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Mark Richardson: A New Capital Markets Pro in the Colliers Team

This year, Colliers Czech Republic, leading global commercial real estate services and investment management firm, has announced multiple new appointments across various business lines, as part of the company’s strategic growth plan needed to better cope with the market dynamics and clients’ needs. One of these hires is Mark Richardson, who recently joined the Colliers Capital Markets team in Prague, moving from Colliers Investment team in Warsaw, Poland, where he spent the past 18 months before joining forces with the Czech team comprising Andrew Thompson, Tomas Szilagyi and Konstantin Cordery.

“I am delighted to be joining the expanding Colliers team in Prague and the prospects of building on the team’s track record and successes,” said Mark, who is very familiar with both the Czech Republic and CEE Real Estate Investment markets and has over 21 years of experience working in the real estate industry.

Prior to joining Colliers in Poland, he was  Director at Pradera, a specialist retail Investment Manager, where he established the company’s offices and retail asset management platforms in both Poland and the Czech Republic and was responsible for the pan-European acquisitions. During his time at Pradera, Mark led the acquisition and due diligence process together with the asset management of 9 shopping centers totalling 148,000 sqm across CEE for and on behalf of the Pradera Central & Eastern Fund (PCEF).

In 2013 and 2014, the PCEF Fund won the IPD performance award for the “Best Performing Specialist Fund” in Central & Eastern Europe. Over that time, Mark oversaw the successful development of extensions comprising a 3,000 sqm extension to a shopping center, 12,365 sqm of retail warehousing and 12,300 sqm of shopping center reconfiguration works totalling 27,760 sqm and total capital expenditure of €27 million.

Mark was a key member of Pradera’s acquisition team tasked with, sourcing, screening, and evaluating potential acquisitions and analysis of new investment opportunities across Europe for both in-house and third-party clients as well as Joint Venture accounts. Laterally at Pradera, Mark helped to close a significant Pan-European retail portfolio transaction of circa €600 million comprising 18 assets across Germany, France and Poland in April 2017 that forms the Pradera European Retail Fund (PERP) including the acquisition of a 35,000 sqm retail warehouse park in Prague, the Czech Republic.

Prior to joining Pradera, Mark has made his experience during several years in the Czech Republic earlier in his position of the Head of Capital Markets for Cushman and Wakefield in Prague, where he led the acquisition and sale of over €1 billion. Mark is a member of the RICS and holds an undergraduate degree from the University of Aberdeen from which he graduated with honors. 

2021 real estate market trends

“Inflation continues to rise across the Globe and in turn the cost of construction which is having an impact on the real estate market and the cost of undertaking developments this year,” says Mark when asked about the current situation on the Czech market. “The Cost of raw material and the salaries of Construction work continues to rise driving inflation which means in theory that interest rates should also increase. Theoretically, if the cost of borrowing money to acquire Real Estate increases, the price of Real Estate should reflect this increase and prices should correspondingly slow due to the higher cost of borrowing,” thinks Mark. “However, this doesn’t necessarily have to be the case, as there remains a significant amount of capital active in the market seeking opportunities to acquire Real Estate which means that Investors will simply adjust their return requirements accordingly to offset the impact of higher interest rates and as a result, yields are projected to remain stable and unchanged in the short term,” predicts Mark. 

Responding to the question of where would the capital flow in the foreseeable future then, Mark is of the opinion that there remains a large amount of “frustrated” domestic capital in the Czech Republic looking for potential opportunities to invest, which continues  to keep his investment team busy, with signs that Czech Investors are increasingly looking to invest cross-border due to the lack of opportunities in the Czech Republic.

Mark is looking after both International investors and Czech Funds. “I am helping many Czech investors looking for suitable investment opportunities in both the Czech Republic and Poland,” he says. “I often find myself talking to Czech investors about Investment options in their own Country, and end up spending half the time discussing other Investment opportunities and the merits and attractiveness of the Polish Real Estate market and other CEE opportunities. There appears to be plenty of Czech capital now seeking to invest in Poland. Whilst historically German and Austrian Investors and financing banks have been active in the Czech Republic, we are now seeing strong signs that Czech investors are also seeking to invest in Austria and Germany driven in part by the lack of investment opportunities and institutional investment product available to buy in the Czech Republic,” says Mark and adds: “One of the strong points we share at Colliers CEE is our well connected platform where we easily can put various opportunities together in front of our clients.”

