7 April 2020 11.15am – 12pm + Add to calendar Webinar Webinar

#1: valuations; rents; insolvency; debt; and everyday practical issues


Click here to view a recording of this webinar. 

AREF have been conducting virtual meetings for Fund Members over the last few weeks. Following on from these calls, we have decided to initiate the AREF Crisis Forum. This is an opportunity for all our members to discuss the most pressing issues for their firms, share their experiences and help each other get through this crisis.

On this first call, members from the Retail Funds Committee and Institutional Funds Working Group will share their insights from the last couple of weeks and joining them we have insights from legal and fund administrator members as well as Paul Richards who will give a brief overview of AREF activities, liaising with regulators, government and industry bodies. The forum will then be open for questions and discussion with all participants. 


  • The impact of valuation uncertainty, fund suspensions, the role of the regulator etc;
  • Rents - March quarter day, reductions and rent free periods, hardship requests vs fiduciary duty, the impact on cash flow;
  • Insolvency rules changes?
  • Debt service and covenant breach issues;
  • Property management and day to day practical issues.


  • Chair - John Forbes, Independent Consultant, John Forbes Consulting
  • Sarah Walker, Senoir Counsel, Travers Smith
  • Guy Glover, Fund Manager, BMO Real Estate Partners
  • Paolo Alonzi, Global Head of Real Estate Business, Aberdeen Standard Investments
  • Rob Short, Managing Partner, Langham Hall
  • Paul Richards, Managing Director, AREF

Tuesday 7th April 2020

11.15 Webinar start
12.00 Webinar end

Call details will be sent to attendees ahead of the call

This webinar is FREE and open to all staff from AREF Fund, Affiliate, Associate and Investor member firms (view our list of members here). This event is also open to future generation* staff. 


Paolo Alonzi

Head of Real Estate Business Management, Operations, Finance & Structuring, abrdn plc (formerly Aberdeen Standard Investments), Abrdn

Paolo is a qualified Chartered Accountant and is Global Head of Real Estate Business Finance and Strategy at Aberdeen Standard Investments (“ASI”).  As a member of the Real Estate Investment Management Committee at ASI Paolo is responsible for providing strategic leadership and input at both business and product level whilst also being responsible for overseeing and managing the profitability of the real estate division.  In his time at ASI Paolo has been heavily involved in and often been the lead on  a number of high profile initiatives including a wide range of product launches, the industry leading merger of two PAIFs, and the development of the firm’s commercial real estate lending platform, as well as playing a key role in developing the firm’s leading real estate ESG capability.

Paolo is a recognised figure in the real estate industry with various roles at AREF (Board, Management Committee and Public Affairs Committee) as well as INREV. 

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.

Guy Glover

Fund Manager, BMO Real Estate

Guy is the Chair of the Retail Funds Committee and sits on the AREF Management Committee.
He is a fund manager at BMO Real Estate Partners. Prior to joining the group in 2004, Guy spent nine years at Wereldhave Property Corporation, where he was responsible for managing their UK portfolio.

Before this, he worked at Northampton Borough Council.

Guy graduated from the University of Reading with a BSc in Land Management and holds the RICS postgraduate diploma in Property Investment. He qualified as a Chartered Surveyor in 1994.

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.

Rob Short

Managing Partner and Founder, Langham Hall

Rob Short is Managing Partner and founder of Langham Hall. Previously, he was an Executive Director of Goldman Sachs in London and New York. At Goldman Sachs Rob led the European real estate fund administration team administering the Whitehall funds, controlling financial information and reporting on $12bn of funds with operating partners in a dozen countries. Rob was also involved with deploying the Whitehall administration in Tokyo.

Before founding Langham Hall, Rob spent three years on the board of a global fund administration business where he was responsible for setting up their London and New York fund offices. In addition he led the expansion of funds under administration from $14bn in 2002 to $80bn in 2005.

Rob qualified as a Chartered Accountant with Robson Rhodes, specialising in Unit Trusts and Investment Trusts. He holds a degree in real estate and recently sat on the INREV reporting committee.

Sarah Walker

Senior Counsel, Real Estate, Travers Smith

Sarah joined Travers Smith in November 2016 and is a senior counsel in the Real Estate Group. Sarah's practice focuses on corporate real estate, real estate finance and CVA/insolvency matters.

Corporate real estate and real estate finance

Sarah routinely advises on both buy and sell side in respect of real estate acquisitions via corporate structures, and the real estate aspects of more general corporate deals. Her experience includes a range of core and alternative asset classes from retail, office and healthcare, to infrastructure. 

CVA/insolvency matters

Sarah has led the Travers Smith real estate team on a number of high profile CVA deals including Carpetright and Giraffe Concepts Limited. She works closely with the Insolvency and Restructuring team at Travers Smith and routinely advises clients (both landlords and tenants) on their options when it comes to CVAs and other insolvency matters.


In the alternative asset space, Sarah has considerable healthcare experience acting predominantly for Impact REIT plc. She advised Impact REIT plc in connection with the real estate aspects of its original IPO and £140m seed portfolio acquisition and continues to advise it on its subsequent care home acquisitions and financing.

Sarah is an active member of the Travers Smith community, currently sitting on the Senior Associate Committee.


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