Meet the speakers

Introducing our Keynote speaker

Innes McFee
Chief Global Economist at Oxford Economics

Innes McFee is Oxford Economics’ Chief Global Economist, based in London. He regularly writes and presents on numerous aspects of the global economy from developments in the real economy to the interaction with financial and real estate markets.

Innes’ team of more than 60 economists at Oxford Economics forecast and research developments in almost 200 countries as well as providing in depth research on the outlook for returns across the major markets.

Innes’ career has spanned both the public and private sector including various roles at HM Treasury, Lloyds banking Group before joining Oxford Economics.

Introducing our speakers

Johan Beerlandt
Executive Chairman of the Board of Directors - BESIX Group

Johan Beerlandt joined the BESIX Group in 1974, as junior engineer at the BESIX Brussels headquarters. In 1975 he left Belgium to start his international career.
He started in the United Arab Emirates where he participated and led several construction projects.
In 1981, he moved to Cameroon to initially manage a local construction company. Very soon after settling he created a local BESIX subsidiary in Cameroon, West Africa, which he developed and managed for 7 years.
In 1988 he returned to the Middle East, where he assumed the management of the ailing subsidiary of BESIX.
In 1994 when returning to the BESIX Group headquarters in Brussels, he was nominated general manager, in charge of the international construction operations. In 1998, he became CEO of all the contracting activities of the BESIX Group worldwide.
The activities, limited to the field of construction were developed not only in the Benelux but as well in France, Eastern Europe, Middle East, Africa, Caribbean, etc.

In 2004 he prevented the BESIX Group (then named SBB for “Société belge de béton”) being sold off to a foreign group by setting up a Leveraged Management Buy Out of the holding company. He was not only the initiator, but he also took a major personal stake.

He then became Chief Executive Officer and Managing Director of BESIX Group, as well Chairman of BESIX and Chairman of the Executive Board of BESIX. Since 2004, the business has grown from a traditional civil and building construction company to a multidisciplinary organization incorporating project development, environmental activities, road construction, concessions, etc. Through the recurrent profitability the turnover grew from 750 million Euro to around 2,5 billion Euro.
The business further expanded to Australia.

On 3 April 2017, Johan Beerlandt handed over his position of CEO to his successor, and was nominated Chairman of the Board of BESIX Group.

Yeliz Bicici
Chief Operating Officer Offices & Real Estate Development - Cofinimmo

Yeliz Bicici joined Cofinimmo in 2008, first as Property Manager, then Area Manager and finally Development Manager, before becoming Head of Development in 2014. Since July 2018, she has been Chief Operating Officer Offices & Real Estate Development. She supervises the Healthcare department for Spain, Germany and the Nordic countries as well as the Development, Project Management, Offices and Distribution networks departments and also holds several offices in subsidiaries of the Cofinimmo group.

She holds a double Master’s degree in Real Estate (Antwerp Management School 2012 and KUL 2009), she completed the General Management Programme in 2021 at the Harvard Business School and followed a post-graduate training in energy engineering (UGent) and financial analysis. Before joining Cofinimmo, she worked for Robelco from 2001 to 2008.

Moderator: Andrea Carpenter
Co-Founder and Director of Diversity Talks Real Estate

Andrea Carpenter is Co-Founder and Director of Diversity Talks Real Estate, and a writer and communications consultant in the property industry.

As a Director of Diversity Talks Real Estate, Andrea helps raise the visibility of under-represented groups in the industry through the stage and media. This includes training and other female-led initiatives through DTRE’s Women Talk Real Estate community. On the writing side, her book about the history of the modern European property industry, High Rise and Fall, was published by Routledge in September 2018.

Andrea began her career as a journalist at Property Week before moving on to be editor of EuroProperty for seven years. Following this she worked for various industry bodies including the Urban Land Institute, INREV in Amsterdam, and its sister organisation ANREV in Hong Kong. On returning to the UK, she worked as Head of Marketing and Communications EMEA at CBRE Global Investors.”

Sophie Colin Sansier
Head of Investment and Divestment - Generali RE

Sophie Colin Sansier joined Generali Real Estate as Head of Investment and Divestment in 2014. Before she has active for more than 15 years in the real estate market. She was Head of Investments in Beacon Capital Partners France and was previously in charge of development, disposals and renovations for third parties at Bouygues Immobilier. Generali Real Estate has been managing real Estate for 190 years. It has more than 39 billion euros in assets under management. Headquartered in Italy, it has a strong European footprint.

