Real Estate Fiduciary Services LOGO

Illustrative Independent Fiduciary Assignments

Parties-in-Interest Transactions 


Institutional Investor

The investor sought to transfer a debt position on a large property portfolio to a related party. REFS was engaged to a) value a portfolio of 7 assets (17 properties, wholly owned and joint ventures), b) value the owner’s position, c) review and opine on the owner’s property level business plans, and d) conclude with respect to the adequacy of the loan collateral.

Public Pension Fund

The client sought to sell an industrial portfolio from a separate account to an open-end commingled fund, and required an independent fiduciary to manage the transaction. Our work included: a) valuing the portfolio, b) directing the disposition activities, c) negotiating the terms of the sale, d) closing the transaction, and e) confirming that the sale met ERISA requirements.

Open-end Fund

The fund required an independent fiduciary to assist in obtaining a line of credit from its parent company. REFS a) reviewed all relevant fund and property documents; b) investigated sources of debt and confirmed market terms, c) supported negotiation of terms and documentation.

Closed-end Funds (2)

The value-add funds were nearing the end of their life cycle and required an independent fiduciary to oversee the sale of partial interests in a joint venture that owned an office building. Interests were acquired by separate account investors advised by the fund sponsor. REFS work included a) valuing the asset and the related partial interests, b) directing the disposition activities, c) negotiating the terms of the sale, d) closing the transaction, and e) confirming that the sale met ERISA requirements.

Closed-end Fund

The value-add fund sought to sell an office building to a related open-end commingled fund, and required an independent fiduciary to manage the transaction. REFS work included a) valuing the asset and the related partial interests, b) directing the disposition activities, c) negotiating the terms of the sale, d) closing the transaction, and e) confirming that the sale met ERISA requirements.

Taft-Hartley Pension Fund

The Fund sought to transfer six of its separate account assets that were managed by an institutional investment advisory firm, in exchange for units in a co-mingled fund managed by the same entity. REFS was engaged to analyze the existing debt (approx. $61 million) secured by the assets. More specifically, REFS work included a) review of the manager’s debt valuation policies, b) determination if the policies were in conformance with industry standards, c) determination if the policies were used in the manager’s pricing of the debt, d) opining on the debt valuations, and e) determining how the valuations and other debt terms would impact the proposed transaction.

Timber Investment Fund Manager

An institutional timeberland investment fund manager engaged REFS as independent fiduciary to represent a fund investor in the possible sale of fund units to a related party. REFS work included a) Review of investment documents, b) valuation of the underlying assets and the investor’s position, and c) oversight of the liquidation of the investor’s position.

Due Diligence 


Public Pension Plan

REFS was engaged to assist in the underwriting of a proposed acquisition of four office buildings valued at approximately $108 million. REFS work included a) analysis of the properties, b) analysis of the market, c) analysis and opinion of the investment strategy, d) analysis of the existing debt on the portfolio, e) review of the underwriting, and 6) rendering an opinion as to the appropriateness of the potential investment with respect to its pricing and the property level debt strategies.

Public Pension Fund

REFS was engaged to assist in the underwriting of a land acquisition as part of a proposed multi-billion dollar mixed use development opportunity. REFS work included a) site inspection, b) market analysis, c) review of underwriting, d) review of development plans and, e) opining on the appropriateness of the investment.

Global Investment Manager

REFS was engaged to support investment underwriting and due diligence for the US start-up of a global investment manager. Assignments vary and relate to both portfolios and individual properties.

Asset Management 


Public Pension Fund

The fund requested independent advice concerning a distressed office building investment. REFS was engaged to a) analyze the investment, including inspection of the property, analysis of the market, and review of all relevant investment documents including the partnership, development, property management, leasing, asset advisory agreements, and all loan documents; b) independently value the property and investment; c) assess and comment on the actions taken to date and future resource requirements; d) identify risks and opportunities; and e) recommend a course of action.

Taft-Hartley Pension Fund

The fund requested independent advice regarding the appropriate response to an unsolicited offer on a directly managed office building. REFS was engaged to prepare a hold/sell analysis, including but not limited to the following: a) determine the investment’s fit with the fund’s long-term investment strategy; b) analyze the investment, including inspection of the property, analysis of the market, and review of all relevant investment documents including the property management, leasing, asset advisory agreements, and all loan documents; c) independently value the property and investment; d) identify risks and opportunities; and e) recommend a course of action. REFS recommendation to sell the asset was accepted and implemented by the client.

Fee Studies 


Investment Manager

An institutional investment manager engaged REFS to determine if the property level fees charged by its wholly-owned subsidiary was comparable with third-party market based fees. REFS conducted a confidential market survey of owners, investment managers, property level managers and appraisers,compared results to fees charged by the subsidiary and then issued reports to individual funds and separate accounts.

Public Pension Fund

REFS was engaged to analyze and summarize private equity fees for a public pension fund. The fund realized that such fees were rapidly becoming a “subject of regulatory and public scrutiny” and wanted to ensure they had clear practices for negotiating and monitoring such fees. REFS prepared a summary of private equity fees by collecting data from GP’s regarding fund fees and expenses. Additionally, REFS tested a sample of calculations. Results were used to make recommendations to the client regarding private equity fee negotiation and monitoring.

Real Estate Fiduciary Services, LLC · Tel: 978.887.3750 · Email: jjb@refiduciaries.com