and the University of Leicester where he graduated with a BA (Hons) in Economic History.

To book sessions (booked delegates only):

  • Log into the AREF website here (you can create/reset your password here).
  • Under 'My AREF', go to 'My Events' page (link).
  • Select your AREF Conference booking.
  • Click the 'My Sessions' button.
  • Tick the box of the sessions you'd like to book & then Save/Book button.

2.30pm - Break-out 3: Residential Real Estate (bookable session)

2.30 PM – 3.25 PM

Break-out 3: Residential Real Estate

55 mins Breakout

Join us for this session, where our expert panel will delve into the complexities and opportunities within the living sector.

As the demand for residential properties continues to evolve, funds face unique challenges in accessing and investing in this dynamic market. Our distinguished speakers will provide valuable insights and practical strategies to navigate these hurdles effectively.

Michael Brooks from REALPAC in Canada will be joining this panel, bringing an international perspective to the discussion. His extensive experience and insights will provide a valuable global context to the challenges and opportunities in the residential real estate market.

Speakers:

  • Moderator: Dr.Brenna O’Roarty, RHL Strategic Solutions
  • Andy Allen, Savills Investment Management
  • Michael Brooks, REALPAC
  • William Kyle, Thriving Investments

Brenna O'Roarty

Independent Research Consultant & Founder, RHL Strategic Solutions

Brenna is a highly experienced independent research consultant and founder of RHL Strategic Solutions. Over the past three decades she has honed her expertise in overlaying analysis of cyclical movements, structural trends and regulatory frameworks to distil insights and real estate solutions for investment strategy, business planning and for the direction of the real estate industry. She undertakes commissioned projects on behalf of industry organisations, including INREV and ULI, and bespoke assignments for investment managers. Brenna also undertakes non-executive advisory roles at a fund and organisation level.  Previous roles include Director and Head of European Strategic Research at Deutsch Bank Asset Management (now DWS), which she joined in 2005 from JLL, where she was Director of European Retail Research and spent seven years.

Andrew Allen

Global CIO, Equity Investment, Savills Investment Management

Brenna is a highly experienced independent research consultant and founder of RHL Strategic Solutions. Over the past three decades she has honed her expertise in overlaying analysis of cyclical movements, structural trends and regulatory frameworks to distil insights and real estate solutions for investment strategy, business planning and for the direction of the real estate industry. She undertakes commissioned projects on behalf of industry organisations, including INREV and ULI, and bespoke assignments for investment managers. Brenna also undertakes non-executive advisory roles at a fund and organisation level.  Previous roles include Director and Head of European Strategic Research at Deutsch Bank Asset Management (now DWS), which she joined in 2005 from JLL, where she was Director of European Retail Research and spent seven years.

Michael Brooks

CEO, REALPAC

Michael Brooks is a lawyer and is the CEO of REALPAC, a trade association of Canada's real estate investment companies. He's known for his market and regulatory transformation efforts in Canada, particularly for his work on cross-border and domestic tax issues, and affordable housing policy. Michael has played a crucial role in coordinating efforts to tackle the housing crisis in Canada and make housing more affordable. He believes it's important to establish a healthy rental housing system that offers affordable, secure, and accessible housing to various groups, including young people, seniors, Indigenous peoples, women-led single-parent households, newcomers, students, and low-income individuals.

William Kyle

Fund Director, Thriving Investments

William is Chair of AREF's Residential Funds Working Group. William is a Fund Director at Thriving Investments and is responsible for the Mid-Market Rent Fund, which will build over 1,000 new affordable homes in Scotland’s key cities. He is a Planning and Development Surveyor and member of the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors with a background in residential development and investment. He is experienced in all aspects of planning, land acquisition and development of residential property. Prior to joining Thriving Investments, William was Development Director for Sigma Capital, one of the UKs leading investors in Single Family Homes for the private rental market. This role involved the identification, assessment and acquisition of appropriate development opportunities both for the company and for the investment funds it managed including the PRS REIT. Previous experience includes the management of a portfolio of development assets throughout Scotland and the North of England for Royal Bank of Scotland and prior to that he spent time working for both national volume and luxury regional housebuilders with a focus on the acquisition and planning process for both short term and strategic land.  

William sits on the Scottish Property Federation Residential Investment and Management Committee and also sits on the boards of Places for People Scotland and BIGG Regeneration.

