Joining Director of Business Development, Travis Okamoto was Caliber CEO, Chris Loeffler where he reiterated the company’s mission, vision, and culture, reviewed Caliber’s 2020 accomplishments, outlined Caliber’s objectives for 2021 and opened it up to questions from the audience to make these more interactive.
Chris began with looking at the political and economic landscape, noting a presidential inauguration, the global pandemics and a volatile capital markets landscape. He noted that it is obvious that as an investment company, Caliber is there to build wealth for its customers, investors, shareholders, employees, and communities.
However, Caliber is much more than an investment company, it serves the communities where the Company operates, for example, the new hospital beds in the Phoenix Behavioral Health Center where new jobs have been created and a new tax base that will help pay for community-driven programs. “But on the arc of time and throughout our entire existence as a business, there is only one mission that we are looking to accomplish – to consistently build wealth for everybody who participates with us,” stated Loeffler. That is what every Caliber employee gets up every day and try to accomplish – through good times and bad times.
Caliber is focused on moving forward and hopefully passed the worst of the COVID-19 crisis. As the Company continues to move forward with a new normal, the new trajectory is moving from hundreds of millions in assets under management to many billions in assets under management.
“Our current goal is to hit $4 billion by 2025 – an aspirational goal considering where the Company stands today,” stated Loeffler. However, strategic acquisitions and capital raising tend to create synergistic results that should feed off one another and move Caliber closer to its goal, which creates more opportunities for new investors as well as existing investors. Ultimately, Chris stated, ”we would like to be a multi-billion-dollar regional investment company in the Southwest.”
Caliber’s values are straightforward – be accountable for what you say and do, be respectful of people you interact with both internally and externally and be transparent in what it is you know at the time you know it. Following these ethos and sharing that information will always lead to good decisions. Loeffler stated, “we would like to drive that into your client experience as well, and if you see us falling down on one of our values, please hold us accountable.”
This is who Caliber is – it is how people see us and how we see ourselves – highly engaged, clear communicators who do not use a lot of jargon. Chris asserted, “we are a business that cares about the outcomes of our investors and feels connected to that. We are a culture of people who are relatively down to earth, accessible and hard-working.”
Celebrating 2020 and Looking Forward to 2021
In a year of lost loved ones, turmoil surrounding almost every business with some going out of business as well as instability surrounding the political and economic landscape, Caliber is still standing.
- Very quickly the Caliber team adapted from an office environment to a remote environment, while remaining fully engaged by continuing to manage our assets and your investments. The Caliber team remained focused on building that Caliber City infrastructure, which includes operations, client experience, reporting, property acquisitions, asset management, and development.
- The Company has seized an opportunity to recruit high-quality talent during these unprecedented times and hired two new executives to focus on investing and managing the Company’s hotel assets.
- The Company upgraded its management operator to Highgate, one of the best hotel companies in the world. The DoubleTree Hilton construction project is substantially complete with a grand opening anticipated in February or early March.
- There are still many headwinds with the Company’s office and hotel assets, but the team continues to do a great job in navigating the various obstacles and managing the operations and financing structures of these assets.
- Successfully negotiated the sale of Treehouse Apartments for a better price than expected pre-COVID. The transaction is due to close on February 10th. The Company also sold a self-storage facility in Kingman.
- As for acquisitions, due to the COVID crisis, the Company ceased buying assets. Now, at the beginning of 2021, the Company has re-entered the market and looking at acquisition opportunities.
- Capital formation also stopped due to COVID. Caliber raised about $35 million in 2020, which is much lower than the $90 million raised in 2019.
- Moved to a new broker-dealer – Tobin & Company Securities, LLC https://tobinandco.com/about-us/, which is anticipated to enhance the investment experience and allows Caliber to bring some vital processes back in-house.
- Caliber’s Reg A online public offering will close on February 26, 2021 and is doing well despite the investment landscape over the last 10 months due to COVID. To date, the company has raised about $3.5 million with another $5 to $10 million projected, which is off from the $20 million projection pre-COVID.
CEO Highlights from Q&A Portion:
- COVID vaccine and its impact on travel, and ultimately the hotel business. Optimistic outlook as the country starts to return to normal again – probably not until the Summer or Fall.
- Seeing attractive real estate opportunities – distressed assets/companies.
- 2020 was an anomaly – black swan and 2019 was a great year for Caliber – 2021 should fall somewhere in the middle from a performance/capital raising perspective.
- Apartments should perform well, but hotels and offices could be a drag.
- New executive hires are focused on hotel assets.
- Possible opportunities to redevelop some of the hotels and repurpose them as apartments.
- Capital formation is especially important – provides better financing and buying opportunities.
- Fund activity to finance acquisitions and development.
Chris concluded, “2020 was a challenging year for us, but I think that the strong survive in business and we have survived – now expect to thrive yet again. As far as a future we hope to have some cross-pollination as we continue to be a visible company in the public sphere. We have not made any dramatic or fundamental changes to what we are doing – we continue to refine and grow our business for the future.”
The next CEO Call is scheduled for Thursday, Feb. 19, 2021.