New York will again play host to CREFC’s annual conference, and over 800 of our colleagues are scheduled to attend. The conference begins next Monday with a slate of forums discussing current issues relating to high yield distressed real estate assets, portfolio lending, GSE multifamily lending, investment grade bonds, B-pieces, issuers and servicers.

After opening remarks from CREFC President & Chief Executive Officer Stephen Renna, Global Head of Real Estate at Citigroup Global Markets, Thomas Flexner will interview Sam Zell for Monday’s keynote session. Zell, a prolific and always outspoken real estate investor, will be sure to offer his insightful views on the state of the real estate investment market and economy at large. CREFC celebrates its 20th anniversary this year, and Crunched Credit’s own Rick Jones will cap the Monday portion of the conference as a member of the panel celebrating and looking back at the last 20 years.

On Monday evening, Dechert will host a reception for over 300 colleagues and clients at the Refinery Hotel Rooftop. We look forward to another great opportunity to meet with colleagues and friends over drinks and hors d’oeuvres.

A highlight of the conference will be Tuesday morning’s market update roundtable, featuring a large panel of industry leaders discussing the current market and their predictions for the remainder of this year and next. Attendees will not be want for choice on Tuesday – Tuesday’s session will feature panels on far ranging topics such as “Lending: Is it Deja Vu all over Again?”, “How to Make Money in CMBS 1.0”, an interactive discussion on hot topics, “Planet High Yield: An Exploration”, “Outlook: Bank & Insurance Lending” and the servicers roundtable.

Over lunch on Tuesday, Kevin Warsh, former member of the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve Board, will provide the keynote discussion in an interview with Emmy winning journalist and 60 Minutes correspondent Steve Kroft. Governor Warsh’s experience as a member of the Federal Reserve Board throughout the economic crises and expertise in international markets should provide a unique insight into the economy and capital markets.

A new feature to this year’s conference, which many of us at Dechert look forward to, are sessions geared towards young professionals. Tuesday night ends with a young professionals networking reception, and Wednesday morning will include an educational workshop on originating and underwriting commercial mortgages for CMBS and a career mentoring panel.

Check back with Crunched Credit next week for updates on this year’s CREFC Annual Conference and a recap of the festivities.