Day 1 - Wednesday, September 23, 2020


10:00 am
INTRODUCTION OF CO-CHAIRS

Michael Brooks

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

OPENING REMARKS

Vlad Volodarski

Pammi Bir

Vlad Volodarski, Chief Executive Officer, Chartwell Retirement Residences
Pammi Bir, Managing Director, Global Equity Research, RBC Capital Markets


10:15 am
THE OUTLOOK FOR THE CANADIAN ECONOMY: HOW LONG WILL THE RECESSION BE? WHAT WILL THE RECOVERY LOOK LIKE? 

COVID-19 brought an unexpected major impact on every Canadian and aspect of our lives, our businesses, the markets, and our overall economy. With widespread retail, business and production shutdowns, steep drops in consumer spending, and accelerating levels of unemployment, the pandemic pushed our economy into a recession. This is over and above the impacts of the steep drop in oil prices and the pipeline protests closing down essential transportation networks. Here is an update on where are we now. Is it really a recession or something totally different? What kind of an economy will we be recovering into? Other questions addressed will include:

  • What will be the timing between “back to work” and economic recovery?
  • How to navigate the zigzag economy in the remainder of this year and 2021?
  • How temporary is the softness or is there permanent damage? Who wins? Who loses? Which provinces will recover faster? What will the likely path be in Alberta?
  • Government and central bank policies: Are we done? Implications for the recovery and the aftermath
  • How do Canada’s surging provincial and national debt compare with other G7 countries?
  • Is globalization possibly now dead? What are the implications of the pandemic? 
  • COVID-19 and real estate: what to expect, near-term and beyond?

Eric Lascelles

Eric Lascelles, Chief Economist, RBC Global Asset Management Inc.


10:45 am
HOW TURBULENT HAVE THE PAST TWELVE MONTHS BEEN FOR REITs? 

Since last September, Canadian REITs have experienced dramatic highs and lows in the capital markets. The opening presentation will provide an update on some of the key factors that have contributed to this trend and the results over the first half of 2020. Comparatives will be provided relative to other industry sectors, different property types, and the meltdown of the 1990s, the 2000 tech bubble and the 2008 financial crisis. The commentary will conclude with a few observations on where the market appears to be heading over the next twelve months.

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


11:20 am
THE BUYSIDE ROUNDTABLE:  WHAT’S YOUR INVESTMENT CRITERIA AND RISK MANAGEMENT CONCERNS? ARE THEY CHANGING FROM WEEK TO WEEK?

A wide-ranging discussion among portfolio and money managers on how their investment criteria and activities with REIT units and REOC shares changed since March, and what are the key expectations and risk management concerns heading into 2021.

  • Are you running a “war-time” portfolio by being hypersensitive to avoiding trends, very careful about what you are owning by sector, and also within each sector?
  • On what are you now focused, e.g. yields, total return, growth? Does anything matter more to investors than Risk Adjusted Returns?
  • How much liquidity is enough?
  • What risks are you most concerned about, e.g. accommodating health and safety concerns in your buildings, the decline in immigration and its impact on population growth, consumer spending and housing demand, remote home workplaces vs. office demand, the sharp climb in e-commerce vs. brick and mortar retail? 
  • What other risk factors are more significantly to you today, e.g. development, geography, property types, business models, succession planning? 
  • What is the right capital structure and appropriate level of debt for a Canadian REIT given the state of the economy and interest rates? 
  • 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 do you want from a Canadian REIT? How does this compare to what Canadian institutional and retail investors want? How does it compare with the upside potential of other industries?
  • 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?
  • 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? 
  • What do you expect will likely happen to unit values and funds flows over the next twelve months?  

Pammi Bir

Tom Dicker

Michael Missaghie

Michele Robitaille

Joshua Varghese

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

Panel:
Tom Dicker,
Vice President & Portfolio Manager, Dynamic Funds
Michael Missaghie, Portfolio Manager, Anson Advisors Inc. and President, Arch Corporation
Michele Robitaille, Managing Director, Canadian Equity, Guardian Capital LP
Joshua Varghese, Vice-President, Portfolio Management and Portfolio Manager, Signature Global Asset Management, CI Investments
 


12:15 pm
NETWORKING LOUNGE WITH MORNING SPEAKERS

12:30 pm
REITs HAVE BEEN SOME OF THE MOST ACTIVE AND INNOVATIVE DEVELOPERS ACROSS CANADA – WHAT DOES COVID-19 AND THE FUTURE HOLD?

For many REITs and REOCs, development has been one of their key growth strategies in the past ten years. But as a result of COVID-19, what does this look like for development going forward? 

  • Will urban mixed-use, transit-oriented still be in vogue? Or are we going to focus on different models? 
  • Will they have less retail and more of something else? 
  • What will the future of development look like depending on which property class you're in, what city you are in and whether you're urban or more suburban? 
  • Has urbanism peaked? Has a form of obsolescence been created e.g. parking needs, elevator, washroom and hallway congestion, tolerance for density, high-rise vs. low-rise buildings, open plan layouts? 
  • Is it time to be looking at development because you can get great locations or are people hunkering down? This panel will examine these and other questions in greater detail. 
  • How much development activity do REITs currently have underway? How are they overcoming current challenges? 
  • Where are construction costs currently and heading at this time? How are they affecting pro formas?
  • How significantly will the pandemic impact development plans and the pace and costs of construction? 
  • Are REITs still making appropriate profit from development to compensate investors for level of risk? How are development returns being measured? What are best practices in reporting success? 