To book sessions (booked delegates only):

  • Log into the AREF website here (you can create/reset your password here).
  • Under 'My AREF', go to 'My Events' page (link).
  • Select your AREF Conference booking.
  • Click the 'My Sessions' button.
  • Tick the box of the sessions you'd like to book & then Save/Book button.

2.30pm - Break-out 4: Natural Capital Investment (bookable session)

2.30 PM – 3.25 PM

Break-out 4: Natural Capital Investment

55 mins Breakout

Join us for this session on Natural Capital Investment, where our speakers will delve into the latest trends, challenges, and success stories in this vital field.

As we strive to enhance, preserve, and restore Earth's ecosystems and biodiversity, this session will explore how sustainable economic development can be harmonized with environmental stewardship. Learn from leading experts about innovative investment strategies that are making a significant impact, understand the obstacles faced by investors, and get inspired by real-world success stories that demonstrate the tangible benefits of investing in our planet's natural capital.

Don't miss this opportunity to engage with thought leaders and practitioners who are at the forefront of creating a sustainable future.

Speakers:

  • Moderator: Jessica Pilz, Fiera Real Estate
  • Alex Godfrey, Octopus Real Estate
  • Celine Grace Legaspi, Reddington

Jessica Pilz

Global Head of ESG , Fiera Real Estate

Jess joined Fiera Real Estate (“FRE”) in early 2020 to lead the firm’s ESG strategies across its investments, developments and operations. Before joining FRE, Jessica started her career in 2010 at the Public Investment Corporation Real Estate Asset Managers (PICREAM) in South Africa managing a portfolio of retail assets located in underserviced townships. She then joined IPD (now MSCI Real Estate), where she led their global sustainability benchmarking initiatives. In 2014, she joined GVA (now Avison Young) as an Associate Director within their Sustainability Consultancy team. Jessica later moved to the Commercial Real Estate Credit team at Royal Bank of Scotland (now NatWest Group) where she was responsible for setting up processes to take into account environmental and sustainability risks when assessing commercial lending propositions.

Alex Godfrey

Investment Director, Octopus Investments

Alex is a seasoned professional in the field of natural capital, regenerative agriculture, and climate finance, with over 10 years of experience in investment banking and environmental consulting. He holds an MSc in Global Energy and Climate Policy from SOAS University and a Harvard Negotiation Training certification.
Alex joined Octopus in May 2024.  Previous to Octopus he was Head of Natural Capital (Rural and Projects) at Savills, where he led the development and delivery of innovative solutions for landowners, investors, and policymakers, leveraging his expertise in carbon markets, biodiversity, and water. He also co-founded New Foundation Farms, a disruptive agri-food enterprise that creates value for society, the environment, and the economy.

Additionally, he hosts a podcast called Sustainable AF, where he explores the challenges and opportunities of achieving the Sustainable Development Goals by 2030.

 

Celine Grace Legaspi

Vice President, Redington

Celine is a Vice President in the Manager Research team with a specialism in sustainable/impact investment. In this role, she is responsible for critically assessing, selecting, and monitoring fund managers, researching emerging impact asset classes (e.g. nature-based solutions, impact private credit, healthcare), and engaging with asset managers and clients on their sustainable investment efforts. Celine is also responsible for the continuous development of the research team’s ESG Integration & Stewardship Quality Assessment Framework, and supports clients in evaluating managers’ sustainability credentials. She is a participating member of the IIGCC Climate Solutions working group. 

Prior to her time at Redington, Celine spent two years at a sustainability data quant manager as a product associate supporting the development of data-driven ESG scoring models. She has a degree in Sustainable Development & Business from the University of Warwick

To book sessions (booked delegates only):

  • Log into the AREF website here (you can create/reset your password here).
  • Under 'My AREF', go to 'My Events' page (link).
  • Select your AREF Conference booking.
  • Click the 'My Sessions' button.
  • Tick the box of the sessions you'd like to book & then Save/Book button.

3.25pm - Comfort break

3.25 PM – 3.55 PM

Comfort Break

30 mins Comfort Break
A short comfort break and a chance to grab a tea/coffee and biscuit before the final session.

4.00pm - Plenary 3: Capital Flows

4.00 PM – 4.50 PM
The Great Hall

Plenary 3: Capital Flows

50 mins Plenary

The final plenary of the day will look at the the ever-evolving world of capital flows, with a special emphasis on the shift from Defined Benefit (DB) to Defined Contribution (DC) plans.

