China’s State-Run Companies Rush to Liquidate Real Estate Equities

More than a dozen large state-owned enterprises in China are liquidating their equity holdings in real estate projects recently. As real estate used to be the main fuel for China’s GDP growth, as well as a main source of revenues for its state-run companies, the liquidation activities has drawn considerable attention.

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Real Estate Technology

EVORA Global Announces Acquisition of Metry

Business Wire | January 25, 2024

EVORA Global, a leading provider of tech-enabled sustainability solutions to the real asset industry, today announces its strategic acquisition of Metry, Europe’s number one platform for environmental data collection. The move will establish new standards in data excellence and technological innovation, delivering comprehensive data solutions for the global real estate and infrastructure investment industry. The acquisition signifies an improved level of data automation and quality for EVORA’s clients, achieved through direct connections to fiscal meters and hubs. This approach eliminates data gaps and reinforces the overall reliability of information provided into their analytics and content management platform, SIERA. EVORA's dedication to data quality and validation underscores the company's commitment to ensuring that all sustainability data is analytics-ready, combining external data sources with EVORA's expertise in regulations and carbon accounting, whilst simultaneously upholding the highest standards in the industry. Metry's customers will gain access to EVORA's expertise in setting strategy and implementing net-zero carbon initiatives in their real asset portfolios, broadening the value proposition available to them. This collaborative expertise - integrating human insights with advanced technology - is a testament to the forward-thinking approach of both companies. "We are thrilled to welcome Metry into the EVORA family," said Pradeep Menon, EVORA Global CEO. "This strategic acquisition marks a significant milestone in our journey to empower real asset investors with the tools and data needed to drive sustainable practices in the built environment. It will enable us to offer unparalleled services to our clients, solving for the climate challenge.” “This the perfect match,” said Magnus Hornef, Metry CEO and co-founder, who will be joining EVORA’s Executive Committee as Chief Data Officer. “We are enabling each other to make a bigger impact faster and I’m really excited about expanding our data collection capabilities to all of EVORA’s customers. It is a giant leap towards connecting every building with reliable data and automated collection.” About EVORA Global: EVORA Global is a premier sustainability advisor, providing comprehensive, industry-leading climate solutions for real asset investors. With over a decade of experience, EVORA is dedicated to addressing the climate challenge posed by the real asset industry, focusing on the needs of investors in the built environment. Its clients include many of the biggest names in global real estate, including Invesco Real Estate, Hines and M&G. Founded in 2011, the company now has over 200 staff and 150 clients. About Metry: Metry is the #1 platform for environmental data collection in Europe, with a primary focus on energy data. With over a decade of expertise, Metry empowers companies to develop and use energy-saving technologies and IoT solutions, contributing to real change for the environment. Currently serving over 200 companies in more than 10 countries, Metry is actively expanding internationally to offer full data collection coverage in Europe.

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Real Estate Technology

Cushman & Wakefield Collaborates with Microsoft to Enhance AI Technology Platform

