Many unhappy returns

MIPIM - Preview magazine
Ekaterina comments on the rise of e-commerce and the phenomenon of merchandise returns.

"Typically for online fashion retailers, every third package is returned, which obviously creates a massive cost, not only for transportation but for processing"

Read the full pdf article here

2017 The Challenges Ahead - Ekaterina responds to Property Investor Europe's questions.


This year will be remembered as a year of political shock waves. First Brexit and then the election of Trump to the White House proved that political unpredictability is now at the core of the financial system, with both events wiping billions of dollars from markets, albeit temporarily. Whilst the overall market conditions in the real estate arena have remained largely unchanged, the uncertainty around the political futures of the UK, the US and the rest of the Eurozone is now dominating both the political and economic agendas of real estate investors.


Core income-driven strategies and value-add strategies will dominate the focus of real estate investors. Real estate returns will remain an attractive diversifier to equities and bonds. Repricing of bond markets / fixed income products and increasing inflation may lead to a decreasing allocation towards real estate assets, which in turn may have a negative impact on core pricing, which we consider to be a primary risk.


DCAM is a real estate investor, manager and developer of logistics assets, and we focus on sustainable locations which appeal to a majority of occupiers, with a particular focus on e-commerce players. Due to the unprecedented growth of logistics occupier demand, we consider the availability of land to be our key challenge for next year.


After heading the investment team at DCAM for  a number of years, I took over the management of the business with a change of direction in mind.

Published in Property Investor Europe | Edition 430 | December 2016 / January 2017 |

Delin reports 100,000m2 of letting activity across European logistics portfolio

Cormac Ruairi, Property EU

Delin Capital Asset Management (DCAM) has secured almost 100,000 m2 of reletting agreements across its European logistics portfolio in four separate deals in the last few months.

When combined, the new letting activity delivers a total annualised income of €6 mln representing a 2.6% uplift on the previous rent and has extended the portfolio weighed average unexpired lease term (WAULT) by over 12 months.

'We have had a busy year to date in terms of asset management, working with both existing tenants and new ones, in the case of aerosol specialist Airopack. This has led to us lengthening the portfolio lease length and improving the income, underpinning the overall quality of our European distribution portfolio and delivering on our business plans,' said Ekaterina Avdonina, managing director of logistics investor-developer DCAM.

At Waalwijk in the southern Netherlands, DCAM agreed a new 12-year lease with Airopack at the 17,340 m2 distribution facility. The new lease follows the recent bankruptcy and administration of the previous tenant.

At Beiraweg 2-8 Amsterdam Port, DCAM agreed a lease renewal on its 40,000 m2 logistics property with the construction material group Fetim, thereby maintaining a 100% occupancy in their Amsterdam portfolio. In the Dutch city of Eindhoven, DCAM secured a lease renewal with existing tenant Philips Lighting in the 19,900 m2 facility, extending the lease to mid-2020.

Finally, at DCAM's 20,600 m2 Agecroft Commerce Park facility in Manchester, DCAM agreed a regear with Bunzl Retail and Healthcare Supplies, extending the lease to 2027.

Gerwin Vos moves from DTZ over to Delin Capital

Delin Capital Asset Management (DCAM) Gerwin Vos appointed as commercial director. Vos was until recently Director of Logistics at broker DTZ Zadelhoff. His appointment coincides with the opening of a new office in Rotterdam DCAM.

Gerwin Vos gets DTZ over to Delin Capital
"Logistics real estate man" Gerwin Vos get to 13
years DTZ over to the British
Delin Capital Asset Management.

DCAM is an asset management company based in London that focuses mainly on European logistics real estate. Fox was thirteen working for DTZ, where he served as Director of Logistics at the head of a team of six logistics real estate experts.

New investments in logistics real estate

With the new office in Rotterdam and the existing London office Federline has expanded its European capacity up to ten real estate professionals. With Fox says DCAM to look for investments in new and existing logistics real estate in logistical hubs.

