Members of the NAREIT Research and Investor Outreach team were on the road in Ohio and Michigan in late April for a series of meetings with pension, retirement, and welfare benefits plan sponsors and institutional investment consulting organizations that collectively control more than $300 billion in assets. 

Brad Case, senior vice president for research and industry information; Meredith Despins, senior vice president for investment affairs and investor education; and John Worth, senior vice president for research and investor outreach, represented NAREIT.

The meetings with investment consultants included briefings with The Townsend Group and Courtland Partners, firms with practices focused exclusively on real estate and real assets.  These conversations centered on the current macroeconomic environment, real estate fundamentals and the outlook for the REIT industry.

Time was spent reviewing the potential impact that the Foreign Investment in Real Property Tax Act (FIRPTA) reforms under the Protecting Americans from Tax Hikes (PATH) Act, and the creation of a new real estate sector within GICS, were likely to have on the REIT industry.

Notable among the meetings with pension and welfare benefits plan sponsors was one held with a Michigan-based organization that is evaluating how REITs might play an expanded, strategic role within its investment portfolio.

The conversation focused on enterprise wide issues, such as how REITs add value within a multi-asset portfolio.  The discussion included the use of empirical data demonstrating how listed REITS have compared favorably relative to private market real estate investments in terms of net investment returns, volatility and correlation, and how listed real estate could be used to effectively gain core real estate exposure within the real assets portfolio.

(Contact: Meredith Despins at mdespins@nareit.com)

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