Kasper Deforche

Kasper Deforche has a master in Applied Economics from KU Leuven and a master in Real Estate at Antwerp Management school. He is a member of RICS. He fluently speaks Dutch, French and English.

After several years as asset manager at Vastned Retail Belgium, Kasper joined AG Real Estate in 2007, where he was Head of Retail & Housing between 2010 and 2014. He then started at Wereldhave Belgium first as COO then as CEO between 2016 and 2021.

Kasper has become CEO Belux of JLL on 1 November 2021.

Aurore de Montjoye
Head of Real Estate Finance Belgium - BNP Paribas Fortis

Aurore de Montjoye is Head of Real Estate Finance Belgium at BNP Paribas Fortis, the largest bank in Belgium, part of the French bank BNP Paribas. Aurore de Montjoye is specialized in advising on financing of the real estate transactions/portfolios of important investors, developers and Reits in Belgium.

Aurore de Montjoye joined the bank, her first employer, in 1999. She has been working on real estate in Belgium for 17 years

Pavlos Gennimatas
Managing Director - European Living - Hines Europe

Pavlos Gennimatas joined Hines in 2016 and is currently the Managing Director of the European Living team, advising on a wide range of investment and development projects, including build-to-rent and alternative living subsectors. In his current role, he has strategically driven strong investment for the Living sector, which stands at a current GDV of €10+bn.
In his previous role at Hines, Pavlos worked in the Investment Management team for a Pan-European separate account. Prior to Hines, Pavlos was the Investment and Development Director for a boutique residential developer in Greece.
Pavlos holds a Master’s in Real Estate Development from Columbia University, an MBA from Cass Business School and an MEng in Civil Engineering from the University of Thessaly. He is also a member of RICS and the Co-Chair of the ULI Living Product Council.

Vincent Kerboull
Senior Vice President - Head of Transactions France & BeNeLux (Real Estate) - Brookfield Asset Management

Vincent Kerboull is Senior Vice President – Head of Investments for real estate in France & BeNeLux at Brookfield, a global alternative asset manager with over 120 years of investing experience.

Brookfield has over US$750 billion of assets under management across real estate, infrastructure, renewable power and transition, private equity and credit. It offers a range of investment products to investors around the world – including public and private pension plans, endowments and foundations, sovereign wealth funds, financial institutions, insurance companies and private wealth investors. It draws on Brookfield’s heritage as an owner and operator to invest for value and generate strong returns for its clients, across economic cycles.

Vincent Kerboull joined Brookfield in 2018. He had also built real estate expertise working for over five years as a private equity professional at The Blackstone Group. He has a master Civil Engineering Travaux Publics (Ecole Spéciale des Travaux Publics, du Bâtiment et de l’Industrie) and a master Finance (ESCP Business School).

Innes McFee
Chief Global Economist - Oxford Economics

Innes McFee is Oxford Economics’ Chief Global Economist, based in London. He regularly writes and presents on numerous aspects of the global economy from developments in the real economy to the interaction with financial and real estate markets.

Innes’ team of more than 60 economists at Oxford Economics forecast and research developments in almost 200 countries as well as providing in depth research on the outlook for returns across the major markets.

Innes’ career has spanned both the public and private sector including various roles at HM Treasury, Lloyds banking Group before joining Oxford Economics.

Siham Rahmuni
CEO - Quares

Siham Rahmuni is the CEO of Quares (Quality Real Estate Services). The Antwerp based company is active in the investment and letting of real estate and is building its own funds It was in 2006 that de reit QRF, a fund specialized in retail shopping, was created. Quares has developed also its own unlisted fund for student housing. Quares Student Housing was sold to the Belgian listed Reit Xior, a leader in student housing on the European Market. At end of 2021 Quares Residential Investment was launched; the aim of this unlisted fund is to acquire by 2030 a total of 900 apartments all over Belgium for renting.

Jaime Riera
Head of M&A and Corporate Advisory - Capital Markets - JLL EMEA

Jaime Riera joined JLL in September 2022 as EMEA Head of M & A and Corporate Advisory. He is an expert in real estate financing. For nearly two decades he has been working in investment banking. The last 15 years he was Managing Director, Head of Real Estate Investment Banking EMEA at Credit Suisse.

Donato Saponara
Regional Head for South & West Europe and Co-Head of Investments in Europe - Allianz Real Estate

Donato Saponara is the Regional Head for South & West Europe and Co-Head of Investments in Europe for Allianz Real Estate. He joined the company in 2014 and is based in Milan. Donato is co-responsible for the investment activity in Europe while also leading the European value-add and logistics expert teams. Donato leads several Board and Advisory Committees for Allianz and sits in the European Senior Leadership Committee. Prior to joining Allianz, Donato spent 14 years in Morgan Stanley acting as Director, co-heading the Italian Investing team and leading acquisitions, sales and refinancing deals. Donato graduated magna cum laude from Bocconi University in Milan.

