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By Michael Barkman ’20 and Shengyang Shi ’19
The 2019 NIC Spring Conference, which took place from February 20-22, brought together over 1,500 investors, operators, owners, and developers, as well as a growing number of current and potential healthcare partners from across the seniors housing and care sector. NIC invites a small group of students to each conference as well to provide them insight into the world of senior housing and Shengyang Shi ’19 and Michael Barkman ’20 represented Columbia Business School this year.
The Spring Conference offered 20+ educational sessions in addition to numerous networking and relationship-building opportunities. On Wednesday, Joel Mendes (SVP JLL) moderated a conversation among John Rijos (Co-Founder Chicago Pacific Founders), Jerry Taylor (EVP Solera Senior Living), and Chris Winkle (CEO Sunrise Senior Living) regarding Underwriting Healthcare in Private Pay Seniors Housing. Reflective of NIC’s effort to incorporate more discussion from the healthcare perspective, the conversation focused on fundamental changes taking place in the system, such as the push towards value-based care, and the impact these changes have on underwriting.
Later in the day, the Equity in Senior Care discussion involved several hypothetical investment opportunities which were evaluated in real-time by professionals from REITs, private equity, investment management, and development firms. It was an interactive and lively session that gave a window into the thinking of these various equity sources.
Thursday’s session began with Speaker Paul Ryan on the state of the healthcare industry in the United States, the changes that need to be made going forward, and the challenges we face in implementation. Paul Ryan discussed proposed changes to reimbursements, the increasing importance of Medicare Advantage, and the current political environment.
Ian Morrison, healthcare Futurist and Author, led the afternoon luncheon session detailing his view of the future of healthcare. Mr. Morrison discussed how fundamental shifts in demographics, consumer demands, payment systems, and business models form a new paradigm of healthcare delivery and payment and how senior housing will need to adapt.
Thursday’s Boomer Hackathon engaged three teams comprised of industry professionals who presented innovative senior housing proposals to a panel of judges and the audience. The proposals for new senior housing programs included global travel and university education components. The format was a first for NIC and programming will continue to move more in this interactive direction in the future.
On Friday, the Location Matters session was led by Beth Burnham Mace (NIC Chief Economist) and Lana Peck (NIC Senior Principal) and provided an in-depth view into the importance of local market data and the initiatives NIC has taken to be able to provide this critical information to the industry. One main takeaway from the session, is that senior housing trends should not be generalized across the country; local market supply and demand conditions vary significantly.
The three-day NIC Spring Conference provided a forum for the industry to make deals and build relationships while also opening a dialogue into key issues the sector faces going forward. It was a fantastic opportunity for the small group of students to not only learn about trends in the market and the current challenges facing industry professionals across the operational, investment, and policy perspectives, but was also a unique opportunity to understand the inner-workings and key players of the industry.
Michael Barkman is an MBA student in the Class of 2020 with a concentration in Real Estate. Michael serves as the AVP of Alumni & Mentorship on the Board of the CBS Real Estate Association. This summer he will be interning with Welltower, a senior housing and healthcare REIT. Prior to Columbia, Michael worked in investment banking in the M&A group of Mizuho Securities USA, advising on cross-border mergers and acquisitions. Michael graduated from the University of Denver in 2014 with a BS in Business and Economics.
Shengyang Shi is an MBA student in the Class of 2019. At CBS, Shengyang is a member of the Value Investing program and the Private Equity Fellows Program. Shengyang leads the Investment Ideas Club within the investment management club. Prior to Columbia, Shengyang spent two years as an Investment Associate at Baring Private Equity Asia, where he was involved in healthcare services investments in China. He will return to Baring after graduation this summer. Before Baring, Shengyang spent three years in the investment banking divisions of Barclays and UBS in Hong Kong. Shengyang graduated from The University of Hong Kong with First Class Honors in Quantitative Finance.