2019 Conference Program

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Thursday, September 5, 2019

7:15 AM
REGISTRATION & CONTINENTAL BREAKFAST

8:00 AM
WELCOME 

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


8:05 AM
OPENING REMARKS

Rael Diamond

Rael Diamond, President & CEO, Choice Properties REIT 


8:10 AM
UPDATE ON CANADIAN REITs: HAVE THEY OUTPERFORMED THE CAPITAL MARKETS? WHY HAVE SOME PERFORMED BETTER THAN OTHERS? ARE REITs STILL A GOOD INVESTMENT?

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


8:45 AM
THE BUYSIDE ROUNDTABLE:  WHAT’S YOUR CURRENT INVESTMENT CRITERIA? WHAT TRENDS ARE YOU MONITORING? HOW BULLISH ARE YOU ON REITs?

A wide-ranging discussion among portfolio and money managers on their views of the Canadian 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 in 2019.

  • With the REIT sector maturing, on what are you now focused, e.g. yields, total return, growth? 
  • Are you concerned about interest rates in the U.S. and Canada?
  • Is development risk being factored into 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, ESG reporting and impact investing? What value to you ascribe to these factors?
  • 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?
  • How do passive strategies compare with more active ones? How important is Index inclusion to a REIT?
  • What do global and U.S. investors want from a Canadian REIT? How does this compare to what Canadian institutional and retail investors want?
  • What are the reasons for the difference in returns among large caps (retail and diversified) vs small and mid-caps? Under what circumstances would you buy a small or mid-cap REIT?
  • Does activist involvement in a REIT affect your investment decisions? How?
  • How important are real estate fundamentals vs sentiment, funds flows and special situations in your investment decisions?
  • How important are demographics and urbanization trends in your investment decisions? 
  • Is it too soon to invest counter-cyclically, e.g. when should one shift from apartments and industrial to retail and office? 
  • What do you expect will likely happen to unit values and funds flows over the next twelve months?

 

Neil Downey

Tom Dicker

Kate MacDonald

John Murphy

Derek Warren

Moderator:
Neil Downey
, Managing Director, Global Equity Research, RBC Capital Markets

Panel: 
Tom Dicker
, Vice President & Portfolio Manager, Dynamic Funds
Kate MacDonald, Portfolio Manager, Global Real Estate, Signature Global Asset Management
John Murphy, Vice President, Real Estate Securities Analyst, Cohen & Steers
Derek Warren, Vice President, Portfolio Manager, Real Estate Equities, Lincluden Investment Management Limited


9:40 AM
HOW HAVE REITs BECOME SOME OF THE MOST ACTIVE AND INNOVATIVE DEVELOPERS ACROSS CANADA? IS ANYONE CONCERNED ABOUT RISK?

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 is management overcoming these challenges? From where will development talent come from? What have been the experiences of REITs to-date with new developments? What have been the “actual” returns and real value creation? Are REITs making appropriate profit from development to compensate investors for level of risk? How should REITS and investors address the lack of cash flow during development? How should REITs balance expected strong NAV growth from development with possible low growth in cash flow upon completion? 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? How are development returns being measured? What are best practices in reporting success?

Stephen Sender

Hugh Clark

Don Clow

Philip Fraser

Mario Saric

Jodi Shpigel

Moderator:
Stephen Sender
, Trustee, H&R REIT

Panel: 
Hugh Clark
, Executive Vice President, Development, Allied Properties REIT
Don Clow, President & CEO, Crombie REIT
Philip Fraser, President & CEO, Killam Apartment REIT
Mario Saric, Managing Director, Real Estate & REITs, Scotiabank
Jodi Shpigel, Senior Vice President, Development, First Capital Realty Inc.


10:30 AM
MORNING REFRESHMENTS

11:00 AM
CONCURRENT SESSIONS (Select A1, A2 or A3)
SESSION A1
WHAT GROWTH STRATEGY WORKS MOST SUCCESSFULLY FOR SMALLER REITs?  ORGANIC VS. QUANTUM LEAP?

This session will examine the experiences of some of the smaller REITs, and what their growth strategies are to achieve greater mass and attract institutional and retail followings. What are the underlying fundamentals supporting these types of REITs in today’s investment environment? What are the challenges facing management and how are they addressing them? Are they adopting strategies that larger cap REITs do not follow? Is the pressure to acquire properties and grow pushing smaller REITs to other markets and asset classes? How are they viewed by the public markets?

