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Update from Dominique Moerenhout

Welcome to the September edition of the EPRA Industry Magazine. Clearly, this first half of the year has been disrupted by an unprecedented economic and social crisis. All our members, in every sector, have been severely affected. Nevertheless, I think we can all be thankful for how resilient our industry has been, and I remain hopeful that we will experience a V-shaped recovery in the upcoming quarters. In May 2020, Oxford Economics and EPRA published a comprehensive study on the likely recovery trajectories. You can read a condensed overview of the report in this edition.

Alongside the economic shock that the listed real estate (LRE) sector has been experiencing in the recent months, I am very proud of the great solidarity many property companies have demonstrated to support local communities and medical staff. I am optimistic this impetus will be a turning point in the launching of more social actions together with the major environmental priorities we are already tackling.

In these unusual times, Investor Outreach is hard to undertake, but we continue to meet investors virtually to reinforce the messages about the numerous benefits of investing in LRE and update them on the expected fast recovery. You can discover more about investor sentiment in our interview with Guy Barnard, Co-Head of Global Property Equities at Janus Henderson Investors. Guy says: “Investing only in listed property is an enormous advantage. […] We can very quickly access niche areas of the market that present great opportunities for income and growth without having to own and operate physical assets.” Clearly, the crisis has accelerated trends as well as brought up opportunities, and this is the key message that we underline in our Investor Outreach.

On a different note, I would normally be welcoming you all in person at our EPRA Annual Conference, but this year it will, exceptionally, be held virtually from September 7 to 11. In addition to this extraordinary format and programme we have created for you, this event will be marked by the Chairmanship handover from Rolf Buch, Vonovia CEO, to Méka Brunel, Gecina CEO. I would like to sincerely thank Rolf for his outstanding leadership and achieving the objectives he had set for EPRA during his tenure. I am also delighted to welcome Méka as our new Chairwoman, who I know, amongst other themes, is committed to diversity and inclusion. I have no doubt she will seek to expand on the work our sector has already started.

Finally, as always, I would like to welcome our newest members: Amot Investments, DVI Group, Nyfosa and REIT Adviser.