Laurel Durkay, managing director, head of global listed real assets, global and U.S. portfolio manager at Morgan Stanley, participated in a video interview during REITwise 2022: Nareit’s Law, Accounting & Finance Conference held in Orlando, Florida on March 23-25.
Durkay said that about $400 billion of dry powder that has been raised to be deployed into real estate, along with the value discrepancy between the public and private markets, were both major factors that led to a heavy volume of REIT M&A activity in 2021.
“The beauty of listed real estate is the fact that it is a real, tangible asset, and you can peg value within the private markets,” she said.
She added that the inflationary environment of 2022 is a new factor that could help fuel additional transaction activity this year due to the “inflation protection that listed real estate really can provide for investors across the board.”
Durkay said that climate risk and human capital management are very important to all stakeholders, not just institutional investors.
“Capital allocators are looking at ESG issues. Tenants are looking at ESG issues, and governments are looking at ESG issues,” she said. “So it is really important for REITs across the board to really start prioritizing this.”
Durkay also said she’s excited to watch the retail and office sectors evolve this year as they emerge with learnings from the pandemic.