Illustrative Consulting Assignments
Wealth Management Firm: REFS serves as an ongoing Investor Representative for a wealth manager which invested $36 million in a 900-bed to-be-built student housing facility near a tier-1 university located in an Opportunity Zone. REFS responsibilities include approval of capital transactions and sales. REFS performed initial due diligence and underwriting. The property is scheduled to open in the summer of 2023. REFS serves as an ongoing Investor Representative to the venture.
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 the implementation of new systems.
Developer/Owner: 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) developing 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.
Real Estate Operating Company: REFS was engaged by an experienced real estate operating company seeking to expand its capital sources in the institutional market. The work involved performing due diligence on the organization, its policies and procedures, and historical performance to prepare the company to effectively enter the institutional marketplace.