Nearly 200 industry leaders joined the IPA for three days of discussion, networking, and advocacy in Washington, DC on April 26-28 for IPASummit 2023. We were thrilled with the thoughtful insights shared by our guest panelists, the productive conversations during our roundtable sessions, and the advocacy efforts from our hill day.
State of the Alternative Investments Markets
Kicking off programming at IPASummit, Kris Oxtal, Principal at Capright, moderated a discussion with Anne-Marie Vandenberg, President & CEO at RREEF Property Trust and Lead Portfolio Manager at RREEF Management L.L.C. Alternatives; Chris Milner, Head of CRE Investment Management at Cantor Fitzgerald; and Thayer Gallison, Senior Vice President, and Head of Product Strategy at Cottonwood. Together these leaders explained how the current and emerging economic landscape impacts real assets and real estate markets.
In this discussion, the panelists emphasized that despite current market challenges like inflation and banking turmoil, the fundamentals of real estate portfolios remain sound. They noted that it is critical that managers identify unique opportunities for deployment, determine where they can shift allocations, and remain disciplined as the economy continues to adjust.
Keynote: U.S. Department of Labor (DOL)
In the last few years, the DOL has shown an increased focus on regulating rollovers and 401(k) plan investments. At the event, Chris Cosby, Director of the Office of Exemption Determination at the Employee Benefits Security Administration (EBSA), sat down with Kevin Walsh, Principal at Groom Law Group, to discuss these recent developments and the process of exemptions for asset managers and distribution partners.
Director Cosby outlined his department’s role, the current parameters for exemptions from ERISA’s prohibitions, and how managers can seek exemptions that could better promote innovation if the managers can show that the innovation is protective of retirement savers. Much of the discussion focused on rollovers – Director Cosby explained when rollover advice is subject to ERISA, emphasized the work the DOL is doing to clarify the standards applicable, and noted that rollover guidance has been and remains the subject of litigation. Given the litigation, he suggested that the DOL may need to revisit its “fiduciary” guidance.
Keynote: Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA)
Closing out the programming for day one, Tom Selman, Founder of SCOPUS Financial Group spoke with Robert L.D. Colby, Chief Legal Officer, and Thomas Mellett, Vice President of Capital Markets Examinations from FINRA. As part of the discussion, the speakers dove into the complexities of rulemaking, FINRA’s process for issuing interpretations and how they aim to provide valuable guidance for broker-dealers. Mellett highlighted how they are working to apply the SEC’s Reg BI with necessary flexibility and how they hope the emerging issues section of their annual report can help broker-dealers address issues proactively before regulators step in.
The conversation also covered last year’s notice on complex products that received significant comments from the industry. In response, Colby emphasized that the notice was meant to be a thought-provoking concept, but it was not a roadmap for a proposed rule. FINRA staff has reviewed all comments and are currently working on a term sheet internally, which another regulatory notice or a proposed rule will follow.
Keynote: U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC)
To kick off day two, Ali Connaughton, Partner at Morrison Foerster, spoke with SEC Commissioner Mark T. Uyeda on his perspective on SEC rulemaking, the initiatives the Commission is focused on this year, and the structure within the Commission. Commissioner Uyeda also spoke about how his previous experience at other regulatory agencies and on Capitol Hill drives his work and perspectives on rulemaking at the SEC, and how the staff works as a unified organization across party lines. Commissioner Uyeda noted that, despite criticism that the SEC has become a politicized organization, Commission members do not see things through a partisan lens. Their different backgrounds bring unique perspectives to situations, which allow them to factor in a wide range of approaches and opinions into decisions.
Connaughton and Commissioner Uyeda concluded the discussion with insightful thoughts on federal and state regulators, the controversial SEC ESG proposals and the Commissioner’s views around Regulation D and the accredited investor definition. Commissioner Uyeda explained how all SEC proposals are thoughtfully considered from all angles, including if it’s worth overturning a rule, noting that they do not take the rulemaking process lightly.