Business Wire | January 25, 2024

Cushman & Wakefield, a global leader in real estate services, today announced the firm is working with Microsoft to deploy an advanced suite of artificial intelligence (AI) solutions. “We are committed to seamlessly integrating our people with the right technology and processes to enhance service offerings to our clients. Today’s launch of the use of Microsoft Azure OpenAI Service and Copilot for Microsoft 365 at Cushman & Wakefield again demonstrates our ability to pair robust technologies with market intelligence and expertise,” said Salumeh Companieh, Chief Information & Data Officer, Cushman & Wakefield. Since 2018, Cushman & Wakefield has been focused on aligning business, data, and operations. Results to date range from an 80% material reduction in operational cycle time, to a reduction of client supply chain costs via proprietary supply chain network optimization capabilities. Azure OpenAI Service Azure OpenAI Service is a cloud-based generative AI solution that offers customers a range of capabilities, including access to cutting-edge AI models, backed by the power of Azure. With Azure OpenAI Service, Cushman & Wakefield can benefit from the power of cloud computing, data analytics, and artificial intelligence to deliver innovative solutions for its clients and stakeholders. Azure OpenAI Service enables Cushman & Wakefield to create custom copilots that can enhance customer experience, improve operational efficiency, and increase competitive advantage. The platform enables developers to build, deploy, and manage AI solutions for various scenarios and domains. Some of the features of Azure OpenAI Service include machine learning, cognitive services, bot framework, computer vision, natural language processing, speech recognition and more. Microsoft Technology Centers Microsoft Technology Centers are facilities that provide immersive experiences and deep technical engagements in 50+ locations around the world. Microsoft Technology Center architects collaborate with academic, industry, and government partners to advance the state of the art in AI and create positive impact for society. The Microsoft Technology Center is providing Cushman & Wakefield with access to cutting-edge research, tools, and top specialists from Microsoft and its partners to develop powerful and adaptable applications that use AI features. It is also providing insight into various areas and problems that need AI solutions, with learning and improvement through feedback and advice. Copilot for Microsoft 365 Copilot for Microsoft 365 brings the power of next-generation AI, grounded in the user and company’s data, to Microsoft’s workplace productivity tools like Teams and Outlook and Word. It works alongside users to provide suggestions, summaries, generate, analyze and explore content and data across documents, presentations, spreadsheets, notes, chats, email, meetings, and more. Ensuring the safety and security of interactions with Generative AI is a crucial value driver for Cushman & Wakefield. Copilot for Microsoft 365 offers a high level of security for how the firm leverages GPT models, providing confidence that data is not exposed for training and does not leave the company’s ecosystem, thus safeguarding confidential information. “With this next generation of AI, we have a unique opportunity to accelerate innovation at Cushman & Wakefield and across commercial real estate,” said Laura Craig, General Manager, Data & AI, Microsoft. “We’re collaborating with Cushman & Wakefield to bring together AI advances that benefit from Microsoft Azure OpenAI Service and Copilot for Microsoft 365 to empower the firm’s professionals with new, AI-powered tools.” About Cushman & Wakefield Cushman & Wakefield is a leading global commercial real estate services firm for property owners and occupiers with approximately 52,000 employees in approximately 400 offices and 60 countries. In 2022, the firm reported revenue of $10.1 billion across its core services of property, facilities and project management, leasing, capital markets, and valuation and other services. It also receives numerous industry and business accolades for its award-winning culture and commitment to Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI), Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) and more.

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Real Estate Investment

Cohen & Steers Launches Real Assets Compass to Help Financial Advisors Build Better Portfolios with Real Estate

