2017 Real Confidence University Challenge!

2017 Real Confidence University Challenge Reveals Top Real Estate Picks of Future Leaders

38 Universities Compete for $50,000 in Prizes from Altus Group, NAREIT, NCREIF 

NEW YORK (January 23, 2017) – More than 195 students from 38 universities across North America and Europe are competing in the 2017 Real Confidence University Challenge, a year-long competition for university students to gain hands-on learning experience in public and private commercial real estate investing.

The 2017 Real Confidence University Challenge is made possible by Altus Group Limited (“Altus Group”) (TSX: AIF), in collaboration with the National Association of Real Estate Investment Trusts (NAREIT®) and the National Council of Real Estate Investment Fiduciaries (NCREIF®).

Each university team was asked to allocate $1 billion in theoretical capital among a variety of commercial real estate investment opportunities found within the public and private equity and debt sectors that would yield the highest total investment return in 2017. The performance of each sector’s weighted investment selection was calculated with its respective benchmark return data provided by NAREIT®, NCREIF®, Markit® and Giliberto-Levy Commercial Mortgage Performance Index℠.

The 2017 Real Confidence University Challenge Index is comprised of the total theoretical $38 billion made up of each university team’s allocation and serves as the competition benchmark. This year’s index allocation saw 59.2% of the total capital allocated to public equity, followed by 34.1% to private equity opportunities. The industrial sector took the top spot in both public and private equity selections, underpinning strong confidence in this sector. On the debt side; public debt received a 4.2% allocation, focused mainly on CMBS – AAA securities, while private debt received 2.5%, up over 13% from the 2016 Challenge.  

“The teams’ portfolio allocations are particularly fascinating as they reflect where our leaders of tomorrow see the strongest real estate investment returns,” said Richard Kalvoda, Senior Executive Vice President at Altus Group. “Interestingly, the students’ heavy weighting towards the industrial sector is also consistent with the findings from our Real Confidence Executive Index which surveyed industry leading executives.”

The competition will conclude in January 2018 and includes $50,000 USD in total prize money. The team with the best-performing portfolio for the year will be awarded $30,000, with quarterly prizes of $2,500 awarded to the university with the top public and private section performance of their portfolio.

“We are pleased to be partners in this challenge that is designed to build interest and skill in real estate investment among students who may soon be investors and industry leaders,” said Steven A. Wechsler, President and CEO of NAREIT®. “We believe the competition offers a great opportunity for students to learn important lessons about real estate and the essential role it plays in investment portfolios.” 

Students and industry professionals can follow the portfolio performance at The interactive website showcases a leaderboard, blog posts and industry expert commentary.

Student teams from the following universities are participating in the 2017 Real Confidence University Challenge:

  • Brigham Young University
  • City University of New York – Baruch College
  • Cornell University
  • Florida State University
  • Harvard University
  • Hollins University
  • Indiana University
  • Johns Hopkins University
  • Lehigh University
  • Middle Tennessee State University
  • Monmouth University
  • Nova Southeastern University
  • Penn State
  • Rice University
  • San Diego State University
  • Southern Methodist University
  • Temple University
  • Texas A&M
  • Texas Christian University
  • Texas Tech University
  • The Ohio State University - Fisher College of Business
  • The University of Texas at Arlington
  • University of Chicago - Booth School of Business
  • University of Cincinnati
  • University of Connecticut
  • University of Denver
  • University of Georgia
  • University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
  • University of Miami
  • University of Missouri – Kansas City
  • University of Northern Iowa
  • University of Regensburg
  • University of San Diego
  • University of South Alabama
  • Utah State University
  • Villanova University
  • William & Mary
  • York University – Schulich School of Business

“This competition provides a valuable experience for students to gain a broader perspective of real estate investment,” said Peter Steil, CEO, NCREIF®. “It will be interesting to observe how the strategies and choices of our next generation of leaders and investors will perform against one another.” 

Press Release