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The opening presentation will provide a brief overview of what has transpired over the past 12 months, some initial results for the first half of 2015, and a few observations on where the market appears to be heading over the next year.
Carolyn Blair, Managing Director, RBC Capital Markets Real Estate Group
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 unit and REOC shares, and what are the key expectations that govern their investment decision-making.
Neil Downey, Managing Director, Global Equity Research, RBC Capital Markets
Tom Dicker, Portfolio Manager, 1832 Asset Management, Dynamic Funds Ltd.
Kevin Hall, Managing Director, Canadian Equities, Guardian Capital LP
Michael Missaghie, Vice President & Senior Portfolio Manager, Sentry Investments
John Murphy, Vice President, Real Estate Securities Analyst, Cohen & Steers
An increasing number of REITs are undertaking development projects as one of their growth strategies. On the one hand, the significant degree of cap rate compression and the lack of quality assets being available for sale make it difficult for a REIT to grow by acquisition only. On the other hand, market forces are very supportive of intensification and urbanization, facilitating all forms of development. The economics of building new assets are becoming compelling when compared with cap rates to buy existing ones. This panel will examine these questions in greater detail. How can REITs pursue development strategies successfully when their original structure was not designed with this capability in mind? Are there practical issues that make it possible for REITs to develop or not? Are the REITs well equipped to manage large development programs? How are investors, portfolio managers and analysts viewing REIT development strategies? How much risk does development introduce into the space? If REITs don’t have the opportunity to build capital reserves, how do you create contingency funds in case things that go wrong with development? What have been the experiences of REITs to-date with new developments especially where they are mixed-use projects vs. a pure play?
Paul Morassutti, Executive Vice President & Executive Managing Director, CBRE Limited
Tom Burns, Executive Vice President & COO, Allied Properties REIT
Gregory Menzies, Executive Vice President, Eastern Canada, First Capital Realty Inc.
Andrew Nasr, Managing Director & Senior Portfolio Manager, Middlefield Capital Corporation
Jordan Robins, Senior Vice President, Development, RioCan REIT
In 2012 and the first half of 2013, 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 have been a growing 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.
Two large retailers also monetized the hidden value of their properties assets via very successful REIT IPOs. This session will examine the experiences 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 asset classes? Will all of them survive in the public markets?
Patricia Koval, Partner, Torys LLP
Frank Camenzuli, Chief Executive Officer, Agellan Commercial REIT
Paul Dykeman, Trustee & CEO, Summit Industrial Income REIT
Heather Kirk, Managing Director, Equity Research, BMO Capital Markets
Michel Léonard, President & CEO, BTB REIT
Richard Michaeloff, Trustee, President & CEO, OneREIT
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’s hope: if the real estate organizations embrace change and invest wisely, digital disruption can be channeled to drive shareholder return and advance productivity. Real estate itself can become a catalyst for change, influencing organizations to invest in business infrastructure, redesign spaces and transform their business and operating models to become more competitive. Real estate investors can benefit from high-performing assets that continue to attract and retain corporate occupants. How are break-through technologies going to change the face of our marketplace today? What are some new advancements that could provide optimization, efficiencies and even revolutionary changes within your organization? What are some of the innovations and trends that are at the forefront of the real estate market? What are the major opportunities that companies need to embrace in order to maintain a competitive edge? What benefits could “big data” have for the real estate industry?
Sheila Botting, Partner and Canadian Real Estate Leader, Deloitte Canada
Michael Cooper, President & CEO, Dream Unlimited Corp.
Robert Courteau, Chief Executive Officer, Altus Group
William MacGowan, Vertical Solutions Architect, Smart Connected Real Estate, Cisco
As REITs are now an established mainstream investment for Canadians, with a pending new SIC designation, is there a gap between REIT governance and the governance level of the best and largest Canadian public corporations? If so, where are the gaps? Who is pressing for improvement? What are the benefits of having REITs proactively upgrade? What are best practices elsewhere on unitholder rights and remedies, Board independence and diversity, internal controls, diversity, corporate social responsibility and succession planning? How are REIT Trustees managing enterprise and market risks? How is risk management being communicated to regulators and to investors respectively? What can REITs do to protect themselves from activists’ attention and how should they manage shareholder proxy services? What do investors want?
