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Council Addresses Real Estate as DC Plan Investment

A  trade group has been formed to educate plan sponsors and consultants about how investing in commercial real estate may enhance retirement security for defined contribution plans.

By Kevin McGuinness editors@strategic-i.com | May 02, 2013

The Defined Contribution Real Estate Council (DCREC) will be based in New York, New York, and serve as a resource for investors and plan sponsors who may be considering alternative investments options, such as real estate, through their existing portfolios. In addition to serving as a forum for best practices, ideas, strategies and data, DCREC plans to generate original research and educational offerings.

“We will learn from each other to the betterment of the entire market," said David Skinner, a principal with Prudential Real Estate Investors and co-president of the new group. “Whether in a public retirement fund or a private fund, real estate adds an important layer of diversification to the existing array of investment options which will help to reduce overall volatility.”

“At the end of the day, our goal is to help plan sponsors and their participants achieve better investment outcomes through the use of institutional quality real estate solutions,” added Scott Brooks of Deutsche Asset & Wealth Management and DCREC co-president.

Skinner and Brooks said as traditional defined benefit plans gave way to 401(k) plans and other similar defined contribution plans, investors and plan sponsors have failed to fully grasp the role commercial real estate can play as part of a balanced, long-term retirement savings portfolio.

“I tip my hat to the DCREC and its efforts to improve outcomes for the country’s workers,” said Charlie Ruffel, founder of PLANSPONSOR magazine and managing director of Kudu Advisors. “The defined contribution business is moving from a retail to an institutional business model and this group represents an important component of this trend. I believe the DCREC will serve as the focal point for this segment of the defined contribution business going forward.”

The DCREC consists of 10 global institutional real estate asset managers including Prudential Real Estate Investors, Deutsche Asset & Wealth Management, Goldman Sachs, Clarion Partners, Principal Real Estate Investors, Ten Capital Management, TIAA-CREF, ARIS Advisors, UBS Global Real Estate, and NAREIT. More information is available at http://www.dcrec.org or by e-mail at info@dcrec.org.