Student Housing & University Real Estate INITIATIVE

The mission of SHURE Initiative is to improve student lives and enhance the built environment in university neighbourhoods.


October 10, 2023
Technopark Zurich

Speakers and Industry Advisors

Tim Abram
Associate Director, Willmore Iles Architects
Nick Axford (virtual)
Principal, Chief Economist, Avison Young
Enis Bayik
COO / CMO, Home & Co
Matthew Bowen
Partner - Head of Living Sectors Research, Knight Frank
Sarah Canning
Co-Founder & Director, The Property Marketing Strategists (virtual)
Silvia Damiano
Head of Valuations Southern Europe, JLL
William Fforde
Director, Domatia Limited
Sebastian Gruber
Managing Director, Value One Development International
Martin Hadland
Founder & Managing Director, Student First Group
Maria Hatch
Senior Director,Client Relationships; Europe, Greystar Europe Holdings Limited
Alexander Kitts
Associate Partner - Capital Markets Alternatives, Gerald Eve
Walter LaGamma
Head of Development, Camplus
Ryan Lang
Vice Chairman, Newmark
Deenie Lee
Co-Founder, The Property Marketing Strategists (virtual)
Pablo López-Bravo
Acquisition Manager, Stoneshield Investment Funds
Virginia Pérez Nieto
Director of Strategic Partnerships and Business Development, Spain ambassador at Co-Liv
Rainer Nonnengässer
Senior Managing Director , Amro Real Estate Partners Limited
Juan Pepa
Founding Partner, Stoneshield Capital
Joanne Pollard
Managing Director, Prime Student Living Limited
Mike Porritt
Vice President – International, Advisory Services, The Scion Group
Marcus Roberts
Director - Head of European Investment & Development, Savills
Marc Sampietro
Head of European Living Operations, Hines
Bart Sasim
CEO & Founder, Spatial Experience
Ollie Shearer
Director of Campus Life, University of Derby
Xavier Scheibli
Portfolio Director, GSA - Global Student Accommodation
Richard Skeels
Chief Executive Officer, CRM Students
Dan Smith
Managing Director, Student Housing Consultancy
Lars Sommerer
Managing Director, SwissPropTech
Richard Stott
Managing Director, Kexgill Student Accommodation
Acquisitions & Property Director, Domatia Limited
Martin Varga
Real Estate Business Development Director, BONARD
Richard Ward
Head of Research, StuRents
Silke Weber
Geschäftsführerin CFO / COO, BNP Paribas Real Estate Investment Management
Brian Welsh
Director, Trustee, NED
Jerry Wojenski
CEO, Varsity Campus
Dr. Nick Axford is Avison Young's Chief Economist, and has over 25 years of experience in leading private-sector research and consultancy functions. From 1994 to 2018 he worked for CBRE, including five years as Global Head of Research. In this global role, Nick was responsible for leading and coordinating the activities of more than 650 specialists in countries around the world. Nick is a regular presenter at leading industry conferences and events, appearing frequently in the print and broadcast media, commenting on topical issues relating to the commercial real estate market.
Home & Co is the place where life begins. We offer more than just a place to live. Home & Co is a young brand from Berlin that’s eager to provide a home to like-minded people from all over the world.
Matt is a Partner in Knight Frank’s Global Research team and specialises in residential investment and development research. He is responsible for analysing and reporting on trends in the residential investment, land and development markets across the UK. Matt is a key commentator in the build to rent, student housing and senior living sectors and regularly presents Knight Frank’s view of these markets to clients including investors, lenders, operators and developers. Matt is also responsible for Knight Frank’s Living Sectors Research team and provides bespoke research for clients working on both residential and commercial projects.
Sarah has worked with the biggest student accommodation brands globally including iQ, Yugo, The Student Housing Company and Student Roost. Her experience within property spans twenty years and includes proptech, estate agency, new build residential marketing, PRS and PBSA. Sarah also created Rightmove Students from the idea stage through to a fully functioning property portal. Working agency-side gave her invaluable experience which she has been able to apply to client work. Voted one of the Property Week Trailblazers in 2020 and nominated for the 2023 Women’s Business Awards, Sarah’s knowledge of the industry and market is unrivalled which she uses to support clients with an innovative and creative approach.
I have experience in turnarounds, strategy, finance, Compliance, HR, procurement and IT, with over 25 years of experience on transformation projects, entering into new business lines and markets, creating/merging departments and leading strategic and cross-functional projects. I bring a robust knowledge on Financial, Technical and organizational areas, with broad experience managing IT, financial and rest of support departments. I enjoy being part of, as well as leading, a successful and productive team. I am pragmatic and proactive in my approach, and I have an excellent ability to analyze situations from a technical and business perspective and identify the most appropriate and cost-effective solution.
Martin has over 30 years’ experience working for and advising Universities, property brokers and advisors. He regularly advises leading universities, investors and operators on all aspects of student accommodation strategy and problem solving. Martin’s unique blend of senior experience across Universities, consultancy and the commercial private sector enables him to comprehensively understand all facets of the design, development, financing and operations of student accommodation assets, especially University partnerships and off-balance sheet public procurement projects and delivered strategy advice.
As a Global Business Development Visionary, I bridge dreams to reality by uniting vision and execution, revolutionizing housing and hospitality sites through global connections. As the Business Development Manager and Head of Development at Camplus, I've pioneered inspirational environments,