Michael Brooks, Chief Executive Officer, Real Property Association of Canada
Jon Hagan, Principal, JN Hagan Consulting
Andre Kuzmicki, Adjunct Professor, Executive Director, Real Estate and Infrastructure, Schulich School of Business
Michael Markidis, Vice President & Director, Real Estate Analyst, Desjardins Capital Markets
Tom Rothfischer, Partner, GTA Real Estate Leader, KPMG LLP
Succession planning is a critical element for any organization in order for the enterprise to sustain its growth, an effective management team, and support from investors. While many senior executives of REITs and REOCs are likely to be leaving their organizations in the next five to ten years, some changes have occurred in the past year. In a few instances, Presidents have stepped away and new people are being groomed. We now have senior executives that did not build the REIT from its original IPO but will manage the entity. Here is an opportunity to examine how the management transition has progressed. What are some of the strategies and priorities that the new leaders are focusing on? Is there any small change in direction for the REIT or REOC as a result of the new leadership? How do analysts and investors evaluate this organic process of changes at the helm of an organization?
Stephen Sender, Managing Director, Industry Head – Real Estate, Global Investment Banking, Scotiabank
Drew Coles, President & CEO, InnVest REIT
Ryan Fitzgerald, Vice President & Portfolio Manager, CI Investments Inc.
Bart Munn, Executive Vice President & CFO, Choice REIT
Adam Paul, President & CEO, First Capital Realty Inc.
Peter Sweeney, Chief Financial Officer, SmartREIT
Access to a supply of well-priced capital can be helpful to the growth of publicly traded companies via acquisitions, development, or asset repositioning. This session will examine the current market conditions and environment for REITs to access debt and equity markets to meet their ongoing financial needs. What are the major sources that are being used to raise capital at this time? Discussion will also focus on units/shares, preferreds, converts, mortgages, mortgage bonds, unsecured debentures and revolvers. How should REITs evaluate and create appropriate strategies on how and when to use these capital sources? Secured vs. unsecured markets: is there a different mix emerging? Why are we seeing more unsecured and how long will this trend continue? What should be a REIT’s interest rate strategy: long vs. short? 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? Four years after the introduction of IFRS, leverage ratios look good but how much is book value or deleveraging? What are appropriate credit metrics? Are people following them? Are their circumstances where the IFRS role cause REITs to change their FFO? Why can’t we get pension funds and lifecos to invest directly into Canadian REITs like they do in other countries? How can you provide real estate as an asset class to a defined contribution plan? Can REITs draw capital in – lifecos are trying to create products to cater to defined contribution plan. REITS are part and parcel of this. Since this practice is occurring the U.S., could it be a growth sector for Canadian REITs?
Lori-Ann Beausoleil, Partner, National Forensic Leader/National Real Estate Advisory Leader, PwC
Alex Avery, Managing Director, CIBC World MarketsScott Cryer, Chief Financial Officer, CAPREIT
Louis Forbes, Chief Financial Officer, CT REIT
Larry Froom, Chief Financial Officer, H&R REIT
Vlad Volodarski, Chief Financial Officer & CIO, Chartwell Retirement Residences
Oil prices are near a six year low and the resource sector is sagging. What are the ramifications for Western Canada? Is the lower Canadian dollar breathing new life into Canadian manufacturing? Growth in the U.S. is accelerating while Canada is lackluster: what does that mean for our economy? What effect are China and Europe having on the global economy? This presentation will examine the economic outlook for Canada and the U.S., including GDP and employment growth; interest, currency and inflation rates; energy and commodity prices over the rest of the year and 2016, and the implications for consumer and government balance sheets.Using a wireless survey, the audience will be polled for their predictions prior to the presentation. You will have an opportunity to compare your thinking with the expert’s views.
Eric Lascelles, Chief Economist, RBC Global Asset Management Inc.
An increasing number of Canadian REITs are buying foreign assets as some executives feel it is challenging to find domestic assets that are available and appropriately priced. The panel will examine the decision-making process that executives are exercising prior to moving into global markets. What are the most significant factors that need to be weighed carefully? What are the pros and cons of staying in Canada rather than going outside of our border? Are Canadian REITs practical vehicles for investing and operating in foreign properties? What are the implications of such a strategy from the perspective of taxes, remote management, and local market knowledge? What are the key mechanisms required to invest globally? Why should Canadian investors buy Canadian REITs with foreign assets instead of buying “best in class” local REITs in foreign markets? What have been the cross-border global experiences of our REITs? How strong are the opportunities for Canadian REITs to enter foreign markets? Do Canadian REIT foreign holdings get valued based on the markets that their assets are in? What are global portfolio managers looking for? Do investors want to buy Canadian REITs in order to meet their non-Canadian real estate investment needs?
