Publications

- December 1, 2021: Vol. 33, Number 11

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It’s a brave new (but still very wacky) world: Pay close attention to what’s happening at the margins

by Geoffrey Dohrmann

If you want to understand what the future is going to look like, pay attention to what’s going on at the margins of your field of vision. That sage advice was provided by Chris Kutarna, an Oxford University educator and futurist who keynoted our VIP conference in Barcelona in February 2020, which ended up being our last public live event before COVID-19 erupted nearly two years ago.

Well, what’s been happening in the margins, at least for most of you involved in the institutional real estate investment management business, has been the shift from defined benefit pension funding schemes in favor of the defined contribution pension fund structure.

In fact, for more than 20 years now here in the United States, we’ve been warning members of the investment management and consulting communities that the cow you’ve been milking — the defined benefit pension cow — has been getting skinnier and skinnier. (More plan sponsors have frozen their defined benefit pension

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