This session will delve into the complexities of investor capital movement, exploring how changes in retirement planning strategies impact financial markets, investment choices, and risk management.

We are honored to welcome special guest, Mhairi Jackson from the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), who will provide unique insights into regulatory perspectives and the implications for investors and financial institutions.

Our expert panel will discuss current trends and the future outlook for capital allocation, addressing the challenges and opportunities presented by this significant transition.

Speakers:

 
  • Moderator: John Forbes, John Forbes Consulting
  • Matthew Abbott, Legal & General Investment Mgmt
  • Anne Breen, abrdn
  • Paul Richards, AREF

John Forbes

Independent Consultant, John Forbes Consulting

John Forbes is an independent consultant advising real estate investment managers, investors and others in the real estate industry in the rapidly changing areas of product development, governance and regulatory matters for real estate funds.  He has advised on the restructuring of high profile open and closed-ended real estate funds in the UK and elsewhere in Europe, as well as the establishment of new funds. He has advised service providers to the real estate investment management industry on the strategic implications of regulatory and other changes.  Prior to setting up John Forbes Consulting LLP in 2013, he spent over twenty-five years with PwC, where he led the firm's Real Estate Industry Practice in Europe, the Middle-East and Africa across all of the firm's services to the real estate industry.

John is the chairman of the Independent Supervisory Board of the UBS Triton Property Fund, independent chair of the Urban Splash Residential Fund and non executive chairman of Ginkgo Advisor UK Limited.

Matthew Abbott

Head of Client Development, Legal & General Investment Management

Matthew joined Legal & General as Head of Client Development – Real Estate Client Solutions in 2019.

Prior to this he was a Principal in Mercer's Real Estate Boutique. He joined Mercer in 2011 and researches real estate investment managers across Europe, covering all investment styles including commercial and residential real estate. Matthew is also part of Mercer's Dynamic Asset Allocation group and assists clients with strategic real estate advice. From an industry perspective, Matthew sits on the IPF Indirect Funds Working Group and the AREF Investor Committee and has previously been involved with IPD's Index Consultative Group.

Prior to joining Mercer, Matthew was a Real Estate Researcher and Investment Consultant with Aon Hewitt for eight years. Matthew holds the IMC, has studied the Actuarial profession and holds an undergraduate Bachelor of Science in Mathematics & Statistics from the University of Newcastle-upon-Tyne and a postgraduate Master of Science in Real Estate from Kingston University.

He regularly appears in the financial press and is active on industry panels, discussing all matters relating to institutional investment in real estate.

Anne Breen

Global Head of Real Estate, Abrdn

Anne Breen was appointed the Chair of AREF in March 2024 and is the Global Head of Real Estate at abrdn.

At abrdn, Anne’s role is to lead the investment approach, process and strategy for the real estate business at Aberdeen Standard. This includes the creation of a Global Houseview to support real estate investment allocations relevant to all investor outcomes, as well as the development of the risk based tools and strategic insights to deliver a strong long term risk adjusted track record for clients. Anne chairs the global committees across the Real Estate business assessing fund strategic plans for investment, distributions and asset management.

Paul Richards

Managing Director, AREF

Paul is the CEO of AREF.  Before joining AREF in 2020, Paul was Head of the European Real Estate Boutique within Mercer’s investment consulting business for almost 10 years, previously he was Head of Indirect Real Estate Investment and Global Managed Accounts at LaSalle Investment Management, where he was responsible for managing global portfolios of unlisted real estate funds for clients from Europe and Asia Pacific.

He has over 25 years of real estate experience in investment, corporate finance and research, and has advised investors, occupiers and venture capital companies on property portfolio strategy and on financial structuring, including PFI, senior and mezzanine debt and joint venture arrangements. His employers have included LaSalle Investment Management, Cushman & Wakefield and Henderson Investors.

Before coming into the world of real estate, Paul worked in marketing and market research. He originally studied Physiological Sciences at Lincoln College, Oxford and has a Master of Science in Real Estate from City University Business School, London, now Cass Business School.

 

5.00pm - Summer Drinks Reception

5.00 PM – 8.00 PM

The Outdoor Courtyard

Summer Drinks Reception 

180 mins Drinks reception

Join us for an exclusive gathering for all delegates, to be held in the outdoor Courtyard, a perfect setting for industry experts and professionals to network and enjoy the evening.

The reception will feature a sparkling wine reception and canapés.

The Reception is kindly sponsored by Mills & Reeve.

