Andrea Carpenter’s experience and tenacity as director of research and marketing at INREV – the European Association for Investors in non-listed real estate – directly contributed to the sector ’s strong stance in the face of extreme adversity at the time.

Carpenter joined INREV in 2007 and brought with her a wealth of knowledge spanning all areas of the real estate investment community in Europe, having begun her career in real estate some 10 years previously. Posts she has held include editor at Euro Property – the London-based twice-monthly magazine targeted at commercial property executives working in Europe. Between Euro Property and her position at INREV, Carpenter was a managing director at the Urban Land Institute, overseeing its European research activities and taking responsibility for its Centre for Regeneration and Sustainability.

A key contribution by Carpenter once she joined INREV was overseeing the move to develop INREV’s in-house data capacity. This development to enhance the association’s internal operations extended to its highly reputable indices, which are now produced in-house without the need to collect data from third parties.

Carpenter views her move to INREV as another step in her own development. “I was very lucky to edit Euro Property at a time when cross-border investment activity in Europe was gathering pace and US investors were targeting Europe,” she says. “There was obviously a certain transition I went through when I moved.”

As part of the evolution, INREV also launched a web-based self-assessment tool allowing fund managers to check their compliance with the reporting module from the guidelines. But INREV did not work independently and counted on its members to be proactive in assisting the association to streamline its guidelines. Carpenter adds that these will be monitored, reviewed and redrafted consistently to reflect changes in the unlisted real estate fund market. “We encouraged members to actively participate in the guidelines integration process as well as provide input for the set-up of a compliance framework through workshops and committee meetings.”

The integration of the guidelines was considered an important step in implementing common principles and recommendations for governance and transparency in what has now become a major investment asset class that continues to grow. The launch of a single set of guidelines made it easier to meet the demands of fund managers who are increasingly looking for common direction, and of investors, who continue to support their implementation. 

“But we offer more than just guidelines. We also provide verification tools to review any fund’s compliance, which ultimately helps investors make more informed choices and the actual fund managers in marketing their products. We will continue to consult with members to ensure we can further develop and refine the guidance and information we offer as well as enhance the multi-faceted skills they bring to the table,” Carpenter concludes.