Major tenants: G-Star and NedCargo

DCAM has expanded its portfolio since 2012 in the Netherlands and the United Kingdom and is now a major provider of distribution centers including Amsterdam (Western Harbour) of approximately 100,000 square meters of logistics space campus .Major tenants of DC's of DCAM in the Netherlands G-Star with 35,000 square meters in Amsterdam's western port and the DC of NedCargo (formerly Van Uden Logistics)along the A12 in Waddinxveen.

New construction on Borchwerf II

Also, the asset management company property portfolio include in Tilburg (Katsbogten) and Eindhoven ( Philips and Rhenus Son , ed.). "Logistics real estate agent 'Fox have announced that there is a big ambition to grow, including through new development. So DCAM does include currently on logistics business park Borchwerf II in Roosendaal, a new distribution center in preparation for getting a size of 35,000 square meters. The construction of this DC start in the third quarter of this year and will be in the first quarter of 2017.First published by Bas Dijkhuizen on 7 Jul 2016

This has been automatically translated  to English from Dutch.

First published by Bas Dijkhuizen on 7 Jul 2016

Read the original published article

Delin moves into development with Dutch project | NO. 5 - June 2016


Delin Capital Asset Management (DCAM), a mid-sized logistics property asset and fund manager, is moving into development, PropertyEU has learned. The first project is a 40,000 m2 warehouse being developed in the Netherlands.

The project has a gross development value of €30 mln and is located between Moerdijk and the port of Rotterdam in the south of the Netherlands. ‘The prime location is attractive for DCAM because of the current low vacancy rates and strong take-up,’ new CEO Ekaterina Avdonina told PropertyEU in an exclusive interview. Delin’s current portfolio comprises 550,000 m2 of warehouse and distribution space, valued at €500 mln. Adding development activity to the fund management business is an integral part in Delin’s evolving strategy aimed at doubling assets under management to €1 bn within the next three years. ‘We plan to achieve this by a mix of further acquisitions and development,’ Avdonina said.

Delin was established in 2012 to focus on the acquisition and management of core logistics assets in the UK and western European markets, namely the Netherlands, Belgium and Germany, on behalf of its clients. To date Delin has acquired assets in the Netherlands and the UK, but has found that assets are difficult to come by in Belgium. ‘We need scale and while we always had a chance to do the first deal in Belgium, we were concerned about securing a second one’. Germany will be the next geographical location for Delin. Founding CEO Christian Jamison left the business earlier this year to ‘pursue other interests’ and he was succeeded by Avdonina, who served as chief investment officer from day one. Avdonina intends to position Delin as a specialist full-service western European logistics company at the forefront of the changes in the logistics sector which are being driven by technological changes and the growth of e-commerce. Last-mile urban distribution centres, a sector still in its infancy, will be a big focus. The company has recruited Bart de Sitter, former CEO of developer Ulogis, as development director and Amos Chia joins from Revetas to head the search for new acquisitions. ‘We firmly believe that logistics assets – both big box and urban units – will continue to benefit from strong occupational demand supported by the structural shifts taking palace in the purchase and delivery of goods driven by e-commerce,’ Avdonina said.

Delin Capital Asset Management launches new logistics strategy to include development

Kasmira Jefford, Costar 2 June 2016

Delin Capital Asset Management (DCAM) has launched a new strategy to become a full service leading European logistics real estate company, promoting Ekaterina Avdonina to managing director.

DCAM was founded in 2012, with the aim of buying and managing core logistics assets in the UK and Western Europe on behalf of investors. Avdonina will succeed Christian Jamison who has left
the business to pursue other interests. She has a strong track record in the logistics sector having been chief investment officer since the company was founded, helping to grow its assets under management to over €500m.

To date the company has acted as an asset manager, making investments on behalf of clients solelyinto prime logistics assets in the UK and Benelux. It currently manages a portfolio providing over 550,000 m² of warehouse and distribution space.

Under Avdonina’s leadership, the company plans to change its strategy to encompass the development, ownership, and active management of best in class warehouse and last mile urban logistics distribution properties, which are set to benefit from increasing growth in e-commerce. It has kicked off the new strategy by announcing its first large scale speculative development in the Netherlands of a 40,000 m², €30m GDV logistics warehouse close to the ports of Rotterdam and Moerdijk.