Amy Erixon, Principal & Managing Director, Avison Young – Investments
Jane Gavan, Chief Executive Officer, Dream Global REIT
Robert Landin, Chief Executive Officer, Milestone Apartments REIT
Armin Martens, President & CEO, Artis REIT
Corrado Russo, Managing Director, Investments & Global Head of Securities, Timbercreek Asset Management
Brady Welch, Partner & Co-Founder, Slate Asset Management LP and CFO, Slate Retail REIT
In 2014, the capital markets in Canada continued to demonstrate that investment real estate is still in favour. Given the challenges faced by other asset classes, real estate is generally outperforming many asset classes by offering investors steady and favourable yields at much higher levels than the fixed income market. A panel of senior executives from a cross-section of organizations will discuss some of their mandates and priorities for 2014. Prior to May, 2013, it appeared that REITs were the aggressors in successful asset acquisitions. But that appears to have dramatically changed in 2014. What are the differences between the issues faced by a REIT vs. a pension fund vs. a private equity fund in pricing properties and accessing investment capital at this time? Are pension funds able to focus on Class A assets while REITs focus on higher yielding opportunities? What are your respective priorities for the coming year? Which property classes will be most favoured, in which markets, and why? What have been the most significant challenges in order to buy or sell assets in this market? Are there any signposts that Canadian interest rates will finally rise in 2016? If they do, what will that mean for your strategies? For example, if there is a reallocation due to an equity correction, what happens to real estate strategies of pension funds? There appears to be a huge shift to alternative asset classes among institutional investors. Will this be good or bad for the REIT sector? If pension funds develop private structures, then large capital flows will be in competition. Some pension funds have started to do joint ventures with REITS. How does is this working out?
Gary Morassutti, Managing Director, RBC Capital Markets Real Estate Group
Jeff Appleby, Managing Director, Real Estate Investment Banking, CIBC
Jason Castellan, Chief Executive Officer & Co-Founder, Skyline Group of Companies
Joe Mazzocco, Partner, Investments KingSett Capital
Paul Zemla, Chief Investment Officer, Bentall Kennedy (Canada) LP
No other real estate property class continually attracts as much attention as retail. It is also the asset class that comprises the largest portion of the Canadian REIT market. For a few years, we heard about the number of U.S. and European retailers circling Canada or announcing plans to open stores here. Coupled with this is the continued increase in e-commerce. Then there is the influx of mixed-use developments and inner city intensification. But trends are changing. How does the closure of Target, Sears, Future Shop and other retail chains affect REITs and risk? What about household debt and the apparent tapped out Canadian consumer? How do brick and mortar stores co-exist with online shopping? How are all these trends reshaping the retail marketplace? This session will examine the overall extent of this influx and its potential implications on existing retail centres and formats, current retail tenants, and REITs active in this property class. How are landlords and retailers responding to the new entries and closures in our market? How are developers and retailers responding to the population surge in inner cities? What kind of innovative urban retail formats and projects are emerging? At the same time, is there another elephant in the room? What impact is internet shopping having on conventional retailing especially with Millennials? What potentially lies ahead for retail market activity in Canada? What will the landscape look like 24 months from now?
Mauro Pambianchi, Chief Development Officer, SmartREIT
Jennifer Lee, Partner, Deloitte Canada
Ken Silver, Chief Executive Officer, CT REIT
Patrick Sullivan, Chief Operating Officer, Primaris Management Inc.
Michael Zakuta, President & CEO, Plaza Retail REIT
An insightful examination of the challenges, trends, and issues facing Canadian REITs and REOCs, and what CEOs and senior executives are doing to deliver strong performance. The following are some of the questions that will be examined:
John Morrison, President & CEO, Choice Properties REIT
Michael Cooper, President & CEO, Dream Unlimited Corp.
Lois Cormack, President & CEO, Sienna Senior Living Inc.
Michael Emory, President & CEO, Allied Properties REIT
Tom Schwartz, President & CEO, CAPREIT
Michael Smith, Managing Director, Global Equity Research, RBC Capital Markets