EIG OZ Webinar Series | Taking the Pulse of the Opportunity Zones Industry
Categories:Analysis | Published On: June 1, 2022 |
On May 24, the Economic Innovation Group (EIG) hosted a webinar to discuss how Opportunity Zones (OZ) investors and stakeholders currently perceive the growing OZ marketplace, and how collecting data and articulating the impact of investments can help strengthen the OZ industry. View a recording of the webinar and EIG’s key takeaways for more information.
Prior to guest speakers’ presentations, EIG’s Catherine Lyons provided an overview of current legislative proposals that aim to shed light on the efficacy of the OZ policy by instituting reporting and community measurement mandates. If enacted, the federal government would be required to make public aggregated information on OZ investment activity and provide a longitudinal analysis of economic indicators in designated OZs relative to similarly positioned census tracts. Rachel Reilly of Aces & Archers reviewed the reporting regime outlined in the Opportunity Zones Transparency, Extension, and Improvement Act, and noted fund administrators and Qualified Opportunity Fund (QOF) managers have indicated that these requirements would not reduce participation from OZ stakeholders and investors.
Reid Thomas of JTC Americas described how his company’s fund administration services can ensure compliance with current and proposed reporting requirements. Thomas also provided an overview of JTC Americas’ efforts to help QOFs better understand and articulate the impact of their OZ investment strategies. He shared results from a recent survey conducted by JTC Americas and OpportunityDb, which suggests that impact-oriented investors have a limited understanding of how OZ investments can align with their investment goals. Thomas posited that QOFs will have a competitive advantage raising capital if they can articulate the positive social and environmental attributes of their investment strategy.
Trisha Miller then provided insights on how Redbrick LMD, a Washington D.C.-based QOF, considers social and environmental factors when making OZ investments and engaging potential investors. Miller affirmed that investors are attracted to QOFs that are oriented toward social impact and long-term sustainability, and she provided examples of messages that resonate with investors when talking about the importance of achieving double and triple bottom line returns on OZ investments.