CREFC education sessions attract conference crowd

Over 260 junior market participants and students joined CREFC Europe’s educational sessions at its London conference on 2-3 April.

CREFC Europe chief executive Peter Cosmetatos said education was even more important now because there have been less opportunities for people to
“learn on the job” in the “lean years” since the financial crisis.

He said there was a mistaken tendency to assume “generalist lenders and bankers can do real estate lending. The fact that major banking institutions have been brought down is testament to that.”

Members of a wide range of institutions, including Oxford Brookes, Cambridge and Reading universities, the Bank of England, law firms, loan servicers and banks, attended an introduction to property lending and a session on development finance.

The former, chaired by Bank of America Merrill Lynch credit analyst Mark Nichol, covered all the basics from elements of the capital structure to how lenders earn returns, basic transaction structures, terms of loan agreements and underwriting.

The development finance session, chaired by Ashurst partner Ruth Harris, explained how to mitigate development risk from a developer’s and funder’s perspective.

Cosmetatos said the need for better education was highlighted in Sir Richard Lambert’s recent Banking Standards Review for major UK banks, and the Vision report, produced by the Real Estate Finance Group. CREFC Europe has set up an education committee and plans  more sessions for the industry.