2018 Conference Program

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Thursday, September 6, 2018

7:15 AM
REGISTRATION & LIGHT BREAKFAST

8:00 AM
WELCOME TO THE 25TH ANNIVERSARY OF THE CANADIAN REIT MARKET

Michael Brooks, Chief Executive Officer, Real Property Association of Canada


8:05 AM
OPENING REMARKS

Lois Cormack, President & CEO, Sienna Seniors Living
Michael Smith, Managing Director, Global Equity Research, RBC Capital Markets


8:10 AM
WHAT IS THE OUTLOOK FOR CANADIAN, U.S. AND OTHER GLOBAL ECONOMIES? 

An insightful presentation on the economic fundamentals that are driving the Canadian economy at this time. What is the outlook for inflation, interest rates, employment growth and overall economic growth over the next twelve months? As the oil and resource sector remains in neutral, what are the ramifications for Western Canada? What economic engines are breathing some life into Canadian GDP growth? What do the performance of the U.S. economy and the uncertainty of government trade policies mean for Canada, e.g. tariffs, NAFTA, major increase in duty free limits? Will the outcomes of the provincial elections in Ontario and eventually Quebec and Alberta have much impact on the economic policies? What lies ahead for the remainder of this year and eventually for 2019?

Paul Ferley, Assistant Chief Economist, RBC Financial Group


8:40 AM
UPDATE ON CANADIAN REITs: WILL THEY OUTPERFORM THE CAPITAL MARKETS? ARE THEY NOW A MATURE ASSET CLASS?

What major events have occurred in the “REIT world” in the past 12 months? What are the key factors – both positive and negative – pertaining to the performance of REITs over the past year? Are REITs a good investment now? 

Carolyn Blair, Managing Director, RBC Capital Markets Real Estate Group


9:10 AM
THE BUYSIDE ROUNDTABLE: WHAT IS YOUR MAJOR INVESTMENT CRITERIA AT THIS TIME? WHAT KEY TRENDS IN THE REIT MARKET ARE YOU MONITORING?

A wide ranging discussion among portfolio managers on their views of the Canadian securitized real estate market, whether this is a good time to buy, sell or hold REIT units and REOC shares, and what are the key expectations that govern their current investment decision-making. Some comparative with the U.S. market will also be examined.

  • With the REIT sector maturing, are you now focused on total return vs. purely income return? How much attention do you pay to growth strategies when REITs and REOCs report?
  • What do you expect will likely happen to unit values and funds flows over the next twelve months?
  • Are you concerned about the rising interest rates in the U.S. and Canada? What implications will that have on your investments in Canadian REITs and REOCs?
  • How active should Canadian REITs be in development domestically and buying foreign properties? Is development risk being factored in with added value for a REIT?
  • Is it good idea for REITs to diversify by moving into property classes that are new to them in order to grow or to enter markets in other provinces and potentially other countries?
  • Are the quality and the current valuations of the assets held by REITs generally satisfactory to you or do you have any concerns? Does Canada have too many REITs?
  • Would you buy a Canadian REIT in order to obtain exposure to U.S. or European properties?
  • What is the right capital structure and appropriate level of debt for a Canadian REIT?
  • How do you evaluate REIT management platforms with respect to their governance, corporate culture, reporting and operations? What value to you ascribe to these factors?
  • How much of a bifurcation is there between smaller and larger REITs?
  • Where do you place funds previously invested in CREIT and PIRET? Will you look externally for high quality REITs as the average quality in Canada declines through M&A activity?
  • What impact will the compression of mutual fund fees and large flows into ETFs (and thus passive investing) have on governance, activism, and the quality of REITs?
  • What are the reasons for the difference in returns among large caps (retail and diversified) vs small and mid-caps (especially apartments and industrials)? Why have large caps been underperforming? 
  • Are there any concerns about the impact of MiFID?  What has been the experience in the U.S.?   

Moderator
Michael Smith
, Managing Director, Global Equity Research,RBC Capital Markets

Panel
Scott Crowe
, Chief Investment Strategist & Portfolio Manager,CenterSquare Investment Management
Tom Dicker, Vice President & Portfolio Manager, 1832 Asset Management LP
Barbara Gray, Veteran Analyst, Structural Disruption, Pennock Idea Hub
Frank Mayer, Chairman, Portfolio Manager, Vision Capital
Joshua Varghese, Portfolio Manager, Signature Global Asset Management,CI Investments


10:10 AM
MORNING REFRESHMENTS

10:40 AM
CONCURRENT SESSIONS (Select A1, A2 or A3)
SESSION A1
HOW MUCH RISK DOES DEVELOPMENT POSE FOR A REIT? WHAT ARE APPROPRIATE RETURNS AND HOW ARE THEY MEASURED?

