Investment Program Association (IPA) Hosts Dynamic Spring Conference in Washington, D.C.

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ELLICOTT CITY, Md., May 13, 2013 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- The Investment Program Association (IPA), a trade association for non-listed direct investment vehicles, held its Spring Conference for members this week in Washington, D.C. The conference's theme, "Investor Focused Innovation," highlighted the direct investment industry's ongoing commitment as an investor focused industry. More than 332 members from 120 companies convened, demonstrating the significant strength the direct investment industry and the IPA's robust expansion since it was established 28 years ago. The direct investment industry represents an estimated $105 billion in assets under management and 1.5 million investors who seek to diversify their portfolio by investing in hard assets.

"I'm very excited to have had the honor of welcoming our members to the IPA's Spring Conference, a tradition embedded in our organization's mission of education and advocacy," said Kevin M. Hogan, President and CEO of the IPA. "Our conference panels and speakers discussed how much positive change we are witnessing as an industry as we maintain focus on innovation for the investor."

Frank McCarthy, Chairman of the Investment Program Association, and Senior Vice President and General Manager at Ameriprise Financial, commented, "This year's Spring Conference is the most dynamic, exciting gathering we've had, which is an indication of the substantial growth and success of the direct investment industry."

He continued, "Reflecting this trend, the IPA's Investor Survey of high-net-worth investors in March uncovered strong expected demand for the investment vehicles that our association represents. In fact, 45% of those surveyed expected to include non-listed REITs in their future portfolio, and about one-quarter plan to include BDCs in the future, exhibiting remarkable potential for the IPA's members."

Before the start of the conference, IPA members met with U.S. Senators and members of the U.S. House of Representatives, including Rep. Kevin McCarthy, House Majority Whip. Keynote speaker Andy Friedman, Principal, The Washington Update – Economist, delivered remarks on the market and his economic outlook. The closing keynote was delivered by Harvard-trained researcher Shawn Achor, author of The Happiness Advantage. Attendees also heard presentations on non-traditional asset specific funds, interval funds, and closed-end funds, from panelists at BH Capital; Triloma Capital, LLC; NorthStar Realty; Bluerock Real Estate; Prospect Capital Management; and other firms.

In his remarks discussing the strategic evolution of direct investments, Keith Allaire, Managing Director, Robert A. Stanger & Co. Inc., noted that the pace of innovation and product enhancement is accelerating. "The industry is on the threshold of a significant breakthrough to a higher level," said Allaire. Allaire cited the development of multi-share class offerings, the introduction of new asset classes and product structure, and the industry's embracing of uniform standards to enable improved transparency and measurement of investment performance.

Other notable speakers discussed product innovations for non-listed real estate investment trusts (REITs) and business development companies (BDCs), due diligence for broker dealers, product marketing and sales, and improving client outreach through strategic industry insights. In addition, Tony Chereso, President & CEO of FactRight, LLC, moderated a lively panel examining development trends in energy, equipment leasing and real estate, while Susan Burton, President, SB Consulting, led an engaging conversation on how to make higher education have an even stronger impact within our profession.

Among other topics on the conference agenda was the IPA Valuation Guideline for the valuation of publicly registered, non-Listed real estate investment trusts (REITs), which was unanimously adopted by its 24-person Board of Directors last month. This is the first set of industry-wide recommendations ever adopted for the valuation of non-listed REITs. The Valuation Guideline was developed to provide the investing public with objective, consistent valuation information to confirm the benefits of publicly registered non-listed REITs and understand their proper role in a diversified investment portfolio.

About The Investment Program Association

The Investment Program Association (IPA) was formed in 1985 to provide effective national leadership for the Direct Investment industry, including Non-Listed REITs (NLREITs), Business Development Companies (BDCs), Oil and Gas, and Equipment Leasing Programs. For the last 28 years, the IPA has successfully championed the growth of such products, which have increased in popularity with financial professionals and investors alike. It is estimated that by year end 2012, direct investments accounted for more than $100 billion in assets under management in the accounts of more than 1.5 million investors. Some $93 billion in assets under management are estimated to have been invested in Non-Listed REITs. The mission of the IPA is advocating direct investments through education. Request your free copies of the Guide to Understanding Direct Investments and take the free IPA e-learning course today, or visit the IPA online for more information about becoming a member.

To stay up-to-date with IPA news, follow @IPADirectInvest on Twitter.

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Source:Investment Program Association