A high level summary of what's being discussed in recent committee meetings:
- The Committee is supporting the inclusion of ESG metrics in the AREF Questionnaire.
- The Committee is monitoring the effect of LGPS pooling on indirect property funds.
- The Committee is ensuring AREF is considering how Brexit would affect investors in property funds.
- The Committee is working with the Secondary Markets Working Group on improving trading processes for secondary market deals.
- The Committee is assisting AREF in writing a paper on what investors should ask their property fund managers.
- The Committee has been monitoring the proposal for a Professional Investor Fund.
- The Committee assists in the planning of the Real Estate Investor Forum
Short Term Objectives
- Resurrect the AREF Secondary Markets Working Group to look at making secondary market trading easier and more transparent.
- Improve investors’ knowledge of ESG and responsible investment:
- Help investors understand the various schemes and benchmarks and where their funds sit.
- Work with managers to promote a responsible investment approach and to stress the importance to investors.
- Encourage clear reporting of ESG and impact investing.
- Improve communication with investors:
- In the Investors area on the AREF website include an investor chat room/ blog.
- Hold more investor seminars.
- Investor representation within funds
- Heighten campaign for investor representation as the default arrangement.
- Ensure minor investors are looked after by funds.
- Address investor concerns in relation to how Brexit may affect their investments in property funds.
Long Term Objectives
- Evolve AREF’s Quality Mark to include a gold standard with a higher barrier for excellence.
- Ensure AREF fully embeds the interest of investors in its DNA.
- Encourage funds to improve governance structures in respect of investor interests.
- Improve education for investors on regulatory change to include what it means for investors and what investors need to be aware of and ask managers about.
- Look at the evolution of property funds and whether the current universe of funds available to investors was meeting their needs. This tied in with a research paper AREF planned to commission shortly.
- Consider how the transition to a low carbon environment would affect funds.
- Consider how health & safety would have an effect on the reputational interests of funds.
Next meeting: 28 January 2021
View more on the committee here.