Larry Toste

Scott Antoniak

James Beckerleg

Mark Rothschild

Michael Zakuta

Moderator:
Larry Toste
, Partner, KPMG LLP

Panel: 
Scott Antoniak
, Chief Executive Officer, Slate Office REIT
James Beckerleg, President & CEO, PROREIT
Mark Rothschild, Managing Director, Real Estate Analyst, Canaccord Genuity Markets
Michael Zakuta, President & CEO, Plaza Retail REIT


SESSION A2
HOW IS TECHNOLOGICAL TRANSFORMATION ENHANCING SHAREHOLDER RETURN AND ADVANCING REIT PRODUCTIVITY?

Rapid technological advances are poised to profoundly disrupt the way we live, work and shop, yet many Canadian businesses aren’t ready for these sweeping changes – especially the real estate industry. But there could be hope – if the real estate organizations embrace change and invest wisely, digital disruption could be channeled to drive shareholder return and advance productivity. Technology is advancing to make all elements of real estate more efficient through AI and machine learning, blockchain and capital markets, building automation and energy efficiency, space utilization, workplace-as-a-service, data and analytics, modular buildings, drone technology, robotics, and augmented reality. This session will focus on some of the advances that are at the forefront in Canada and the U.S. and what you need to understand and apply to your role and your organization. How are break-through technologies changing the face of our marketplace today? What are the major opportunities that companies need to embrace in order to maintain a competitive edge? 

Sheila Botting

Courtney Cooper

Bhavnesh Jaraim

Anvesh Rai

Casey Witkowicz

Moderator:
Sheila Botting
, Senior Partner & Canadian Real Estate Leader, Deloitte

Panel: 
Courtney Cooper
, Principal, Alate Partners
Bhavnesh Jaraim, Chief Information Officer & VP, Technology, Boardwalk REIT
Anvesh Rai, Principal, Greensoil Building Innovation Fund
Casey Witkowicz, President & CEO, RYCOM Corporation


SESSION A3
WHY IS THE APARTMENT MARKET ATTRACTING THE ATTENTION OF MORE REITs? FROM RETURNS AND DIVERSIFICATION TO DEMAND AND AFFORDABILITY 

Multi-unit residential has moved to the top of the preferred property portfolio for a growing number of real estate organizations across Canada. What was once an asset class dominated by smaller privately-owned firms has now also become the domain of major institutional investors, REITs and private equity funds. Predictable yields, record returns and strong cash flows have made apartments one of the most reliable property classes. Investor demand far outweighs supply in many markets creating some cap rate compression. What direction is the multi-residential market likely to take in 2020 across Canada? How are occupancy rates in major markets across the country? How much purpose-built rental construction is expected next year? In which cities? Many REITs/REOCs are seeking to add multi-res to intensify existing properties. Do they have the skill to do this profitably? What challenges do they face to achieve these goals? How sustainable is the interest in this property class? To what extent can new rental units impact the housing affordability challenges in Vancouver and Toronto in particular? What impact are government policies having on the multi-residential market and therefore on REITs who are active in this property class?

David Bloomstone

Todd Cook

Brad Cutsey

Jonathan Fleischer

Lisa Russell

Dean Wilkinson

Moderator:
David Bloomstone
, Director, Investment Banking Real Estate Group & Head of Multi-Residential Property Brokerage, TD Securities

Panel: 
Todd Cook
, President & CEO, Northview Apartment REIT
Brad Cutsey, President, InterRent REIT
Jonathan Fleischer, Executive Vice President, Operations, CAPREIT
Lisa Russell, Senior Vice President, Corporate Development, Boardwalk REIT
Dean Wilkinson, Executive Director, Institutional Equity Research, CIBC Capital Markets


12:00 PM
NETWORKING LUNCHEON
LUNCHEON REFRESHMENTS

1:00 PM
THE OUTLOOK FOR CANADIAN AND GLOBAL ECONOMIES: IS A RECESSION LOOMING OR NOT? 

