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By Eric Schaffer ’18
From Tuesday September 26, 2017 to Thursday September 28, 2017, I represented Columbia Business School at the 2017 National Investment Center for Seniors Housing & Care (NIC) Fall Conference in Chicago, having been selected by NIC as a sponsored student fellow. NIC is the seniors housing and care industry’s leading annual conference, attended by all types of industry players. Each year, the conference invites groups of students to attend and make connections that will enable future growth of the industry.
The 2017 conference themes focused on changes in the industry, as the asset class has become a keen interest for investment. There are also possible shifts coming from potential political reforms, which was a topic of discussion throughout the days. In fact, the keynote session featured former U.S. House Speaker Newt Gingrich and former Treasury Secretary Lawrence H. Summers. They offered divergent opinions on the current political environment and its effect on healthcare and taxes. In another session on assessing infrastructure and utilizing market data to grow wisely, David Boitano, senior investment officer for Ventas, Inc., led a discussion on how to cultivate and maintain a high quality workforce in today’s rapidly changing environment.
Mostly, however, the conference was deal-centric and investors were there to meet vendors and vice-versa. At one of the networking events, NIC CEO Brian Jurutka spoke about how the conference enables meetings with industry leaders, and access to educational resources. I was glad to take part in such discussions.
I also had the opportunity to make connections with several Columbia Business School alumni who were in attendance as well. The NIC Conference was educational—it provided a crash course in a fascinating sub-sector of real estate that is likely to grow significantly. The visit was a success and I would encourage CBS students to attend every year.
Eric Schaffer ’18 is a New Jersey native focused on real estate investment and development at Columbia Business School. After graduating from Emory University, Eric worked at Cushman & Wakefield's Shanghai office, where he helped lead the China Investment & Capital Markets division for several years. In 2015, he co-founded Core Capital Asia, a pure-play cross border real estate investment advisory firm focused on channeling outbound China-centric capital to real estate projects in key global markets.