Our Historic Year
Reflection can be central to good preparation. With that in mind, it’s instructive to look at what we achieved last year as we gear up for 2014.
In 2013, the IPA and its members celebrated key milestones and record-breaking direct investment sales. We continued to champion transparency and a new degree of advocacy for our industry. The IPA also released more premiere educational resources, and supported diversity among our membership. These are only some of the highlights of our own banner year as we worked to advance the direct investment industry.
Reflecting strong investor demand and competitive, attractive returns to investors, the IPA’s robust membership activities were mirrored by strong sales of direct investment vehicles. Blockbuster capital raising continued steadily throughout the year reaching $24.6 billion by year-end. Data developed by Robert A. Stanger & Co. shows equity capital flows to direct investments in 2013 rose $11.2 billion from the 2012 total of $13.4 billion – an 84% increase.
Regulation and Advocacy
In 2013, the IPA’s leadership worked tirelessly with regulators to provide recommendations, expertise and create even greater transparency. Some of our initiatives included working collaboratively with the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) to provide input into the final Regulatory Notice 12-14. The IPA has also been working with the North American Securities Administrators Association (NASAA) to provide input and suggestions concerning recommended BDC and REIT guideline provisions, including the use of electronic signatures. We also provided recommendations to the Department of Labor regarding commission practices.
During our initial year of formal Washington advocacy, the first Congressional Testimony by an IPA member was delivered by Wayne Souza of Walton International. At a July hearing of the House Financial Services Committee on Capitol Hill, he addressed potential enhancements to securities laws to enhance U.S. job creation using the JOBS Act.
Finally, to promote awareness and education on behalf of the direct investment industry, IPA executives presented at a NASAA conference to discuss strengths of third-party due diligence and the IPA Valuation Guideline.
Unanimously adopted in April 2013, we expect broad implementation of that guideline in 2014 to help standardize the frequency and modes of reporting non-listed REITs.
Stanger & Co. conducted a groundbreaking survey released in November of financial advisors’ attitudes toward non-listed REITs. Conducted in March 2013 and released the following month, the IPA Investor Survey pointed to a strong future for our industry among end-clients.
Fly-In and Conference
Last May, we held our 2013 Spring Conference and Fly-In in Washington, D.C., and our Fall Conference last November in Dallas. The events were attended by approximately 350 members representing more than 100 companies. Before the beginning of the Spring Conference, IPA members met with members of Congress, including Rep. Kevin McCarthy, House Majority Whip. Keynote speakers in the Spring were Andy Friedman of The Washington Update – Economist, and Harvard-trained researcher Shawn Achor, author of The Happiness Advantage.
The Fall Conference featured keynote speakers George Will, Pulitzer-Prize-winning columnist for *The Washington Post* and FOX News commentator, and Heisman Trophy winner Roger Staubach, along with dozens of industry leaders.
IPA Education, Mentorship . . . and the Future.
To expand our industry leading educational offerings, we added significant new resources last year with the release of new education modules on non-listed REITs and business development companies (BDCs), and a Financial Advisor Certification Program specially designed for financial advisors and support staff. The modules include in-depth white papers, ongoing certification programs, and e-learning courses.
To encourage the inclusion of more women, young professionals, and minorities in our industry, we held our first-ever Women’s Forum in New York in June. The hugely successful, sold-out conference addressed issues of interest to women in the direct investment and financial services industries. The event also helped to kick off the IPA’s Mentorship Program to create more opportunities for networking, training, and professional development.
Without you, these accomplishments would not have been possible. The next year could well present challenges and changes to our industry like never before. We will need your active involvement to meet these challenges and move forward with even greater success.
We look forward to working with you to advance and strengthen our industry.