What is the outlook for inflation, interest rates, employment growth and overall economic growth over the next twelve months? As the oil, gas and commodities sectors remain in a generally neutral zone, what are the ramifications for Western Canada? What economic engines are breathing life into Canadian GDP growth? Is the U.S. economy at the top of its cycle? What effect are issues in China and Europe likely to have on Canada? What are the implications of the uncertainty in trade policies, e.g. tariffs, USMCA? Are the outcomes of the provincial elections over the past year having any impact on our economy? What about the performance of the housing markets in Vancouver and Toronto? What lies ahead for the remainder of this year and eventually for 2020 for Canadian economic growth?  

Michael Gregory, Deputy Chief Economist & Head of U.S. Economics, BMO Capital Markets


1:45 PM
CONCURRENT SESSIONS (Select B1, B2 or B3)
SESSION B1
PURSUING OR MAINTAINING DIVERSIFICATION STRATEGIES: WHAT ARE REITs DOING?

Why are an increasing number of REITs diversifying or choosing to retain such a mixed asset portfolio? To facilitate more rapid and stronger growth, this can range from refocusing from a “pure play” to owning multiple asset classes to investing outside of Canada. Diversification can 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 have created development and operating platforms. This panel will discuss and debate some of the challenges, risks and rewards of some of these various strategic options. Some asset classes face various challenges and offer different opportunities.  While retail is undergoing disruption, industrial markets are performing very strongly in the current economy. While office is facing the impact of WeWork and other disrupters, a hot multi-residential market offers steady yields and addresses a need for housing supply. Should REITs be more diversified in order to deal with all this market transformation? What should ideally be the nature of their diversification? How challenging is it to move into markets outside of Canada? What is the business case in today’s market for a REIT to have greater diversification?

Pammi Bir

Peter Forde

Glenn Hynes

Kim Riley

Joshua Varghese

Moderator:
Pammi Bir
, Global Equity Research, RBC Capital Markets

Panel: 
Peter Forde
, President & CEO, SmartCentres REIT
Glenn Hynes, Executive Vice President & COO, Crombie REIT
Kim Riley, Executive Vice President, Investments & Developments, Artis REIT
Joshua Varghese, Portfolio Manager, Signature Global Asset Management, CI Investments


SESSION B2
THE GROWING IMPORTANCE OF KEY PERFORMANCE INDICATORS, DATA AND ANALYTICS: THE VALUE OF ESG AND OTHER BENCHMARK FRAMEWORKS

Performance related data is playing two significant roles in the REIT market. On the one hand, senior executives are using a wider range of information that enhances their strategic planning and all aspects of decision-making. At the same time, REITs continue to experience growing demand from all stakeholders to effectively disclose and manage their environmental, social and governance (ESG) performance. This session will examine the wide range of options being used including voluntary disclosure, guidance, and aggregated frameworks. What are the complexities of these various metrics? How are organizations using this information within their investment, development and asset management decision-making? How is it shaping an organization’s processes, policies and overall culture? What is the evidence that strong ESG practices coupled with public disclosure results in superior investment returns, e.g. higher rental income and lower interest expenses? What is the view of rating agencies, analysts and portfolio managers of ESG and KPIs? What are REITs/REOCs doing to adjust their investment/operating practices to address extreme weather and/or political uncertainty? What impact are Proxy Advisors having on REIT/REOC governance?

Michael Brooks

Lesley Gibson

Anushka Grant

Michael Markidis

Neil Pegram

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

Panel: 
Lesley Gibson
, Senior Vice President & CFO, CT REIT
Anushka Grant, Vice President, Innovation & Sustainability, RioCan REIT
Michael Markidis, Managing Director, Real Estate, Desjardins Securities
Neil Pegram, Director of Americas, GRESB BV


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?

David Holden

Pauline Alimchandani

Heather Kirk

Dale Noseworthy

Vlad Volodarski

Moderator:
David Holden
, Managing Director, RBC Capital Markets Real Estate Group

Panel: 
Pauline Alimchandani
, Executive Vice President & CFO, Dream Unlimited
Heather Kirk, Executive Vice President & CFO, Cominar REIT
Dale Noseworthy, Chief Financial Officer, Killam Apartment REIT
Vlad Volodarski, Chief Financial Officer & CIO, Chartwell Retirement Residence


2:45 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 and multi-unit residential assets across Canada have generally reached some record high levels in many markets. At the same time, investment fever has stalled among many retail assets and to some degree in Alberta, Saskatchewan and Atlantic Canada. This panel will examine asset classes in geographic markets across Canada to identify what are the most significant challenges, risks and opportunities. The session will open with a brief overview of the Canadian real estate market offering some insights on its principal fundamentals and how property values have fared to this point in 2019. Where are we in the cycle by province/gateway city and by each property class? How does a REIT executive make the ultimate decision of whether to buy, to sell or to pursue development as a viable alternative? Where are cap rates heading? 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? 

