CEE Property Forum 2019 - Vienna, Austria

Date: 18th - 19th September 2019    Venue: Hotel Savoyen Vienna


18th September 2019


Change can be hard to love and it could appear costly for the business, but it also represents many opportunities. How can you embrace these opportunities? Attend our proptech day and find out! Meet the most inspiring European and CEE proptech personalities and hear about the most recent innovations, solutions that could reshape the property industry. Our compact proptech day is the perfect event for you if you want to get up to speed with recent technologies and trends but do not have time to waste.


Venue of the proptech day: Erste Campus (1100 Vienna, Am Belvedere 1) - Grand Hall.

16:15 - 16:35

Digital is the new normal - New technologies changing the world of real estate

James is a prominent global PropTech influencer and in his presentation, he will show how technology is completely transforming the property business. He founded Unissu, a global platform which lists over 6000 PropTech businesses from around the world, along with co-founder Eddie Holmes.


16:35 - 17:15

Innovation is the law of tomorrow - Digital transformation in Europe

Some companies have already invested a huge amount of capital in innovation, while for others the largest step taken towards digitisation is using Dropbox. This diverse panel will discuss strategies that can take European property companies to the next digital level.

Chair: James Dearsley, Consultant and Board Advisor, Unissu

Conversation participants:

17:15 - 17:45

Great companies can come from anywhere. Why not from CEE? – Central European proptech success stories

We have gathered four companies that originally started out in the region but since then have expanded internationally. Four innovative leaders will share their own secrets to success and show that a good product can be in demand anywhere in the world.

Chair: James Dearsley, Consultant and Board Advisor, Unissu

Conversation participants:

17:45 - 18:30

PropTech pitches – The best emerging start-ups from CEE

Over the last 12 months, 25 companies from 5 countries presented themselves at Property Forum events all over Central & Eastern Europe. Each time the audience voted and chose the most interesting ideas that will be shared during CEE Property Forum's first-ever PropTech Day. At the end of the 6-minute pitches, the audience will choose the region's best emerging start-up.



Welcome speech by Karin Schmidt-Mitscher (Erste Group Bank)

Buffet dinner, gin and tonic bar, exclusive Austrian wine selection and champagne bar. HOSTED BY ERSTE GROUP AND SPONSORED BY CBRE AND REVETAS CAPITAL.

19th September 2019

SECTION 1: The future of our industry (PURPLE ROOM)

The rules of business and society have changed, so your business needs to change as well. Let’s find out together how the changes in our climate, the changes in customer expectations and the changes in politics might affect the property sector.

09:00 - 09:05

Opening remarks and Chris Bennett Memorial Prize award ceremony

The Chris Bennett Memorial Prize is an annual prize created by RICS in the name of Chris Bennett FRICS, to reward a significant display of professionalism by a successful RICS Candidate in the CEE region. The award will be given to a successful RICS applicant deemed to have made the most outstanding impression on an interviewing panel throughout the RICS business year (1 August – 31 July). Nominations are accepted from all countries of the CEE region.


09:05 - 09:30

Climate change – How it will affect our industry and what we should do to adapt

We strongly believe that climate change cannot be ignored by the property industry and the new permanent reality of climate change is knocking on our door. How much will it cost for us and how can we embrace the change?


09:30 - 10:00

The CEE property landscape - What is happening in the CEE markets?

This presentation aims to give an overview of the state of commercial real estate market across major CEE countries: How sound are the economic fundamentals? What are the occupational trends across major cities in the region? Where are the hotspots of the development pipeline? Who are the dominant players on the investment markets in the region?


10:00 - 10:35

Senior financing roundtable

Financing is the true essence of this business, whether in the form of bank finance, bonds, IPO or other alternative solutions. Leading investors, developers, and bankers will share their insights on the European and CEE financing landscape. 

Chair: Otis Spencer MRICS, Chief Investment Officer, P3 Logistic Parks

Conversation participants:

  • Walter Hampel, MD, Head of Real Estate Finance International Clients & CEE, Deutsche Pfandbriefbank AG
  • Michael Heller CFA, Real Estate Investment Research, Raiffeisen Bank International AG
  • Edina Schweizer, Partner - Head of CEE Banking and Finance, Noerr
  • Péter Számely MRICS, Head of Real Estate Finance CEE, HYPO NOE / RICS Austria Ambassador
  • Hannes Wimmer, Managing Director, Loan Capital Markets, Erste Group Bank AG

Coffee break - Networking

SECTION 2: Embracing the change (PURPLE ROOM)

11:05 - 11:20

CEE investment outlook


  • Mike Atwell, Head of Capital Markets Czech Republic and Lead Director CEE, JLL

11:20 - 12:00

Can CEE’s property market growth be sustained? What are the risks on the horizon?

Chair: Jean-Bernard Wurm, Co-Founder & Managing Director, Secure Legal Title, London

Conversation participants:

12:00 - 12:30

Austria in focus – Real estate business leaders' panel

Chair: Walter Wölfler, Senior Director, Head of Retail Austria & CEE, CBRE

Conversation participants:

12:30 - 13:00

Why diversity and inclusion are crucial in the property industry (as well)

What are the benefits of developing a diverse and inclusive environment in your company? Which steps are needed to improve gender diversity in the workplace, especially in c-suite positions? Is the younger generation more open to a diverse and inclusive company environment? Can diversity and inclusion be a remedy in challenging economic cycles?

