Friday, December 7, 2012

NAREIM Council Meeting / Big News from RCA / Global Women's Partnership / December 7 / A Lucky Boy

NAREIM Capital Raising and Investor Relations Council Meeting

On Tuesday I facilitated a discussion amongst 30 capital raising, marketing and investor relations professionals in Chicago.  While the discussion was conducted under the NAREIM 'Cone of Silence,' what I can share with you is the tone of the session.  Suffice it to say that it was very open dialogue. There were people ranging from very senior and experienced to relative newcomers.  This is part of what made that session special.  No one felt intimated or not at least from what I could feel.  Gunnar Branson, President of NAREIM, has, in a short time, brought new energy and ideas to that organization.  A trusted friend for many years, it's terrific for me to see him flourishing in a job that is not simple (is the job of head of any trade association simple?).  Congratulations Gunnar and also to Jon Dishell of American Realty Partners who was the driving force behind this event.  Special kudos, as well, to Monica Lockhart, NAREIM's Meeting Organizer 

Big News from RCA-Real Capital Analytics 
Real Capital Analytics has announced the RCA Commercial Property Price Indices (RCA CPPI)  which is "a revolutionary suite of more than 200 transaction-based indices using repeat-sales methodology that objectively measure property prices across local, state, regional, and national levels.  Never before has the commercial real estate industry been able to track and measure property prices at such a granular level. This new and exclusive view of commercial property prices at the market level will allow you to objectively measure property prices, better evaluate and manage risk, re-value legacy portfolios and mark assets to market on a frequent basis."  This service is complimentary through January 2013.  RCA is hosting a webinar, featuring RCA Founder and President Bob White on Tuesday, December 11 at 1pm Eastern time.  Register for the webinar here.

A Nice Stroll Through The City
Last Sunday I walked from 56th and 8th Avenue in Manhattan visit my son Kevin's and his family in Brooklyn.  It was a little more than two hours and it was terrific exercise and getting oxygen through my system. New York has so much to see and while walking, especially in neighborhoods and on blocks that I either have never been on or haven't been on for years, is a great way to explore and find new places that you want to go back to shop or eat or drink or play pingpong or catch a show.  At the tail end of the walk and right near the new Barclay's Arena (where the new Brooklyn Nets professional basketball team calls home), I saw a father and daughter, she was probably four, in front of me.  A police officer had told me that Disney on Ice was playing that afternoon. This girl was holding hands with her father and skipping.  When was the last time you skipped down the street, the joy of what you were doing or about to experience simply beyond walking?  What a beautiful thing.  

UNC Kenan-Flagler
The University of North Carolina- Kenan-Flagler team took third place in the 2012 Real Estate Case Challenge hosted by the McCombs School of Business at the University of Texas at Austin. The team members were all second-year MBA students included Brendan McCarthy, Dan Jellicorse, Alex McSpadden, Jessica Fields, Adam Ricketts and Josh Cooke. Dave Hartzell is the coach of this team.  I've known Dave for a good number of years and have driven with him in his car while we've listened to some good ol' rock 'n roll.  He is one of the most passionate, pro-active and supportive academics in the real estate world.  

I had been to this competition some time back and have also attended and been a judge at competitions at UNC and Villanova.  Rest assured, that the next generation of real estate professionals will do us proud, thanks to people like Dave, David Funk, Cornell; Susanne Cannon, DePaul; Dan Kohlhepp, Johns Hopkins; Jeff Fisher, Weimer School; Joe Pagliari, University of Chicago; Hal Smith, Hoyt Group; Norm Miller, University of San Diego; Hugh Kelly, NYU.    

While I'm at it, please allow me to mention some of my fellow Hoyt Fellows whose mission is to bridge the gap between academia and industry:  Mike Acton, AEW; Bob Bach, Newmark Grubb Knight Frank; Brad Case, NAREIT; Blake Eagle, NCREIF; Doug Herzbrun, CBRE Global Investors; Bill Hughes, UBS; Marc Louargand, Saltash Partners; David Lynn; Asieh Mansour, CBRE; Cate Polleys, Hewitt EnnisKnupp; Doug Poutasse, Bentall Kennedy; Jeannette Rice, Verde Realty; Mark Roberts, RREEF; Jon Southard, CBRE Econometric Advisors; Ray Torto, CBRE; Jim Valente, IPD; John Baczewski, Real Estate Fiduciary Services; Chuck DiRocco, PwC; Jacques Gordon, LaSalle Investment Management; Ron Kaiser, Bailard; Mary Ludgin, Heitman; Greg MacKinnon, PREA; Rich Marchitelli, Cushman and Wakefield; Paige Mueller, RCLCO; Hans Nordby, PPR; Jim O'Keefe, UBS; Bill Ramseyer, Cornerstone; Ken Riggs, RERC; Larry Souza, Johnson/Souza Group; Bob White, RCA and Rick Wincott, Altus.  You are making a real positive impact. 

OTR Feedback
"Couldn’t agree with you more about Thanksgiving as a great holiday.  For our family, we generally rank the Fourth of July a slight bit higher if only because the weather is nicer and the food is simpler and it is easier to work off the extra pounds that seem to come with the food.   We love and celebrate them both for exactly the reasons you mention.  With regard the PBGC (Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation), it is actually funded by insurance payments paid by companies that belong to the plan.  It’s not (yet) taxpayer funded although that may change as more companies drop defined benefit programs (they pay the insurance premiums) and companies follow bankruptcy.  The real taxpayer benefit in this program is that if the court approves the dissolution of a company plan, the insurance program will only pay a maximum of $53,000 per year in benefits.  The highly paid employee takes it on the chin.  That employee (this happened to many pilots) gets a maximum of $53,000.  Now contrast that to state plans (and the Federal government pensions) where all shortfalls are paid by the taxpayers.  That’s the real problem."  Thanks for sharing this with us Bob.

