This year, 11 Non-Listed Real Estate Industry Professionals are set to become graduates of the INREV/Henley Certificate in European Non-Listed Real Estate Investment. We had the chance to speak with some of the graduates and those still working towards their certification to learn a little bit more about their experiences so far, and what their motivations were in applying.
The certificate is a collaboration between INREV and the Henley Business School (University of Reading) to offer Non-Listed Real Estate professionals the opportunity to further their professional development and deepen their
knowledge of the non-listed real estate industry. To achieve the certificate, participants need to enrol in one of two learning paths: Portfolio Management or Corporate Finance. Participants need to attend a total of five courses: three mandatory from their chosen path, one related elective, and one from any of the other courses.
The certificate offers flexibility to participants by allowing the courses to be completed over 36 months at a schedule that fits around them at various locations across Europe. It has been designed with limiting time out of the office in mind, with the courses structured over one to two days at a time.
Upon completing the required courses and passing the final examination, the certificate is awarded. Thanks to the collaboration with the Henley Business School, the certificate adds academic rigour from the world-renowned institution, enabling alumni to set themselves apart in an increasingly competitive market.
When asked about her motivations in working toward the certification, Joni Sekula, Senior Associate, Product Development and Client Services at PATRIZIA explained,
‘I’m not from a Real Estate background so I wanted to find a course or some level of further education that would enhance my knowledge without being too basic. The INREV/ Henley Certificate instantly appealed because of the flexibility it allows, as one or two days out of the office is manageable. My role in product development means that staying on top of the latest industry trends is crucial, so the certificate and attending wider INREV events are invaluable in my career.’
The certificate brings together a diverse cohort of professionals from all corners of the non-listed industry who, aside from working toward achieving the certificate, have also found the courses to be a unique opportunity to meet other industry professionals and benefit from peer-to-peer knowledge sharing. Sebastiaan Blom, Junior Investment Manager Private Real Estate at PGGM explains, ’It’s a great way to learn about how other companies and institutions are managing their portfolios, and to learn from other
professionals across the real estate industry. It’s not just about the theory, but also how to implement it in your daily work life. That, in combination with meeting other young real estate professionals has proven to be very valuable to me, and I’m actually still in touch with some of my fellow course alumni.’
The course content is curated and delivered in consultation with top industry professionals to ensure it is relevant to course participants who can go on to immediately apply the newly acquired knowledge and expertise as soon as they’re back at the office. For Frank Bell, Portfolio Manager Real Estate Global and Member of the Executive Board at Dicoval AG, this was particularly the case. ‘As part of the study stream, I chose to take part in the Due Diligence Course as this went hand in hand with what I was working on at the time and I was able to apply it in a real setting back at the office, so that was very useful.’
'I'd already attended several INREV courses and was impressed wit the quality of the training, so to be able to translate that into a recognised certificate with academic accreditation is extremely valuable.' Sebastian Eggert, Associate Director at SIGNA Financial Services
For Joni, the balance of learning and networking with other industry professionals was also a huge plus point. ‘The course has not only enriched my knowledge of the industry but has also introduced me to other industry professionals who I have stayed in touch with after the course is over. It has definitely provided the human component which can sometimes be lost – there are a lot of open discussions, sharing of knowledge and expertise which have all furthered my understanding of the industry’, she explains.
Chair of the INREV Education and Training Committee Boris van Warmerdam emphasises how accessible the course is to industry professionals at all levels of their career. ‘The INREV/ Henley certificate is an excellent way to show competence in non-listed real estate. With course content delivered on a broad spectrum of themes and topics by top-tier industry professionals, the certification is ideal for any industry professional at any stage in their career.’
Once achieved, the certificate is highly regarded throughout the industry and can also be a complementary element to other sources of professional education. When asked about the value in encouraging members of her team to complete the certificate, Isabelle Scemama, Chief Executive Officer at AXA Investment Managers – Real assets explains, ‘At AXA IM – Real Assets, we are committed to ensuring we not only have the best talent possible, but also that every individual on our team is given the opportunity to be the best they can be and the INREV/Henley Certificate helps us achieve these goals.'