It has also made a string of new hires, appointing construction industry veteran Bart de Sitter as development director and Amos Chia, a former senior investment analyst at Revetas, in its investment team.

Avdonina, said:

“We firmly believe that logistics assets (both big box and urban units) will continue to benefit from strong occupational demand supported by the structural shifts that are taking place in the purchase and delivery of goods driven by E-commerce.”
“With a strong team in place, we are well positioned to identify further investment and development opportunities in order to grow our business and to become a key player in the
European market.

Delin moves into logistics development

Guy Montague-Jones, Property Week 2 June 2016

Delin Capital Asset Management (DCAM) has revealed plans to move into logistics development and announced its first project in the Netherlands.

The company, which has built a €500m logistics portfolio since launch in 2012, will speculatively develop a 430,000 sq ft warehouse close to the ports of Rotterdam and Moerdijk with a gross development value of €30m.

The move into development is part of a new strategy unveiled by new chief executive Ekaterina Avdonina, who took over earlier this year from Christian Jamison.

The company’s vision is to become a “multi-faceted leading European logistics real estate company.”

To support the plans, it has made two key hires. Bart de Sitter has joined as development director and Amos Chia has joined the investment team from Revetas where he was a senior investment analyst.

“I am excited to be leading the next phase of DCAM’s evolution which will see it become a fullservice Western European logistics company, building on our existing expertise and track record in the sector,” said Avdonina. “With a strong team in place, we are well positioned to identify further investment and development opportunities in order to grow our business and to become a key player in the European market.”

Jersey’s Delin starts logistics development projects

Property Investor Europe 2 June 2016

Private logistics advisor Delin Capital Asset Management, which has been acquiring and managing assets in the UK and western Europe on behalf of investors, will now move into development and ownership under the leadership of Ekaterina Avdonina.

The company has launched its first large development project in the Netherlands – a 40,000 sq.m. logistics warehouse located close to the port of Rotterdam and Moerdijk and valued at €30m, it said in a statement today. The company’s new strategy will also encompass ownership and active management of warehouse and last mile urban logistics distribution properties.

jerseys-delin-startsEkaterina Avdonina

Avdonina, who will lead the strategic change, commented: “I am excited to be leading the next phase of DCAM’s evolution which will see it become a full-service western European logistics company, building on our existing expertise and track record in the sector. We firmly believe that logistics assets (both big box and urban units) will continue to benefit from strong occupational
demand supported by the structural shifts that are taking place in the purchase and delivery of goods driven by E-commerce.”

DCAM hired Bart de Sitter as development director and added Amos Chia to its investment team, putting him in charge of identifying and underwriting new acquisitions, to strengthen the team.
Established in 2012, DCAM currently manages a portfolio providing more than 550,000 sq.m. of warehouse and distribution space.

E-commerce drives value and opportunities in logistics across Europe

Logistics property breakfast


European logistics boom to accelerate as e-commerce takes hold

The rapid evolution of the logistics sector will accelerate in the coming decade as e-commerce grows across Europe, drawing even more investors into what has become a mainstream property sector closer aligned to retail than its industrial roots, the logistics property breakfast audience heard.

“What we have seen in the last 10-15 years is nothing compared with what we will see in the next 10-15 years,” declared Smith. He acknowledged that logistics has grown from a niche play into a mainstream property sector, accounting for some 11-13% of commercial real estate volume in Europe. However, he added that it had much further to go as the continent has three times less warehouse space per capita than the US, and e-commerce typically requires three times more % floor space than normal logistics, which could mean up to nine times more capacity is needed. “ at number is probably an exaggeration,” Smith admitted. “But imagine any other property sector – any other industry – that could go through that thought exercise with you and talk about being nine times underserved for a particular core product they sell.”

“The e-commerce market has made it much easier for investors to understand what logistics is. We have seen a lot more investors come into the market in the last few years and we have seen contraction in yields because of that capital,” Beyer said.

