FILIPINOS in Institutional Real Estate (FIIRE) held a 5-day conference in the Philippines for a delegation coming from the United States in mid-February.
FIIRE initially planned an inaugural event in the Philippines to commemorate the beginning of the Manila Chapter in February 2020, eventually pivoting to a virtual launch due to COVID-19.
The recent conference served as an opportunity to celebrate the inauguration of the Manila Chapter of FIIRE while allowing visiting FIIRE members the opportunity to explore the Philippines first-hand as originally intended.
Through launching a Philippines Chapter, FIIRE intends to do the following:
- Assist in attracting large institutions to invest in the Philippines;
- Cultivate a pipeline of talent by sharing best practices of the US specific to the commercial real estate industry;
- Create an exchange program that will bring Filipino students/professionals to train with institutional commercial real estate companies.
The event included a welcome dinner hosted at a private estate in Forbes Park hosted by Monocle Group and Longview, a market introduction by AyalaLand, and real estate tours in various areas of BGC, Makati, Pasay City, and Aseana City hosted by NEO, AyalaLand, SM, and DM Wenceslao.
The main event was held on Friday, February 17 at the Shangri-La in Bonifacio Global City. Speakers included board members from the U.S. – Gloria Browning Gil, Jennifer del Rosario Taylor, Huber Bongolan, Barbara Faylona-Jesuele, and Ernie Ocampo. Economic and real estate updates were presented by Victor Calanog/Moody’s Analytics and David Leechiu/Leechiu Property Consultants. A keynote presentation was provided by Wick Veloso/GSIS.
The first panel discussion with Sheryll Verano/Arthaland Corporation, Mike Rodriguez/Macquarie Asset Management, and RB Roa/ATRAM touched on the growth of the Philippine real estate sector, highlighting how unprecedented capital is being sourced from both equity and debt markets.
Another panel featured Barbara Faylona-Jesuele/J. Paul Getty Trust, Jonathan “Loy” Umali/Arch Capital, and Paul Gately/EQT Exeter who all came in from different countries to discuss the key components institutional real estate investors analyze when entering new markets and potential partners. They also highlighted how institutional capital can provide advantages for local real estate developers to grow and scale their businesses.
A FIIREside chat moderated by Eric Manuel/Arch Capital and featuring Gloria-Browning Gil, co-founder of FIIRE, concluded the program. Through this chat, the audience discovered how FIIRE started, the importance of mentors, the rise of Gloria’s career, and her outlook on the industry.
Over the weekend, a Poblacion food and pub crawl was coordinated by Poblacion Land and Urban Development for the attendees to get a taste of the nightlife in the vibrant area that has rapidly been transforming over the past few years. The National Parks Development Committee hosted a tour of Intramuros and its rich history. The last day of the conference, delegates were invited to visit the Philippine Stock Exchange.
The conference concluded with a master class in collaboration with Urban Land Institute (ULI) Philippines, with speakers from the U.S. discussing real estate topics such as an introduction to institutional investing, debt market, underwriting, fund management, asset management, and much more.
The events were made possible through the generous sponsorship of Arch Capital Management, D.M. Wenceslao and Associates, Manulife Investment Management, EQT Exeter, NEO, Leechiu Property Consultants, Monocle Group, Arthaland Corp, AyalaLand, Santos Knight Frank, CebuLand, Corebuilt, Grow Capital Partners, Romulo, KMC Savills, Colliers, Catellina Property Consultants.
FIIRE, or Filipinos in Institutional Real Estate, is a 501c3 trade organization started in the United States of America that focuses on networking, educating and mentoring Filipinos in institutional real estate. The organization was established in 2009 and has chapters throughout the US in Chicago, Honolulu, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, Mid-South, New York City, New England, San Diego, San Francisco, Pacific Northwest and internationally in the Philippines.