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CRE Finance Council Forums

CRE Finance Council Forums are market constituencies that drive the global commercial real estate finance industry. Our Forums include GSE/Multifamily Lenders, Alternative Lenders and High Yield Investors, Investment-Grade Bondholders, B-Piece Investors, Issuers, Portfolio Lenders, and Servicers. Each of these Forums interacts and addresses issues critical to their business sector and works to achieve solutions that serve a common purpose.

As these Forums collaborate, CRE Finance Council’s objectives are to represent all Forum participants, manage disparate and converging views, advocate a consensus of positions to policy and lawmakers, educate members, develop best practices, and work toward the betterment of the entire commercial real estate finance market.

Contact Kathleen Olin or call (202) 448-0863 for Forum related questions.

Forum Related News

News

CREFC Forum Spotlight: CMBS B-Piece Investors Forum

February 6, 2023 

Together, LyndsayZach, and Jason form the “Leadership Working Group” for CREFC’s B-Piece Investors Forum. Importantly, this group — taking their cues from B-Piece Investor Forum members — sets the agendas and priorities for the Forum, as well as represents their constituencies on CREFC’s Policy Committee.

Key B-Piece Investors Focus Areas

  • Ensuring that newly originated retail and office loans have adequate upfront capital reserves, hard lockboxes, and/or set deposits as lower DSCRs make it more challenging to collect significant TI/LC dollars monthly and for loans to withstand declines in tenancy.
  • Watching upcoming maturities closely, as higher interest rates and wide bid/asks on the underlying assets are impacting exit strategies on refinances and sales, respectively.
  • Evaluating potential five-year CMBS transactions cautiously, as these transactions require sterling credit characteristics, and are more sensitive to losses or extensions.

Looking ahead, leaders are hopeful that stabilizing rates will increase CMBS issuance relative to 2022. The Forum would like to continue the push toward better use of technology to improve the speed of reporting from borrowers to servicers and trustees to investors. In 2023, B-Piece investors see key challenges as:

  • Today’s higher interest rates and their impact on borrower demand and refinancings,
  • Enforcing rights in loan documents, such as springing lockboxes and “go-dark” sweeps, and
  • Underwriting office loans as the sector continues to evolve.

What's next: Forum leaders are seeking nominations for the next Chair Elect to join their leadership slate and look forward to presenting CREFC members with an update on their forum at the Annual June Conference in New York City.

To join the B-Piece Investors Forum, please register here. For any forum related questions, please contact either the Forum Chairs or CREFC’s Kathleen Olin at kolin@crefc.org.

Contact 

Kathleen Olin
Managing Director, Industry Initiatives
202.448.0863
kolin@crefc.org

B-Piece Investors Forum

B-Piece Investor Forum Leadership

The information provided herein is general in nature and for educational purposes only. CRE Finance Council makes no representations as to the accuracy, completeness, timeliness, validity, usefulness, or suitability of the information provided. The information should not be relied upon or interpreted as legal, financial, tax, accounting, investment, commercial or other advice, and CRE Finance Council disclaims all liability for any such reliance. © 2023 CRE Finance Council. All rights reserved.
CREFC Forum Spotlight: CMBS B-Piece Investors Forum
February 6, 2023
Together, Lyndsay, Zach, and Jason form the “Leadership Working Group” for CREFC’s B-Piece Investors Forum.

News

CREFC Introduces New Forums

December 12, 2022. 

This week CREFC announced changes to its industry sector forums:

  • A new High Yield Investments/Alternative Lending Forum will serve debt funds and others that comprise private lenders and investors in commercial real estate debt (whole loans, mezzanine loans, preferred equity, and sub-performing/non-performing loans).
  • An expanded Servicers Forum will more fully incorporate CREFC members focused on special assets and special situations.

The changes reformulate the existing High Yield and Distressed Reality Assets (HYDRA) Forum and reflect the evolution of this sector of the CRE finance market. More information on the new forums is below.

CREFC Member Action Required: Current CREFC members of both the HYDRA and Servicers Forums will receive an email request to make new forum selections based on their role in the industry and the descriptions of the forums as presented above.

Alternative Lenders and High Yield Investors Forum

The Alternative Lenders and High Yield Investors Forum will focus on the needs of this growing and important source of market liquidity. Alternative lenders now represent 15% to 20% of annual CRE lending activity.