PR Newswire | January 11, 2024

Cohen & Steers, Inc. announced today the launch of the Real Assets Compass, an interactive tool focused on real estate allocations designed to help financial advisors and institutional investors improve portfolio risk-return profiles. Using the firm's Capital Market Assumptions for the next 10 years and 30 years of historical data, the Real Assets Compass ("the Compass") compares historical and expected returns and volatility of traditional portfolios of only stocks and bonds with those of a more diversified portfolio of stocks, bonds and listed and private real estate. Cohen & Steers believes that many investors are under-allocated to real estate despite the well-documented benefits of the asset class, including its strong performance and potential to enhance risk-adjusted returns. These investors include those across a range of profiles, from self-directed investors to those investing with financial advisors or family offices. Cohen & Steers' analysis, utilized in the Real Assets Compass, suggests that adding real estate to an investor's portfolio of stocks and bonds can improve its total return and risk-reward profile. The Compass can help advisors demonstrate the impacts of adding real estate to a portfolio and address client questions about allocating to real estate. The potential benefits of a real estate allocation apply to an array of investor styles, ranging from those more conservative seeking income or lower risk to those seeking growth or higher returns. Joe Harvey, Chief Executive Officer & President, said: "The Real Assets Compass is the latest example of Cohen & Steers' commitment to innovation and providing advisors with the tools necessary to build better portfolios and educate clients around the benefits of private and listed real estate allocations." The Cohen & Steers Real Assets Compass will enable financial advisors to: Build customized investment profiles based on general risk tolerance, investment objective and portfolio size View a portfolio allocation with both listed and private real estate based on that profile Adjust the total real estate allocation and the mix between listed and private real estate Forecast the impact of an allocation to real estate on the risk/return profile of a portfolio through a clear comparison to a traditional stock/bond portfolio View resulting 10-year expected portfolio growth in dollars and quantitative performance and risk metrics, as well as the past-30-year return profile Download easy-to-understand reports to review with clients Jon Cheigh, Chief Investment Officer, said: "We believe real estate should be a strategic, long-term allocation for most investors. Yet too few investors recognize that allocations to real estate can deliver strong absolute and relative returns at lower risk. As a result, we created our Real Estate Advisory Services, which aim to help institutional clients allocate to listed and private real estate based on where we are in the market cycle. These capabilities, along with the Real Assets Compass, will play an instrumental role in Cohen & Steers' work to close the education gap that exists in investors' understanding of the power of real estate allocations." The launch of the Real Assets Compass follows the appointments of Rich Hill as Head of Real Estate Strategy and Research in September 2022 and Jeff Palma as Head of Multi-Asset Solutions in November 2021, to grow Cohen & Steers' portfolio allocation and research capabilities. The Compass tool can be used by institutional investors in conjunction with the portfolio allocation and real estate strategy insights produced by the firm. About Cohen & Steers. Cohen & Steers is a leading global investment manager specializing in real assets and alternative income, including real estate, preferred securities, infrastructure, resource equities, commodities, as well as multi-strategy solutions. Founded in 1986, the firm is headquartered in New York City, with offices in London, Dublin, Hong Kong, Tokyo and Singapore.

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Real Estate Technology

RentSpree Achieves Highest Cybersecurity Compliance

PR Newswire | January 10, 2024

RentSpree, the industry's premier end-to-end rental management software provider, announced it achieved System and Organization Controls (SOC) 2 Type II compliance, demonstrating RentSpree's commitment to data security and adherence to industry-leading information security policies and practices. Acknowledged as the leading data security standard for SaaS providers, SOC 2 Type II compliance involves a rigorous process, ensuring that a company securely manages data, safeguarding both the organization and the privacy of its customers. Developed by the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants, the SOC 2 Type II audit provides a report on the examination of a company's controls related to security, availability, processing integrity, confidentiality and privacy. RentSpree's audit report was issued with a "clean" audit opinion from national audit firm Sensiba LLP. "This achievement is huge for us and was a top priority this past year as the integrity of our systems and the policies and practices we have in place to protect sensitive information is integral in today's marketplace," said Michael Lucarelli, CEO and Co-Founder, RentSpree. RentSpree offers rental software solutions such as tenant screening, online applications, document automation, e-signatures, denial and approval communications, and property landing pages. RentSpree has also added renter services capabilities including rent payment reporting. "While we've consistently prioritized the security of our platform, having this affirmation from a nationally-recognized third-party auditor adds further validation that we are implementing the necessary measures to safeguard our systems and users," said Jonathan Holland, Chief Technology Officer, RentSpree. In addition to auditor Sensiba LLP, RentSpree utilized Drata, the leading compliance automation platform, to streamline its compliance efforts and continuously monitor its security controls. About RentSpree Los Angeles-based RentSpree is a provider of award-winning rental software that helps seamlessly connect real estate agents, owners, and renters to simplify and automate the entire rental process, from listing to lease. The all-in-one platform is known across all 50 states for its easy and secure interface and suite of rental tools, including tenant screening, rent payments, marketing and renter management. To date, RentSpree has partnered with more than 300 of the most influential MLSs, real estate associations and brokerages to serve over two million users in the U.S. RentSpree has been ranked on Inc. 5000's fastest-growing private companies in 2022 and 2023.

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