Flexibility is the way forward

The transformation of property as an asset class and the future of the listed property company were hot topics of debate at Mipim

Organised by Wrenbridge Land, a Palmer Capital Partners development company, the event was sponsored by Eversheds, which has a relationship with Palmer, and attracted fund managers, investors and bankers.
The keynote speaker was Ian Marcus of Credit Suisse First Boston (CSFB), fresh from working on the take-private of Amsterdam-listed UK property company Haslem-ere. Haslemere management supported the bid and went to CSFB and UBS Warburg for a fairness opinion.
Marcus said it had become difficult to define the boundaries of property as an asset class as serviced office providers and property outsourcers look to make income from value-added service.
Eversheds partner Tim Webb said: “Where property is going is total flexibility.”
The issue for listed property companies is to match shareholder return with enough speed and flexibility. Haslemere is just the latest take-private triggered by the underperformance of share price in the property sector.