Membership in this forum will include Alternative lenders and High yield investors in the CRE debt and equity space:*

  • Lenders and investors include debt funds, public/private mortgage REITs, money managers, separately managed accounts (SMAs), and other public or private entities.
  • Investments include bridge and mezzanine loans, preferred equity, and special/distressed situation opportunities.
  • Third-party service providers and business partners who work closely with such lenders and investors.

Importantly, this forum will be instrumental in the development and ongoing maintenance of the soon to be launched CREFC/NCREIF Open-End Debt Fund Index, with the goal of increasing transparency and liquidity in this important sector of the market.

The forum will also:

  • Afford this CREFC member segment a clear, formal voice in CREFC
  • Provide members with a stronger voice with regulators and legislators on Capitol Hill.

Updated Servicers Forum

The HYDRA transformation will shift the Distressed Realty Assets (DRA) portion of HYDRA to the Servicers Forum. CREFC is realigning the Servicers Forum to include two main focus areas:

  • Servicing Administration
  • Special Situations/Special Assets

The newly cast Servicers Forum will represent market participants with separate leadership teams in the servicing of performing asset and non-performing/distressed assets, and include primary servicers and the GSEs.

The combined and expanded Forum will create a collaborative environment to focus on all servicing and trust administration issues within a single forum, while recognizing the diverse issues associated with servicing performing and non-performing loans.

Note that both the current leadership within the Servicers Forum and the Distressed Realty Assets sub-forum of HYDRA will remain in place.

Go deeper: Over the years, content for the existing HYDRA Forum has become divergent into near separate discussions that relate to either alternative lending/investing or distressed asset management and special servicing. This divergence has made it challenging to optimally serve the varying needs of existing HYDRA members. The revised forums aim to better align these conversations.

 * Does not include (is not intended to replace) lenders/investors that are served by the Investment-Grade Bondholders, B-Piece Investors, Portfolio Lenders-Bank, Portfolio Lenders-Insurance Company, or Issuer forums

Contact 

Kathleen Olin
Managing Director, Industry Initiatives
202.448.0863
kolin@crefc.org

Laptop with an envelope as the screen

HYDRA Forum members will be asked to realign themselves with new forum structure.

The information provided herein is general in nature and for educational purposes only. CRE Finance Council makes no representations as to the accuracy, completeness, timeliness, validity, usefulness, or suitability of the information provided. The information should not be relied upon or interpreted as legal, financial, tax, accounting, investment, commercial or other advice, and CRE Finance Council disclaims all liability for any such reliance. © 2021 CRE Finance Council. All rights reserved.
CREFC Introduces New Forums
December 12, 2022
This week CREFC announced changes to its industry sector forums:

News

Portfolio Lenders Forum Spotlight

October 17, 2022. 

Together, Stefanie, Chris, Michael, Jonathan, Scott and Lissette form the “Leadership Working Group” for CREFC’s Portfolio Lenders Forum. Importantly, this group sets the agendas and priorities for the Forum, as well as represents their constituencies on CREFC’s Policy Committee.

Key Portfolio Lender Focus Areas

  1. Regulatory considerations and muted capital markets activity pressuring bank balance sheets, along with CRE allocation or other loan book size constraints.
  2. More disciplined underwriting (increasing expenses and cap rates) coupled with higher interest rates (heightened emphasis on rate sensitivity analysis) and declines in valuations across the board.
  3. Escrows (taxes and insurance for example) that were once waived due to low leverage are back as a result of lower valuations and DSCRs.
  4. Credit focus shift towards the office sector, with increasing delineation between the ‘haves’ and ‘have nots’.
  5. ESG-linked financings are increasingly a focus for both borrowers and lenders.

Looking ahead:  Due to the uncertainty in the capital markets, asset managers are looking ahead to avoid maturity defaults on maturing bridge debt. From a portfolio management perspective, lenders are examining office concentrations as well as transactions that no longer hit DSCR targets in the current rate environment. Refinancing comes at a high cost with a principal paydown, fees and high cap costs.  Those borrowers looking to sale as an exit no longer have certainty of execution. 

What’s Next? Forum leaders are planning a virtual forum-wide legislative and regulatory policy update and will soon be formulating the agenda for the forum session at CREFC’s January conference. 