Ryan Lang, Vice Chairman and head of Newmark Student Housing, spearheads best-in-class investment sales, capital markets and advisory services on behalf of the firm’s clients. He has represented many of the largest global institutional, public and private real estate companies and has completed approximately $16 billion in real estate transactions. Prior to joining Newmark, Lang was Vice President with CBRE’s National Student Housing Group, helping lead their team to number one market share position in the country. Before that, Lang was Director of Multifamily Investments for New Orleans-based Stirling Properties where he specialized in the sale of conventional and student housing assets.
Deenie has over 18 years of experience in senior marketing roles. Focusing on results, she is passionate about understanding a business’ goals and developing an effective strategy to meet and exceed targets. She was of the team which led to the growth of Campus Living Village’s (CLV) UK arm from 1,000 to 16,000 beds and one of the top five student accommodation brands in the country. Deenie is passionate about brand, technology, data and people. Working with organisations to build teams, develop junior marketeers and growing and establishing new departments, products and services.
Responsible for the Sponsor’s PBSA business in new European student housing markets, including Germany, the Netherlands and Austria. Rainer has over ten years of experience in continental European PBSA and micro living. In his previous role as executive chairman and CEO of International Campus Group, he steered IC Group to a sector-leading position of c. 8,000 PBSA beds across markets.
Juan co-founded Stoneshield Capital and serves as Managing Partner of the Firm. Previously he was a Partner at the Lone Star Funds where he was involved in over EUR10bn of real estate investments across Europe. Previously Juan was based in London where he worked at the Special Situations team at Citigroup. Juan was educated at the Universidad de San Andres in Buenos Aires and holds a MBA from Babson College.
Mike Porritt has 15 years of Executive Director or Director level experience in student housing at institutions in the United States and Canada as well as purpose-built off campus student housing in Waterloo and London, Ontario. His work includes the development of academic integration programs now in place today within residential programs at McGill University (Quebec), Trent University (Ontario), Winona State University (Minnesota) and Appalachian State University (North Carolina). Combined with his experience in market analysis, planning for new construction and major renovations, he contributes a wealth of knowledge both in the Canadian higher education and residential landscape and the US student housing sector.
Marcus specialises in the PRS, PBSA, co-living, senior living and healthcare sectors across continental Europe. Marcus and his team deliver consultancy, transactional, structuring and financing services across continental Europe in the operational real estate sectors. The OCM Europe team have transacted in 12 different continental European countries in the last three years, equating to tens of thousands of units and more than €5 billion of investment.
Marc Sampietro is the Living Operations Director for Spain and Italy, leading aparto student housing projects and BTR assets. Part of the management team of Hines Italy and Hines Spain, Marc created the Hines European Living Management platform for Spain and Italy. He works cross functionally between all departments from Investment, Construction, Asset Management and Finance. Marc played a pivotal role in the opening of the first aparto property in Italy, aparto Milan Giovenale in 2022 with 100% of occupancy from the first academic year 2022-23 and the first aparto property in Barcelona – Pallars. Marc is also overseeing the first BTR project from Hines in Europe, Skypark Valdebebas, that will be operated by the living management team.
As a dedicated and innovative professional, I have a history of driving constant optimisation of processes in student accommodation and sport development functions to deliver a positive student experience. Through the application of exceptional business and financial planning abilities, I am able to create key strategies to reinforce business profitability and enhanced user experience. I am adept at establishing strong professional relationships with multi- level stakeholders, including executives, students, and sponsors. As a motivational leader, I have a recognised talent for championing a positive, student-focused environment, while enhancing internal departmental development.
Experienced Investment Manager with a demonstrated history of working in the real estate and real estate private equity industry. Strong professional skilled in European Real Estate Investment, Non Performing Loan Acquistion and Management, and Financial Modeling.
In his role, he represents the network to members and partners. He supports its members in achieving their goals, grows the network and informs about its continuing development. His ambition for SwissPropTech is to grow the network continuously and to expand the network offering to its members and partners. He holds a master's degree in business administration with a specialization in marketing.
The role of COO and CFO has been taken over by Silke Weber since January 1, 2023. She joined from Real I.S. to BNP Paribas REIM Germany. Silke Weber has a degree in business administration and has more than 18 years of professional experience. At Real I.S. Investment GmbH, she most recently worked as managing director and head of the Corporate & Business Development department and was responsible, among others, for property manager control, investment and cash management and investor service. There she primarily drove the topics of digital transformation, process optimization and data management.
Jerry joined Newman Development Group in 2012 to grow the company’s student housing portfolio. In 2015, he launched Varsity Campus, an independent student housing management firm and served as the Company’s Chief Operating Officer. Jerry was named the Chief Executive Officer in 2018 and directs all aspects of the Company’s operating and investment platforms. He has assisted his clients with the successful development, acquisition, and disposition of over $500MM in student housing assets. With over 18 years of experience in student housing, Jerry has held various progressive roles with industry leaders including EdR, ACC, and Campus Apartments. He began his career as a leasing agent while attending the University of Illinois.

