BDO Hires Former CEO Of Knight Frank To Grow Its RE Business

21 October 2016 – Expansión

The professional services firm BDO has taken another step forward in its multidisciplinary and sectorial-specialisation expansion strategy by launching a new real estate advisory business line, with the goal of benefiting from the boom in the sector.

BDO has hired the former CEO of Knight Frank in Spain, Alberto Prieto (pictured above) to lead this area, along with José Manuel Sánchez, from the same consultancy firm, who will be responsible for developing the real estate analysis and valuations department.

BDO Real Estate’s team in Spain will comprise between five and ten professionals, who will benefit from synergies with other divisions. At the international level, BDO has a team that specialises in real estate and construction comprising more than 500 professionals across more than 1,500 offices.

“The Spanish real estate market offers great opportunities. I don’t think there has ever been such a significant inflow of international capital like the one we have seen over the last four years”, explained Prieto.

For Prieto, real estate consultants operate more like “agents”, whereas BDO wants to attack another business niche. “At BDO, we want to go a step further, focusing above all on buyers, to offer them greater added value in the analysis of operations with technical, legal and financial advise”, said the Director, who has served as the CEO of Knight Frank in Spain for the last five years and who also sat on the company’s European executive board.

Meanwhile, Sánchez highlighted that players dedicated to real estate management and other investors from outside of the sector are participating in the real estate market and they will need to receive differential advise in terms of strategy and opportunities.

The Directors have identified opportunities and potential for transversal growth, taking advantage of the knowledge inside the firm, in line with the strategies adopted by the Big Four. BDO already has specialists in this sector in its legal team. In this vein, BDO recruited Juan Gómez-Acebo two years ago to lead the real estate practice in this division.

At the global level in the Real Estate space, BDO renders the following services: investment analysis, asset verification, comprehensive transaction management advise, liquidity analysis and planning, refinancing support and tax and legal advice.

Interest from overseas investors

Regarding the current status of the real estate market, the directors consider that there is “clear” interest from international investors to enter Spain. For Prieto, the Spanish market has changed a lot over the last few years. “Before, the attitude was anything goes, but now there is a lot more specialisation in the sector”.

Original story: Expansión (by Rebeca Arroyo)

Translation: Carmel Drake

Deloitte Is The Leading Advisor Of Shopping Centre Deals

20 October 2016 – Expansión

The Big Four are positioning themselves as major players in the market to advise real estate operations and are gaining ground in a segment that has been dominated by other players until now. The professional services firms are looking for new business niches in order to generate returns and strengthen their audit businesses, which generate significant recurring income for their balance sheets, but which are now mature markets, with limited margin for growth.

This effort has led the Big Four to dominate the transaction advisory sector and, in the case of Deloitte, it has managed to gain a foothold in the market that has been particularly dominated by real estate consultancy firms until now: the shopping centre segment.

Specifically, the company chaired by Fernando Ruiz now leads the ranking after participating in almost half of the major operations closed in 2016 to date. So far this year, transactions amounting to almost €2,000 million have been signed in the shopping centre segment, which has become one of the star products of the real state market, boosted by the economic recovery and improvement in consumption.

In this growing market, which still has further potential for growth, Deloitte has earned its place as an advisor of choice. Specifically, the professional services firm achieved a market share of more than 50% of the transaction volume, outperforming CBRE, with 32%, PwC, with 7% and JLL and Savills, with 4% each.

Deloitte participated alongside CBRE in the largest operation of the year so far in the shopping centre segment: Diagonal Mar (Barcelona). The asset was acquired by Deustche Bank from Northwood over the summer for almost €500 million. Deloitte advised the buyer whilst CBRE advised the seller.

The professional services firm has also advised Carrefour on its purchase of 36 supermarkets from Eroski for €205 million and TPG’s acquisition of the L’Aljub shopping centre in Elche (Alicante) for €100 million. Another major operation closed this year in this segment involved the Gran Via de Vigo shopping centre, which was acquired by Lar España in a deal advised by another Big Four firm, PwC.

Original story: Expansión (by R. Arroyo)

Translation: Carmel Drake