Derek Warren

Marlon Bray

Hugh Clark

Christine Côté

Daniel Marinovic

Dean Wilkinson

Moderator:
Derek Warren
, Vice President, Portfolio Manager, Real Estate Equities, Lincluden Investment Management Limited

Panel:
Marlon Bray
, Senior Director, Cost and Project Management, Altus Expert Services, Altus Group
Hugh Clark, Executive Vice President, Development, Allied Properties REIT
Christine Côté, Vice President, Development, SmartCentres REIT
Daniel Marinovic, Chief Development Officer, Dream Unlimited
Dean Wilkinson, REIT Analyst, CIBC World Markets
 


1:15 pm
NETWORKING LOUNGE WITH MORNING SPEAKERS

1:35 pm
CONCURRENT SESSIONS (SELECT A1, A2 or A3)

SESSION A1:
RETAIL IS BEING BATTERED AND BRUISED DURING COVID-19: HOW ARE LANDLORDS & RETAILERS SURVIVING THE IMPACTS? 

Under normal market conditions, no other real estate property category has attracted as much chatter in recent years as retail. Once a favourite of investors, this property type has been facing many increasing challenges for some time. But
COVID-19 has resulted in most malls and a considerable number of stores and restaurants to close due to health and safety government mandates. In a pandemic, certain types of retail have become the most vulnerable property type. 

This panel discussion will examine a wide range of major issues that both landlords and retailers have been dealing with in the current situation. 

  • What has the overall outcome been for retail focused REITs? 
  • How have super regional malls performed vs. smaller enclosed malls vs. power centres vs. grocery anchored centres? 
  • How prevalent has non-payment of rent been? Has this created a challenge for investors? 
  • Will the advantages of “essential retailing” enjoyed by CT, Choice and Crombie during COVID-19 continue? 
  • With the major surge in online shopping due to mandated closure of most retail outlets, what happened once stores, malls and restaurants reopened? 
  • How are brick and mortar going to co-exist with online shopping? 
  • How can landlords redefine the onsite retail experience for shoppers?
  • Has the perception of what constitutes “luxury” changed? 

This session will examine these and other trends pertaining to the future of the retail property market.

Nurit Altman

Clint Elenko

Jay Freedman

Glenn Hynes

Bradley Jones

Kate MacDonald

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

Panel:
Clint Elenko
, Vice President, Western Canada, CT REIT
Jay Freedman, Executive Vice President, Client Relations and Business Development, Oberfeld Snowcap 
Glenn Hynes, Executive Vice President & COO, Crombie REIT
Bradley Jones, Head of Retail, Oxford Properties Group 
Kate MacDonald, Portfolio Manager, Signature Global Asset Management, CI Investments

 


SESSION A2:
EMERGING FROM COVID-19, WHAT WILL BE THE IDEAL BUSINESS MODEL OF A CANADIAN REIT? WHAT STRATEGIES WILL REIT CEOs BE CONSIDERING?

REITs have now been in existence in Canada since 1993. Over that period of time, there has been a considerable evolution in the scope and strategies of how REITs function, their management and their activities. 

  • 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? 
  • In 2020, what should 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; their ESG and KPIs; and a portfolio of quality assets?
  • What will investors be focusing on? More AFFO, NAV growth, or risk (geographic exposure vs. little diversification vs. debt ratio vs. development)? Or will there be new key factors at play?
  • What does the REIT of the future look like?  What strategies will REITs need to consider in order to emerge strongly
    post COVID-19? 

Justin Bosa

Don Clow

Rael Diamond

Philip Fraser

Jennifer McClelland

Moderator:
Justin Bosa
, Managing Director, Head of Real Estate, Global Banking and Markets, Scotiabank

Panel:
Don Clow,
President & CEO, Crombie REIT 
Rael Diamond, President & CEO, Choice Properties REIT
Philip Fraser, President & CEO, Killam Properties REIT
Jennifer McClelland, Vice President & Senior Portfolio Manager, Canadian Equities, RBC Global Asset Management

 


SESSION A3:
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 ensuring liquidity and 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? 
  • How are REITs evaluating and creating appropriate strategies to use various capital sources? 
  • How should capital be allocated in this market? 
  • Should capital be recycled rather than raising equity? 
  • Do the capital and investor markets favour larger real estate entities or do they simply want the existing ones to get bigger? 
  • How can external capital be accessed without doing an issue? 
  • Have rating agencies had an impact of the cost of capital? Discussion will also focus on equity issues, preferreds, converts, mortgages, mortgage bonds, unsecured debentures and revolvers.
  • Is unsecured financing continuing to be widely available? 
  • What should be a CFO’s interest rate strategy? 
  • Are short term rollovers practical? What are appropriate credit metrics? Are people following them?
  • What are appropriate credit metrics? Are people following them?

Mario Barrafato

Kay Brekken

Stephen Co

Lesley Gibson

Michael Markidis

Peter Sweeney

Moderator:
Mario Barrafato
, Chief Financial Officer, Choice Properties REIT

Panel:
Kay Brekken
, Executive Vice President & CFO, First Capital REIT
Stephen Co, Vice President, Accounting, CAPREIT
Lesley Gibson, Chief Financial Officer, CT REIT
Michael Markidis, Managing Director, Real Estate, Research Equity Group, Desjardins Capital Markets
Peter Sweeney, Chief Financial Officer, SmartCentres REIT

 


2:30 pm
NETWORKING LOUNGE