Editorial board members meet to discuss ‘what is keeping them up at night’
Investors - SEPTEMBER 18, 2023

Editorial board members meet to discuss ‘what is keeping them up at night’

by Andrea Zander

The members of the Editorial Advisory Board of Institutional Real Estate Americas gathered in Santa Monica, Calif., for the board’s fall meeting last week.

These board members are capital providers, influencers and seekers in the institutional real estate industry — investors, consultants and investment managers all in a room, representing the $13.3 trillion the global real estate investment market. This year’s board members, by the numbers included investors with $890.5 billion in total AUM and $168.1 billion in real estate assets under management; investment managers with $7.8 trillion in total AUM and $1.6 trillion in real estate assets under management; consultants who advise a total of $747.2 billion invested in real estate; and a fund of funds with $16 billion in real estate assets under management.

These are the people who were in the room last week in the board’s second 2023 meeting to meet and discuss “what is keeping them up at night,” a question Geoffrey Dohrmann, chairman, CEO and editor-in-chief, asks these members every meeting.

Their answers form the basis of the conference discussions. The editorial team gathers these subjects in a “Food for Thought” collection of topics prior to the meeting.

These discussions are important because these members represent the readership of IREI. The IREI editorial team will explore the Food for Thought topics in upcoming monthly issues. These features will get these industry experts and others to expand more.

Some highlights from the discussions include:

  • AI and technology: The advancements of artificial intelligence are welcomed by the real estate industry, with internal uses ranging from RFP responses to lease abstraction; however, there needs more time for this technology to be used fully due to concerns of accuracy and privacy.
  • Climate risk and the ESG label: The acronym has outlived its useful and needs to change. Board members agree that it is beneficial to make buildings more efficient, as it both reduces costs and helps reach certain climate goals. But when it comes to social or governance factors, the industry needs to have a more clearer understanding of how they are being applied.
  • Core versus noncore investments: The theme of this conversation was subjectivity. How does your firm define core? Does it match traditional definitions? Are the industry terms changing?
  • Office sector: Despite the negative headlines, attendees felt office has opportunities. There will be investors who will make a “killing” right now. But no one theme or answer will solve the uncertainty there is in the sector.
  • Today’s environment: Has today’s environment ever seen before? The editorial board members all have experiences of different cycles and this one is unlike any of the recent cycles.
  • Asset allocation: Where should real estate debt be placed in investors’ allocations? Should it be within a private credit bucket, in fixed income or in real estate? Many investors were curious about how others allocated and benchmarked real estate debt.

In-depth articles inspired by these discussions will be published in the upcoming monthly issues.

For more information about board memberships, contact Chase McWhorter, managing director, Americas, and Taylor Gray, director of client services.

For editorial inquiries, please contact Andrea Zander, editor of Institutional Real Estate Americas, and Loretta Clodfelter, editorial director.

Upcoming IREI industry invents include the 2024 VIP Americas event; click here for more information.

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