MBA's CREF Market Intelligence Symposium

By Jamie Woodwell; Reggie Booker
July 23, 2019

Market Intelligence


On July 10 and 11, in association with NYU Schack Institute of Real Estate and sponsored by DBRS, MBA hosted its third annual CREF Market Intelligence Symposium. The Symposium has become an important forum for commercial and multifamily real estate finance leaders and analysts to come together, hear from leading researchers and discuss key risks (and opportunities) facing the industry.

After Sam Chandan (Associate Dean of NYUSPS Schack Institute of Real Estate) and Brian Stoffers (Chairman-Elect of the Mortgage Bankers Association and Global President of Debt & Structured Finance at CBRE) welcomed attendees, Seth Carpenter (Chief US Economist for UBS) kicked off the Symposium with an insightful analysis of current economic conditions and prospects.

The discussion then focused in on property markets, with Greg Willet (Chief Economist at RealPage) covering multifamily, Will Pattison (Head of Real Estate Research at MetLife) focusing on industrial, Richard Hill (Managing Director of Research at Morgan Stanley) drilling into retail and Robert Cartwright (Chief Operating Officer at Hana) discussing office.

In a session focused on the impact of regulation on capital, Robert Kurtzman (Senior Economist, Banking and Financial Analysis, Division of Monetary Affairs, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System) discussed research he and other Fed economists are doing on segmentation in the CRE debt markets and Luis Meija (Supervisory Financial Analyst, FHFA) detailed the multifamily capital rules FHFA has proposed for Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.

Attendees learned about, and discussed, how investor-driven lenders are changing the game, with Raphael Fishbach (Principal at Mesa West) discussing the market evolution and Erin Stafford (Managing Director, Head of North American CMBS, DBRS) presenting on what CRE CLO data tells us about the space.

To close the first day, Symposium attendees grabbed a drink and joined Sam Chandan and Smriti Popenoe (EVP & Co‐Chief Investment Officers, Dynex Capital) for an insightful -- and lively - discussion about "black swans."

The second day carried forward the momentum of the first, kicking off with Andrea Jang from JLL Spark presenting on the use of big data and AI in asset and risk management.

The hot topic of CECL then held court, with Joseph McBride (Director - Research and Applied Data, Trepp) presenting on modeling approaches, Benjamin Havird (Director, PWC) speaking to what his company is seeing in its work with clients, and Curt Dawson (Head of the Credit, Ratings and Analytics ‐ Real Estate, MetLife) discussing how companies are working through the realities of the CECL process.

To close out the Symposium, Robert Jenkins of Renaissance Equity Partners presented to the group and led a discussion on opportunity zones, which was followed by a meaty conversation about the LIBOR transition, led by Andrew Foster (Director, MBA), Richard Jones (Partner, Dechert) and Jan Sternin (Senior Vice President, Managing Director, Berkadia).

Phew... It was a mind-expanding 24-hours, with tremendous insights from the presenters, discussion with the attendees and networking among everyone involved.

We want to thank NYU for (again) hosting the Symposium and DBRS for (again) sponsoring it. We're already looking forward to next year.

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