NEW YORK CITY-Financial markets began to seize around this time last year, originating in a relatively small segment of the US financial market—namely subprime residential mortgages. Since then it quickly spread across financial market segments and borders. With the state of the market as a starting point, the second annual RealShare Investment & Finance Summit Sept. 10 in New York City will focus on where opportunities are across the market as we enter the fall season, while providing an update on the outlook for 2009.

Nearly 200 leading financiers, lenders and commercial real estate executives are expected to attend the event, which will be held at the Roosevelt Hotel at 45 E. 45th St. The full-day conference will open with an Investor Power Panel: “Is it Safe to Get Back in the Water?” with moderator Steve Pumper, executive managing director of Transwestern. Panelists include: Trevor Michael, managing director of real estate acquisitions at TIAA-CREF; Michael Fascitelli, president and trustee of Vornado Realty Trust; Stephen Quazzo, CEO of Transwestern Investment Co.; Michael Katz, co-CEO of Sterling American Property Inc.; and Robert Underhill, managing director and Capital Transactions Group Head of Shorenstein Properties LLC.

“Coming right after Labor Day with everyone back to work and wondering what to expect for the fourth quarter, the timing of RealShare Investment & Finance could not be better suited for industry leaders to gauge what kind of investment and financing activity might happen over the balance of the year and into 2009,” Richard Kelley, executive director of the RealShare Conference Series, tells “Everyone in the industry wants to know when the capital markets will return to some sense of normalcy, when the much hyped ‘wall of capital’ will be put into play, and whether the fourth quarter will resemble the last six months or whether there might be a flurry of dealmaking.” Kelley continues, “the speakers we have lined up for RealShare Investment & Finance know the answers to these questions better than anybody else because they are the people who will make, or not make, things happen.”

Following the Investor Power Panel and networking break, Cliff Mendelson, a senior managing director at Transwestern, will moderate the Finance Power Panel: “Dislocation Creates Opportunity,” which will focus on addressing who will fill the dollar void for the next 18 months. Panelists include: Roy Lapidus, a managing director at Goldman Sachs; Randy Reiff, a managing director at JP Morgan; Steve Plavin, COO of Capital Trust; and Mitchell Gould, EVP of BRT Realty Trust.

Viewed as a possible solution the much talked about credit void, foreign banks have increased investments in the US this past year. A session called the “Influence of Foreign Banks on Today’s Market,” moderated by Steve Felix, founder of the Bridge, will address the extent to which foreign banks have become more active in US commercial real estate transactions in the past year. Panelists in that session include: Andrew Cooper, managing director of North America at Westdeutsche ImmobilienBank AG; Doug Harmon, managing director of RBS Global Banking & Markets; and Matthew Galligan, managing director and head of the US Property Finance Group at the Bank of Ireland.

Following a networking luncheon, veteran industry insider, Jeff DeBoer will speak to the changing debt and equity climates for real estate, in the context of sweeping political change and dramatic reform proposals in the areas of tax policy, renewable energy, climate regulation, and financial institution re-regulation.

Following DeBoer, the Opportunity Fund Power Panel will address how fund performance is stacking up with moderator Jeffrey Lenobel, chairman of the real estate department at Schulte Roth & Zabel, leading the discussion. Panelists include: Christopher Linkas, partner in the Drawbridge Special Opportunities Fund at Fortress Investment Group; Paul Fox, managing director at Cerberus Real Estate; Marc Davidson, managing director of AEW Capital Management; John Jacobsson, managing partner at Apollo Real Estate Advisors; and Alex Gilbert, managing director of US Funds Investment Management at J.E. Robert Cos. “What began as a liquidity issue is now, by all accounts, a serious credit crunch, and it’s begun to take its toll on the commercial real estate market,” Lenobel says. “Deal flow has slowed and real estate values are in decline. But if this dark cloud has a silver lining, it’s in the opportunity fund area.”

The day will wrap up with a foreign investor equity panel moderated by Bradley Olsen, president of Atlantic Partners Ltd., with Panelist Bruce Gelman, tax partner at Kirkland & Ellis. Following another networking break, the panel with conclude with a session titled, “Caught in the Middle: Owners, Intermediaries and Brokers Try to Address the Elements of a Changing Market,” moderated by Daniel Palmier, president and CEO of Potomac Realty Capital. Panelists include Jack Fraker, vice chairman of CB Richard Ellis; Stephen Conley, executive managing director at Holliday Fenoglio Fowler; Norman Sturner, principal at Murray Hill Properties; and David Soares, president and CEO of Berkshire Capital Finance LLC.

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