Internationally renowned property leader Guillaume Poitrinal to headline SA REIT Conference in 2016


Internationally renowned property leader Guillaume Poitrinal will headline the next SA REIT Conference, which is set to take place on 17 March 2016 at The Maslow in Sandton Central.

Poitrinal was the driving force behind Unibail-Rodamco Europe becoming the third largest shopping centre owner, operator and developer in the world, while also being one of the youngest CEOs of a European listed company.

The SA REIT Conference 2016 is hosted by the South African Real Estate Investment Trust Association (SA REIT) and sponsored by Property Finance at Nedbank Corporate and Investment Banking (NCIB).

Following the immense success of its inaugural conference in 2014, the 2016 edition of this insightful one-day senior management conference offers an exceptional programme and direct access to the most influential players active in the local and international REIT sector. It will once again arm an exclusive number of property executives, analysts, institutional investors, banks, corporate sponsors, advisors and entrepreneurs in the dynamic world of property with invaluable perspectives on REITs in South Africa and abroad.

Mark Stevens, SA REIT Association’s Marketing Committee Chairman, says: “The SA REIT Conference is designed to be a masterclass in listed property. Guillaume Poitrinal is a master of publicly traded real estate, business and finance. He is also outspoken about the need for effective fiscal and regulatory efficiencies in our fast-paced, highly-competitive modern business world. We are excited to have Poitrinal as our keynote speaker and part of a great conference line-up.”

Poitrinal graduated from Hautes Etudes Commerciales (HEC) Business School in Paris and holds a Master’s degree in Law. He joined Unibail in 1995, after a three-year stint at Morgan Stanley’s M&A division in London and Paris. Poitrinal spent 18 years building up the leading European property company. During his tenure as Chairman and CEO, the company entered the CAC40 index, and merged with Rodamco to create Unibail-Rodamco, to create Europe’s largest property company, while rewarding its shareholders and outperforming its major index benchmarks.

At the height of his professional career in 2013, Poitrinal left Unibail-Rodamco to take on the entrepreneurial challenge of building up his own company. When Poitrinal handed over the reins of Unibail-Rodamco, it had a market capitalisation of €18 billion, a standing real estate portfolio of €30 billion, a development pipeline of €6 billion and a leading position in the capital cities of 12 countries in Europe.

Today, Poitrinal is the founder and CEO of Woodeum & Cie, which specialises in sustainable construction material technology. He is also a founder of new fund manager ICAMAP (International Capital Meijer Aquien Poitrinal), which raised a significant €500 million for its first closed-end real estate fund, concentrating on European mid-cap companies, late last year.

Poitrinal’s listed property prowess is extensively recognised. Each year, from 2006 to 2013, Poitrinal was elected “Best CEO property sector – Europe” by Institutional Investors’ buy side voters. From 2009 to 2011 he was elected Chairman of the European Public Real Estate Association (EPRA). In 2012, he was awarded the medal of the French Architectural Academy.

Poitrinal is also the author of “Plus vite! La France malade de son temps” (Editions Grasset), which considers France’s challenges to adapt in a quickly changing competitive world, as a result of complex administrative procedures and conservatism. He was appointed Co-Chair of the French Simplification Council by President François Hollande, tasked with streamlining the administrative and fiscal formalities applied to French businesses.

South Africa’s listed property sector has a significant influence on our economy and society. There are 27 SA REITs and three non-SA REITs currently listed on the JSE. The SA REIT Association represents South Africa’s listed REIT sector. SA REIT members comprise all listed SA REITs and represent a market capitalisation of around R330 billion. The market capitalisation of the total JSE REIT sector is R455 billion.

Robin Lockhart-Ross, Managing Executive: Property Finance at NCIB says: “Nedbank’s support of the SA REIT Conference 2016 affirms our belief in the value that the listed property sector creates, not only for individual investors, but within the property industry as a whole and indeed across the broader economy. It further demonstrates our commitment to being a key role-player in our industry, both through our provision of funding to the property sector and through our support of important industry initiatives such as this conference.”

Stevens says: “Driving our sector forward with best practice and innovative strategies will continue to generate major benefits for South Africa. With his matchless experience, Poitrinal will share his unique vision that will bring valuable insight to diverse audiences.”

Seats at the SA REIT Conference are limited. Although there’s more than five months to go before the event, bookings have already started coming in.