23 Jan 2020
Memery Crystal, London
REFI Europe Breakfast Briefing: Student Accommodation

Join REFI Europe for our next Breakfast Briefing, where we will be discussing the topic of Student Accommodation.


08:00    Networking & Snacks
08:30    Panel discussion
10:00    Coffee, Networking & Close

Venue: Memery Crystal Offices, 165 Fleet St, Holborn, London EC4A 2DY

Discussion points:

• Student accommodation properties are attracting strong investor interest. How can funds take advantage of the shortage of student housing?
• Which markets are particularly attractive right now?
• What can you say about the relationship between the university/tenant and the investor/landlord?
• Do yields justify the operational risks?
• What are some of the biggest challenges players face?
• Is there a particular student housing fund that attracted your attention this year? Why?


Moderator: Julie Cruz, Editor, REFI Europe 

Samuel Vetrak, Founder and CEO, BONARD

Samuel has years of experience advising real estate investors, developers and operators in student housing and other rented residential asset classes. Since 2007, under his leadership, his staff of 50 researchers and analysts operating in four offices around the world have been providing the highest level of secondary as well as primary (in-field) research via mobile units, making BONARD an independent data powerhouse for student housing and alternative resi. Samuel has studied at City University Seattle. He is a frequent speaker attending dozens of real estate and property investment conferences a year where he is sharing latest insights and trends in student housing and other rented residences.

Raj Kotecha, Co-founder and Managing Director, Amro Real Estate Partners

Raj is Co-Founder and Managing Director of Amro Real Estate Partners, a successful real estate investment firm specialising in the purpose built student housing and multifamily residential sectors with a track record of £350M GDV of schemes completed and under development in the UK and Europe. He graduated with a 1st class degree in Economics from the London School
of Economics and holds a Masters Degree in Finance from Cambridge University. Raj began his career as a strategy consultant and has been a real estate investor for over twenty years.

Ilya Tabachinski, Development Director, The Student Hotel

Having graduated from the University College London with a degree in Economics and Business, Ilya started his career in construction and development during his final university year. Ilya has been involved in Real Estate Investment and Development sector delivering schemes within wide range of sectors across the UK and Europe. His recent projects include the delivery of a masterplan for Harlow Science Park and leading delivery of the New Covent Garden Market, the largest regeneration area within VNEB. “Having been an overseas student in the UK for over 10 years and being in the development market for over 15 years, I have a first-hand experience in both living and delivering student accommodation. I know that student accommodation can be rather faceless and bland. At The Student Hotel our aim is to change that and transform it into a vibrant, once in a lifetime experience. We believe that friendly communal environment and creative surroundings can hugely benefit not only students’ productivity but also their mental health and wellbeing. Our Complete Connected Community model has already proven to be a success in 12 markets across Europe.”

Joe Persechino, Head of Residential & Student Accommodation – Real Assets, AXA IM

Joe is the Sector Specialist for Residential and Student Accommodation at AXA IM – Real Assets. He is responsible for assisting with deal origination, advising on investments, working with the in-country AXA IM teams globally on existing portfolio performance, sharing best practice, introducing sector innovation and leveraging his professional network. Joe joined AXA IM – Real Assets in 2018. Prior to this, he held senior roles at Global Student Accommodation, (the largest global investor, developer and operator of student accommodation and serviced apartments). From 2011-2014, Joe was with the Unite Group plc, the leading manager and developer of student accommodation in the UK with over 50,000 beds in its portfolio. Joe has worked in Australia and France and has almost 10 years of experience in residential real estate. Joe holds a Bachelor’s Degree in European Business Studies from the University of West London.

Freddie Wonnacott, Associate Director – Investment Management, M&G Real Estate

Freddie Wonnacott is an Investment Manager at M&G Real Estate with a focus in the Residential and Student Accommodation sectors. His primary responsibility is to source and deliver investment opportunities either though acquiring standing investments or structuring the forward funding of developments. He also is involved in the ongoing asset management through the development phase to stabilisation and beyond to ensure that the strategic objectives are met and that the assets deliver outperformance. Freddie holds a BSc (Hons) in Investment and Finance in Property from the University of Reading, is a member of the Investment Property Forum and is a qualified Chartered Surveyor (MRICS).

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