Real Assets Adviser

December 1, 2020: Vol. 7, Number 11

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From the Current Issue

Four transformational technologies that can change the face of investing

Geoffrey Dohrmann, founder and CEO of Institutional Real Estate, Inc., parent company of this magazine, once said during a Dohrmann Report podcast interview: “We all say we like change, but we like the change we initiate, not the change we are victim to. Change by definition means we must learn something new, and that means we are temporarily incompetent, and we don’t like the feeling of being incompetent.” And one of the changes continually foist upon us with metronomic regularity is the march of technology. Introduce a new technology, and the contours of life and business change. That means entire industries shift and change and, sometimes, collapse over time.

Anti-pot laws go up in smoke: Five more states legalize cannabis, boosting investors’ prospects

Election Day was cause for celebration among cannabis investors, as five U.S. states legalized the use of marijuana for either medical use, recreational use, or both. Nov. 3 the states of Arizona, Mississippi, New Jersey, Montana and South Dakota approved ballot measures to legalize pot. Meanwhile, Oregon, which legalized marijuana years ago, became the first U.S. state to legalize the regulated medical use of psilocybin, the hallucinogen found in “magic mushrooms.”

5 Questions: The secondary market for private equity

The secondaries market can sound a bit esoteric until you consider that — with the exception of new stock shares created by IPOs, follow-on offerings and such — the world’s stock exchanges are secondary markets. With regard to private equity, the secondary market is the only way for investors to make an early exit from their private equity investments as their situations and strategies change over time, while simultaneously creating opportunities for incoming investors to buy those positions several years into their performance cycle and generally at a discounted price.

Innovations in multifamily housing

The digital transformation of the multifamily industry has been an ongoing process for about a decade, but in the past year the COVID-19 pandemic and a corresponding softening of multifamily economics have added impetus for changes.

The next era in energy: Biggest U.S. utility budgets $50b in infrastructure projects

How many times have we heard energy companies profess their commitment to clean energy, only to make trifling efforts toward that goal? Enough times that we don’t take promises of that kind seriously anymore. Actions speak louder than paper-mache words in this case, which is why the accomplishments racked up by NewEra Energy — the nation’s most valuable energy company — are especially impressive and noteworthy.

Forecast 2021: Never has an annual economic outlook been so unpredictable

Last year, I led off the 2020 prediction feature with a sentence that succinctly summed up the mood of the economic world: “If you liked 2019, then settle back and enjoy 2020.” Well, that didn’t age well. By April, the United States’ economy hadn’t just run out of steam; it had run smack into the side of a mountain. Within a matter of weeks, the unemployment rate had whipsawed from historic low levels to historic high levels. GDP had fallen off the cliff, and industrial activity had slowed to a crawl. In the blink of an eye, the COVID-19 pandemic had dropped an anvil on the longest period of U.S. economic expansion in history.

From red to blue: Five consequences of a Biden administration for U.S. energy

President-elect Joe Biden has promised U.S. voters a radically different energy policy compared with sitting President Donald Trump, one focused on boosting renewables to address the threat of climate change. He will enter the White House with a goal of setting the United States on course for net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050 and will recommit the country to the Paris climate agreement. But there is a good chance the Republicans will retain control of the Senate, limiting how much of the Biden agenda can actually be delivered.

A new tech frontier, a new category for real estate investors

The drive to research and eliminate COVID-19 has accelerated pre-existing trends in the life sciences sector, which in recent years has been buoyed by scientific advancements and technological innovation. The pandemic provides a stark illustration of the importance of the life sciences industry to the economy as a whole, according to Tim Wright, senior managing director in the capital markets group at JLL, and Greg LaBine, managing director in the capital markets group at JLL.

The alternative real estate revolution

Long before the COVID-19 crisis, the manner in which we live, work and play was already shifting in meaningful ways. Driven by demographics, technology and evolving preferences over the past decade, the built environment has also evolved, and continues to do so. As a result of these changing demand patterns, alternative property types have arisen and today represent what we believe to be an increasingly important component of the future real estate market. Assets such as data centers, cell towers, single-family rentals, life sciences labs and cold-storage facilities are poised to benefit from secular tailwinds. Yet, these properties often require more sophisticated management platforms, with a heavier focus on specialized development, operations, and human capital. In response, the REIT market has embraced these complexities at a pace that is years ahead of traditional “core” private real estate strategies, thus becoming the optimal gateway for investors to access the alternatives in an efficient manner.

Profile: Renee LaRoche-Morris, COO of BNY Mellon Investment Management

Renee LaRoche-Morris was a peculiar kid, by her own estimation. She read the dictionary and was more interested in hanging with the adults rather than her contemporaries. Even at age of 5, she sought to play a leading role, taking control of situations and telling those around her what to do, which did not exactly endear her to the adults in her life. She read the newspaper and taught herself to type on a manual typewriter in fifth grade. “I was just different,” she says.

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