Paragon SA is a real estate firm which provides investment services to private and public equity vehicles focused on real estate and real estate-related endeavors principally in Switzerland. Paragon works with investment partners to identify, asset manage, and operate properties. We are a one-stop shop with expertise in finance, leasing, insurance, redevelopment, construction and building operations.
Paragon also specializes in tenant representation, third party asset management, and brokerage in commercial real estate. Paragon executives are multi-lingual and multi-national and benefit from an international approach to corporate culture combined with a local presence and expertise in local markets. In particular, through the experience of its chief executive, Paragon SA is able to transfer some of the successful approaches pioneered in the US real estate market to a European context.
Paragon's key strengths lie in distressed opportunities, underperforming and undervalued assets and value creation opportunities. Investments include single assets, portfolios, joint-ventures and real estate development, as well as real estate-related loans and debt instruments. We canvas retail, logistics, office, industrial, as well as senior and student housing opportunities.
Note from the CEO
It feels like a refrain from an over-played song, but while the outlook for the global economy is worrying, there are still pockets of opportunities to be found.
The experts seem to agree that China and India are slowing down and therefore, the world economy is not growing as fast as before, but it is still expected to grow by over 3% in 2016. There is deflationary pressure despite the monetary easing policies that the US and Europe have deployed. Many experts have been anticipating significant inflation to off-set the crippling indebtedness of major economies, but so far, we have avoided it, and we even face deflation in places like Switzerland.
Only recently has the US begun to inch its way towards raising interest rates, and we still have some time before the rest of the economic powers follow suit, although the consensus is that the window to benefit from historically low interest rates may be closing more and more as we reach the end of this year and head into the next.
While the US has already bounced back from its recession in an important manner, the recovery in Europe still has potential. Strong levels of European demand help Swiss exporters weather the storm created by the extra strong Swiss franc. I expect both the ECB and the BNS to continue to keep interest rates low, and monetary policy will continue to keep Europe’s major economies afloat and drive demand for consumption at least in the short term.
Despite the rather optimistic noises we hear from our politicians in Geneva in particular, it is alarming to see international companies relocate to less expensive jurisdictions, while the Swiss banks continue to suffer due to the extinction of the banking secrecy and the relentless pressure from the US. The negative interest rates coupled with the ever increasing prices for core investments, fine wines, and collector cars for example, make attractive alternative investments difficult to identify. Valuations for core real estate by institutional investors are no longer based on rental growth expectations, rather on the fact that any positive yield is more attractive than paying the banks to hold Swiss Francs.
At Paragon we understand that value is ALWAYS hard to find: in good times when everything is going up, sellers are not willing to price reasonably, and in bad times when everything is sinking, debt is hard to come by, and solid tenants are more challenging to find. However, it is our mission at Paragon to uncover value where others see headaches and risks, no matter what the market is doing around us.
We try to exploit demographic trends and market shifts to stay one step ahead. At the end of 2015, we acquired a new industrial property in a secondary location outside Geneva demonstrating that there are still good opportunities for those willing to get their sleeves rolled up and put in some hard work. We are convinced that there is still a significant need for industrial and storage tenants even if office vacancy rates are on the rise.
Paragon will begin 2016 looking to continue to invest in our local Swiss markets, but we are also busy underwriting investments in Spain, Germany, France, and the UK. We at Paragon hope that 2016 will bring you much fun and success and look forward to working with you throughout this interesting time.