Colin Johnston

Paul Baron

Jason Castellan

Armin Martens

Brian Pauls

Moderator:
Colin Johnston
, President, Research, Valuation and Advisory, Altus Group

Panel: 
Paul Baron, 
Vice President, Asset Management, Minto Apartment REIT
Jason Castellan, Co-Founder & CEO, Skyline Group of Companies (Skyline Apartment, Skyline Commercial, Skyline Retail)
Armin Martens, President & CEO, Artis REIT
Brian Pauls, Chief Executive Officer, Dream Industrial REIT


SESSION C2
REITs WITH NICHE MARKET OR GLOBAL STRATEGIES: WHAT DO THEY KNOW THAT YOU DON’T? HOW ARE THEY ACHIEVING SUCCESS?

While office, retail, industrial and multi-residential represent the four major property classes in Canada, there are investment opportunities in other niche real estate plays. This session will examine four examples of REITs that are targeted at unique markets:  automotive, healthcare, hospitality, and Europe. The discussion will include what were the factors that led to the creation of these REITs and the strategies that they employ in successfully creating shareholder value and returns on investment. What is their experience with analysts and money managers in providing them with appropriate information to secure their support and investment in non-core markets and particularly being quite active outside of Canada?

Matt Kornack

Phillip Burns

Paul Dalla Lana

Azim Lalani

Milton Lamb

Moderator:
Matt Kornack
, Director, Real Estate Analyst, National Bank Financial

Panel: 
Phillip Burns
, Chief Executive Officer, European Residential REIT
Paul Dalla Lana, Chairman & CEO, NorthWest Healthcare Properties REIT
Azim Lalani, Chief Financial Officer, American Hotel Income Properties REIT LP
Milton Lamb, President & CEO, Automotive Properties REIT


SESSION C3
RETAIL IN CANADA:  WHAT ARE THE FACTS AND FALLACIES? WHAT INNOVATIONS ARE TENANTS AND LANDLORDS EMPLOYING? HOW ARE RETAIL REITs EVOLVING?

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? Is de-malling necessary and viable? 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? 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? How are landlords redefining the onsite retail experience for shoppers? This session will examine these and other trends and some facts and fallacies pertaining to the Canadian retail real estate market.

Nurit Altman

Marie-Andrée Boutin

Craig Patterson

Kevin Salsberg

Ken Siegel

Moderator:
Nurit Altman
, Director, RBC Capital Markets Real Estate Group

Panel: 
Marie-Andrée Boutin
, Executive Vice President, Retail and Development, Cominar REIT 
Craig Patterson, Editor-In-Chief & Founder, Retail Insider
Kevin Salsberg, Senior Vice President, CT REIT
Ken Siegel, Senior Director, Retail Leasing, Choice Properties REIT


3:45 PM
THE KEY QUESTIONS 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? How are you using data and AI?
  • Can REITs grow effectively by pursuing ‘value-add’ and ‘opportunistic’ strategies? What kind of NAV growth could either of these options 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 2019 and 2020?
  • 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 when attracting and keeping high quality talent?
  • Is your business being affected by labour shortages or talent mismatches?
  • Never mind the Annual Report stuff; What are you really doing about ESG? What data should be standardized in the real estate industry?
  • Are you detecting shifts in appetite for Canadian real estate by public investors, pension funds, private equity and global investors?

Rael Diamond

Neil Downey

Jonathan Gitlin

Kevan Gorrie

Michael Waters

Moderator:
Rael Diamond
, President & CEO, Choice Properties REIT

Panel:
Neil Downey
, Managing Director, Global Equity Research, RBC Capital Markets 
Jonathan Gitlin, President & COO, RioCan REIT
Kevan Gorrie, President & CEO, Granite REIT
Michael Waters, Chief Executive Officer, Minto Apartment REIT


4:40 PM
NETWORKING RECEPTION