Keynote: North American Securities Administrators Association (NASAA)
The day’s second keynote featured Valerie Mirko, Partner and Co-Leader of the Securities Regulation and Litigation Practice Area at Armstrong Teasdale, speaking with Maryland Securities Commissioner Melanie Lubin. They discussed NASAA governance and process for model rulemaking, and how Commissioner Lubin’s unique background and history as a state regulator fuels her decision-making at NASAA.
During the keynote, Commissioner Lubin noted that NASAA’s structure is inherently designed to encourage an internal consensus and build collaboration among external stakeholders. Beyond this, Commissioner Lubin provided insights on the current status and various components of NASAA’s proposed REIT Guidelines, NASAA’s Reg BI initiatives, senior investor “report and hold” laws, and other state advocacy and corporation finance issues that are currently top of mind.
The Next Frontier: Examining Growth, Expansion Opportunities & Major Trends for Alternative Investments
Wrapping up the morning, a panel of top industry experts spoke on market, distribution, and economic trends and potential impacts on IPA members and their businesses. Moderator Dan Cullen, Partner at Baker & McKenzie LLP spoke with Kevin Gannon, Chairman & CEO at Robert A. Stanger & Company, Inc., Kunal Shah, Managing Director at iCapital, and Senior Advisor Mark Goldberg, about new product strategies, portfolio allocation trends, market entrants, distribution channel demands and the overall outlook for alternatives, including fundraising, performance, and redemptions.
Audience members walked away with new perspectives and insights on how the current alternative investment market may influence the industry’s future.
IPASUMMIT 2023 ATTENDING FIRMS
1776 Wealth LLC
Accretive Wealth Management
AGES Financial Services Ltd
Alston & Bird LLP
Alternative Investment Exchange (AIX)
Andalusian Wealth Management
AOG Wealth Management
Apollo Global Management, LLC
Ares Wealth Management Solutions
Armstrong Teasdale LLP
Ashford Securities, LLC
Avantax Wealth Management
Axxes Capital LLC
Baker & McKenzie LLP
Bank of America
Benefit Street Partners LLC
Broadridge Financial Solutions, Inc.
Brookfield Oaktree Wealth Solutions
Capital Investment Companies
Cavria Advisors, LLC
Cetera Financial Group
Commonwealth Financial Network
DAI Securities, LLC
Deloitte & Touche LLP
DLA Piper LLP US
DST Systems, Inc.
DTCC – AIP
DWS RREEF Property Trust
Eagle Point Credit Management LLC
ExchangeRight Real Estate, LLC
Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA)
Forum Capital Advisors
Franklin Templeton Wealth Management Alternatives Distribution Group
Georgetown University – Real Estate Investment Trusts
Great Lakes Fund Solutions, Inc.
Green Vista Capital, LLC
Griffin Capital Company, LLC
Groom Law Group
Hines Securities, Inc.
Infinity Financial Services
Inland Real Estate Investment Corporation
Investment Planners Inc.
Invicta Capital, LLC
J.P. Morgan Asset Management
JLL Income Property Trust
Kunzman & Bollinger, Inc.
LaSalle Investment Management
Lincoln Financial Network
LPL Financial LLC
Madison International Realty
Mindful Wealth LLC
Morrison Foerster LLP
Nobles & Richards, Inc.
North American Securities Administrators Association (NASAA)
Pinnacle Capital Group
Protected Investors Of America
Provident Wealth Advisors LLC
Raymond James Financial
Real Assets Advisor
Redbrick LMD, LLC
REIT Academy LLC
RREEF Property Trust
Robert A. Stanger & Co., Inc.
SCOPUS Financial Group
Sigma Financial Corporation
Simpson Thacher & Bartlett LLP
Snyder Kearney, LLC
Starwood Real Estate Income Trust, Inc.
The DI Wire
Triton Pacific Securities
USG Realty Capital
U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC)
Wealthforge Securities, LLC