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Operations and Reporting

Public Pension Fund

The fund wanted to establish “best–in–class” operational and financial reporting capability. REFS work included a) review of existing practices and reports, b) determination of needs, c) development of guidelines, policies and sample reports, and d) assistance with implementation of new systems


The firm was raising $300 million of equity to form a closed-end fund to acquire approximately $800 million of property. Approximately 25% of the properties were pre-specified. REFS was engaged to provide an LP’s perspective on a) the strategy and terms of the fund (including LPs’ rights), b) Term Sheet and PPM, and c) property management, leasing, asset management, and portfolio management policies and procedures. In addition, REFS commented on preliminary marketing materials and met with key personnel to prepare them for investor due diligence.

Mortgage Banking Firm

The client was forming a $200 million private equity fund to invest in mezzanine and hybrid debt/equity positions in small to mid-sized properties in secondary and tertiary markets. REFS work included a) reviewing and consulting on fund terms and documentation b) reviewing marketing materials, c) development of standard investment terms and conditions, and d) design and construction of the portfolio and asset management policies and procedures.

Private Equity Fund Sponsor

This firm was reviewing its portfolio and asset management policies and procedures, as well as its asset management structure. REFS provided sample asset management overview procedures and sample tools to manage and measure staff workflow.

Private Equity Fund Sponsor

This emerging manager needed to create back-office policies and procedures for accounting, performance measurement, and valuation. REFS provided sample policy and procedure documentation and worked with the firm to tailor its policies.

Public Pension Fund

REFS was engaged to review and provide recommendations related to the asset management policies and procedures employed by a public pension fund to ensure that they met “industry best practices” and the needs of its evolving portfolio. More specifically, REFS reviewed the existing policies and procedures, and held discussions with staff, current investment management firms, and peer group investors. REFS evaluated the current processes and developed recommendations to achieve the fund’s goal. In Phase II of the project, REFS produced updated asset management policies and procedures, including sample reports, checklists, and procedures to ensure compliance.

Private Equity Fund Sponsor

REFS was engaged to review and provide recommendations on the investment and management policies and procedures of a private equity fund sponsor seeking institutional capital. REFS work included reviewing current policies and procedures and making recommendations that would align such policies and procedures with those that are required in the institutional investor universe.

Meeting Fiduciary Services

Accounting and Reporting

Public Pension Fund

REFS was engaged by a public pension fund to provide quarterly consolidation services, creating financial statements for a title-holding entity. These statements support portfolio-loan-related debt compliance requirements.

Public Pension Fund

REFS was engaged to assist a public pension fund in searching for an outside real estate administrative and investment accounting service provider to support the planned creation of a direct real estate portfolio, to be managed by the staff managed, and consisting of direct and joint venture assets. REFS researched the market, identified several such service providers, and worked with the client as they held preliminary discussions. This allowed the client to understand the market and better frame the planned RFP. REFS supported the RFP process, working closely with the client in drafting the RFP, preparing question-and-answer responses, and conducting interviews before selection.



Labor Union

REFS was engaged as the financial advisor to the union to consult on its facility requirements strategy. REFS work included, a) assisting in determination of current and future space needs, b) analyzing existing lease obligations, c) analyzing a pre-identified property available for acquisition, d) conducting independent market analysis, and e) preparing financial projections of occupancy costs under various scenarios and outlining the implications for the overall financial condition of the union. An acceptable long term lease opportunity was identified as an alternative and was accepted by the union. REFS negotiated the lease.

Money Management Firm

A large money management firm without in-house real estate capability requested advice for two of its clients.

Client was expanding its business into a Mid-West city and needed advice on lease terms. REFS analyzed the market and provided negotiation support.
Client was seeking equity to re-capitalize a real estate investment. REFS reviewed and provided advice on the offering materials.

Government Authority

The authority requested market research on the feasibility of financing a proposed mixed use development at a projected return. REFS surveyed market participants including, appraisers, developers, investors and lenders, and then prepared a report summarizing findings. This work supported the authority’s overall review and approval process.

Litigation Support

Law Firm

The firm required expert real estate advice for its client in connection with a real estate investment dispute. REFS a) reviewed the relevant partnership and operating agreements, b) inspected the real estate, c) analyzed market information, and d) provided advice related to the litigation.

Law Firm

The firm required expert advice regarding a real estate related employment dispute. REFS reviewed the relevant separation agreements, related partnership and operating agreements, and then prepared a summary as compared to those typical in the market. REFS also provided advice related to trial preparation strategies, and ultimately testified.

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