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Why NAREIM Matters

In 1660, the Royal Society of London was established to create an environment where natural philosophers and scientists could come together, present new ideas, review them critically, and advance the understanding of science broadly. The society’s motto was “Nulius in Verba” or “Take Nobody’s Word For It”, and their mission over more than 400 years has been to create an environment where members can explore the world around us with new ideas, new concepts, and new understandings.  The society provokes scientists to engage in a thoughtful debate of what the facts are, to witness experiments, and to subject new ideas to intelligent criticism – all in the effort to find better and deeper truths. Although investment managers are not trying to unlock the secrets of the universe like Sir Isaac Newton, Charles Babbage, or Charles Darwin, they are engaged in a fierce pursuit of the truth, not only for the present but for the future of the markets and their assets.  Their success depends on their ability to separate blind faith from an honest assessment of risk, to question assumptions, and to find opportunity where others cannot.  The stakes couldn’t be higher.  Investment managers are acting on behalf of investors ranging from pension funds to endowments and sovereign wealth funds to individuals, and their success impacts the assets of millions of individuals throughout the world and shapes the economic engines of our future. Why can’t investment managers have their own Royal Society?  Wouldn’t it help investors if there was a community that allows access to the very best thinking, presents new ideas, and engages in intelligent criticism?  Certainly, the wise investor “takes nobody’s word for it”; so, shouldn’t they engage with their peers much like a scientist? That’s what the National Association of Real Estate Investment Managers (NAREIM) is all about.  Our mission is not unlike that of the Royal Society, we provide a community that allows one to think, to challenge assumptions, and find new opportunity. Quite simply, membership in NAREIM is a license to think in public.
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