Mag. Markus Schafferer


Strong entrepreneurial spirit

Aim high

First and foremost, every successful company needs a strong manager who ensures the success of extraordinary projects. This is also the case with PEMA Holding, whose sole owner is the visionary entrepreneur Mag. Markus Schafferer.

In 2005, the then only 27-year-old Mag. Markus Schafferer founded PEMA Holding and is still the sole owner of the successful real estate company today. The law graduate and former art dealer never loses sight of the big picture in his building projects. This is how forward-looking projects with urban planning relevance are created.

In the meantime, PEMA Holding has become an important project developer on the Austrian real estate market, having already implemented numerous construction projects. Among other things, lighthouse projects such as the "Haus am Schottentor" in Vienna and the "P3 Tower" in Innsbruck were realized.

Markus Schafferer (Foto: David Višnjić)

Mag. Markus Schafferer wants to implement creative projects that offer urban development added value. With this approach, the Tyrolean has made Pema Holding one of the largest real estate developers in Austria.

The Palais Equitable on Stock-im-Eisen-Platz is one of the most exclusive addresses in Vienna. The building with a view of St. Stephen's Cathedral impresses on the one hand with its location and on the other hand with its pompous facade. Planned by architect Andreas Streit and completed in 1891, it served as the headquarters of the US insurance company Equitable. The connection to the West is still evident today through the American eagle, and a Viking ship on the roof is intended to symbolize the crossing from New York. Since then, the house has seen numerous tenants from a wide variety of fields of activity. Today one of them is Mag. Markus Schafferer with Pema Holding.

The fact that Schafferer's real estate company is not located on the cheap outskirts, but in one of the most representative buildings in Vienna's city center, is only surprising at first glance. Because Schafferer is known for appreciating aesthetics and creativity in its own construction projects - and obviously does the same with its own office space. “Pema stands for creative real estate developments. We do not develop standard solutions, but want to offer social added value or provide impetus for urban development and are always interested in a contemporary implementation.”

The Pema, founded by Schafferer in 2005, is best known for its three Pema tower projects in Innsbruck, especially the first one called Headline. The fact that all three of them are skyscrapers – and the Porr Tower was also bought by a colleague in the industry in 2014 – is not explained by Schafferer with a particular soft spot, but with pragmatism. "Due to its location, Tyrol has very little building land, so it's really all about the height."

We look for opportunities but have no pressure to move huge volumes. Mag. Markus Schafferer

The fact that he built the first high-rise building in Innsbruck's city center since the 1976 Olympic Games drew a lot of attention to Schafferer.

The revitalization of the former Bank Austria headquarters, the “Haus am Schottentor”, shows that Pema can also build differently. Here, too, Schafferer was looking for a not-so-simple object, for example he had to work closely with the Monuments Office in order to be able to carry out the necessary changes.

Despite numerous projects, Schafferer has no shortage of ideas. But he doesn't see any pressure to implement them. "As a family business, we are knitted in such a way that we look for opportunities, but have no pressure to move huge volumes."

And so the Tyrolean wants to remain true to his philosophy in the future, but expand it bit by bit - also abroad.

Markus Schafferer
... studied law in Innsbruck. Already during his studies he worked as an art dealer. In 2005 he founded Pema Holding, which is known for its real estate projects in Innsbruck and Vienna.

Although Schafferer studied law, he never wanted to become a lawyer. His parents ran an art gallery, and Schafferer began working in the industry while he was still studying. However, while the parents were primarily active in the middle price segment, Schafferer chose a different field: "My area of ​​activity was expensive." His customers came mainly from (South) Tyrol. Discussions with entrepreneurial families led to the idea of ​​investing together in existing properties, for example in up-and-coming cities in Germany, the Czech Republic or Hungary. Schafferer gained a foothold in the real estate business before founding Pema Holding in 2005 at the age of 27.

Today, Schafferer only pursues his art affinity privately.

The first major project was the outlet center at the Brenner Pass, but the Pema really became famous with the headline tower at Innsbruck's main train station. The developer grew step by step, building two more towers in the Tyrolean capital in addition to Headline.

The entrepreneur definitely wants to maintain the equity ratio – possibly also with new partners: “We continue to have a very high equity ratio and feel quite comfortable in this situation. Of course, we are always open to external partners for the implementation of any further projects.” Although the focus of PEMA is clearly on Austria, foreign countries could also become exciting in the near future.

The focus of our commitment continues to be Austria.
However, we also explore projects in neighboring countries. Mag. Markus Schafferer

And Schafferer is actually putting out his feelers: “The central focus of our commitment continues to be on Austria. At the same time, we are also exploring projects in the nearer foreign countries, in Germany, but also in Milan and Zagreb, for example.” He does not want to name specific projects – only that one wants to implement interesting creative projects with which social and urban added value can be achieved.

The Tyrolean's success is far from over. Also because other fields are also of interest to him: “The focus of PEMA is clearly on real estate. However, other sectors are also exciting for the areas of activity of my family holding.”

When asked about his goals, Schafferer is modest: “It is part of the zeitgeist to believe that success can only be measured in material terms. For me, it's about whether I'm doing something very well and whether I enjoy it - because then I'm also successful."

Text (in parts): Klaus Fiala (

It is a zeitgeist to believe that success can only be measured in material terms.
For me, it's about whether I'm doing something very well and whether I enjoy doing it - because then I'm also successful. Mag. Markus Schafferer