September 7, 2012, The Canadian Business Journal.
Based in Guelph, Ont., the Skyline Group of Companies comprises three primary entities: Skyline Management Inc., Skyline Asset Management Inc., and Skyline Wealth Management Inc. Together they exist to service the Skyline Apartment REIT and Skyline Commercial REIT, also under the Skyline umbrella.
The synergy between these entities is the secret to the company’s continued success and impeccable track record of consistent and growing distributions to its REIT investors who have also never lost a single penny.
Skyline Wealth Management Inc. (SWMI) is an Exempt Market Dealer (EMD) that was created to act as the primary dealer and investor relations entity for the Skyline Apartment REIT and Skyline Commercial REIT. From a compliance standpoint, the EMD is a required intermediary between investors and Exempt Market Products (EMPs), a category that Canadian private REITs are classified under. With over 1,200 investors across the country and nearly $400 million in investor equity under management, this private equity wealth manager’s cost of raising fees are among the lowest in the industry, but that’s not what they feel truly sets them apart.
With two unique and highly marketable products, the Skyline Apartment REIT and the Skyline Commercial REIT, and SWMI’s connection to the REITs via shared management teams and a unique comprehensive business model, SWMI has intimate knowledge of its products. This connection and engagement to its offering provides SWMI and its investors with an exclusive advantage — true insight and transparency, not to mention ultimate awareness of the investment. Skyline Wealth Management’s mandate is simple — to provide an unmatched investor experience through educating, engaging and informing its investors. SWMI aims to better serve its investors by creating a direct link between the investment experience, and the actual investment by providing direct access to the management team behind the REITs.
Besides the transparency that the relationship between the EMD and the REITs provides to investors, it also creates a valuable alignment of interests between the investors, the EMD, and the REITs. Marissa Teeter, who runs Skyline Wealth Management, said, “Part of the Skyline Wealth Management obligation is not just to sell the investment, but to also truly engage investors, so that they can feel comfortable with their investment. This approach also turns our investors into walking and talking billboards, because they are happy and proud of their investment, but most importantly because they understand their investment.
We have a strong investment community and we continue to work to strengthen this feeling of investor connectedness through ongoing communications and investor events.”
While this close alignment provides investors with a better picture and more detailed information about the Skyline Apartment REIT and Skyline Commercial REIT investments, SWMI is also bound by securities law to remain objective about the investment opportunities. As an EMD, SWMI must fulfill its compliance requirements and responsibilities as a registrant and, at the end of the day, regardless of how well the EMD knows its products, it serves each existing and prospective investor by ensuring the nature of the investment is aligned with the investor’s personal situation. Jeff Teeter, Chief Compliance Officer and Vice-President of Investments for SWMI added, “Suitability is just as important as being qualified for this investment, if not more important. We want to ensure that this investment opportunity is suited to our investors’ financial expectations and goals.”
The quality of SWMI’s investor experience has also reduced their overall fundraising costs, as word-of-mouth is currently their most effective and efficient source of new investor leads. This also fuels the Skyline Group’s low-fee business model by reducing the cost of capital in order to maximize returns to the investor.
Due to this unique business approach, Skyline Apartment REIT, launched in 2006, has investors with consistent and growing uninterrupted monthly distribution since its inception. “Our investors enjoy the peace of mind of investing in products that they understand and that are backed by solid Canadian real estate,” says Marissa Teeter. “The REITs offer a unique alternative real estate investment and SWMI presents these opportunities to investors through a unique investor experience.” Skyline Apartment REIT is also ranked among the largest owners and managers of multi-residential property in Canada and with the recent launch of the Skyline Commercial REIT that is anticipated to grow 10 times its current size within the next four to six months, SWMI and the other Skyline companies have growth and opportunity on the horizon. “We aren’t looking to grow for the sake of growth; our next steps are strategic and accretive and they will help us to fulfill our objective to provide stable and growing cash distributions to investors”, says Jason Castellan, CEO & Co-Founder of the Skyline Group of Companies.
While the Skyline Apartment REIT and Skyline Commercial REIT continue to create value, stability and opportunity for its investors, SWMI continues to raise the required funds for the company’s new acquisitions by delivering thorough information to the investor community and creating personal connections and a unique investment experience, one investor at a time.