Day 2 - Thursday, September 24, 2020


10:00 am
HIGHLIGHTS FROM DAY 1

Michael Brooks

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

INTRODUCTION OF EDWARD SONSHINE

Vlad Volodarski

Pammi Bir

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


10:10 am
THOUGHT LEADERSHIP WITH ED SONSHINE: THE POTENTIAL IMPACTS OF COVID-19 ON CANADIAN REAL ESTATE:  HOW CAN YOU PREPARE FOR WHAT LIES AHEAD?
As the current unprecedented and challenging time continues to evolve, everyone across the real estate industry is looking for answers to an increasing number of questions. One of the founders of Canadian REITs and the longest serving CEO will share his insights on the current situation and horizon. He is in the unique position of having experienced having several recessions in the 1970s and 1980s, then launched the country’s first REIT during one of Canada’s longest recessions, and since then managed the real estate organization through two more market declines. He will draw upon key lessons learned from his very vast background as we find ourselves in another recession and ask the questions: where do we go from here? How should we be planning to do once the recovery begins? 

Edward Sonshine

Stephen Sender

Edward Sonshine, Chief Executive Officer, RioCan REIT 

Interviewed by:
Stephen Sender
, Trustee and Director of Various Boards


10:40 am
COVID-19 IN CANADA: WHAT THE PATH FORWARD LOOKS LIKE?

An insight to the path of the epidemiology and where the pandemic is likely heading. Will there be a second large wave in the Fall or Winter of 2020/2021 or will there more likely be a series of shorter, smaller trends? What should we expect? What implications will there be for the overall economy? Where are we at that stage? What are the prospects and timing for a vaccine? Insights from a leading epidemiologist on where COVID-19 could be heading and what lies ahead as we look for the pandemic to come to an end. He will also explain that while we can’t ignore our economy, we won’t have robust revitalization without strong surveillance systems and health-protection measures. A frightened and grieving population will not drive a strong economic recovery. 

Dr. David Fisman, Epidemiologist, Professor at the Dalla Lana School of Public Health, and a practicing physician at Toronto’s University Health Network


11:10 am
NETWORKING LOUNGE

11:20 am
CONCURRENT SESSIONS (SELECT B1, B2 or B3)

SESSION B1:
COVID-19's IMPACT ON OFFICE MARKETS: WHAT ARE KEY ISSUES THAT LANDLORDS AND TENANTS ARE ADDRESSING? WHAT DOES THE FUTURE HOLD?

Around the world, companies and people had to abandon their offices as governments mandated that employees work remotely from home. This was deemed as one of the critical measures to try to contain the spread of COVID-19. How have these protocols affected Canada’s 530 million sq.ft. office market? This session will examine a wide range of unprecedented issues that both landlords and tenants have been dealing as a result of the pandemic. The discussion will focus on a wide range of topics from both the perspective of office building owners as well as users. 

  • How have landlords responded to the challenges facing some of their tenants? Have rent abatements been widely requested and, in turn, offered?
  • How has social distancing and remote working impacted coworking and conventional office environments? 
  • What steps respectively have landlords and tenants taken when they reopened offices and buildings? 
  • What permanent shifts may result from the impacts of the pandemic, e.g. will office floors, workplaces and buildings be redesigned, will demand and, in turn, rents decline as more people work remotely partially or fulltime, will location location location matter if remote working works?
  • Is the subway as important as it used to be in office location decision-making?
  • Will suburban offices or offices with high parking ratios be in greater demand?
  • Will offshore remote office workers serve to reduce domestic office space demand? 

Sheila Botting

Matt Kornack

Tim Low

Bernard Poliquin

Kim Riley

Gord Wadley

Moderator:
Sheila Botting, Principal & President, Professional Services, Americas, Avison Young

Panel:
Matt Kornack, Director, Real Estate Equity Research, National Bank Financial
Tim Low, Senior Vice President, Leasing, Allied Properties REIT
Bernard Poliquin, Chief Real Estate Operations Officer & Executive Vice President, Office & Industrial, Cominar REIT
Kim Riley, Executive Vice President, Investments & Developments, Artis REIT
Gord Wadley, Chief Operating Officer, Dream Office REIT


SESSION B2:
TRYING TO UNDERSTAND VALUATIONS AND THE INVESTMENT MARKET IN THE AGE OF COVID-19: 
IS TRANSACTION ACTIVITY RETURNING?

One of the most significant issues that all commercial real estate mortgage lenders, investors, brokers and owners face today is being able to get a handle on property valuations. 

