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Hello, 2017

2016 was one heck of a year. It started with a fairly big shakeup professionally. I didn’t end up taking much time off; instead I started meeting with lots of people and looking for my next adventure. In July, 2016 I announced the launch of my new startup, Highline BETA. Over the second half of […]

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2017

2016 was one heck of a year. It started with a fairly big shakeup professionally. I didn’t end up taking much time off; instead I started meeting with lots of people and looking for my next adventure.

In July, 2016 I announced the launch of my new startup, Highline BETA. Over the second half of 2016, Marcus (my co-founder) and I, started to clarify, refine and build out our vision and plans for the company. As you might expect (if you’ve ever started a company), we’ve experienced the startup rollercoaster. It’s real.

So to summarize 2016: Down, up, down, up, down, up, down, up, down, up…

That’s not a perfect visualization of last year, but it was definitely interesting.

Enough about the past. What does 2017 hold for me?

I fully expect an ongoing rollercoaster ride for myself and Highline BETA. I’m not sure there’s any other way to figure things out, and in my experience, entrepreneurs feel every good and bad experience incredibly viscerally. Little wins feel like mega-victories, small setbacks feel like the absolute end of the world. With experience, these ups and downs level off, but you still feel ’em plenty strong.

2017 will be a very strong year for Highline BETA:

  • We’re actively working with customers on their innovation strategies and how startups & startup innovation approaches can lead to investing in and co-creating great companies.
  • We’ve started to establish our platform more solidly and secure important partnerships in industries where we’ll be investing. One example is our partnership with Cookhouse Lab in InsurTech. There are more partnerships on the way.
  • We’ve identified a few key investment themes (e.g. InsurTech, Health, FinTech, CPG) where we see a lot of opportunity.
  • We’re engaging in building the corporate-startup ecosystem through efforts such as our “Corporate-Startup Connection Zone” at ResolveTO, where we’ll be making an investment in one of the attending startups.
  • We’re pushing forward with different funding vehicles, including our AngelList Syndicate (we believe AngelList has a huge opportunity to encourage more pre-seed investing in Canada.)
  • We’re building a great team. Stay tuned for job postings and opportunities to work with us.

These are all important building blocks for making Highline BETA successful. There are quite a few moving pieces, but I believe they’ll all work cohesively together, even if it’s not all self-evident today. Startups don’t get built and win overnight.

For me, 2017 is all about establishing Highline BETA’s model and putting the foundational pieces in place to scale in the future. It’s about finding great customers to work with that recognize the importance of leveraging external resources to innovate quickly and successfully, and finding great founders & startups to invest in.

Beyond Highline BETA, I have a few other goals for 2017:

  • Travel to at least 7 new places I’ve never been (2 trips already planned.)
  • Read 10 fiction books (I’ll try and read some non-fiction too, but let’s face it, fiction is more fun!)
  • Do something to push Lean Analytics forward.
  • Lose 10 pounds (I know, I know…)
  • Write more (I only wrote 18 blog posts in 2016.)
  • Convince my older son to build a website for himself (and then help him with it.)
  • Eat less meat (already on the way; the family has committed to 1 week of going vegetarian starting soon.)
  • Help as many entrepreneurs as I can.
  • Help build up the product management community in Toronto (but elsewhere as well.)
  • Laugh. (I did plenty of laughing in 2016 too, no reason to stop now!)

So that’s my plan for 2017. How about you?

Source: http://www.instigatorblog.com/hello-2017/2017/01/05/

Private Equity

Alternative Investments/Real Estate: Housing Market Demand Is “Insane”

Speaking to CNBC on Power Lunch, Glenn Kelman, CEO of real estate brokerage Redfin (NASDAQ: RDFN), said he expected the current boom conditions in the housing market to last well into next year. He attributed the high demand to affluent professionals looking for remote homes as well as low interest rates. Also, he thinks some sellers will put their properties on the market only after the presidential election.

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Alternative Investments/Real Estate: Housing Market Demand Is “Insane”

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Redfin CEO Glenn Kelman says the boom could last into next year.

Speaking to CNBC on Power Lunch, Glenn Kelman, CEO of real estate brokerage Redfin (NASDAQ: RDFN), said he expected the current boom conditions in the housing market to last well into next year. He attributed the high demand to affluent professionals looking for remote homes as well as low interest rates. Also, he thinks some sellers will put their properties on the market only after the presidential election. (CNBC)

Kelman: Too good to last forever

“This level of demand is absolutely insane. I would expect it to last into 2021, at least,” Kelman said.