Chair: Lara Paemen, Director, IFMA EMEA

Conversation participants:

Lunch - Networking

SECTION 3/A: New investment opportunities in CEE (PURPLE ROOM)

14:00 - 14:40

Finding the right opportunity - Life-cycle investment in CEE

Chair: Michael Edwards MRICS, Head of Capital Markets (Hungary) / Valuation & Advisory (Central Europe), Cushman & Wakefield

Conversation participants:

14:40 - 15:15

Building sustainable hubs in CEE - How can logistics stay the most attractive asset class?

Chair: Ana Dumitrache, Managing Director, CTP Romania

Conversation participants:

  • Martin Baláž, SVP, Country Manager Czechia, Slovakia & Hungary, Prologis
  • Harry Bannatyne, Partner, Head of Industrial Agency CEE, Colliers
  • Domonkos Joó, Senior Asset Manager, Hungary, Slovakia & Czech Republic, Logicor
  • Benedek Kis, Senior Manager Business Development Eastern Europe, Kühne + Nagel

SECTION 3/B: All about user experience (GREY ROOM)

We try to make sense of this disjointed world. There are a lot of deep changes going on in the world and one of them is that people buy, live and work differently. How will these changes affect the physical spaces of work and shopping? Disruptors, property owners, asset managers, investors, developers, and advisors will brainstorm together about what's ahead of us in the office and retail markets. 

14:00 - 14:40

Making tenants happy in the workplace – Why is it important?

Chair: Andrej Leontiev LL.M., Partner, Taylor Wessing

Conversation participants:

14:40 - 15:15

Retail has changed – How should retail property owners change?

Chair: Jolanta Wawrzyszuk, Independent Retail Expert, former Group Head of Leasing at Atrium

Conversation participants:

SECTION 3/C: Rising stars – Alternative asset classes (GREEN ROOM)

14:00 - 14:40

Why real estate developers cannot ignore hotels (in partnership with HOTCO)

Tourism is booming in Central and Eastern Europe, new developments are popping up all over the region, while hotel has become a popular asset class among investors. The needs of travellers are changing fast with low-cost flights and the sharing economy completely reshaping the face of tourism. The experts of this panel will give an overview of the latest trends on the hotel market, both globally and locally.

Chair: Marius Gomola MRICS, Managing Director, Horwath HTL Hungary, Founder, HOTCO

Conversation participants:

  • Gerald Hanna, Senior Manager, Asset Management, Revetas Capital
  • David Musil, Business Director Residential & Hospitality Real Estate, Penta Real Estate
  • Péter Palicz, Chief Business Development Director, General Manager, KViHotel
  • Péter Takács, Investment Director, Newmark VLK Hungary

14:40 - 15:15

Student housing - Investment opportunities in CEE

Central & Eastern Europe used to be overshadowed by UK & Western European developments as regards private student housing stock, with local players only catching up in relatively recent times. It is, however, becoming a rapidly growing region and is now on the radar of many local as well as international student housing investors looking for a less saturated market with new opportunities and greater diversification. Come and learn from Samuel Vetrak, Founder and CEO of BONARD, an independent market intelligence powerhouse for student housing asset class, who will share the latest data, insights, trends and opportunities in CEE student housing.

Chair: Samuel Vetrak, CEO, BONARD

Conversation participants:

Coffee break with Sacher Cake Corner

SECTION 4/A: Latest trends in core CEE markets (PURPLE ROOM)

The core markets of the region continue to post strong investment figures quarter by quarter, with the importance of local players constantly increasing. Is this simply a sign of stability or can it keep new international investors from entering these markets? Local investors, developers and advisors will share their expectations for the future of the Czech, Slovak and Hungarian markets.

15:45 - 16:20

Czech Republic and Slovakia: Will local players rule the land?

Chair: Rudolf Nemec MRICS, Head of Capital Markets Slovakia, JLL

Conversation participants:

16:20 - 16:50

The new city centres of Budapest – Multi-purpose developments in Hungary

Chair: Benjamin Perez-Ellischewitz MRICS, National Director, Head of Capital Markets Hungary, JLL

Conversation participants:

SECTION 4/B: Focus on Romania and Southeast Europe (GREY ROOM)

Core CEE markets tend to overshadow the countries of Southeastern Europe but there is a lot to watch out for in this region. Purchasing power and demand for modern space is growing, so it's no surprise that new developers and investors keep entering the market. Besides a couple of established investment destinations, numerous major cities in these countries offer untapped potential for those willing to take higher risks for higher rewards. In the two panels of this section, one of them dedicated to Romania, the region’s largest market, important local players will make their case and show why it is worth investing in SEE.

15:45 - 16:20

Romania: Is mixed-use the new normal?

Chair: Andrei Văcaru, Head of Capital Markets CEE, iO Partners

Conversation participants:

16:20 - 16:50

Investing in SEE – Bulgaria, Serbia, Croatia, Slovenia on the rise

Chair: Victor Constantinescu, Managing Partner, Romania & Co-Head of Real Estate, Kinstellar

Conversation participants:

Closing remarks

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