“The Property Marketing Strategists is delighted to see SHURE Initiative present this new forum for mainland Europe. SHURE Europe on 10 October is a valuable event for university master planners, PBSA executives, and others interested in the sector. We are delighted to be involved in the event,” Sarah Canning, Co-Founder & Director, The Property Marketing Strategists    


SHURE will host this-high level forum for real estate developers and university real estate executives on 10 Oktober at Technopark Zurich. SHURE will bring special focus to the rapidly-emerging mainland European regions:  Iberia: Spain and Portugal; Italy; DACH: Deutschland (Germany), Austria, Switzerland; BENELUX: Belgium, Netherlands, Luxembourg and Nordics: Norway, Sweden, Finland, Denmark.

SHURE expects attendance of approximately 400 from around the European region and UK to to attend the in-person event and our online stream. Indeed, maturing real estate markets in Spain, Portugal, Italy, Germany and Poland are among the fastest growing in the world with a rapid increase in population, combined with an influx of international students.

In addition, universities are often the largest property owners in municipalities, boasting a robust portfolio of retailers, office buildings, classrooms, athletic facilities, and other ancillary buildings. Post-COVID recovery, many universities are encountering crises due to lack of housing for faculty, staff and students and renewed demand for the myriad of other tenants on campus. Private developers are responding to the lack of supply with new innovative housing projects.

SHURE: EUROPE EMERGING MARKETS & GLOBAL CAPITAL CONNECTION follows successful and well-attended events in Toronto and Vancouver, and will convene the most active and innovative executives across Europe and the U.K. Attendees and participants will represent the most active commercial real estate developers, investors, capital sources and owners in the market.




“I wanted to personally thank you for this amazing  event. This is my third student housing conference in the last 15 months, and I must say, also the most organized one.”

– Jonas Emre, Founder & CEO, Harrington Housing


“Thanks for putting together a great conference.”

– Neil Murray, Development & Asset Manager, Podium Developments


“My thanks for such a wonderful event.”

– Valerie Bruce, Interim Director – Student Housing and Community Care, Toronto Metropolitan University



The following is a list of topics that will be covered in each of three separate tracks. For an in-depth look at topic breakdowns, speakers and additional learning opportunities, please request our full agendas here. Agendas are subject to change.


Thesis: Universities are often the largest landlords in municipalities, boasting a robust portfolio of academic, athletic facilities, retail and housing assets. Learn about master plans and campus visions at the most innovative universities in Spain, Portugal, Italy, Germany and Poland.


Thesis: Multifamily owners and purpose-built student housing executives are approaching the housing crisis and lack of supply as unique opportunities in today’s investment environment.


Thesis: Technology that touches or improves the operating environment of buildings for landlords and tenants.


Request Full Agenda

Please note only corporate email addresses will be accepted. We will use your email address to verify that you are a real estate and/or university professional.


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