What’s driving WPP’s recent shift towards investment management from its roots in asset management?

The distinction between property, asset, and investment management often blurs. Our strategy involves co-investing as local operating partners to deliver results on business plans, addressing market demand for such services. Having engaged with co-investment vehicles previously, we’re well-equipped to tailor solutions for investors.

With a focus on office, residential, and hospitality sectors, how does WPP’s portfolio distribute across these segments?

Currently, our portfolio is predominantly office-centric, complemented by ventures in warehouse, logistics, and ongoing hotel project management in Warsaw. We’re actively venturing into the residential-for-rent sector, acknowledging rising interest among clients, particularly promising in Poland.

The trend of residential-for-rent is gaining traction in Poland and Romania. What’s driving this shift from traditional property ownership?

Several factors contribute, including substantial migration towards cities due to better wages, rent affordability over high property deposits, and the flexibility renters seek compared to owning property, especially among the younger demographic.

Who are the prominent investors in Poland’s real estate sector, based on your experience?

Traditionally, investors from Austria, Germany, the UK, and sporadically France, the USA, and Asia pre-pandemic. The lifting of travel restrictions is anticipated to rekindle foreign investor interest in Poland’s real estate market due to its economic growth, market size, and alignment with Western European standards.

What challenges does WPP encounter in the Polish market?

Engaging with authorities, navigating planning, zoning, and agreements remains a persistent challenge. Establishing a local presence is crucial for successful real estate business in foreign markets, a hurdle not unique to Poland but common in CEE and globally.

How does WPP evaluate potential projects for investment?

WPP’s 20-year presence and established contacts provide access to off-market deals and investor inquiries. Location, pricing, and market demand are primary criteria, aligning with current trends like the increasing demand for residential properties.

In the short to medium term, what are WPP’s primary objectives?

We aim to expand property and asset management services while maintaining agility. With a limited client base managed directly by me and two partners, we aim to enhance our capacity in managing, leasing, and investor reporting, especially in the PRS business.

Any final thoughts about the Polish real estate market?

Poland embodies both emerging market opportunities and mature market security, making it an attractive investment landscape. WPP is eager to assist potential investors in navigating and leveraging this thriving market.

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