July 29, 2021
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Top Stories
Nontraded REITs raised $3.5 billion last month, setting another monthly record, according to Robert A. Stanger & Co. Stanger expects retail alternative investments to bring in $60 billion this year, with nontraded REITs accounting for half that amount.
Full Story: The DI Wire (7/26),  Financial Advisor (7/23) 
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Commercial real estate deal activity in the second quarter surpassed average transaction volume trends during the same period from 2015 to 2019 by 14%, according to Real Capital Analytics. "In a sign of market strength, it was the sale of individual assets rather than portfolio and entity-level deals which spurred the growth," RCA noted.
Full Story: GlobeSt (free registration) (7/23) 
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The Federal Reserve says the economy has made progress toward low unemployment and stable inflation, suggesting the central bank could start tapering bond buying this year. Policymakers have left interest rates unchanged after a two-day meeting, with Chair Jerome Powell saying an increase is "not something that is on our radar screen right now." The Fed also plans to create domestic and international standing repo facilities to maintain liquidity when money markets are stressed.
Full Story: The Wall Street Journal (7/28),  CNBC (7/28),  Bloomberg (7/28),  Reuters (7/28) 
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Industry News
Steadfast Apartment REIT has agreed to merge with Independence Realty Trust. When the deal closes in the fourth quarter, the combined entity will own 131 apartment communities in 16 states.
Full Story: MarketWatch (tiered subscription model)/Dow Jones Newswires (7/26) 
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Construction has begun on an industrial park in East Windsor Township, N.J., with the project coming from a fund managed by Black Creek Group. The park has one building that spans 407,000 square feet and another that spans 168,000 square feet.
Full Story: The DI Wire (7/26) 
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Benefit Street Partners Realty Trust has agreed to merge with Capstead Mortgage to form Franklin BSP Realty Trust. The merger will create the fourth-biggest commercial mortgage REIT and an entity with pro forma equity worth almost $2 billion.
Full Story: Commercial Observer (7/26),  The DI Wire (7/27) 
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Policy Update
The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority is planning a series of targeted examinations, focusing on special-purpose acquisition companies, compliance with options account openings and possibly the relationship between financial-services firms and social media influencers, CEO Robert Cook said. Cook also said FINRA's sweeps of a trend toward zero commissions are ongoing, adding, "As new products and fee arrangements evolve, we look at compliance with our rules on communications with the public, which require that there be clear, not misleading, communications about any product or service offered."
Full Story: Law360 (7/22),  ThinkAdvisor (free registration) (7/22) 
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Daniel Kahl, due to become acting director of examinations at the Securities and Exchange Commission next month, says the SEC intends to look closely at systemically important investment firms' management of climate change risk. Kahl has not named any firms but says the SEC is interested in their thinking on the issue.
Full Story: Bloomberg Law (7/22) 
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The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority might extend a temporary rule beyond December that relieves firms of a need to conduct branch office inspections. The rule was passed last year in light of the pandemic, but CEO Robert Cook says, "What I'd like to see happen here is that we would extend [the relief] into next year and that we would step back and look at that [supervision] rule holistically and think about whether it could use some updating to accommodate a thoughtful, risk-based approach to when in-person exams would be necessary."
Full Story: WealthManagement (7/22),  InvestmentNews (tiered subscription model) (7/22) 
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RIA Focus
Environmental, social and governance investing has exploded in popularity, but the lack of clear guidance and established standards increases the risk of greenwashing and portfolio misalignment, writes Blaine Townsend of The Journal of Impact and ESG Investing. Townsend lists four principles for investors to follow when they seek to establish an ESG product's credentials.
Full Story: Thomson Reuters Foundation (7/20) 
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IPA Member Information
Ultimus Fund Solutions provides fund-administration services and technology solutions to clients in the global asset and wealth-management industries. Its services for investment advisors and institutions include a suite of administration and accounting services, investor servicing tools, and distribution support for registered and private investment products. Learn more.
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LEARN MORE ABOUT IPA:
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If the ends don't justify the means, then what does?
Bob Moses,
civil rights activist, educator
1935-2021
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About IPA
The Institute for Portfolio Alternatives (IPA) provides national leadership for the Portfolio Diversifying Investments (PDI) industry. We bring together the investment managers, broker-dealers, investment advisers and industry service professionals - new and established - who are dedicated to driving transparency and innovation in the marketplace. Through advocacy and industry-leading education, we are committed to ensuring all investors have access to real assets and the opportunity to effectively balance their investment portfolios.

The IPA seeks to raise awareness of PDI products among stakeholders and market participants, including: investment advisers, public policymakers and the investing public. We support increased access to investment strategies with low correlation to the broader markets such as: non-listed real estate investment trusts (REITs), business development companies (BDCs), interval funds, closed-end funds, opportunity zones funds, DSTs/1031 Exchanges, and other private placements.

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