The first program of its kind in the country, the Applied Real Estate Investment Track (AREIT) allows a team of second-year MBA students the opportunity to manage a real-world portfolio invested in real estate investment trusts (REITs). This special track within the real estate program reflects the increasing dominance of the capital markets in real estate and provides state-of-the-art education in understanding not only real estate as an asset class, but also the emerging capital markets associated with the asset. This unique educational opportunity truly sets the Wisconsin MBA in Real Estate apart.
Created as a joint venture between the James A. Graaskamp Center for Real Estate and the Applied Security Analysis Program (ASAP), students develop fundamental research and portfolio management skills by blending a thorough theoretical foundation with the first-hand experience and challenges of managing real money and working successfully as a team.
This demanding and highly-selective program accepts up to four students to participate during the second year of the MBA program. Beginning in September of the academic year, the team is given one month to form an investment management "firm" that has an organizational structure, an economic outlook, an investment philosophy and a disciplined strategy that will be executed throughout the year. The team then presents their portfolio management proposal to the board of advisors (the client) for approval and subsequent release of funds to manage.
Following approval from the client, the teams meet multiple times each week, often with faculty and with the many investment professionals that serve as guest speakers for the program. Individual members of the team are responsible for conducting rigorous company and property sector research, making recommendations on the composition of the portfolio, and participating in the team decision-making process for management of the funds. Students maintain complete flexibility and independence over all investment decisions, subject to endowment guidelines. Students cannot rely on a "safety net" as they walk the tightrope of active portfolio management.
No Safety Net
Students maintain complete flexibility and independence over all investment decisions, subject to endowment guidelines. Students cannot rely on a "safety net" as they walk the tightrope of active portfolio management.
Professor Tim Riddiough serves as faculty director of the AREIT team.
"The students take away an above-average understanding of REITs/overall capital markets, an ability to manage an equity portfolio, a competitive employment profile and long-lasting industry contacts."
- David Toti, Managing Director, Cantor Fitzgerald
The overall client for the funds is the AREIT board of advisors. The board is comprised primarily of alumni of the program, all of whom are active investment professionals. Three times each academic year the teams make a professional presentation to the board and receive a strong critique on the management and performance of the funds. Board members, despite being alumni and supportive of the program, take seriously their charge to challenge the students and create the environment and experience of the most demanding client-manager relationship.
AREIT Board of Advisors
||Advantus Capital Management, Inc.
||The Blackstone Group
||State of Wisconsin Investment Board (SWIB)
||Corporate Office Properties Trust
||Thrivent Investment Management
||Heitman Real Estate Securities, LLC
||E.J. Plesko & Associates, LLC
||The Principal Financial Group
||Singerman Real Estate, LLC
||Security Capital Research & Management, Inc.