Welcome to this special 20th-anniversary edition of our Industry Magazine. For those of you who don’t know the EPRA story, I invite you to read the inspiring interview with three of our founding fathers, some of whom we will have the privilege of welcoming at our Conference in Madrid.
Our sector has achieved much over the last two decades, but I would like to take this opportunity to look at what lies ahead. Often the listed sector is still overlooked by generalist investors, but we are working very closely together to convince them about and make them benefit from its long-term performance and dividend yield. All our commissioned research shows that including listed real estate assets in the portfolio provides for greater long-term returns. This is a message we must continue to impress upon investors, both here in Europe and globally. Compared to the US, the European listed sector is still underrepresented, which we see as a big opportunity for growth.
One of the challenges for our sector and society now, and increasingly in the future, is climate change. Real estate plays a huge role in mitigating the risk, and I believe listed real estate, in particular, is leading the way and should strive to continue doing so. To this end, EPRA has launched the sBPR Database, the first publicly available comprehensive ESG digital dataset covering European listed real estate. We will discuss more about it at our yearly Sustainability Summit in London on December 4. This will also be an opportunity for you to meet the winners of the recently launched EPRA Diversity & Inclusion Award, which aims to promote the exchange of best practices amongst listed companies. If you have not applied yet, there is still time as submissions close at the end of October.
The final challenge that I would like to discuss and that our industry faces in the future is one of regulation, both at national and European level. On the national level, the most notable development is that we went from only one proto REIT regime in Europe in 1999 to 14 EU members with REIT legislation today, and a few more in the pipeline. Much of this is thanks to an ever-growing network of alliances between associations, both regionally and globally. At the EU level, we have seen a number of legislations in recent years, ranging from sustainable finance and MiFID II to Solvency II. I believe these are all great opportunities for listed real estate, and you can read more about what EPRA is doing in these domains in this edition of the Magazine.
To sum up, I believe the industry can be rightly proud of what we have achieved together, and there is much exciting work and many opportunities ahead.
Finally, as always, I would like to warmly welcome our latest members: HSBC Bank, Kojamo, Snow Park Capital Partners and Technical University of Madrid (UPM).