Yields on prime logistics in core markets now vie with shopping centre or office yields below 5% in the UK, with Germany likely to follow soon. “Capital values in some markets have peaked – the UK has really peaked – but in some European markets we think the capital values are still below their previous peak levels,” said Ekaterina Avdonina, managing director at Delin Capital Asset Management. “We still see a lot value attracted to fundamentals in core markets,” she said, adding the structural shift in logistics means it has emerged as an institutional real estate sector in its own right, separate from industrial property and in some instances more closely correlated to retail property.

That shift along with the potential for 10 and 20-year leases with blue-chip e-commerce companies is increasingly attractive for conservative investors who want long term security. “We are having more conversations about logistics. People who would never have considered logistics are now asking questions and are seriously considering it,” De Blasio said. He gave the example of a large Italian pension fund which has never invested in logistics before but sees that it is a valuable investment sector that can help it fund pension liabilities in 20, 30 and 40 years’ time. “ they are convinced logistics will be there in the future,” De Blasio said. pie

Lines blur between logistics and retail

As e-commerce makes logistics an easier sector for investors to understand, it is also blurring the lines between more traditional retail subsectors and those warehouses geared towards online retail. “Now we are at level where I would say – what is the difference between a retail warehouse park and logistics? It’s a very similar story in the end,” Beyer said. Avdonina agreed that mainstream logistics may be more closely correlated with retail warehousing. “I think we will see some more subsectors of logistics being more closely aligned with retail,” she added.

Smith went even further and speculated that logistics assets could ultimately account for 40% of commercial property volumes as new formats may bring it closer to offices also. “You are going to see it bleeding into other sectors; you are going to see a blurring of the lines between logistics and retail. But why not between logistics and offices? Or logistics and multi-family? It’s kind of invading other sectors. It does not need to be the big XXL build-to-suit,” Smith said. He said the continued rise of e-commerce put logistics “at the start of the trend, not at the end of the trend”.

The shift in perceptions surrounding logistics is also leading to a rapid contraction in yields. Audience members spoke up about recent deals for UK logistics assets that priced at yields of 4.5% and 4.75%, as well as an Amazon warehouse in Poland at under 5.5%. “The yield compression which comes with a lot of capital going in is a correction,” Beyer explained, adding that he believes prime yields in Germany will also go through 5% this year.

However, investors still need to take care not to invest in poor locations, or fall foul of furious levels of development which are increasing supply. “We talk about capital values and cap rates [but] people also have to watch out for the rent levels,” Avdonina said. “What will be the ERV (estimated rental value) of the large logistics hubs going forward, and how that would balance with secondary stock is a big question in my mind,” she added. pie

E-commerce drives need for variety of spaces

The all-pervasive rise of online retail is having a big impact on the volume of space being taken by tenants. Not only do those companies need about three times more space than traditional warehouse tenants per €1m of revenues, but the explosion in the number of tenants is still rising. “2015 was a very good year for take-up. It surpassed ten-year averages and  ve-year averages across all the countries,” Avdonina said. “About 30% was e-commerce take-up – and that didn’t exist before 2008-09.” From Beyer’s experience, about one-third of logistics lettings turnover in Germany was driven by the retail sector – with the majority of that stemming from online retailing – putting the segment well ahead of more traditional industrial logistics. E-commerce tenants in particular need property of different sizes and locations to  t their business models. “We do see the big boxes are still very much in demand. But there is also the much smaller stuƒ closer into the city, which has been much more tricky to  nd – and that’s why there might be a little bit more value in there,” Beyer said.

“Investor and tenant demand remains high in pretty much all cases,” Smith added. Demand for 100,000 sq.m. XXL warehouses has been a function of the emergence of global online platforms like Amazon after build to-suit facilities on long leases. In addition, e-commerce companies need small units close to towns and cities that can serve for so-called “last mile” parcel delivery and accept customer returns. In some cases, imaginative developers are repositioning shopping centres to meet that demand. But despite the very particular needs of online retailers, more traditional logistics centres of about 30,000 sq.m. are still sought after, with virtually all sites built in the speculative glut before the  financial crisis now taken by tenants. “ ere is no risk of immediate functional obsolescence,” Smith added.

