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Top take-aways: ANREV Australia conference 2014

Juan Manas (Business Analyst, Sydney) provides his top take-aways from the ANREV Australia conference.

TIAA Henderson Real Estate sponsored the inaugural ANREV Australia conference hosted in Melbourne.

The conference was themed 'Unlisted property funds – Perspectives and plans', looking into the activities of unlisted property funds in Australia and offshore. It was a good opportunity for the Superannuation Funds to debate the real estate sector in Australia and offshore, particularly US and Europe.

Sam Sicilia, Chief Investment Officer at Hostplus, commented on the growing importance that life insurers and Sovereign Wealth Funds have in capital markets. Mr Sicilia analysed the significance of real assets within a pension fund portfolio, due to the inflation-linked income streams and the upside given by capital appreciation. These assets will continue to have growing importance for Super Funds in Australia, particularly since the average age of their members is young allowing investments into less liquid assets.

The debate continued with a panel discussion comprising Neil Matthews (REST), Alek Misev (Towers Watson), Padraig Brown (Mercer) and Kent Robbins (Unisuper). The topic 'Beyond borders, next step for investors' helped air the views of consultants and investors in one of the most topical subjects at present: The significant growth of assets under management by the Superannuation Industry, together with the limited stock of commercial real estate assets in Australia, causing challenges to invest capital locally. Investing offshore is on the radar for many pension schemes, but the negative experience suffered during the GFC has reopened the debate of how to implement an overseas strategy in an effective way. Partnering with experienced local managers, with good access to opportunities, and spending the necessary resources on due diligence, were tips given by the consultants.

The conference ended with a cocktail reception and dinner at Rialto, where investment managers, pension funds and representatives of research and consulting houses had the opportunity to exchange insights of the industry.

From TIAA Henderson Real Estate, we would like to thank ANREV for all the work put into organising this event and for their ongoing effort to give the industry transparency and industry benchmark standards. 

This article is intended solely for the use of professionals and is not for general public distribution. Issued by Henderson Real Estate Asset Management Limited, 201 Bishopsgate, EC2M 3BN. Authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority. TH Real Estate is a name under which Henderson Real Estate Asset Management Limited provides investment products and services. The value of investments and any income will fluctuate (this may be partly be the result of exchange rate fluctuation) and investors may not get back the full amount invested. Where opinions have been expressed, they are based on current market conditions and are subject to change without notice.