You’ve had an impressive journey leading to your current role at Deloitte. What motivates you in your position now?

I joined Deloitte during my Law School days and found continuous challenges and growth opportunities. The journey led me from the French office to building Deloitte’s legal branch in Romania, now comprising over 60 lawyers. My current role involves overseeing Deloitte Romania and focusing on M&A, real estate, and law in general.

What drove the establishment of Reff & Associates and its synergy with Deloitte?

Reff & Associates, founded in 2006, collaborates closely with Deloitte to cater to clients needing legal counsel. We’ve emphasized digitalization through legal management consulting, optimizing processes using technologies like RPA. For example, we streamlined compliance for commercial property owners and retailers by digitizing regulatory requirements.

Apart from digital tools, what services do you provide to the real estate sector and how significant is it for your business?

Real estate is a passion for us. Our multidisciplinary team advises on developments and transactions. We cover fiscal aspects, provide transaction services, and offer strategic advice for non-specialized real estate owners. Their properties, like those owned by state institutions, hold immense potential if repurposed correctly.

Are there notable examples of successful PPPs in Romania or talks about upgrading urban areas?

PPPs face challenges and controversies in Romania. Clients show interest in contributing to urban transformation projects like Bucharest’s North Station area, which is underutilized, holding immense redevelopment potential.

How appealing is Romania’s real estate market presently?

Romania boasts fundamentals making it an attractive investment market. As a NATO and EU member with growing purchasing power, unmet demands exist, especially in residential spaces. Retail capacity, though growing, remains lower compared to the rest of CEE. Office spaces may need time to adjust under hybrid work models but are likely to face increased demand in the long run.

Other than fiscal policies, what challenges does the sector face?

Romania’s fiscal environment has generally been favorable, but political credibility and perceived corruption hinder investor confidence. Infrastructure challenges and limited access to capital markets are hurdles. Despite this, competition remains lower compared to Western Europe, attracting investors seeking higher yields.

Will NEPI’s sale to AFI spur other significant transactions?

NEPI’s sale to AFI set a market record despite 2020’s economic crisis, showcasing the industry’s resilience. The crisis differentiates itself from others, affecting retail and office segments short to medium-term, while residential and logistics show promise.

What’s your outlook for Romania and advice for real estate investors?

Romania holds untapped opportunities for investors willing to look beyond legacy perceptions. Factors like geography, demographics, governance improvements, and legal climates point toward favorable yields. Overcoming misconceptions can reveal the country’s potential for strong returns.


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