Stanislas de Maistre is a Managing Partner at LFV de Vosges Investments, where he leads investment strategy and business development across Portugal and international markets. Prior to joining LFV des Vosges in March 2015, Stan worked as Export Director and board member with French industrial SME, NextRoad.

He has also worked in IT computing projects at Capgemini Paris, managing full life cycle projects of 100m€+ in the industrial sector.

When he isn’t philosophising over block-chain and crypto assets, you can find this French investor kitesurfing or exploring Portugal with his wife and three children.

What led you to this career?

My career as a consultant began after graduating from engineering school in Paris when I joined a global top-five consulting company, Capgemini. In this kind of environment the role of your team is just one link of a greater chain, however, you never quite get to see the entire chain itself. Four years later, I felt that it was time to take on a role that would give me a wider perspective of a full business strategy.

My father was a Founding Partner of a private equity holding company investing in Industrial SMEs and proposed that I join his small investment group. Working together has been a much more hands-on experience but we have achieved some great results across multiple industries in different countries.

You’ve been based in Lisbon for four years now. Can you please share some of your favourite neighbourhoods with us?

I definitely have a soft spot for the beautiful Chiado, Principe Real and Estrela which really capture that quintessential Lisboa architecture and design.

Most recently, I have discovered the East side of Lisbon and the industrial beauty of the riverside Marvila and Beato neighbourhoods. You can find creativity tucked in every corner of Marvila’s wide streets, warehouses and ateliers, in contrast to the city this area seems to have a soul of its own. It feels very evocative of New York’s Chelsea or East London neighbourhoods, but with that laid-back, local feeling you find only in Lisbon.

My Mum, an artist and painter, used to tell me : Always follow the artists, before everybody, they assess the potential of a place”.

What real estate trends are on your radar for 2023?

I think real estate macro trends will focus on designing solutions for a future where work is never fully-office based, yet neither centred entirely at home. The biggest trends will be delivering hybrid, multifunctional co-work spaces that tap into the work-from-anywhere state of mind and I think this hybridity will also be mirrored in the residential category, as consumers look to their homes to be more flexible spaces where they can live, work, exercise, teach and create all under one roof. You also have new concepts emerging around co-living spaces among young adults, and it will be interesting to see what real estate trends unfold to meet these growing needs.

Locally speaking, demand for residential and commercial projects remains high in Lisbon and there is still very little supply. The demand from both US and European customers is increasing and I think new developments further from the central downtown (East side and West side) will bring great quality of life to these districts and help distribute development more sustainably across the capital.

What has surprised you along your journey as a developer? What are you learning that you did not expect to be learning?

As a developer there is no end to education, we are learning every day. Our mission is to deliver high-quality products, which means we are actively involved across each step of the process. From conception to execution, we are constantly discovering and learning from the creative professionals around us. I greatly admire the rigour of our partners, architects, contractors and engineers here in Portugal who are highly dedicated and strive to deliver the best for our clients.

Can you please speak about the other developments you’ve already built in Lisbon?

Five years ago, we started to invest in real estate projects in Portugal. Our first project was in Cruz Quebrada, followed by another in the city centre on Rua Alexandre Herculano. We have also invested in projects in Alcantara close to the new CUF Tejo Hospital, and most recently two projects in East Lisbon’s Marvila neighbourhood with our friend and Business Partner, Roman Ribemon, an experienced developer in Portugal and France.

Are you planning to expand to other areas of the country?

There are definitely other areas of the country on our radar. We have been looking into Porto, which is becoming a serious hub for innovation and research and development and offers unrivalled accessibility for those looking to have a business foothold in Europe. There are also still some great opportunities we are considering in the Algarve.

Your business is based in Lisbon. What is your opinion on the environment for creating a company there?

I relocated to Lisbon with my wife and children more than three years ago and we have been very fortunate to create a new home in this welcoming city. Lisbon has a quality of life and accessibility that you don’t find in many other capital cities, especially in Paris.

From a work perspective, some improvements could be made around the administrative path for opening a company, you need to be patient and do everything with diligence, but overall, there are some major advantages that make Lisbon a strategic location to do business in.

The city is a magnet for international talent with great quality of life, year-round weather and a convenient location between the US and Europe. For startups and tech companies, access to seed capital is growing with the presence of more established investors and accelerators, and you’re just a stone's throw away from other tier-1 VCs across Europe. The crypto ecosystem has also drawn a lot of young tech enthusiasts to the city. Not only do we have the annual Web Summit conference every November, but now we are seeing more and more cryptocurrency conferences and NFT events taking place across Lisbon.

My opinion is that Lisbon could soon become a European tech capital within a few years as San Francisco used to be in the US.

Is Lisbon the new SF? Time will tell.

Why does cryptocurrency fascinate you?

This past year has not been an easy one for crypto enthusiasts like myself, however, I still see great potential in its decentralised, open source and peer-to-peer nature as a financial tool. Part of my fascination comes from the stealth with which it has been able to challenge the conventional banking models and financial systems that we grew up with. Having the ability to make transactions with such speed and flexibility is far removed from what we have encountered in traditional banking and it’s exciting to see how this will evolve into the next decade.

For all my fascination, I do still think it’s important to balance the excitement and potential of crypto with caution. The reality is that while it is new, there are still degrees of speculation. For now, I keep my crypto investments as part of a balanced and diverse portfolio of investments and try to make sure I only invest in what I am prepared to lose.

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Paula Martins is a fully qualified journalist, who finds writing a means of self-expression. She studied Journalism and Communication at University of Coimbra and recently Law in the Algarve. Press card: 8252

Paula Martins