Throughout 2019, Berkeley Assets plans to expand into six new overseas markets, off the back of highly satisfying results achieved in 2018. We will open new offices in Mexico City, Moscow, Cape Town, Hong Kong, Singapore and Marbella.
We thought it would be interesting for our clients to understand our decision making when it comes to identifying new markets and setting up operations.
What factors help you decide which markets to move into?
We have a research network which spans the globe, looking at new opportunities and paying attention to economies which are experiencing rapid growth. Our partners are also very experienced at spotting global trends and looking at macroeconomic data to predict market trends and growth opportunities.
We consider factors such as the population demographic and existing competition when determining goals for an emerging market along with disposable income levels and spending habits.
Where has been the most challenging market Berkeley Assets has faced, and why?
Recovering from a long history of untrustworthy companies offering bad financial advice, Dubai has been a challenging market to date, compared to other cities of a similar size and maturity.
Since establishing our MENA regional base in Dubai in 2017, we invested heavily in educating the market about private equity and we encountered many clients who had negative experiences when it came to investments and personal finance. Understandably, there were many people who were wary and nervous about trying again.
We succeeded thanks to our straightforward approach and our strategy of working with only the best introducers, picking the most reliable and diligent advisors in the market to represent us to their clients. The fact that we have a diversified portfolio of investments across the real estate, hospitality, logistics and technologies sectors and provide simple, fixed returns which are easy to understand ultimately helped us to break through and attract strong support from new clients in this market.
How do you approach and engage new markets with previously limited exposure to reputable private equity opportunities?
As a company our dedication to remaining transparent to our clients remains paramount. The Berkeley Assets team works hard in all regions to consistently maintain this practice and it is integral when dealing with either new or experienced investors.
Today, more and more people are starting to understand the benefits of private equity and leaning towards these options for personal investments. When we move into a new market which is seeing a PE opportunity like ours for the first time, the simplicity and reliability of our solution is always met with a very warm reception and we find that people from all walks of life can easily understand what we are offering and what they can expect as a client of Berkeley Assets.
How important is it to have a physical presence in these emerging markets?
I consider it to be vitally important. We prefer to have a physical presence so that our clients know we’re on hand when they need us, it shows we are investing in those geographical locations and that we truly understand the markets in which they are operating.
We’re a global business but on the ground experience is invaluable.
Justin, Berkeley Assets
Justin is a practicing chartered accountant in the UK and the UAE and a member of the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales(ICAEW). Based in the Dubai Office, he assists in developing Berkeley’s operational corporate strategy, with a focus on retail clients.