For many REITs and REOCs, development is one of their key growth strategies in today’s market. The economics of building new assets have been compelling when compared with cap rates to buy existing ones. Are development strategies the result of cap rate compression that has priced REITs out of acquisition? But with rising land and construction costs, is the pro forma starting to change and associated risk increasing? This panel will examine these and other questions in greater detail. How are REITs equipped to execute development strategies when their original structure was not designed with this capability in mind? How does management overcome these challenges? What have been the experiences of REITs to-date with new developments? What have been the “actual” returns? How are development returns being measured? What are best practices in reporting success? Should development oriented REITs become low or no dividend corporations? How have U.S. REIT experiences compared with Canadian developments? Are REITs making appropriate profit from development to compensate investors for level of risk? From where will development talent come? How can REITs balance the need for disclosure regarding new developments in order to enhance value with the need to keep many aspects private for negotiating or approval reasons?

Moderator
Paul Morassutti
, Executive Vice President & Executive Managing Director, CBRE Limited

Panel
Brian Pauls
, Chief Executive Officer, Dream Industrial REIT
Jordan Robins, Executive Vice President & COO, First Capital Realty
Corrado Russo, Senior Managing Director, Investments & Global Head of Securities,Timbercreek Asset Management
Vlad Volodarski, Chief Financial Officer & CIO, Chartwell Retirement Residences
Michael Zakuta, President & CEO, Plaza Retail REIT

SESSION A2
MERGERS & ACQUISITIONS, IPOs AND NEW FUND ADDITIONS: WHAT’S HAPPENED AND WHAT MAY LIE AHEAD?

This appears to be an interesting time in Canada for potential M&A activity in the public real estate markets. The first part of this session will be framed around what has transpired, why and what might be on the horizon. Three year Canadian REIT index total return is 5% annualized. Although the yield is not as strong as in the past, “smart money” is investing and committing their capital in Canadian REITs (e.g. the Weston family, Blackstone, new funds from Slate, Starlight). What do they see that others don’t? What is their investment thesis? This session will also examine best practices for merger and acquisition activities. How should potential bids be approached? What IPOs are potentially on the horizon? Could we expect REITs focused on servicing the cannabis market? 

Moderator
Tom Rothfischer
, Partner, KPMG LLP

Panel
Todd Cook
, President & CEO, Northview Apartment REIT
Richard Dufresne, President, George Weston Limited
Dennis Mitchell, CEO & Chief Investment Officer, Starlight Capital
Michael Waters, Chief Executive Officer, Minto Apartment REIT
Dean Wilkinson, REIT Analyst, CIBC World Markets

SESSION A3
IN SEARCH OF THE BEST CANADIAN REITs: WHAT IS THE IDEAL BUSINESS MODEL? 

What defines a “best in class” REIT? Franchise value and high quality tenants? A creative and adaptive management team? Their total return strategy vs. income and cash flow strategy? Does the ideal business model of a REIT include: a consistent payout; well defined growth prospects; dividend growth potential; strong management, governance and board composition; attracting and keeping talent; and a portfolio of quality assets? Do investors focus more on AFFO, NAV growth, or risk (geographic exposure vs. little diversification vs. debt ratio vs. development)? Since REITs have been in existence in Canada for 25 years, there has been a considerable evolution in the scope and strategies of how REITs function, their management platform, and their activities as investors, developers and asset managers. This session will examine key elements of a REIT in 2018 and discuss what are the best practices that lead to a strong and successful entity in the current public market and going forward. What does the REIT of the future look like: bigger or smaller? More small cap REITs, e.g. specialist products: storage, cannabis, healthcare? Restructured, e.g. Boardwalk, Cominar, Artis, Choice, CREIT?