  • Have there been pauses in property financing while lenders evaluate the COVID-19 disruption and its actual impact on property cash flows? 
  • Has stress testing changed? 
  • Will tenant’s business – and not just its credit worthiness – now affect valuation?
  • Has this situation had an impact on property liquidity? Interrupted and in some cases erratic cash flows, an uncertain economic recovery, coupled with a decline in investment activity have all made property valuation a challenge. Low transaction volume has eroded confidence in pricing new transactions. 
  • Are long term vacancy assumptions changing? 
  • Have there been defaults, loan losses and insolvencies? 
  • What is the new risk paradigm? 
  • When will adequate transaction volumes return in order to assist both valuation and pricing? What property types would likely be preferred? 
  • How much “dry powder” is available for real estate?
  • Will the pension fund “denominator effects” be a factor?
  • Will insurance availability or cost become a factor?

An important conversation will occur to try to provide some clarity during these uncertain times.

Colin Johnston

Sam Brown

Jason Castellan

Dennis Mitchell

Tom Rothfischer

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

Panel:
Sam Brown, Senior Vice President, Origination & Product Development, CMLS Financial
Jason Castellan, Co-Founder & CEO, Skyline Group of Companies
Dennis Mitchell, Chief Executive Officer & CIO, Starlight Capital 
Tom Rothfischer, Partner, KPMG LP


SESSION B3:
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? How have KPIs changed over the past year?

Steven Pacifico

Andrew Moffs

Ben Mullen

Teresa Neto

Joe Solly

Moderator:
Steven Pacifico
, Director, Sustainability & Innovation, Epic Investment Services

Panel:
Andrew Moffs
, Senior Vice President & Portfolio Manager, Vision Capital Corporation
Ben Mullen, Vice President, Asset Management, Minto Group
Teresa Neto, Chief Financial Officer, Granite REIT
Joe Solly, Partner, Sustainability & Climate Change Practice, Eastern Canada, Deloitte


12:15 pm
NETWORKING LOUNGE WITH MORNING SPEAKERS

12:40 pm
CONCURRENT SESSIONS (SELECT C1, C2 or C3)

SESSION C1:
FACTS & FALLACIES ON HOW THE APARTMENT MARKET HAS PERFORMED IN 2020:
BETTER THAN YOU THINK? 

Last year, multi-unit residential moved to the top of many preferred property portfolios for a growing number of investors. Major immigration trends and strong employment contributed to a high demand scenario resulting in record low vacancy rates in many major cities and mid-markets. And then came COVID-19 resulting in accelerated unemployment and a steep decline in immigration. Concerns immediately were raised about rent collection related to the ability of unemployed tenants to pay but government programs served well to allow tenants to pay rent.

  • How has the multi-residential market really performing since March? 
  • Has it had countercyclical resilience? 
  • Is it still an ideal property class to be in during the current downturn? 
  • What impact are lower financing costs, lower utility costs, lower repair and maintenance costs and non-existent CAPEX having on the value of these assets?
  • Will dense populations in high-rise buildings pose ongoing health concerns? 

This session will provide insights into operations, communications and management during the pandemic and address the aforementioned questions. When do they see a return to more stable market conditions?  

David Bloomstone

Brad Cutsey

Glen MacMullin

Robert Richardson

Mark Rothschild

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

Panel:
Brad Cutsey,
President, InterRent REIT
Glen MacMullin, Chief Investment Officer, Minto Apartment REIT
Robert Richardson, Executive Vice President, Killam Apartment REIT
Mark Rothschild, Managing Director, Real Estate Analyst, Canaccord Genuity Markets


SESSION C2:
WHAT GROWTH STRATEGY WORKS MOST SUCCESSFULLY FOR SMALLER REITs? ORGANICALLY
VS. QUANTUM LEAP?

Nearly ten years ago, there was an unprecedented level of activity of proposed and actual IPOs of new Canadian REITs entering the market. Many local, modestly sized, externally managed REITs were created. Joining them were a number of cross-border REITs created by owners of U.S. or European real estate assets, who are finding that their home capital market is not as welcoming as Canada’s. Some new REITs have also emerged in the market during the past decade. This session will examine the experiences of some of the smaller and younger REITs, and what their growth strategies are to achieve greater mass and attract institutional/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 looking at strategies that larger cap REITs do not follow? 
  • Is the pressure to acquire properties and grow pushing smaller REITs to other markets and property typees? 
  • Is the pandemic creating issues for them to execute their strategies going forward?