Gabriel Uzgen
Chair of ULI Belgium & Luxembourg, Chief Executive Officer - BESIX Real Estate Development

Gabriel Uzgen is the CEO of BESIX Real Estate Development (BESIX RED), the real estate subsidiary of BESIX Group.

Gabriel Uzgen is a strategic, creative and visionary leader with a 30+ years’ experience within the European real estate industry. A genuine real estate passionate, he is driven by his appetite for innovation and new challenges internationally.

He started his career in 1995, and occupied several management positions at Salenko, IBC Group and Profi. He joined Codic International in 1996 serving as Director for Belgium and member of the Executive Board. In 2005, he established and managed their subsidiary in Hungary.

In 2010, he was appointed Managing Director and then CEO of BESIX RED. As part of his role, he developed several strategies including a geographical and sectoral diversification strategy and co-developments with external investors.
Under his leadership, BESIX RED has positioned itself as a strategic pillar within BESIX Group and as one of the key players in the real estate landscape.

Since June 2018, he is also a member of BESIX Group’s Executive Committee.

In July 2021, he was appointed Chair of ULI Belgium & Luxembourg for a voluntary two-year term.

Guido Verhoef
Head of Private Real Estate - PGGM Investments

Guido Verhoef studied Economic Geography at the University of Utrecht and Real Estate at the University of Amsterdam. He began his career as a real estate consultant in 1990. In 1995 he joined ING Real Estate Development as Senior Developer. In 2000 he moved to ING Real Estate Investment Management as Managing Director Institutional Clients. In 2005 he joined RABO Bouwfonds REIM as Fund manager. He moved to PGGM Investments as Head of Private Real Estate in 2008.

Mr. Verhoef is a member of the Management Team Private Markets and responsible for managing the PGGM Private Real Estate Investments, a €22 billion global portfolio consisting of approximately 100 non-listed funds, club investments and joint-ventures, managed by a dedicated team of Investment Managers.

Guido Verhoef is Board member of Amvest Vastgoed BV, an ULI Trustee and member of the Investment Committee for the Apollo Healthcare Fund.

Maarten Vermeulen
Senior Vice President, National Councils - ULI Europe

Maarten Vermeulen joined ULI Europe per the 1st of December last year as its SVP – National Councils. In this role Mr. Vermeulen is responsible for the development of National Councils in EMEA to drive growth, both from a quality and quantity perspective. Prior to joining ULI Mr. Vermeulen has had a broad range of national and international roles at leading firms in the industry, such as BPD, LaSalle and CBRE GWS. Moreover, during the period of 2014 – 2018, Mr. Vermeulen has been the Managing Director for RICS in Europe, Russia & CIS. Mr. Vermeulen speaks on a regular basis on broad range of real estate related topics at conferences and universities across Europe and has been chief-editor and co-author of a range of books, papers and publications related to property management, ethics and ESG. Mr. Vermeulen holds a BHA in Hotel & Facility Management, an MBA in General Management and a MSRE in Real Estate Investment Management.


Thibault Weston Smith
Managing Director - Realty Corporation & Chair of ULI Europe Young Leaders

Thibault Weston Smith is the Chair of ULI Europe Young Leaders.
Thibault is a Managing Director at Realty Corporation in London, UK where he oversees the PropTech strategy and development. Thibault is also responsible for growing the firm’s real estate investment activities across Europe and the US.
Thibault has over 10 years of experience working in real estate investment on several continents. He previously worked for US-based developer and real estate owner Tishman Speyer. He started as a financial analyst in Paris, France and then moved to Washington DC, US where he was a senior director. Thibault held various roles in acquisitions, development management, asset management, investor relations and portfolio management. In addition, Thibault spearheaded innovation in the DC region and was for example responsible for the rollout of “ZO”, a new collection of amenities and services provided to Tishman Speyer tenants. He also worked for AXA IM – Real Assets and more recently, Thibault was the CFO and Head of Strategic Projects of 14Trees based in Nairobi, Kenya, a housing start-up accelerating the use of construction innovations in developing economies.
Thibault holds a Master of Science in Management Degree from ESSEC Business School in Paris, France. He specialized in finance and also graduated from ESSEC’s Real Estate Chair. Thibault is a native French and English speaker and has conversational knowledge of German and Spanish. Thibault is a Member of the RICS.