In order to standardize on one platform to manage confidential information in the German business, Valad deployed Intralinks as its Virtual Data Room (VDR) for managing its real estate transactions.
Valad Europe is a leading diversified real estate investment manager, with a network of local offices throughout Europe, managing €4.7 billion of real estate assets and investment capacity across 24 funds and mandates and circa €1 billion of development projects. Valad manages 360 assets comprising approximately 3.9 million square metres. Its core business is value-adding real estate investment management with local asset management teams taking care of c. 3,500 tenant customers. Valad has 180 staff and 22 offices in 13 countries across Europe.
To improve the exchange of data on a national and cross-border basis for buyers, lawyers and real estate advisors, Valad wished to standardize on one VDR platform, instead of using multiple VDRs for a number of transactions. “We have very structured systems and processes,” says Anja Werner, Head of Transactions, Valad Germany. “In order to support usability - without compromising on security - we needed one sophisticated VDR solution. It had to be from a provider equipped to tackle enterprise scale transactions, and the compliance and security requirements that come with them.”
Daniel Seifert-Ziehe, Manager Business Intelligence Systems at Valad Germany, responsible for sourcing, implementing and managing the new solution added: “After a brief testing phase, Valad selected Intralinks as its long-term platform for managing its transactions. We believed the whole package offered by Intralinks outranked competitor offerings.”
Capabilities which swayed the decision include the intuitive, browser-based user interface. “Intralinks is web-based, which is a good thing compared to other data rooms where you need to download client software,” Seifert-Ziehe explains. “This is a great plus for usability. We always try to offer the most user-friendly system when working with busy third-party stakeholders. It is a great advantage if you don’t have the time or resources to adopt new and complex technologies.”
Additionally, with Intralinks, it is easy for a deal manager to assign access privileges to stakeholders — and to revoke those privileges as needed. “Intralinks user rights management capabilities really impressed us,” says Seifert-Ziehe. Furthermore, the solution’s Q&A capability also fields bidders’ questions, enabling the Valad team to respond rapidly with answers in a structured way.
Valad is now able to increase momentum throughout the entire transaction process without having to worry about security and compliance. For example, Valad uses Intralinks bulk upload feature during the preparation phase of a deal to accelerate the start of the transaction. The volume of information associated with any given property deal can run from 200 megabytes to 2,000 megabytes per data room, meaning on certain transactions the bulk upload feature is absolutely vital. As soon as the data room goes live, Valad’s team can assign access privileges to the appropriate parties quickly and easily.
For Valad, it was also a bonus that most of the external stakeholders were already familiar with Intralinks from their past experiences, meaning there are no issues with using the platform; thus limiting the amount of training investment required from Valad. If the stakeholders do run into issues, the presence of local customer support from Intralinks is invaluable. “Intralinks has a great and extremely accessible support team, and we know we can settle any issues as they appear,” Seifert-Ziehe explains.
“Everyone who uses Intralinks finds it works efficiently,” concludes Seifert-Ziehe. “The Valad transaction team can launch an exchange quickly and easily, and monitor the activity of the internal and external parties involved.”
“We believed the whole package offered by Intralinks out-ranked competitor offerings. Intralinks has a great and extremely accessible support team, and we knew we could settle any issues as they appeared.”
–Daniel Seifert-Ziehe, Manager Business Intelligence, Systems Valad Germany