Kicking the bricks


With the world continuing to peel back their travel restrictions, the prospect of international travel to both meet investors and for them to travel to inspect properties is hugely exciting and positive for the real estate investment management industry.

While video calls and video tours were hugely efficient tools, it is time to ‘press the fresh’ and ‘kick the bricks’ and open up new opportunities and strategies for consideration.

Over the last two weeks, we have welcomed a number of visitors from the Middle East and Asia to 90 North London, and while the weather was not as spring like as many had hoped, we were delighted to have them back in our offices.

Just as I believe that hybrid working between the office and home will remain a lasting legacy, I certainly do not see a return to the same volume of travel, particularly when you look into the flight costs these days, but it is great to have that combination of in-person on on-screen.

And while much of the global economy is becoming increasingly local, as political and pandemic concerns remain and in many cases grow, real estate investment management, whether Islamic or not, remains resolutely international.

It is great to see Investcorp making office acquisitions in both Milan and Rome, continuing to expand their portfolio across the UK and Continental Europe. Meanwhile, we at 90 North are seeing an expanding geographic interest as the pursuit of yield shows no signs of slowing.

With my travels over the coming weeks taking me to the US, Middle East and Asia, I cannot wait to get out there, although the memories of jet lag are less appealing. Safe travels!

Written by Philip Churchill, first published in Islamic Finance news Volume 19, Issue 15 dated 13th April 2022.