Experienced Capital Markets player: “We are ready when the market turns”

Flemming Buhl has been Head of Capital Markets and has been responsible for major clients at EDC Poul Erik Bech since 2020. He came from a position as Real Estate Director at Danske Bank, where he had been for almost 35 years. Market Insight sat down with him to discuss his new role in the brokerage industry and his views on the investor market.

Flemming Buhl began his career in the real estate industry as Real Estate Director at Danske Bank/Nordania Leasing, where he was given executive and commercial responsibility for a substantial property portfolio of more than 7 billion DKK in Nordania Leasing. The responsibility of the portfolio was given to him after the Lehman Brothers bankruptcy, which is why the portfolio needed crucial handling. Thus, Flemming Buhl quickly gained insight into how severe of an influence economic cycles and future rate expectations can have on the pricing of commercial properties. He says:

“It has been an exciting transition to the commercial brokerage industry since the end of 2020, where I have been working on positioning and developing EDC Poul Erik Bech’s Capital Markets area. Over the past 20 years, I have worked on building and evolving a significant property portfolio and have carried out a substantial number of property transactions, due diligence processes, and negotiations on both the buying and selling sides. I had to utilize my solid financial knowledge, experience with property transactions, and extensive network, all of which have enabled us to strengthen our Capital Markets area.”

Flemming Buhl continues: “As Head of Capital Markets and responsible for major clients, I enjoy having an influence on customer activities and transactions, together with my super positive and skilled colleagues in a currently turbulent real estate market, which also offers opportunities. It is inspiring to succeed, win good cases, and exceed customers’ expectations. Every day, we strive to elevate Capital Markets as a natural partner for new, complex cases in the real estate industry in close cooperation with our 19 local business centers. It has been an exciting few years so far. And we are still thriving and well on our way.”

Enhanced competitive power
The property market looked quite different when Flemming Buhl started back at the end of 2020. Now, it is wars, high interest rates, inflation, construction costs, and energy prices that are affecting the market.

“The market was considerably more positive when I joined EDC Poul Erik Bech. Strengthening our Capital Markets division and major client functions takes time, and I have always worked with a long-term perspective and seen things in the long run. Despite the current challenges and a market that’s struggling, I truly believe we have progressed significantly, and we keep getting closer and closer to our clients.”

“We have many positive conversations and partners, so as of right now, we must be completely ready when the market turns again. Although the property market is quite challenging at the moment, it’s pleasing to see that we are finishing some cases within logistics with a pension fund and on prominent office properties and office projects in Copenhagen. With the acquisition of STAD Projekt, our robust project department has also considerably enhanced our competitive edge, which we can already see in our growing client base.”

It’s Time to Get Back to Transactions
Buyers and sellers are still often too far apart regarding price expectations, and the transaction volume is much lower than it was in the two exceptional years in 2020 and 2021. Flemming Buhl says, “Right now, there’s simply too significant of a difference between buyers’ and sellers’ price expectations. So, there’s no doubt that the best thing for the industry would be if, by some magic, we could bring inflation expectations and interest rates down to a lower level. Aligning buyers and sellers to agree on price levels is crucial for us to get back to transactions.”

But what has been one of the most compelling transactions so far at EDC Poul Erik Bech?
“It has been a true pleasure to assist the state property company, Freja Ejendomme, in listing the historic and iconic Hornbæk Hospital for public tender. The demanded property was sold in April 2023 to the property developer COPI Group after an extended bidding process involving several interested investors. There was immense interest among the investors, and it’s clearly one of the cases that has received the most media attention in my many years in the industry, so it’s always fun and thrilling to be a part of. However, I must say that many exciting cases have come my way, and we are much stronger in our Capital Markets area.”

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Flemming Buhl

Head of Capital Markets, MSc Finance
Phone: +45 58588724
Mobile: +45 20753802
E-mail: flb@edc.dk

Helle Nielsen Ziersen

Partner, Director, Head of International Relations, MRICS, MDE
Phone: +45 58588717
Mobile: +45 40999946
E-mail: hni@edc.dk

Jacob Lykke Bruun

Partner, Erhverv
Phone: +45 58587769
Mobile: +45 40256645
E-mail: jlb@edc.dk