Global Women's Partnership (GWP)
On Wednesday evening a friend and I attended the launch event for a wonderfully purposed organization called the Global Women's Partnership (GWP).  Begun this year by co-founders Rimma Doubinskaia and MacDella Cooper GWP seeks to empower women in the developing world (rural villages, towns and cities) who have limited or no access to the most basic of resources.  GWP plans to accomplish this through Micro-Financing for small business development and sustainability, Occupational Training, Healthcare Access and Education, Aids/HIV Education and Prevention, Family Planning, Adult Literacy and Education and Mentoring.  The turnout for the event was excellent.  A special guest was the Liberian Consul General to the United Nations, Hon. William G. Greaves, Jr. who gave a compelling and heartfelt talk to the assembled group about how it is women who are taking The Republic of Liberia to new levels led and inspired by the only female president in Africa, Her Excellency, Madam Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf.  Monetary donations as well as like kind basics such as deodorant, condoms, lotions, toothbrushes, toothpaste, feminine hygiene products, hand sanitizers are also accepted.  

Having been in Liberia for a month over Christmas/New Years 2006/2007, and witnessed first-hand the conditions at that time, I am very excited to be going back with The MacDella Cooper Foundation from December 15 to January 2, 2013 particularly to see The MCF Academy.  Opened in December 2010 it is dedicated to providing youth, especially orphans and abandoned children, with education and the basic necessities of food, clothing and shelter.  Their mission is simple:  To give as many Liberian children as possible the chance to escape the poverty cycle, to learn and grow in a safe environment, so that they can lead Liberia toward an economically strong and politically stable future. Having seen the hopelessness on the faces of so many children six years ago, I eagerly anticipate a very different scene.  You can donate here to the MCF Academy here.  

Incredible Artist of the Week
If you are in New York or planning a trip please stop by Galerie Élysées, 104 Park Avenue South (just a block west of The Plaza Hotel, which by the way, is undergoing a major reinvent of it's retail space).  Walking by randomly on Wednesday night I was stopped dead in my tracks by a sculpture.  I went in and was shown around by Stephan Varnier.  The artist's name is Bruno Catalano.  Justice cannot be done to his work in words nor can seeing it on the web but if you can't visit, take a look here.  

Life is Short
Some months back, I shared with you a flyer that I was given and that I have now shared with others (and they have shared it too).  It's called The Holstee Manifesto and was written by a few folks at a clothing company.  I read it every morning to remind myself of what really is important to me.  And, as we approach the end of 2012 and the start of 2013 I'd like to share it with you again, 

This is your LIFE.
Do what you love and do it often.
If you don't like something, change it.
If you don't like your job, quit.
If you don't have enough time, stop watching TV.
If you are looking for the love of your life, stop; 
They will be waiting for you when you start doing things you love.
Stop over analyzing.
Live is simple.
All emotions are beautiful.
When you eat, appreciate every last bite.
Open your mind, arms and heart to new things and people,
we are united in our differences.
Ask the next person you see what their passion is and,
share your inspiring dream with them.
Travel often; getting lost will help you find yourself.
Some opportunities only come once, seize them.
Life is about the people you meet, and the things you create with them
so go out and start creating.
Life is short.
Live your dream,
and wear your passion.

  • Gareth Dittmer who has joined Morgan Stanley as Executive Director, Head of Investor Coverage, EMEA.
  • Alan Greenwald who has been promoted to Partner at Terra Search Partners.  Alan heads the firm's East Coast office in Washington, DC.
  • Max de Groot who has joined SNS Property Finance as Head of Asset & Equity Management for their international real estate portfolio.
  • Joseph Stecher on the launch of Candlewood which is making secondary and co-investments.

December 7th
Very shortly after the attack on Pearl Harbor that killed or wounded 3,684 Americans, my father and millions of other young Americans, jammed the Armed Forces offices to enlist in various branches.  Today, we remember those who perished on what President Franklin D. Roosevelt called, "a day that will live in infamy.' How sad war is? "When will we ever learn?" Bob Dylan.

Thank You and a Big Hug...
…to all of you who have reached out to me to, well, to make sure I'm okay.  So, a very brief update:
1.  My house in Napa sold this past Tuesday without a hitch.  Yeah!
2.  I have found an apartment in New York. In the spirit of being a 'lucky boy', as a good friend recently called me:  (1) It was the first apartment I looked at; (2) It is in the perfect location; (4) It's an ideal size for me; (5) The rent is within my budget; (6) Within five minutes after the owner of the apartment and I met we learned we had both grown up in Forest Hills, New York and although 10 years apart and the fact that he and I went to rival Junior High Schools :) we made a connection.  Serendipity.?  Luck?  Something else?  I am truly feeling like a very lucky boy.  Thank you again for all your support, encouragement and emails over the years.  Yes, there's a lot going on but I am very okay!  

On the road….
Dec. 15-Jan.3, 2013:  Liberia with The MacDella Cooper Foundation (MCF) to work with children-at the MCF Academy. 
Jan 8-9:  Dallas for a client event.
Jan. 21-25:  Southern California for meetings and to attend the IMN Winter Forum on Opportunity and Private Real Estate Investing in Laguna Beach.
Feb. 27-Mar.1: Phoenix, Arizona to attend the NCREIF (National Association of Real Estate Investment Fiduciaries) Winter Conference.
Mar. 12-15:  Cannes, France to attend MIPIM.
Apr. 28-May 1:  New York for the CRE (Counselors of Real Estate) Mid-Year Meetings and a possible jam-session with the CRE Band, Sound Counsel.
June 4-5:  London to attend the PERE Summit-Europe

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