EUROPE - The European Association for Investors in Non-listed Real Estate Vehicles (INREV) is to expand into unlisted Asian property.
Lisette van Doorn, chief executive of INREV, said: "Members have come to us asking for information about Asia at a rate of three or four times a week. We discussed it with the board. It is not certain we will expand into Asia but it seems likely and we're exploring the possibility."
She said the body would seek external data providers "just as we assigned IPD to provide data in Europe," and further added: "There are a few players available. It's clear that the market is much younger so the question is about the data we can get."
Although a recent survey revealed growing investor intention to invest in the region, she insisted the expansion did not alter INREV's purpose.
Following an exploratory regional visit in January, INREV opted for a joint venture with Asian Real Estate Association (AREA). "We quickly concluded that it wouldn't make sense to set up a new operation," she said. "We're not calling it a partnership. We're getting to know each other and learning from each other."
Further geographical expansion is also unlikely. "INREV doesn't have a target for going global," said van Doorn. "It depends on what our members want but there is no question of us expanding into emerging markets."
The move to allow for investment in funds outside of Europe coincides with INREV's decision to pare down its two-tier board structure to a single management board and the abolition of the executive board. It has also reduced the number of board members from 23 to 11, with a maximum term of two years.
"Basically, you had two decision-making levels," said a spokesman. "It's more efficient to have one board with members giving more time over time. Five years ago [when INREV launched] there was just a small staff. Now it has a whole secretariat and a professional, salaried staff," added van Doorn.