Marek Dospiva: Lifetime Achievement in Real Estate
We’re proud to congratulate the 2023 recipient of the CEEQA award for Lifetime Achievement in real estate, Marek Dospiva.
He joins a group of illustrious industry figures to receive the recognition such as Eugene Golub of Golub & Co, Cor Zadelhoff of DTZ, Carl Panattoni of Panattoni, Otto Werner of ECE Projektmanagement, Sandor Demjan of Trigranit, Paul Gheysens of Ghelamco and most recently Hadley Dean of MDC2, as well as locally born leaders David Mitzner of Apollo Rida, Radim Passer of Passerinvest Group and, most recently, Pawel Debowski of Dentons.
Czech born, Marek graduated in Moscow in 1993, after spending 2 years at Beijing University where he had studied diplomacy and Chinese. As co-founder, he has built and led the Central European investment group Penta Investments, originally as a stock trader, with four of his school mates following the Velvet revolution in Czechoslovakia.
Establishing Penta in its initial period was a way to utilize the possibilities the emerging capitalism in the post-revolutionary Czechoslovakia offered. In the 30 years since its founding, Penta has spent more than 100 million EUR into all kind of activities and projects that are related to the improvement of environment, support of education and improving healthcare. The company has transformed into one of the first pioneers of private equity in the CEE region. In 2005 Penta decided to diversify its portfolio and to enter into the Real Estate market. Marek Dospiva had been strongly behind this decision. He founded Penta Real Estate in Prague and was creating the team of real estate professionals. Today the whole Penta group has total assets of 14 bil EUR.
Marek admits that though he is a Real Estate enthusiast, the business must be managed rationally: “Though Real Estate brings a lot of positive emotions because of creativity and building, it is still a business and you have to look at the return on equity.”
“We always want the best. If you come to the project as a financial investor without emotion and want to build exactly as much as the zoning plan allows, only soulless boxes will be created everywhere.”
He was later responsible for launching Penta´s operations in the Czech republic and Poland and for founding the real estate team in Prague. As one of Penta´s key leaders, Marek has been behind significant deals and transactions in the region, such as Zabka convenience retail chain in Poland, or expansion of Fortuna Entertainment Group in the CEE region. Marek´s leadership in Real Estate is closely connected with iconic Prague´s projects such as Masarycka by Zaha Hadid; Florentinum and Churchill offices as well as revitalization of the Waltrovka brownfield.
As a Real Estate leader, Marek is a big supporter of high quality architecture and urbanism. His attitude can be at best explained by the following quote: “We always want the best. If you come to the project as a financial investor without emotion and want to build exactly as much as the zoning plan allows, only soulless boxes will be created everywhere. On the other hand, if you put extra mile and energy into it, you create remarkable places.” In 2022 the Penta project MAISON Orechovka received the CEEQA award for Residential Development of the Year CEE.
Marek has a strong confidence towards the market fundaments as he sees a significant underdevelopment, particularly in the Czech market in terms of high quality offices as well as apartments. Penta Real Estate considers its expansion to another market and for that purpose the foundation of Real Estate fund, which is going to be open for external investors has already been decided.
On learning of the award Marek Dospiva said:
“Receiving this award is an acknowledgment of the hard work and passion our team has demonstrated throughout the entire existence of Penta Real Estate. This prestigious award serves as motivation for us to continue delivering high-quality projects in our region.”
2022 recipient of the award Hadley Dean