Luigi Aiello at Il Sole 24 Ore's Investire in Milano conference

“The longest period of economic growth in modern history has been abruptly interrupted by the pandemic, causing serious upset on all markets including the property market. But let's not expect a real estate revolution.” Luigi AielloChief of Corporate & Business Development at the Prelios Group, was speaking at the Investire in Milano conference organized by Il Sole 24 Ore on November 19. “People say for example that the office sector will be badly hit and that the ‘global test’ of smart working will lead many companies to make dramatic cuts in their space requirements. Personally, I don’t see anything smart about this way of working. It can be better described as remote forced labor. Amazon and e-commerce have brought a permanent revolution to the retail market: the process was already underway before Covid. I don’t think that Zoom, Webex, Teams and other similar platforms are triggering a comparable revolution on the office market. I agree that the open-space model has become less relevant. Perhaps we won't always have to work necessarily at a desk or in a board room. But I don’t believe that the home will permanently become the ideal place to work and to collaborate.”

During the digital meeting organized by the business daily, opened by editor Fabio Tamburini, Luigi Aiello also looked at the role of banks in the context of the Covid19 crisis. “In Italy today the banking system is certainly the largest provider of liquidity and financing in many sectors, including real estate. It's also true that this is a watershed moment in the world of banking. We are very well aware that a shake-out is underway. At the end of this very delicate process, there will be fewer players but they will be larger,” declared the Prelios Chief of Corporate & Business Development. “Intesa Sanpaolo has positioned itself as the first mover of the process and has decided – as always – to play a very important role in safeguarding the Italian identity of our financial system. Besides generating earnings, profits and dividends, banks have an enormous social role in our country. At such a difficult time, Italian banks have provided fresh funds for the real economy and, once again, Intesa Sanpaolo has played an exemplary social role in making huge resources available to the country. If together with other bank consolidation processes, we lose our Italian identity, a number of banks will lose their Italian roots. The risk is that these banks may be less interested in the people developing our country, for example the people leading Italy’s urban revival. And that would also do enormous damage to the growth of the real estate market.”