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European listed property leader Tonckens to headline SA REIT Conference 2018
17 January 2018

Responsible for overseeing the investments of one of Europe’s largest shopping centre owners, Unibail-Rodamco CFO, Jaap L. Tonckens, will explore the latest REIT trends and investor sentiments in Western Europe at the SA REIT Conference 2018.

Internationally respected real estate investment leading light Jaap L. Tonckens will headline the third biennial SA REIT Conference, which takes place on Thursday, 15 March 2018 at the Sandton Convention Centre.

Tonckens is Chief Financial Officer of Unibail-Rodamco, one of the largest shopping centre owners in Europe, with an impressive portfolio of 71 shopping centres in major European cities. It also has a portfolio of prime and efficient office buildings in Paris, as well as 10 major convention and exhibition centres in the Paris region. Its total portfolio is valued at EUR42.5bn, and it has a EUR8.1bn pipeline of developments across Europe.

Tonckens joined Unibail-Rodamco's Management Board as General Counsel in 2009 and became Chief Investment Officer a year later. He was promoted to Chief Financial Officer in 2012 and continues to supervise the Group’s investments in his current position.

Before joining Unibail-Rodamco, he was a Managing Director at Endurance Capital, a private equity firm in New York. Then he worked at Morgan Stanley & Co., first in London and then in New York, where he was a managing director in the Leverage & Acquisition Finance department. Before that, he worked at Shearman & Sterling in New York and Paris. Tonckens is a graduate of the University of Leiden in the Netherlands and Emory University in Atlanta (USA).

“The invitation by the South African REIT Association to participate in its March 2018 Conference is a great example of the international mindset of South African REITs and investors. I look forward to speaking with the participants and exchanging views on the structural changes facing retail REITs in Western Europe and current investor sentiment,” says Tonckens.

SA REITs have increased their international exposure significantly over the past few years. The SAPY Index now includes around 40% offshore exposure. This provides REITs with good rand-hedge characteristics and ensures the sector remains relevant irrespective of South Africa’s short-term political and economic outcomes. Local listed property funds are now exposed to around 25 countries across the globe, with offshore investment focused largely in Eastern and Western Europe, and Australia.

The SA REIT Conference 2018 is sponsored by Nedbank CIB. “As leaders in commercial property finance, we are proud to be associated with this third edition of the SA REIT Conference, which has become an important event on the SA property calendar, where industry leaders from both the listed and unlisted sectors have a unique opportunity to compare notes and share views on trends and developments in the REIT market,” says Robin Lockhart-Ross, Managing Executive: Property Finance at Nedbank CIB.

“Following the introduction of the REIT structure, the SA listed sector has reinforced its recognition as being world-class in terms of corporate governance, best practice, continuing innovation and consistent returns, with the result that a significant exposure to REITs has become a necessary component of one’s asset portfolio from an investor’s perspective and in turn a bank’s loan book”.

The SA REIT Association is the host of the conference and Marketing Committee Chairman, Mark Stevens, comments: “The SA REIT Conference is designed to be a masterclass in listed property. Jaap Tonckens is a master of publically traded real estate investment and finance, and we are excited to have him as a headline speaker in a great conference line-up. With his matchless experience and pertinent perspectives, Tonckens will share valuable insights for diverse audiences.”

The SA REIT Association represents South Africa’s listed REIT sector. Currently, there are 31 SA REITs listed on the JSE. SA REIT members comprise all listed SA REITs and represent a market capitalisation of over R422 billion.

The third instalment of the SA REIT Conference 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.

Seats at the one-day power-packed SA REIT Conference in Sandton Central are limited. Bookings are now open and have already started pouring in for this highly-anticipated biennial gathering. To register visit the SAREIT website –


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