Sep 20, 2022
In the third episode of season 10 of the Propcast, host Louisa Dickins is joined by Aleksandra (Sasha) Njagulj, Managing Director and Global Head of Real Estate ESG at DWS Group and Simon Wallace, Global Head of Research and Strategy at DWS Group.
They discuss the key data points in ESG in real estate and how and why Aleksandra and Simon have risen to the top of the DWS Group and are focusing their careers within ESG. They share the products that DWS Group has found useful in their workplace and the regulation changes they have seen in the market. Lastly, they discuss how the current market may disadvantage or benefit investment in ESG.
Key Insights From This Episode:
About Our Guests:
Aleksandra Njagulj, Managing Director and Global Head of ESG, Real Estate at DWS Group:
Aleksandra (Sasha) Njagulj is the Managing Director, Global Head of ESG (environmental, social, and governance), Real Estate at DWS group. She is responsible for ESG integration across global real estate portfolios. Sasha is an accomplished ESG expert with over 20 years of practical experience in architectural design, design management and the sustainable built environment. In her previous role with CBRE Global Investors, she was Global Head of ESG with overall responsibility for developing and communicating global sustainability priorities and strategies across all business lines. Prior to this, Sasha was head of the Sustainability, R&D and Innovation department at Bouygues U.K.
Throughout her career, Sasha has built a reputation both professionally and personally for championing the cause of responsible real estate investment. She received the UK-based edie 2020 Sustainability Leaders Award for Investor of the Year for an ESG programme she designed and delivered for CBRE. In addition, Sasha was awarded the global 2020 GRESB/BREEAM Individual Leadership Award, recognising strong leadership and commitment in the field of sustainable development. In 2021, she won the global Future Proof Real Estate Woman award as a leader in applying digitalisation, technology, open innovation and sustainability to create a better built environment.
A qualified architect, Sasha holds a Master's degree in Architectural Design from the University of Belgrade; a Master's degree in Sustainability Leadership from the University of Cambridge. She is a BRE Academy fellow, sits on the INREV ESG Committee and ULI ESG Council, leads the IIGCC Real Estate Workstream and chairs the GRESB Foundation Real Estate Standards Committee.
Simon Wallace, Head of Research, Real Estate at DWS Group.
Simon joined the Company in 2011. Prior to his current role, Simon served as Head of Europe Research and Strategy for Alternatives. Prior to joining, he served as an economist for real estate research at Hammerson. Previously, Simon worked as an economist at the Centre for Economics and Business Research
BSc in Politics and Economics and MSc in Economics from University of Bristol; Investment Management Certificate (IMC)
About DWS Group:
DWS Group (DWS) is one of the world's leading asset managers with EUR 902bn of assets under management (as of 31 March 2022). Building on more than 60 years of experience, it has a reputation for excellence in Germany, Europe, the Americas and Asia. DWS is recognized by clients globally as a trusted source for integrated investment solutions, stability and innovation across a full spectrum of investment disciplines.
We offer individuals and institutions access to our strong investment capabilities across all major liquid and illiquid asset classes as well as solutions aligned to growth trends. Our diverse expertise in Active, Passive and Alternatives asset management – as well as our deep environmental, social and governance focus – complement each other when creating targeted solutions for our clients. Our expertise and on-the-ground knowledge of our economists, research analysts and investment professionals are brought together in one consistent global CIO View, giving strategic guidance to our investment approach.
DWS wants to innovate and shape the future of investing. We understand that, both as a corporate as well as a trusted advisor to our clients, we have a crucial role in helping navigate the transition to a more sustainable future. With approximately 3,600 employees in offices all over the world, we are local while being one global team. We are committed to acting on behalf of our clients and investing with their best interests at heart so that they can reach their financial goals, no matter what the future holds. With our entrepreneurial, collaborative spirit, we work every day to deliver outstanding investment results, in both good and challenging times to build the best foundation for our clients’ financial future.
About Our Host
Louisa is the co-founder of LMRE, which has rapidly become the market leading global PropTech recruitment platform and search consultancy with operations across North America, United Kingdom, Europe and Asia-Pacific.
To promote the industry she is so passionate about, Louisa set up the Global podcast ‘The Propcast’ where she hosts and invites guests from the built environment space to join her in conversation about innovation.
LMRE is globally recognised for leading the way in Real Estate Tech & Innovation talent management.
From the outset our vision was to become a global provider of the very best strategic talent to the most innovative organisations in PropTech, ConTech, Smart Buildings, ESG, Sustainability and Strategic Consulting.
At LMRE we are fully committed at all times to exceed the expectations of our candidates and clients by providing the very best advice and by unlocking exclusive opportunities across our global network in the UK, Europe, North America and Asia-Pacific.
[1:44] Aleksandra: What initially sparked your interest in sustainability within real estate?
[3:54] Simon: How did you get into this role in ESG?
[7:47] Simon: Are there any key data points and trends you can show us from your research?
[9:26] Aleksandra: How do you tie the live data into your strategy?
[13:10] Simon: Do you think the rising interest rates, inflation and geopolitical uncertainty will affect the investment and adoption of ESG?
[15:45] Aleksandra: In terms of rising interest rates, inflation and geopolitical uncertainty, what is affecting your strategy and investment decisions?
[18:58] Simon: Have you got any data points about how much money people could save if they used a certain technology?
[20:28] Aleksandra: What changes in regulations have you seen in your career and how do you collect data on it?
[25:25] Simon: What do you have to say about regulations?
[27:20] The ‘LMRE’ part, Louisa asks the guests to talk about;
L – Touch on the main lessons you have learnt throughout your career.
Aleksandra: Flexibility and being open for opportunities, if you want to be successful in your career then being flexible and open-minded is the best advice.
M - Please give a mention to anyone / product / service.
Aleksandra: IOT solutions and the geniuses that are coming up with them around the world are resolving real problems and issues within real estate.
R – What has been the most rewarding aspect of working within the ESG space?
Simon: Being a part of the solution on the quality of affordable housing, through ESG we can certainly make a positive difference.
E - What are you excited about in the future of ESG?
Aleksandra: ESG and sustainability as a whole is seen as added value, as something that should be embedded throughout the business to make it better.
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