Moderator
Michael Brooks
, Chief Executive Officer, Real Property Association of Canada

Panel
Louis Forbes
, Chief Financial Officer, CT REIT
Philip Fraser, President & CEO, Killam Apartment REIT
Heather Kirk, Trustee, Cominar REIT
Andre Kuzmicki, Trustee, Chartwell Retirement Residences
Michael Markidis, Vice President & Director, Real Estate, Desjardins Capital Markets


11:40 AM
CONCURRENT SESSIONS (Select B1, B2 or B3)
SESSION B1
PURSUING DIVERSIFICATION STRATEGIES: WHAT ARE REITs DOING?

Why are an increasing number of REITs diversifying? This can range from refocusing from a “pure play” to owning multiple asset classes as a means to facilitate more rapid and stronger growth. Diversification can also be geographically focused or repositioning a REIT’s portfolio through divestiture of certain assets while maintaining only high quality core properties. Some have assumed a mandate to build a real estate investment vehicle, while others are creating development and operating platforms. This panel will discuss and debate some of the challenges, risks and rewards of some of these various strategic options. All the asset classes are facing varying challenges and offering different opportunities. While retail is undergoing disruption, industrial markets appear to be faring much stronger in the current economy. While office is facing the impact of WeWork and other disrupters, multi-residential appears to address a need for housing supply and offers steady yields. Should REITs and REOCs be more diversified in order to deal with all this market transformation? What should ideally be the nature of their diversification? Has there been a structural change in land values for their existing assets that they can take advantage of? What is the case in today’s market for a REIT to have greater diversification?

Moderator
Derek Warren
, Assistant Vice President, Portfolio Manager,Lincluden Investment Management

Panel
Jason Castellan
, Chief Executive Officer, Skyline Group of Companies
Xi Huang, Assistant Vice President, Investments & Residental, RioCAn REIT
Armin Martens, President & CEO, Artis REIT
Brady Welch, Partner & Co-Founder, Slate Asset Management LP

SESSION B2
WE JUST RECEIVED A LETTER: HOW DO YOU RESPOND TO SHAREHOLDER ACTIVISIM?

No companies, including REITs, are immune from shareholder activism. It is a natural evolution of a growing sector. What are activists trying to accomplish vs. the objectives of conventional investors? How does the buyside respond to them? What are examples of good vs. bad activism? Should vocal shareholders owning a small stake have a “big say”? What are the pros and cons for a REIT of having a large shareholder? Are they a friend or a foe? How do their approaches differ? What attracts the attention of activists? What should a REIT do when activists call? How should management and its Board handle the pressure? What REITs have been the subject of activists’ attention and why? How successful have activists been? What can REITs do to protect themselves from activists’ attention? Is dealing with activists any different than typical defense preparedness? Are activists’ activities good or bad for fundamental investors in REITs? What is the view of the Securities Commissions on these activities? Will activism replace fundamental/strategic investment as the primary focus of M&A practitioners? 

Moderator
Stephen Sender
, Trustee, H&R REIT & Director, Sienna Seniors Living

Panel
Peter Buzzi
, Head of Canadian M&A, Managing Director, RBC Capital Markets
Frank Camenzuli, Chief Executive Officer, Agellan Commercial Real Estate Trust
Zachary George, Co-Founder & Portfolio Manager, FrontFour Capital
Margaret Nelligan, Partner, Aird & Berlis LLP
Jeffrey Olin, President & CEO, Vision Capital

SESSION B3
WHAT ARE THE MAJOR SOURCES OF CAPITAL FOR REITS AND REOCs IN CURRENT MARKET CONDITIONS? WHAT FINANCING STRATEGIES ARE MOST EFFECTIVE?

Access to well-priced capital is critical to the growth of publicly traded companies via acquisitions, development and other activities. This session will examine the current market conditions and environment for REITs and REOCs to access debt and equity markets to meet ongoing financial needs and to be doing so in the face of rising interest rates. What are the major sources for raising capital at this time? Discussion will also focus on units/shares, preferreds, converts, mortgages, mortgage bonds, unsecured debentures and revolvers. How are REITs evaluating and creating appropriate strategies to use these capital sources? Is unsecured financing continuing to be widely available? What should be a CFO’s interest rate strategy? Are short term rollovers practical? How should capital be allocated in this market? Should capital be recycled rather than raising equity? How can external capital be accessed without doing an issue? Do the capital and investor markets favour larger real estate entities or do they simply want the existing ones to get bigger? What are appropriate credit metrics? Are people following them?

