03/14/2021 | by

Last week, Nareit participated as both a speaker and as an exhibitor during the California Association of Public Retirement Systems’ (CalAPRS) 2021 Virtual General Assembly. Meredith Despins, Nareit’s senior vice president, investment affairs & investor education, spoke and lead a discussion on the role of REITs in pension plans during an Investments Table Topic session on the opening day of the Assembly.

Despins discussed how in today's challenging marketplace, it’s essential for pension funds to be thinking critically about the role real estate is playing within their investment portfolios; and to ensure that their portfolios are positioned to both weather the challenges of the current market while allowing the ability to take efficient advantage of attractive opportunities and powerful secular changes in the economy. The discussion focused on real estate investment trends and challenges, and how pension fund investors are using REITs to position their real estate portfolios for the 21st century.

Nearly 130 pension board trustees and investment and administrative staff from 31 of California’s public pension plans participated in the General Assembly, including representatives from the largest California public plans, including CalPERS, CalSTRs, and the University of California Systems. In addition to the pension system participants, nearly 70 institutional investment consulting, investment management, and other organizations supporting the interests of public sector pension systems attended the Assembly.

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