COVID-19 has resulted in major operational and reporting challenges for investment managers.
To help our members navigate the rough waters that lie ahead, we brought together a panel of industry experts in two online briefings. The briefings were designed to provide practical insights and considerations for investment managers on reporting and liquidity consideration related to COVID-19 and today’s exceptional market circumstances.
COVID-19 has resulted in major operational and reporting challenges for investment managers
In the first briefing on Reporting in Exceptional Market Circumstances, joined by John Ravoisin, PwC and Renaud Breyer, EY, we heard that managers should continue to calculate the INREV NAV and clearly disclose sources of material uncertainty. Providing clear KPI’s, disclosure of all parameter assumptions, sharing timely and relevant information on the impact of COVID-19, as well as ensuring a risk assessment approach for reporting and conduct scenario planning and a thorough analysis of details of testing were cited as actions for managers to bear in mind. Managers were also advised to disclose more rather than less to provide transparency to investors, allowing them to make better informed decisions.
Managers should continue to calculate the INREV NAV and clearly disclose sources of material uncertainty
This was followed by a second briefing on Liquidity Considerations in Current Market Circumstances joined by Thomas Kallenbrunnen, PGIM Real Estate, Nick Brown M&G Real Estate, John Ravoisin PwC and Robert White EY, where we discussed whether open end vehicles may stay open for trading and how to ensure pricing remains fair for all investors. The experts emphasised that the decision to remain open or suspend trading is a case-by-case management decision, and that managers should stick with the rule-based approach that is set-out at the start. This is so that investors know what to expect. As a protection mechanism under exceptional market circumstances, suspending trading allows for a balancing of investors’ interests. Ensuring full transparency and fairness on pricing, including additional disclosure regarding property valuation, pricing adjustments and assumptions used was also deemed as an important consideration during the call. Those who dialed in were also reminded that secondary markets may help. The online audience asked if the INREV NAV should continue to be computed, and the experts unanimously answered, ‘Yes’.
Transparency is of utmost importance
It is safe to say that the overarching message in both briefings was that transparency is of the utmost importance. It is now more important than ever, and the lessons we have learned from the GFC will stand us in good stead to overcome the challenges that we all now face. The months ahead are set to be a challenge for us all, but with a stronger and more robust industry, thanks to the foundations that have been laid over the previous years, we can be confident on our ability to navigate these rough waters.
The months ahead are set to be a challenge for us all, but with a stronger and more robust industry, thanks to the foundations that have been laid over the previous years, we can be confident on our ability to navigate these rough waters.
INREV is here to support and guide the industry, and we’ve collated a series of quick reference guides on how to use the elements of the INREV Guidelines that have been specifically designed to deal with exceptional market circumstances. There’s one on liquidity considerations, one on reporting and most recently, one on secondary markets. Visit the INREV COVID-19 live update page for timely and topical content to prepare and act for the new wave of challenges.
In relation the guidance shared during the briefings, regulators guidance always takes precedence.