Stan Bertram

Read: A day as an investor by Stan Bertram

Stan Bertram (26) has been with PGGM Investments for little over two years now. Prior to joining PGGM Investments, he obtained a bachelor’s degree in International Business and a master’s degree in Sustainable Finance from Maastricht University. He is part of our Private Real Estate team. This team invests in real estate on a global scale, including investments in office, residential, logistics and retail properties.

Market research and ESG developments

Within the Private Real Estate department, Stan is part of the research & strategy team. Stan: ‘In my role, I devote around 50% of my time to market research and supporting the regional teams with input for new investment proposals. The other half of the time I am working on ESG related subjects such as engagement activities, mapping climate risks for the portfolio and the implementation of SFDR regulation. The ESG spectrum has increased significantly over the past years, and with that comes more reporting requirements and intensified conversations with our managers. It sometimes seems like (non)-regulatory requirements are moving faster than the data necessary to comply with these requirements.’

Return expectations

In the upcoming years, the return expectations for this investment class are in the range of 5-10%. Stan explains: ‘In order to achieve this, we need to work together with the best partners that are able to find the right deals for us. Besides, the team prepares an annual update of the investment plan. This plan serves as a basis for the allocation to various investment structures, sectors and countries eventually leading to the desired outperformance compared to the relevant benchmark.’

Impact of COVID-19 on real estate industry

A challenge that the real estate industry is currently facing is the impact of COVID-19 and the national restrictions that are in place. Stan notes that the impact of the pandemic is most prominent for hotels, retail and offices around the globe as they are highly dependent on the ability to travel, foot traffic and the advice to work from home. He says: ‘Fortunately, a lot of what we see evolve across the globe is more an acceleration of trends already present before the pandemic. Human behaviours remains hard to predict, but based on the current expectations about travel, work and shopping trends our portfolio is well positioned to withstand and partially benefit from these changes.’