Moderator
David Switzer
, Director, RBC Capital Markets Real Estate Group

Panel
Scott Cryer
, Chief Financial Officer, CAPREIT
Nitin Jain, Chief Financial Officer & CIO, Sienna Seniors Living
Tamara Lawson, Chief Financial Officer, Dream Global REIT
Teresa Neto, Chief Financial Officer, PIRET
Frank Magliocco, Partner, PwC


12:40 PM
NETWORKING LUNCHEON
LUNCHEON REFRESHMENTS

1:35 PM
A FIRESIDE CHAT ON THE EVOLUTION OF CANADIAN REITS OVER THE PAST 25 YEARS:  HOW FAR HAVE THEY COME?  WHAT LIES AHEAD?

A wide ranging discussion with the CEOs of the two inaugural Canadian REITs about the evolution of this market over the past 25 years. The conversation will comment on: 

  • What were the key steps or events that enabled the REIT market to develop in Canada?
  • Why did it take so long for the REIT market to become “mainstream”?
  • Is there anything that you wish had happened differently in “REIT world” over the past 25 years?
  • How have Canadian REIT strategies evolved over time?
  • What is now the typical Canadian REIT model? How do new REITs compare with older ones?
  • What key changes have REITs made in their management and operating platforms?
  • What are the three most important things that need to happen to ensure the continuing success of the Canadian REIT market?
  • Unlike the last 25 years in real estate, the next 25 years could potentially have significant headwinds. What do you foresee as the future for securitized real estate in Canada?

Stephen Johnson, President & CEO, Choice Properties REIT and former CEO, CREIT
Ed Sonshine, Chief Executive Officer, RioCan REIT

In Conversation with
Pat Koval
, former Senior Partner, Torys LLP and external counsel toRioCan and CREIT


2:30 PM
CONCURRENT SESSIONS (Select C1, C2 or C3)
SESSION C1
WHERE ARE VALUATIONS AND CAP RATES HEADING? HAVE THEY ENTERED A HIGH RISK ZONE? IS IT TIME TO BUY, SELL OR DEVELOP?

The pricing of office, industrial, retail and multi-unit residential assets across Canada have generally reached some record high levels in many markets. At the same time, it has stalled among most retail assets and to some degree in Alberta, Saskatchewan and Atlantic Canada. This panel discussion will examine asset classes in geographic markets across Canada to identify what are the most significant challenges, risks and opportunities. Where are we in the cycle by province/gateway city and by each property class. What are NOI growth expectations in various property types, especially in the rental housing market. How does a REIT executive make the ultimate decision of whether to buy, to sell or to pursue development as a viable alternative? Among other questions that will be examined: Where are cap rates heading? How are you responding to interest rates and bond yields? Do valuations and fundamentals still make sense? Given pricing and availability of product, is this a time to be a seller or a buyer? What are the biggest value determinants in various markets now? What is happening to property values and liquidity in secondary markets? Could they offer better opportunities on a risk adjusted basis? Do fluctuating housing markets really matter to REITs? Has there been a structural change in land usage that will affect valuations? Who will benefit from this?

Moderator
Colin Johnston
, President, RVA, Altus Group

Panel
Todd Bechard
, Executive Vice President, Acquisitions, Cominar REIT
Brad Cutsey, President, InterRent REIT
Paul Dykeman, Chief Executive Officer, Summit Industrial Income REIT
Kevan Gorrie, President & CEO, Granite REIT
Mark Rothschild, Managing Director, Real Estate Analyst, Canaccord Genuity

SESSION C2
REITs, PRIVATE EQUITY FUNDS, LIFECOs AND PENSION FUNDS AS INVESTORS: UNDER VARIOUS SCENARIOS WHO HAS THE EDGE?

A panel of senior executives from a cross-section of different types of investment entities will discuss some of their mandates and priorities for 2019. What are the differences between the issues faced by a REIT vs. a pension fund or lifeco vs. a private equity fund in pricing properties and accessing investment capital at this time? What are the respective investors’ priorities for the coming year? Which property classes will be most favoured, in which markets, and why? What are the challenges to buy or sell assets in this market? Who is leading pricing: securitized real estate, institutional or private investors? There appears to be a major shift to alternative asset classes among institutional investors. Will this be good or bad for the REIT sector? If pension funds and lifecos develop private structures, then large capital flows will be in competition. Some pension funds have done joint ventures with REITS. How has this worked out? Will shifts in appetite for real estate by institutional and private equity investors affect Canadian REITs or Canadian direct investment markets? Small to mid-caps: relationships with privates or institutional investors. Under various scenarios, who will likely prosper the most, e.g. REIT, private equity, institutional investor or private capital?

