SA REIT members comprise all listed SA REITs and represents a market capitalisation of around R400 billion. The quality of these REITs influence our economy and the quality of people's lives.
Petersen is CEO of Dipula Income Fund and has extensive experience in the financial services environment spanning investment banking, asset management, and property.
Taking on the role of Chairman of the SA REIT Association continues Petersen's commitment to industry leadership. He has served on various industry bodies over the years including the South African Property Owners Association (SAPOA), Association for the Advancement of Black Accountants of Southern Africa (ABASA) Western Cape and Association of Black Securities and Investment Professionals (ABSIP).
As the unified voice of SA REITs, the SA REIT Association plays an important role for the sector. It provides advocacy in areas of common concern, preparing opinion and policy for interacting with stakeholders, representing the industry in meeting challenges within the sector and boosting awareness of REITs as a unique asset class that creates and preserves wealth.
"REITs have consistently delivered inflation-beating returns over the long term with quality income streams and lower risk. Over time, they have outperformed physical property by a long shot and outclassed other sectors on the JSE," says Petersen. "REITs offer investors regular income distributions as well as long-term capital appreciation."
Petersen adds that SA REITs have an important role to play in property ownership in South Africa.
"Owning Sandton City or the V&A Waterfront may be out of reach, but you can own a piece of the pie by investing in REITs. It is a very accessible investment underpinned by physical property assets," he says.
REITs offer expertly assembled property portfolios to match clearly defined investment strategies. They provide the peace of mind that these properties are being looked after by skilled and entrepreneurial management teams from quality companies committed to good governance. Most SA REITs' portfolios are geographically diverse, and a growing number are now even internationally diversified. REITs are a liquid investment, which you can buy and sell far more quickly than physical properties, and they offer a tax-efficient structure.
In addition to these benefits, Petersen highlights that innovation in the sector has seen its investors multiplying money much faster. He points to the gearing prospects created by the dual share structures that some REITs offer as being one example of this.
Petersen notes the SA REIT Association has done great work so far and will continue to build on this good foundation.
Petersen takes over from the association's former Chairman, Laurence Rapp, who is CEO of Vukile Property Fund. "We thank Rapp for his meaningful contribution to the SA REIT Association over the past three years. The sector has advanced significantly under his leadership," says Petersen.
He sees the sector continuing to play a key role as a leader in transforming the South Africa economy, which speaks to its sustainability. Also, the association will continue to build positive partnerships to ensure it remains at the forefront of good governance, innovation and international best practice.
Another important area of impact for the association is the continuing education of the retail investment market about the benefits of REITs and how they work. Petersen says: "We are open to linking with broker bodies, asset managers and institutions to penetrate even deeper into the investment community and get more people to understand why an investment in REITs is a good investment."
The SA REIT Association offers information on its www.sareit.com website and sends regular news updates directly to subscribers on email and via its popular Twitter account @SA_REIT. It also publishes the informative SA REIT Journal biannually and holds biennial conferences with the next one scheduled for 15 March 2018.
The new SA REIT Association volunteer leadership executive committee includes:
Chairman: Izak Petersen (Dipula Income Fund)
Treasurer: Rob Hawton (Vukile Property Fund)
Chairman Accounting and JSE Committee: Nick Hanekom (Resilient)
Chairman Marketing Committee: Mark Stevens (Fortress Income Fund)
Chairman Regulation and Taxation Committee: Estienne de Klerk (Growthpoint Properties)
Chairman Legal and Competition Committee: Dov Green (Fortress Income Fund)
Chairman Property Sector Charter Committee: Sedise Moseneke (Vukile Income Fund)