NAREIT President and CEO Steve Wechsler participated in a panel discussion on April 5 at the 2016 Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) Summit of the Americas, held in Washington, D.C.

The keynote session, Investment Portfolio Trends and the Wider Industry, addressed the question of how to invest responsibly in real estate in an environment of increased volatility. Wechsler was joined on the panel by Martin Bruhl, RICS president and managing director; Susan Mello, managing director, Pramerica Real Estate Investors; and Stephen Taylor, vice president for real estate with the Ontario Pension Plan.

Wechsler told the summit that risk in the real estate industry is “multi-faceted” and includes political risk at the national and international level.  Wechsler stressed that NAREIT works with foreign authorities to impart the lessons learned from 55 years of REIT investment in the United States. “Sometimes they pay attention, sometimes they don’t,” Wechsler said.

Wechsler emphasized, however, that REIT investment is becoming a “significant” way to hold real estate outside of the U.S. He added that “growing pains” are inevitable.

Meanwhile, Wechsler noted that despite the increased sophistication of real estate investing today, the importance of focusing on leverage, quality of management and capital expenditures on assets remains unchanged.

(Contact: Ron Kuykendall at rkuykendall@nareit.com)


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