Moderator
Sheila Botting
, Partner & Canadian Real Estate Leader, Deloitte LLP

Panel
Scott Antoniak
, Chief Executive Officer, Slate Office REIT
Christina Iacoucci, SVP & Portfolio Manager, Investment Management, Bentall Kennedy LP
Nick Macrae, Senior Portfolio Manager, Real Estate, HOOPP
Blair McCreadie, Senior Vice President & CORE Fund Manager, Fiera Properties Limited

SESSION C3
EVALUATING THE CHALLENGES FACING VARIOUS TYPES OF RETAIL IN CANADA: ARE SOME EVOLVING INTO INCOME-PRODUCING LAND BANK? 

No other real estate property class is attracting as much attention today as retail. Everyone has watched Canadian, U.S. and European retailers opening stores, closing them or looking for fresh approaches to their formats. Will the turmoil in the U.S. retail market move into Canada? How are super regional malls performing vs. smaller enclosed malls vs. power centres vs. grocery anchored centres? There are some dire forecasts for the future of older malls as changing demographics and buying habits negatively affect poorer quality properties. How are rent growth, occupancy levels, and intensification opportunities comparatively for each different type of retail format? How is online shopping impacting the Canadian market where landlords have been leaders in restructuring many of their properties? What has been the outcome of the Target and Sears vacancies to-date? How are brick and mortar stores co-existing with online shopping? Are the e-commerce strategies of major retail owners correct by acquiring more industrial assets or introducing a mixed-use development on a portion of their retail site? What are national retailers doing to remain buoyant in this competitive market? This session will examine these and other trends and some facts and fallacies pertaining to the Canadian retail real estate market.

Moderator
Ian Thomas
, Senior Advisor, Deloitte LLP

Panel
Maureen Atkinson
, Senior Partner, Research Insights, J.C. Williams Group
Pammi Bir, Director, Real Estate & REITs Analyst, Scotiabank
Don Clow, President & CEO, Crombie REIT
Peter Forde, President & CEO, SmartCentres REIT
Jonathan Gitlin, President & COO, RioCan REIT



3:30 PM
THE KEY QUESTION ON THE MINDS OF LEADERSHIP AND INVESTORS: HOW WILL REITs and REOCs DELIVER PERFORMANCE OVER THE NEXT FEW YEARS? 

An insightful examination of the challenges, trends, and issues facing Canadian REITs and REOCs, and what CEOs are doing to deliver strong performance and growth. The following are some of the questions that will be examined: 

  • What do you consider to be the greatest opportunities and risks to your business at this time? What strategies are you pursuing to deal with the impact of rising interest rates? What are producing the best returns at this time, e.g. geographic markets, property classes, M&A, activism, development?
  • With many REITs broadening their original focus to now include multi-res and development, can all of them be successful?
  • What are the three critical things that you need to do “right” in order to deliver unitholder value? For example, is it necessary to grow assets in order to be successful as a REIT?
  • What are the most significant “disrupters” of real estate? How has your strategy/execution changed to address them?
  • Can REITs grow effectively by pursuing ‘value-add’ and ‘opportunistic’ strategies? What kind of NAV growth could either of these produce?
  • How are REITs responding to the strong urbanization forces across Canada? How much development activity is appropriate for REITs?
  • What are the key steps that you are taking to grow your business? Are you playing defense or offense? What will be the major factors supporting growth for the remainder of 2018 and 2019?
  • Are you rebalancing your portfolios and selling non-core assets? 
  • How much more M&A will occur in the REIT/REOC market? What types of entities will be the most likely targets? Who will be the buyers?
  • How important are corporate culture, governance and succession planning? What strategies make a difference with investors and attracting and keeping high quality talent?

Moderator
Lois Cormack
, President & CEO, Sienna Seniors Living

Panel
Neil Downey
, Managing Director, Global Equity Research,RBC Capital Markets
Sam Kolias, Chief Executive Officer, Boardwalk REIT
Sandy McIntyre, CI Investments
Adam Paul, President & CEO, First Capital Realty
Ken Silver, Chief Executive Officer, CT REIT


4:30 PM
NETWORKING RECEPTION