Andrew Wallace

Steve Hodgson

Milton Lamb

Michel Léonard

Jenny Ma

Michael Zakuta

Moderator:
Andrew Wallace, Head of Real Estate, Investment Banking, National Bank Financial

Panel:
Steve Hodgson
, Chief Executive Officer, Slate Office REIT
Milton Lamb, President & CEO, Automotive Properties REIT
Michel Léonard, President & CEO, BTB REIT
Jenny Ma, Director, Equity Research, BMO Capital Markets
Michael Zakuta, President & CEO, Plaza Retail REIT


SESSION C3:
COVID-19'S IMPACT ON THE INDUSTRIAL MARKET: TO WHAT EXTENT IS THIS MARKET OUTPERFORMING ALL OTHERS?

Prior to COVID-19, industrial real estate was on a significant comeback trail. Vacancy across the country had fallen to a historically low level of 2%. NERs and CAP rates reached record numbers in many cases. Over 25 million sq.ft. was under development as demand surged for modern higher quality buildings, especially for the distribution and logistics sectors. 

  • How has COVID-19 created accelerated demand for distribution and logistical space? In which markets? 
  • Are supply chains in Canada switching from North/South to East/West and from “just in time” to “higher inventory is better”
  • What kind of tenants are propelling growth at this time? 
  • How are industrial tenant requirements changing? How are landlords responding? 
  • How has the pandemic impacted this multi-billion square foot property class and its strong leasing, investment and development trends? 
  • Is the pace of industrial development keeping up with demand? Is it still economical to build? Is the right type of industrial space being constructed?
  • What is the U.S. experience in this market as well? 
  • How strong is investor interest overall in industrial properties? 

David Tweedie

Paul Dykeman

Lorne Kumer

Steve Scott

Ayesha Shafiq

Moderator:
David Tweedie, Director, RBC Capital Markets Real Estate Group

Panel:
Paul Dykeman
, Chief Executive Officer, Summit Industrial Income REIT
Lorne Kumer, Executive Vice President, Head of Global Real Estate, Granite REIT
Steve Scott, Chairman & CEO, StorageVault Canada
Ayesha Shafiq, Senior Vice President, Real Estate Investments, Dream Industrial REIT


1:30 pm
NETWORKING LOUNGE

1:40 pm
THE KEY QUESTION ON THE MINDS OF LEADERSHIP AND INVESTORS:  HOW WILL REITs and REOCs DELIVER PERFORMANCE DURING COVID-19 AND ONCE IT ENDS?

An insightful examination of the challenges, trends, and issues facing Canadian REITs and REOCs, what CEOs are doing to manage their business through the pandemic, and what are their thoughts on the horizon once a recovery can begin. The following are some of the questions that will be examined:  

  • As we move through the pandemic, what do you consider to be the greatest opportunities and risks to your business at this time? What strategies are you pursuing as a result? Will business continuity planning assume a higher priority going forward?
  • What stories can you share with us about leadership, optimism, philanthropy and human resiliency that emerged during the past six months? What are the “silver linings” that will emerge from this pandemic?
  • 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 or REOC? 
  • What are the key steps that you are taking to grow your business now? Are you playing defense or offense? When do you expect to shift from “survival” mode to long term strategic thinking?
  • What are the most significant “disrupters” of real estate? Will the need for space increase or decrease as a result of COVID-19?
  • How would your ideal portfolio today compare with your thinking one year ago?
  • Can REITs and REOCs still grow effectively by pursuing ‘value-add’ and ‘opportunistic’ strategies? What kind of NAV growth could either of these options produce?
  • How much development activity do you anticipate undertaking going forward? How have those plans changed if at all in the past six months?
  • Has ESG maintained or increased in its importance? Are sustainability, environmental and innovation key considerations within your organization? What ESG changes – if any – did you make during COVID-19.
  • As we move through COVID-19, are you detecting shifts in appetite for Canadian real estate by public investors, pension funds, private equity and global investors?

Vlad Volodarski

Neil Downey

Scott Frederiksen

Mark Kenney

Ashley Lawrence

Adam Paul

Moderator: 
Vlad Volodarski, Chief Executive Officer, Chartwell Retirement Residences

Panel:
Neil Downey
, Managing Director, Global Equity Research, RBC Capital Markets
Scott Frederiksen, Chief Executive Officer, WPT Industrial REIT
Mark Kenney, President & CEO, CAPREIT
Ashley Lawrence, Managing Director, Real Estate, Regional Head, Canada, Brookfield Property Group
Adam Paul, President & CEO, First Capital REIT


2:35 pm
CLOSING REMARKS

2:40 pm
NETWORKING LOUNGE