Although e-commerce is the principal driving factor, manufacturing trends are also reshaping demand for industrial property. The return of manufacturing to Europe’s largest economies from cheaper locations in eastern Europe and China is breathing new life into factories and supply chains. “We are beneftting from the onshoring process – taking business to Italy from eastern Europe and China. But what I see is not demand for new spaces but demand to revamp existing stock,” De Blasio said. He gave the example of Italian car manufacturer FIAT, which is investing heavily to restart auto production in Milan and southern Italy. pie

Demand across Europe but investors to be wary

Investor demand for logistics is widespread across Europe, with many open to all countries. “Global platforms are not necessarily focusing on specifc markets. I see that investors are now considering Europe as a market and they are trying to pick up opportunities west and east,” De Blasio said, although he added: “Many of my clients see Poland as a must-go destination for logistics.” He also said that Prologis is considering Italy as an important investment destination, with changes in legislation in Italy, as well as Spain, lifting those locations up investors’ wish lists. “Italy and Spain used to have very protective tenant legislation, but now you can write what you want into a lease agreement. As a result, northern European tenancy laws are less attractive than Italy and Spain, and Italian and Spanish labour laws are more flexible,” he added.

Avdonina said investors should be wary of putting eastern European countries on a par with western and northern Europe. “Political risk is something that investors should underwrite. When you have Polish yields lower than in Benelux, I raise my eyebrows,” she said. Avdonina highlighted locations like Hamburg’s port area as ones where demand will always remain robust, and said investors should also consider countries’ legal systems and business transparency.

Yet, even in core countries like Germany, there are challenges. “Germany still has a lot of older sheds. I would think that more that 50% of the stock is older and might be outdated.  These stocks are often in very good locations, closer to the city and there is definitely potential in them. But all these sheds need to be refurbished, renewed and maybe even demolished,” Beyer said. He said that there has been more green field logistics construction in Germany and less brown field renewal.

Smith said there remain pockets of value across the continent, even though regions like central Europe and countries like Spain oƒ er fewer opportunities than a few years ago. Some investors are looking broadly across the entire continent for deals, although others are taking a different tack. Smith cited the example of a global real estate investor that has decided not to invest in all Europe simultaneously. “Let’s pick a small country oƒ the beaten path and put a % ag down there and try to get our head around that one country – which I think is probably just as good a strategy,” he said. “It doesn’t really matter much which market, value is to be found pretty much anywhere at this point in the cycle.” pie

Urban logistics good long-term development strategy

Property Investor Europe

While European logistics offer opportunities across the board, urban schemes represent an especially good development strategy for the long-term, says Ekaterina Avdonina, Vice-President and Head of Investments at Delin Capital Asset Management, and panelist at the PIE Logistics Property Breakfast this month.

“Key gateway markets and major urban conglomerations all represent great development opportunities,” Avdonina told PIE in a pre-event statement. Urban logistics in particular is still relatively unsaturated across key European cities and thus represents a good development strategy for the long-term. “Over the short-term, we favour locations in land constrained markets with excellent multi-modal accessibility and good availability of labour, as all major logistics sites are becoming increasingly labour intense,” she added.

The sector in general has posted unprecedented investment volumes, surpassing the previous peak by 50%. “International capital is recognising the structural reconfiguration of supply chains in light of consumer spending changes and growth in e-commerce,” said Avdonina. She also underlined that modern logistics stock is scarce in Europe, both per capita and per GDP, when compared to other advanced markets such as the US. “These structural forces are behind the increase in investment volumes.” At the same time, the sector is experiencing a re-rating from an alternative to a mainstream property asset class alongside offices and retail. “Attractive fundamentals and higher yields make logistics and light industrials probably still the best "€˜priced’ asset class available today,” she told PIE.

Avdonina will be part of a panel of experts discussing value opportunities in European logistics at the PIE Logistics Property Breakfast on 29 October at the London City offices of law firm DLA Piper.