Official Says SEC Seeing High Activity in REIT Filings
03/27/2013 | by Allen Kenney

Mike McTiernan, assistant director in the division of corporate finance with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), joined for a video interview at REITWise 2013: NAREIT’s Law, Accounting and Finance Conference in La Quinta, Calif.

McTiernan discussed some of the differences in securities disclosures and filings for REITs versus other types of SEC-registered companies. He noted that there are two different sets of disclosures: mandatory and voluntary.

“In terms of the mandatory system, REITs provide the information similar to what other companies provide. That’s not surprising. There is required information that has to be in those filings,” McTiernan said.

McTiernan said most of the differences come in the voluntary filings.

“REITs historically have provided a lot more information than is typically provided by other companies in things like the supplemental packages, which commonly have 30 to 50 pages of additional information,” he said. “We know that investors and analysts love that. But we do make sure that REITs understand that those voluntary disclosures are in addition and not in lieu of those mandatory filings. From time to time, we will comment to make sure that some critical things that are in the supplementals are also in the mandatory filings.”

McTiernan discussed some of the latest trends in registered public offerings being held by REITs.

“It’s actually a really interesting time,” he said. “Really, on all fronts of the real estate capital markets, we’re seeing activities in our traditional, traded, firm-commitment-underwritten IPOs by large portfolio property companies. We’re still seeing a lot of activity in the non-traded space, with some of it moving to having NAV-based offerings. We’re still seeing activity in the mortgage REIT space also, mostly filings by people who are going to be playing in the agency MBS space or hybrid MBS space. And now we’re also starting to see a fair amount of M&A activity, most of it originating with either non-traded REITs that are being bought by public companies and then merging or by listing.”

McTiernan also said the SEC is beginning to see single-family home REITs registering to list.