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EFL Finance and Investment Topic Group Meeting in Hamburg

by | Feb 27, 2019

Representatives of EFL members and associates from France, Germany and The Netherlands gathered for the Topic Group Finance & Investment’s 15th meeting, which was hosted by Dr. Klein on their new premises in Hamburg. The meeting’s content was centered around Hamburg’s large-scale development area HafenCity, getting in touch with the CEB (Council of Europe Development Bank) and social impact investing.

Hamburg’s youngest and still growing borough HafenCity has evolved from building sites to a vital, culturally diverse home to 2,800 residents, a workplace for another 12,000 people in over 730 businesses, as well as a place for learning for 5,000 students. EFL’s Topic Group Finance & Investment met with HafenCity Hamburg GmbH’s Managing Director Prof. Bruns-Berentelg, who gave an insightful presentation on the challenging and successful development of this beautiful part of the city. With 127 hectars of land, Hamburg is growing by 40%. 69 projects have been completed, while 71 are still in progress or planning phase. Social housing is in place side by side with free market rent and owner-occupied housing. Sustainability and thinking ahead is literally to be found at every corner. Soon, there will even become available an autonomously driving bus for public transport within HafenCity.

Via video conference, the group was able to meet with a representative of the Paris-based CEB, Council of Europe Development Bank, which is supporting social cohesion across Europe. CEB had financed projects worth more than 45 billion EUR since its inception in 1956. With an equity of 3 billion EUR and current outstanding loans worth 14 billion EUR, the bank is generating profit and finance themselves through their own activities, yet still offering attractive loans to several industries, social housing being one of which. The CEB invests in social inclusion – an essential condition for social justice, democratic security and sustainable development. Furthermore, CEB contributes to improving the living conditions of the most vulnerable populations in wider Europe and have their own legal personality, being financially independent.

EFL Expertise gave an insightful update on social impact investing and their current and prospective activities in this interesting and growing field. A feasibility study for a label, which illustrates the level and quality of social impact for housing providers in Europe, has successfully been completed. Both, the housing sector as well as the investor community are highly interested in this type of activity. A distinction has to be made between green, social and sustainable activities, of course. Further information will be shared during the upcoming EFL Spring Conference in Copenhagen.

If you would like to join this Topic Group’s gatherings, please feel free to contact EFL staff or the Topic Group’s chair, Hendrik Cornehl.

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