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REFI Global Debt Webinar Series

5 Feb 2021

Then and Now: How the debt market is adapting, surviving the current downturn

The Covid-19 pandemic has had a significant impact on all parts of the commercial real estate market, with operators, developers, and lenders all working to adapt to a world where distress is starting to make itself felt and population migration patterns are showing a shift to secondary and tertiary markets.

There is a substantial group of capital sources that include debt funds, institutional investors, family offices and high-net-worth individuals who are all looking to come to the table. But a bigger question will be what sectors and asset classes will recover, which are overpriced and how will these transactions be structured.


Ludo Mackenzie

Head of Commercial Property

Octopus Real Estate

Arron Taggart

Head of UK Real Estate Investment 

Cheyne Capital Management (UK) LLP

Maria Goroh



Mathew Crowther

Managing Director, PRECap Senior Portfolio Manager

PGIM Real Estate

How will COVID-19 impact the renewable energy industry?

Key learning points:

All the panelists were in agreement that liquidity is much more prevalent in the market compared the last financial crisis. 

Arron Taggart said the last crisis was driven by overleverage and this one is not driven by undermanagement, instead morality is guiding the lack of distress in the market. 

Ludo Mackenzie agreed, citing a gradual rise in non-bank lenders really buoying a lack of distress because of increased competition, except in the retail markets of course.

Mariah Goroh sees distress in the subsector of retail that relies on those being in the office, like pubs and convenience food, becoming a potential issue, with social and student housing in the UK and logistics in Portugal offering better avenues for investor success.

Matthew Crowther thinks a big correction in regional offices around Europe could occur. All four also agreed that a recovery is likely this year, with a lack of structural elements creating a shallower recession that we experienced between 2009-2011.

MacKenzie predicted a renaissance, citing the stock market’s best ever consecutive 2-year run following the last pandemic as a beacon of hope for the period post-Covid.

Upcoming Events

15 April | REFI Europe Webinar: Senior Living, featuring Benjamin Davis, CEO Octopus Real Estate

Who we are

Octopus is one of the UK’s largest investors and managers of clean energy assets, with a mission to accelerate the transition to a future powered by renewable energy. We’re committed to making an impact with our investments, so we can leave the world better than we found it. We are also home to Europe’s largest small companies investment team and are a leading investor in healthcare infrastructure. We currently manage £9.1bn on behalf of our investors, £2.4bn of which is institutional funds.

Next steps

Octopus is an active investor in the renewable energy infrastructure market. If you’re an institutional investor with an interest in knowing more, or would like to talk to us about your investment aspirations, then we’d love to hear from you.