TRENDSETTER

Portugal 2019 | REAL ESTATE & CONSTRUCTION | INTERVIEW

Having achieved unmatched credibility on the back of successful projects, Temple Global aims to establish itself as a Portuguese developer that can compete internationally.

Vasco Pereira Coutinho
BIOGRAPHY
Born in 1978, Vasco Periera Coutinho has a degree in business administration, having focused on the real estate sector. He is CEO and Chairman of the Board of Temple Global and Lince Capital.

What is the importance of the construction and real estate sectors for the Portuguese economy?

The current advancements in the real estate sector hold great importance for the Portuguese economy; it has been completely transformed, especially over the last four years. Portugal needed a facelift by rehabilitating historical buildings and constructing new ones. The change in the sector has produced new jobs on a daily basis. It is vital to maintain the dynamism we are seeing today in the market.

What have been some of the major projects that Temple Global has undertaken in recent years?

It has been a journey where we have invested in several sectors. Although its core business is within the real estate sector, Temple Global is originally a family business that was established over 50 years ago. Around 20 years ago, we became one of the first Portuguese groups to look into China, after which we acquired a license for a cement factory. We stand out in the real estate sector on the back of our past and future projects. We have earned our credibility because we position ourselves in the market with the highest quality standards. We work with the best construction companies in premium locations, and we try to reach high-profile clients with top products. In terms of the rehabilitation work, Temple Global was the first company to undertake it. It was only in 2012 that Lisbon's regulations allowed for faster and more dynamic rehabilitation.

How has Temple Global maintained its role as a pioneer in the sector?

Due to our network across the world, we are able to study other market models and techniques and implement them in Portugal. The location of projects is another crucial part where we excel through our contacts and expertise; by working with the best construction companies, we have developed strong partnerships.

In your dual role as CEO of Lince Capital, how do you work to capitalize on investment opportunities in the real estate sector?

Due to continuous learning and expansion, the company is subdivided into three different groups. One is services, which provides everything associated with real estate, along with two management companies that set up real estate and private equity funds as investment vehicles. Since these are regulated, tax efficient, and guarantee a certain security to investors, they are the best means to conduct real estate business in Portugal. Then, there is a development group that works on future growth and market trends. The key to this subdivision within the company is that all the companies operate independently. Such a setup also allows us to act quickly in case of a recession.

What sector or sub sectors of the Portuguese real estate market present the best opportunities for future investment?

Previously, the Portuguese market did not fully open itself to foreign exposure, new ideas, and new businesses. Portugal is in a unique group of countries that offers a great quality of life that is affordable. In addition, the country has recently attracted an increasing number of tourists. We are also eyeing great potential in spreading the concept of co-working spaces in Portugal because of the large number of small- and medium-sized companies. Instead of paying for a huge space, co-working spaces enable companies to adapt to their needs and avoid spending unnecessary capital. Portugal offers a vast number of opportunities; however, similar to all other markets, investors must know who they are working with and how to market their final product.

What are your expectations for Temple Global's performance over the next two years and what are the top priorities?

There are instances when international capital leaves the market after reaching some success; Portugal has a low capital retention rate, and this is a gap that Temple Global strives to fill. With our two management companies, we want to build a strong management group—one that is a solid asset manager. We want to establish Temple Global as a Portuguese developer that can truly compete with the international capital and companies.