Recent data from the National Association of Realtors shows up the strength in the housing market.

Existing home sales shot up 9.4% in September beating expectations. Even though the median purchase price of a home rose approximately 15% year over year, there is just a 2.7-month supply of for-sale homes, showing tight market inventory conditions.

The 30-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 2.80% for the week ending Oct. 22, down from 2.81% in the previous week and 3.75% a year ago, according to the Freddie Mac Primary Mortgage Market Survey. Therefore, mortgage rates crept even lower in the latest week.

However, “there’s no way it can last forever,” Kelman warned of the bullish conditions.

Canada: Off the charts

Meanwhile, at the northern neighbor, home sales activity in September is described as “off-the-charts.”

Housing data released by the Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA) last week showed a nationwide year-over-year increase in sales of 45.6%.

This was a new all-time monthly record for the third month in a row.

“This is starting to sound like a broken record (about records being broken), but Canadian home sales and prices set records once again in September … as they did in July and August,” said Shaun Cathcart, senior economist at CREA, in a statement.

Real Estate ETFs in the U.S.

The year-to-date performance of some real estate ETFs is shown below:

iShares U.S. Home Construction ETF (ITB)              +24.61%

SPDR S&P Homebuilders ETF (XHB)                          +20.83%

Vanguard Real Estate Index Fund ETF                      -13.91%

It may be noted that despite the boom conditions in housing, real estate ETFs and stocks have declined in recent days.

According to Barron’s, this may be due to yields on the 10-year and 30-year Treasuries moving higher in recent weeks.

Other reasons could be fears of inflation ticking up in the future amidst an improving economic situation.

Nevertheless, the view is that interest rates are likely to remain low for longer. So demand may remain strong.

“Part of what is fueling this boom is that the economy has just split into two and rich people are able to access capital almost for free, so, of course, they’re going to use that money to buy homes,” said Redfin’s Kelman.

Related Story:   Mortgage Rates Set Another Record Low; Real Estate ETFs Could Benefit

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Source: https://dailyalts.com/alternative-investments-real-estate-housing-market-demand-is-insane/

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Private Equity

Asda’s new owner EG Group seeks new leadership ahead of IPO – report

EG Group is owned by the billionaire Issa brothers and the private equity firm TDR Capital, who teamed up for a £6.8 billion takeover of Asda last month

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UK grocer Asda Group’s new owner EG Group is looking for a new chairman and independent directors as it prepares for a £10bn initial public offering, The Timesreports.

EG Group is owned by the billionaire Issa brothers and the private equity firm TDR Capital, who teamed up for a £6.8 billion takeover of Asda last month.

The move comes after Deloitte resigned last week as the company’s auditor because of concerns over the group’s governance and lack of internal controls, according to the publication.

A decision on candidates will be taken before the end of this year, although roles haven’t been finalised yet as the company is in the process of deciding whether to float in the UK or the US, The Times reports.

Write to Barcelona editors at barcelonaeditors@dowjones.com

From Dow Jones Newswires

Source: https://www.penews.com/articles/asdas-new-owner-eg-group-seeks-new-leadership-ahead-of-ipo-reports-20201023

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Private Equity

Lone Star agrees £630m deal to buy UK’s McCarthy & Stone

The American private equity firm is expected to back the strategy of Britain’s biggest retirement housebuilder to build more homes for rent

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McCarthy & Stone said Friday, 23 October, that it has agreed to a £630m all-cash takeover by Lone Star Real Estate Fund VI.

Under the offer, accepting shareholders of the London-listed retirement-community builder will get 115 pence in cash for each share held, a 39% premium to its closing share price of 83 pence on Thursday, 22 October.

“The all-cash offer represents a compelling and attractive opportunity for shareholders to realise and crystallise their investment in McCarthy & Stone in the near term and also provides a meaningful premium to the prevailing share price notwithstanding the backdrop of the wider risks posed by the political and macro-economic environment,” McCarthy Chairman Paul Lester said.

Write to Ian Walker at ian.walker@wsj.com

From Dow Jones Newswires

Source: https://www.penews.com/articles/lone-star-agrees-630m-deal-to-buy-uks-mccarthy-stone-20201023

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