To join the Portfolio Lenders Forum, please register here.  For any forum related questions, please contact Kathleen Olin at kolin@crefc.org

Contact 

Kathleen Olin
Managing Director, Industry Initiatives
202.448.0863
kolin@crefc.org

CREFC'S Portfolio Lenders Forum

Together, Stefanie, Chris, Michael, Jonathan, Scott and Lissette form the “Leadership Working Group” for CREFC’s Portfolio Lenders Forum. Importantly, this group sets the agendas and priorities for the Forum, as well as represents their constituencies on CREFC’s Policy Committee.

The information provided herein is general in nature and for educational purposes only. CRE Finance Council makes no representations as to the accuracy, completeness, timeliness, validity, usefulness, or suitability of the information provided. The information should not be relied upon or interpreted as legal, financial, tax, accounting, investment, commercial or other advice, and CRE Finance Council disclaims all liability for any such reliance. © 2021 CRE Finance Council. All rights reserved.
Portfolio Lenders Forum Spotlight
October 17, 2022
Together, Stefanie, Chris, Michael, Jonathan, Scott and Lissette form the “Leadership Working Group” for CREFC’s Portfolio Lenders Forum. Importantly, this group sets the agendas and priorities for the Forum, as well as represents their constituencie

News

Forum Spotlight - Investment-Grade Bondholders

October 3, 2022

Together, Jane, Rich, and Manish form the “Leadership Working Group” for the IG Bondholders Forums. This group sets the agendas and priorities for the Forum, as well as represents investors on CREC’s Policy Committee.

Key Investment-Grade Bondholders Focus Areas/Goals

1. Quality, consistency, and standardization of investor reporting for the CRE CLO sector;

2. Improving disclosure of strike rates on interest rate caps for SASB loans in extension periods;

3. Re-authorization of National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) to provide a backstop for flood insurance (NFIP has been extended to Dec. 16, 2022, as part of the the government funding deal); and

4. Continue CREFC efforts in establishing a set of disclosures focused on environmental factors, including data points relative to climate perils, energy consumption/efficiency, and greenhouse gas emissions.

Looking ahead, leaders are concerned about liquidity in the market, the impact of higher rates on loans’ ability to refinance, any degradation in floating-rate DSCRs and interest rate caps. They continue to consider the reduced representation of conduit CMBS in the Bloomberg Agg. Index and alternative benchmarks that incorporate a larger component of the CMBS universe.

What’s next?:  Forum leaders are planning a virtual forum wide legislative and regulatory policy update and will soon be formulating the agenda for CREFC’s January Conference.

To join the IG Bondholders Forum, please register here. For any forum related questions, please contact Kathleen Olin at kolin@crefc.org.

CREFC's Forum Policy Matrix for IG

CREFC’s Forum Policy Matrix with issues applicable for IG bondholders. Click here for the full matrix.

 


Contact

Kathleen Olin
Managing Director, Industry Initiatives
202.448.0863
kolin@crefc.org
CREFC's Investment-Grade (IG) Bondholders Forum Leaders
The information provided herein is general in nature and for educational purposes only. CRE Finance Council makes no representations as to the accuracy, completeness, timeliness, validity, usefulness, or suitability of the information provided. The information should not be relied upon or interpreted as legal, financial, tax, accounting, investment, commercial or other advice, and CRE Finance Council disclaims all liability for any such reliance. © 2022 CRE Finance Council. All rights reserved.
Forum Spotlight - Investment-Grade Bondholders
October 3, 2022
Together, Jane, Rich, and Manish form the “Leadership Working Group” for the IG Bondholders Forums. This group sets the agendas and priorities for the Forum, as well as represents investors on CREC’s Policy Committee.

News

Issuer Forum Highlight

September 26, 2022

Together, David, Jane and Dan form the “Leadership Working Group” for the Issuers Forum set agendas and priorities for the forum, as well as represent the constituency on CREFC’s Policy Committee.

Key Issuers Focus Areas

  • Improving competitive positioning of securitized lenders, especially in light of significant interest rate and credit spread volatility
  • Enhancing transparency within the CMBS market both pre- and post-securitization with a current emphasis on standardizing disclosure and reporting across the CRE CLO sector
  • Maintaining open dialogue with other market participants to help promote responsible lending, including incorporating feedback on structural and documentation enhancements necessary to improve both the borrower experience and loan performance
  • Balancing conduit pools to account for evolving investor preferences across property types and other credit concerns
  • Ensuring that we proactively manage regulatory changes such as LIBOR transition and also retrospectively evaluate previously implemented regulatory measures such as risk retention to determine if any modifications would be beneficial

Looking ahead, leaders are concerned that recent volatility in rates and deteriorating capital markets conditions may disproportionately impact CMBS issuance in the near term. That said, we remain focused on improving transparency, liquidity, and performance to best position the sector to capitalize on opportunities and grow market share as conditions stabilize.

