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Retail at the heart of the community

Portrait

Garigal is an asset and property management company based in Frankfurt. Since its inauguration in 2006, it has developed into one of Germany’s key players in the retail real estate market in the investment, leasing and property management arena.

The company specializes in larger single stores with a retail area of more than 3,000 m² and acquires community-based shopping centers and retail parks which usually have a supermarket chain store as the anchor tenant. It has developed a broad portfolio of properties across the country and, in the last five years, has let around 500,000 m² of existing retail floor space and developed over 30,000 m² of new retail floor space.

Garigal purchases premises for development with a combination of its own capital and investor funding, which has historically included private equity houses, German pension funds, hedge funds, investment banks and others.

The company secures tenants, manages the properties and ensures the investors’ interests are protected. The team is small, just 20 employees, however it has extensive experience, and this combination enables it to react to market developments much faster than its competitors and also to manage complicated portfolios as an all-encompassing service provider.

Especially important is the experience and motivating influence of Founder and CEO Miles Stephenson, who has been involved in many high-profile retail projects across Europe and Australia. This international focus is an important feature of Garigal.

“We speak and understand the language of the international market,” explains Roland Schleider, Director of Investment & Business Development, who also has significant industry and international experience. “During negotiations, it is vital that all parties understand not just the discussion itself but the relevant market too. Often investors from abroad arrive with their own perceptions of the German property market, not understanding that things operate very differently here. We are in a position to bring these different worlds together. We are experts in cross-cultural management.”

His experience in the USA has given Mr. Schleider excellent insight into the extraordinarily high quality-related demands within the international service sector, and this, combined with Garigal’s extensive professional experience within German retail real estate, means the company is able to respond particularly effectively to the demands of this extremely pragmatic and fast-moving industry.

The firm has been selling into the current strong market with over 500 million EUR of assets in 2015, currently manages 300 million EUR with a target of 1 billion EUR under management by the end of 2016. Garigal has developed a very clear strategy for its future with a diversification of invested capital, of which two thirds comes from German pension funds and one third from international investors.

A key priority is to secure new investors, both domestic and international, and build strong partnerships to enable successful long-term ventures. The company is also aiming to build up its portfolio, with a strong team providing top-quality, high-value service to ensure each investment remains secure.

Ultimately, however, the key driver is quality – not quantity. “We don’t need to become the biggest asset manager,” concludes Mr. Schleider. “We want to be the top independent service provider in the market, the best at fulfilling clients’ individual needs. That is most achievable by having a smaller portfolio managed to a consistently high standard.”

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