International Alumnus: Allen Holloway

MSc Graduate Allen gives an insight into Real Estate in America and the global RREF network.

By Jack Schofield, Alumni Relations & Events Coordinator Allen_Holloway

What have you been up to since graduating with your Real Estate MSc from Henley Business School?

After graduating in 2014 I accepted an offer as the Director of Real Estate Investment with Batson-Cook Development Company (BCDC) in Atlanta, Georgia USA. BCDC is a private equity fund focused on partnering with best-in-class real estate developers and we invest alongside them in a variety of asset classes. I'm specifically accountable for building new developer relationships, underwriting and due diligence, sourcing debt and equity, and providing oversight on projects that are currently under construction. The MSc programme equipped me with tools to thrive in this environment.

Why did you choose to study for your MSc at Henley Business School?

Before studying, I had a career working as a Development Manager for a regional full service real estate firm. I led some challenging and exciting new projects but I had a desire to shift my career path towards investment, finance and capital markets. I chose Henley Business School not only for the distinguished reputation and accreditation but I wanted a business school and programme that was grounded in research and which offered a curriculum with a global perspective.

Have you found many other Real Estate & Planning alumni from HBS in America?

There are quite a few University of Reading and Real Estate and Planning alumni living in the U.S. - we are all scattered from NY to LA and everywhere in between! I also take great pride in knowing that I have alumni connections all over the world: London, Frankfurt, Shanghai and Abuja.

Why did you choose to support RREF?

My experience at Henley Business School was enriched and shaped by access to industry professionals, many who volunteered through their affiliation with RREF. I want to stay connected with alumni and give back to the programme to ensure its continued success.

What is the most unusual project you worked on and why?

Our firm is currently engaged in developing a programme of purpose built student housing projects at major universities across the U.S. College and university enrolment continues to increase but land grant universities are choosing to spend their capital on academic and sporting facilities and in the U.S., there is a trend to privatise student housing. Institutional investors are clamouring for these trophy assets, especially in pedestrian-to-campus locations. It's an exciting asset class with a bright future.

Are there are any major differences in the Real Estate world between the U.S. and the U.K.?

The real estate fundamentals have many parallels. Both markets have a high degree of transparency of information and the capital market structure is very similar. The biggest difference that I see revolves around land use, planning regulations and council approvals. Based upon my experience the U.K. planning system is more robust and more difficult to navigate, adding an extra component of cost and time in order to move a new project forward.

If you would like to feature as an International Alumnus profile then please get in touch with the RREF Team by email: info@rref.reading.ac.uk or by phone: +44 (0)118 378 4197.

 

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