One interesting observation noted by Mark is the different dynamics between that of the Czech Republic and Polish Investment markets. The Czech Republic is similar to that of most Western European Markets whereby 50% of all transactions is typically completed by domestic capital, whereas in Poland, approxiamately 95% of all capital invested in the Market is Foreign capital – typically Investment Managers from the US, UK, Germany and South Korea London investing in Poland. We are aware of the possibility in the near future of the first Polish Real Estate Investment Trust (REIT) being created which would help transform the Investment landscape in the Country.

“There has been a strong shift towards the industrial sector being the preferred Investment sector class away from that of Offices and Retail. The Global Covid Pandemic has accelerated the growth of online Retail sales and changing Consumer habits and how retailers respond to these changes. Mark notes for example that the US Fashion retailer, GAP, recently took the decision to close all of its fashion stores in the UK, France and Italy but will continue to trade online and believe there will be more businesses globally to follow suit, not only fashion brands”.

Mark notes that “Retail Parks continue to be resilient to these changes. The Retail Park customers ability to park in a safe outdoor environment close to their desired retail stores during the Global Pandemic and Government restrictions resulted in relatively strong trading performance of the Retail Parks compared to that of Shopping Centres and in turn ensured the continued attractiveness of the sector as an asset class to  investors.”

About Mark

Prior to joining Colliers in Poland, Mark Richarson was Director at Pradera, a specialist retail Investment Manager, where he established the company’s offices and retail asset management platforms in both Poland and the Czech Republic and was responsible for the panEuropean acquisitions.

During his time at Pradera, Mark led the acquisition and due diligence process together with the asset management of nine shopping centers totalling 148,000 sq m across CEE for and on behalf of the Pradera Central & Eastern Fund (PCEF). In 2013 and 2014, the PCEF Fund won the IPD performance award for the “Best Performing Specialist Fund” in Central & Eastern Europe. Over that time, Mark oversaw the successful development of extensions comprising a 3,000 sq m extension to a shopping center, 12,365 sq m of retail warehousing and 12,300 sq m of shopping center reconfiguration works totalling 27,760 sq m and total capital expenditure of EUR 27 million.

Mark was a key member of Pradera’s acquisition team tasked with, sourcing, screening, and evaluating potential acquisitions and analysis of new investment opportunities across Europe for both in-house and third-party clients as well as Joint Venture accounts.

Laterally at Pradera, Mark helped to close a significant Pan-European retail portfolio transaction of about 600 million comprising 18 assets across Germany, France and Poland in April 2017 that forms the Pradera European Retail Fund (PERP) including the acquisition of a 35,000 sq m retail warehouse park in Prague, the Czech Republic.

Prior to joining Pradera, Mark has made his experience during several years in the Czech Republic earlier in his position of the Head of Capital Markets for Cushman and Wakefield in Prague, where he led the acquisition and sale of over EUR 1 billion. Mark is a member of the RICS and holds an undergraduate degree from the University of Aberdeen from which he graduated with honors.


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Mark Richardson

Director, Head of Industrial and Investment Services

Prague

Mark has over 22 years’ experience in the real estate industry and in the capacity of senior partner and head of investment services, is responsible for supervision, management and business growth of the Capital markets and Industrial Agency teams in the Czech Republic. His range of responsibilities includes strategic real estate advisory, origination, structuring and execution of property sale and acquisition transactions, overseeing commercial due diligence and underwriting, participation in commercial negotiations of lease and sale & purchase contracts and transaction management.

Mark was previously head of acquisitions at Prime Kapital, an integrated real estate developer, investor and operator in CEE backed by MAS Real Estate, a South African REIT. Prior to joining Prime Kapital, he was he was a Director at Pradera, a specialist retail Investment Manager where he established the Company’s offices and retail asset management platforms in both Poland and the Czech Republic. During his time at Pradera, Mark led the acquisition and due diligence process together with the asset management of 9 shopping centres totalling 148,000 sqm across CEE for and on behalf of the Pradera Central & Eastern Fund (PCEF). Before joining Pradera, Mark was Head of Capital Markets for Cushman and Wakefield in Prague, the Czech Republic where he led the acquisition and sale of over €2 billion of assets.

 

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