Delegate List

The attendee list is only visible to delegates who are attending the Conference (please log-in to view).


Date:

Tuesday 25th June 2024

Time:

09:30hrs until 20:00hrs

Venue:

Merchant Taylors Hall
30 Threadneedle St
London EC2R 8JB

To Book:

The Conference is open to both AREF members and non-members.

AREF Members
Book Tickets:

AREF Members should CLICK HERE or the blue Book button below to log-in and book and pay for tickets.

Non-AREF Members
Book Tickets:

Non-members should use our non-member payment link HERE to book and pay for tickets.  Tickets can be paid by credit card when booking.  A receipt confirmation will be sent to you


Ticket Costs:

  • AREF Members Ticket Costs:
    • Standard: £300.00 + VAT
  • Non-Member Ticket Costs:
    • Standard: £400.00 + VAT

Ticket Information:

AREF Members should note:

  • If you work for an AREF member firm (click here to check our member list), you are eligible for a log-in to this website and entitled to discounted tickets to the conference.  If you do not yet have a log-in, please email us at [email protected].  This includes all AREF members: Fund Members, Affiliate Members, Associate Members and Investor Members.  A reminder that Investor Membership is free (view more information on our membership here, or email us at [email protected] for further information).
  • Early Bird Discount Offer:  For a limited time only, from Friday 1st March until Friday 22nd March 2024 tickets can be purchased at the early bird price.  After this date, tickets will revert to the standard price below.
  • AREF members can pay for tickets by credit card or invoice.  If paying by invoice, please note that bookings will not be confirmed until payment is received.
  • Tickets can be purchased on behalf of someone else, however, the booker needs to work for an AREF member firm and will need a log-in to this website (email us to organise your log-in).
  • For AREF members wishing to buy multiple tickets for their team, please email us at [email protected], indicating:
    • how many tickets you would like to purchase;
    • full name of all delegates;
    • email address for each delegate;
    • dietary and access requirements for all delegates.
    • invoice name and address.
  • Non-members should use our non-member payment link HERE to book and pay for tickets.  Tickets can be paid by credit card when booking.  A receipt confirmation will be sent to you.

Sponsors:

We are delighted to announce the sponsors for the Conference and extend our sincere appreciation to Citco and Mills & Reeve for their invaluable support in making the AREF Conference a resounding success.
 

Gold Sponsor:
 

 

Silver Sponsor:

Social media:

We would be very grateful for any social media posts you can make regarding the conference on the lead-up to it and during the conference itself, using the hashtag #AREFConf24.

Please ensure you follow us:

LinkedIn page - link.

Twitter page - link.


Enquiries:

Please email us at [email protected] for any enquiries relating to this event.

 

To book sessions (booked delegates only):

  1. Log into the AREF website here (you can create/reset your password here).
  2. Under 'My AREF', go to 'My Events' page (link).
  3. Select your AREF Conference booking.
  4. Click the 'My Sessions' button.
  5. Tick the box of the sessions you'd like to book & then Save/Book button.

 

Planning Committee:

With special thanks to our Planning Committee, who are helping the AREF Team pull this event together.

  • Committee Chair:  Clare Whyte, AREF
  • Matthew Abbott, Legal & General Investment Management
  • John Forbes, John Forbes Consulting
  • Clare Grimes, GRE Finance
  • Patrick Groves, CMS
  • Lucinda Liss, Schroders
  • Simon Marx, Lothbury Investment Management
  • Emma Pereira, Travers Smith
  • Tom Pinnell, Langham Hall
  • Jessica Pilz, Fiera Real Estate
  • Jack Quinlan, Blackrock
  • Ann Xu, CBRE Investment Management

Terms and Conditions:

  • Places are not confirmed until full payment is received.
  • Payment can be made by credit card or invoice.  If paying by invoice, an invoice will be raised and emailed to the booking contact (please allow 2-3 weeks to receive your invoice).
  • All payments must be received by 24th May 2024.
  • Cancellation policy:
    • Unfortunately, AREF are not able to offer refunds in the event of any delegate being unable to attend for any reason whatsoever.  However, you may change the name on the booking up to and including Friday 21st June 2024.
    • AREF reserves the right to cancel the event at any time for any material reason, and if we do cancel, we shall refund any fees paid. AREF will not be held liable for any damages or losses sustained in any way, arising out of the cancellation of the event.
  • Dietary requirements need to be supplied to us by 24th May 2024.