The second-year University of Wisconsin Real Estate MBAs recently had the opportunity to attend the MIPIM conference in Cannes, France. MIPIM is an international property market conference where money managers, operators, brokers, and municipalities from across the globe descend upon the French Rivera to discuss the markets and assemble deals. It’s an action-packed week full of sunshine, magnificent French cuisine, and also beer and sausage at the Munich and Frankfurt tents (more magnificent cuisine).
On Monday the team fought jet lag, walked along the boardwalk, and met an alumnus, Jamie Fink of HFF, for drinks at a local Irish Pub. Meeting Jamie was a great way to start the trip as he shared stories about his time in school and offered insightful career advice for the students who will be graduating in May.
The conference began on Tuesday when the team got up bright and early to attend the RE-Invest roundtable sessions at the renowned Carlton Hotel. Many of the world’s largest real estate money managers, pension funds, and endowments attended RE-Invest to discuss the most pressing issues in real estate. The University of Wisconsin real estate MBAs had the exclusive opportunity to take notes and participate in the discussions. Their notes will be complied and distributed to the money managers and will serve as the unofficial record of the discussions.
Following RE-Invest, the MBAs were hosted by multinational law firm DLA Piper aboard their yacht in Cannes harbor. Susheela Rivers, Managing Partner and Head of Asia-Pacific Real Estate discussed which qualities DLA and other firms are looking for in new applicants.
On Wednesday the team met with Will McIntosh of US RealCo and was hosted by Uli Steinmetz aboard the DWS yacht, where the team learned about the differences between European and American markets. Uli put the team to work by having them prepare a brief presentation for DWS about what people in their 20s and 30s are looking for while they search for a job post-graduation, with respect to both job qualities and location.
The team began Thursday morning aboard the AEW yacht where Hans Vrensen, Head of Research and Strategy for AEW Europe discussed emerging trends his team is seeing in European markets. After coffee and tea with Hans, the team moved on a meeting with Heitman at Residence l’Imperatrice along the boardwalk. Heitman provided an overview of their firm and lessons they’ve learned by investing through several real estate cycles.
On Thursday evening several students were invited by Brad Olsen of Atlantic Partners to the German Lounge, where beer and sausage were abundant and the team’s MIPIM responsibilities came to a close.
Spring Break officially began on Friday morning for the MBAs and they took advantage by traveling to various European countries including Italy, Scotland, England, Andorra, and Monaco. In addition to a wonderful week in the French Riviera, MIPIM provided the MBAs with a valuable opportunity to learn about European markets and meet real estate professionals from across the globe.
The students would like to extend their gratitude to the Graaskamp Center faculty and staff who made this trip possible, including Academic Director Andra Ghent who organized the trip, the alumni and professionals who hosted the students, and Brad Olsen, who has been a wonderful supporter of the Wisconsin Real Estate Program.