Keith Alexander recently joined INREV as Senior Research and Analytics Manager, a role in which he has responsibility for producing all the fund indices. In this interview with IQ, Keith explains that he has been rapidly getting up to speed with using the INREV systems and understanding how the index outputs come together.
‘Since joining the organisation in August it’s been something of a baptism of fire,’ says Keith. ‘We are currently in the process of recruiting two additional members to join the existing five that make up the market Information team, so I need to know exactly how everything works. The first dataset I worked on was for the Q3 2022 indices, and one issue I immediately became aware of was the variation in the way members submit data. While the great majority used the INREV Data Platform to upload their data into our system, a few still submitted data via spreadsheets and needed to be manually copied – a highly time consuming drain on scarce resources.. We will continue to be in touch with those members to see how we can help smooth out the transition towards more effective data submission next time around.’
'Since joining the organisation in August it’s been something of a baptism of fire'
Clearly, maximising the quantity of data on which INREV’s indices are based is an important objective for Keith in his role, and one which ties in closely with his reasons for wanting to join the organisation. ‘In my previous career as a research consultant working for smaller scale investors and managers of European real estate, I really came to appreciate the difference that INREV has made to market information and transparency in the non listed space,’ he explains. ‘When I started out, there was a yawning gap between the kind of performance data that equity and bond investors could rely on compared to that available for real estate. And while INREV has now made a huge contribution to closing that gap, we have to keep working hard to enhance our coverage and ensure that all parts of the market are reflected properly. Strong data supports confidence in the marketplace and boosts liquidity.’
‘In my previous career as a research consultant working for smaller scale investors and managers of European real estate, I really came to appreciate the difference that INREV has made to market information and transparency in the non listed space,’
The third quarter of this year proved to be an interesting moment for Keith to begin his involvement with INREV’s indices, given that total returns went negative for European funds as a whole after a number of positive quarters following the height of the pandemic. ‘Given the effects of rising inflation and interest rates on real estate values, I don’t think anyone would have found these results surprising. Many funds have been hit by the impact of a higher risk-free rate on yields combined with higher interest payments, tighter borrowing requirements and generally lower levels of liquidity. Those investing in industrial and logistics have been particularly susceptible, as their yields had previously contracted so much.’
We have to keep working hard to enhance our coverage and ensure that all parts of the market are reflected properly
Keith obviously relishes the chance to analyse and discuss the index results and was pleased to have the chance to interact with investors and fund managers at the Autumn Conference in Marseille. ‘I’m also very much looking forward to next year’s Annual Conference in Barcelona,’ he says. ‘It’s not just a chance for me to gain a better understanding of what members value about the indices but also to be available to receive any feedback about our processes and how we can help them to work as seamlessly as possible for the members.’
You can contact Keith if you'd like to know more about INREV Research and Universes | firstname.lastname@example.org