What’s Next: Forum Leaders are planning a virtual forum wide legislative and regulatory policy update and will soon be formulating the agenda for CREFC’s January Conference.

To join the Issuers Forum, please register here. For any forum related questions, please contact Kathleen Olin (kolin@crefc.org).

Contact

Kathleen Olin
Managing Director, Industry Initiatives
202.448.0863
kolin@crefc.org
Issuers Forum Leadership
Leaders are concerned that recent volatility in rates and deteriorating capital markets conditions may disproportionately impact CMBS issuance in the near term. That said, we remain focused on improving transparency, liquidity, and performance to best position the sector to capitalize on opportunities and grow market share as conditions stabilize.
The information provided herein is general in nature and for educational purposes only. CRE Finance Council makes no representations as to the accuracy, completeness, timeliness, validity, usefulness, or suitability of the information provided. The information should not be relied upon or interpreted as legal, financial, tax, accounting, investment, commercial or other advice, and CRE Finance Council disclaims all liability for any such reliance. © 2022 CRE Finance Council. All rights reserved.
Issuer Forum Highlight
September 26, 2022
Together, David, Jane and Dan form the “Leadership Working Group” for the Issuers Forum set agendas and priorities for the forum, as well as represent the constituency on CREFC’s Policy Committee.

News

CREFC’s Servicers Forum

September 19, 2022

Together, Stacy, Leslie, Rich and Carl form the “Leadership Working Group” for the Servicers Forum and set agendas and priorities for the forum, as well as represent the constituency on CREFC’s Policy Committee.

Current issues include:

ESG and Servicers

  • CREFC is well along in establishing a set of disclosures focused on the environmental side of the equation. This includes 51 data points relative to climate perils, energy consumption/production/efficiency, and greenhouse gas emissions.
  • Working to address the other aspects of ESG in a uniform manner.
  • Evaluating potential guidance and playbook opportunities related to ESG initiatives for servicers to be sponsored by CREFC.

 LIBOR to SOFR Transition

  • Implementation weighs heavily on the servicing community as we have been exploring how to implement the changes into day-to-day servicing operations for legacy loans and new issuance. This means deciphering myriad transition language variants within loan documents and discussing how to implement those changes with borrowers and what management of that entails, as well as encouraging consistency in new loan documentation and addressing licensing for the use of Term SOFR.
  • Recommended guidance to be issued on behalf of CREFC for servicers once final Fed rules are published.

Topics discussed at the June conference included:

  • Impressive handling of COVID forbearances and mods
  • Pivot to WFH and now return to office
  • Working through delinquencies
  • Cyber risk / vendor management
  • Division of duties between MS/SS/PS
  • Servicing transfers
  • Delays in reporting for CLOs
  • Reporting timelines—CAs asking for shorter turn arounds from MS
  • Staffing challenges
  • Impact of rising interest rates
  • Increased competition with respect to origination; impact on underwriting and documentation
  • Impending maturity dates
The leaders will also begin planning content for the January forum session.  To join the Servicers Forum, please register here. For any forum related questions, please contact Kathleen Olin (kolin@crefc.org).

Contact

Kathleen Olin
Managing Director, Industry Initiatives
202.448.0863
kolin@crefc.org
The information provided herein is general in nature and for educational purposes only. CRE Finance Council makes no representations as to the accuracy, completeness, timeliness, validity, usefulness, or suitability of the information provided. The information should not be relied upon or interpreted as legal, financial, tax, accounting, investment, commercial or other advice, and CRE Finance Council disclaims all liability for any such reliance. © 2022 CRE Finance Council. All rights reserved.
CREFC’s Servicers Forum
September 19, 2022
Together, Stacy, Leslie, Rich and Carl form the “Leadership Working Group” for the Servicers Forum and set agendas and priorities for the forum, as well as represent the constituency on CREFC’s Policy Committee.

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