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Podcast Transcript – Ask the Experts – Canadian Real Estate and Clean Energy Private Investing


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Iain Grant: [00:00:00] Good afternoon. The information provided over the course of this program solely the view of the commentators and not necessarily those of Skyline Wealth Management Inc. Newstalk ten, ten or Bell Media products are not guaranteed and investor qualifications apply. Past performance may not be repeated. Funnily enough, I have that on a T-shirt. I’m Ian Grant and I’m joined on the show this afternoon by one of my favorite guests. Jason Castellan is here. He’s CEO and founder at Ray Pond, vice president of Skyline Wealth Management. Gentlemen, good afternoon. Welcome in.

Jason Castellan: [00:00:33] Hey, Ian, How’s it going?

Ray Punn: [00:00:34] Thanks, Stephen.

Iain Grant: [00:00:35] It is going really well. And Jason, every time we do the show, I always kick it off with the same question, the same comment, talking about how Skyline has grown since the last time we chatted with COVID. With all the excitement of the past couple of years, hopefully behind us. This is truer than ever for Skyline. So among a lot of other areas this hour, I’d like to talk a little bit about the investors out there who are some are concerned about public market volatility, but also like to touch on challenges, differences between private and public investing. We can talk about the great opportunities, obviously for listeners looking for an investment that is historically stable and obviously has ample opportunity to grow. And of course, an intro to Skyline Wealth Management, an investment firm providing investors with private alternative investments, with historical stability, as I just said. And so for anyone who hasn’t caught our previous shows, gentlemen, let’s start by introducing the listener to one of Canada’s leading real estate and clean energy asset management companies.

Jason Castellan: [00:01:40] Well, that’s awesome. Ian, thank you. Yeah, it’s been a wild last couple of years is deemed an essential business. We we were business as usual, still growing. We were doing everything like we were before. It’s been amazing and we’ve been able to keep rolling right along. And we’re now up to over $7 Billion in Assets under Administration to the Moon from here. It just continues to be opportunities. There’s immigration, people needing housing. Those people need services. They need to buy groceries, they need to pharmacy, they need to get their stuff from factories that where things are made and they consume energy. It’s all essential and it all carries on. And it’s been amazing. I was really worried at the beginning because you just with the unknown, you didn’t know how it was going to happen or how it was going to play out. And as a matter of fact, it’s exceeded my expectation the last couple of years. But I think now that the worst of it’s behind us, we’re rolling forward and getting more back to normal and back to doing what we were doing pre-pandemic.

Iain Grant: [00:02:38] And Ray, Jason brings up a good point, and that is that especially at the beginning of the pandemic, there was so many unknowns. There were, you know, all of a sudden finding different ways for employees to work and finding basically for an awful lot of businesses, finding completely different ways to execute their business. I’d have to guess that because one of the things Jason and I’ve talked about many times before is the strong team that Skyline is based on. I have to guess that went a long way in making sure that the last couple of years went a lot smoother than they may have.

Ray Punn: [00:03:09] We’re a business that’s across the country. We have a head office, but we have property management staff all across the country. So we were able to continue our operations with our businesses. Jason mentioned a lot of our businesses fall within the essential services, so we were able to continue maintaining our properties for the head office staff. We quickly did switch that working whole model. We were able to continue operating the business and I remember back to March 2020 and it was one of our first meetings that we held as the pandemic was kicking off. And some of the first thing that we talked about is how do we continue with property management, how do we continue to keep communication open with our investors? And we’ve continued that throughout and we quickly switched over from in-person events or seeing individuals in person to webinars. We opened up our own webinar studio. We put a lot of money into it and we’re actually sitting in it and we record a lot down here and we communicate with our investors and others across the country. So I think we were very quick to pivot. We’ve continued with that model today.

Jason Castellan: [00:04:07] Yeah, I think we’re better off because of it. We had to keep communicating, especially during uncertain times. So the communication was even more important keeping our investors on top of what was happening and how we were dealing with all of the situation. We have a model where we’ve got people across the country that we have to communicate with and we have to operate remotely anyways. So this was just I think we were able to supercharge our abilities. You know, we actually got better because of it. You know, it’s showing as we come out, we’re pedal to the metal now and we’re we’re rolling forward and ready to take on the rest of the world again here. So it’s very exciting.

Iain Grant: [00:04:41] Looking forward At some point in this hour, I’m going to ask you guys what makes Skyline different? Before I ask this next question, I get to have a kick at that can because if someone asked me, I would suggest it’s the foundation. Jason From our previous conversations, you’re aware and based on the emails, text messages we get as our listener. On just how Skyline began, because it’s a fantastic story and I think it speaks to what Skyline is today.

Jason Castellan: [00:05:07] Yeah, Thanks, Ian. I mean, it pains me to say that it’s been 31 years. I mean, it’s just tells you how old we’re getting. But, you know, it did start back in the early nineties with one student house. My brother and I moved into the basement and we rented out the upstairs and that house was cashflow neutral because Marty and I obviously weren’t paying rent, but we were getting rent from the upstairs. And so with that, you know, this is pretty cool. What if we went down the street and bought another house and, and, you know, with help from our father originally and then close family and friends investing with us, co-investing in some of these houses, we got up to 52 houses in Guelph that we bought, we financed, cut the grass, we rented it out, we made the repairs, we did the renovations. We you know, we were we were learning the business as we were growing and making our mistakes, learning from those and getting ahead. And it was at a party in one of those houses that we met, our business partner, Jason Ashdown, who is one of the founders as well today. You know, we’ve continued to grow through those houses and then we thought, okay, well, these are great, but they’re kind of inefficient. There’s got to be a better way that there’s not 52 roofs, 52 lawns to cut 52 furnaces that never seem to fire up. In October on the first cold snap, we thought if we bought a like a 52 unit apartment building, we have one roof, we have one furnace, one lawn to cut. It was much more efficient. So we started buying those bigger buildings, which by the way, came with bigger down payment requirements.

Jason Castellan: [00:06:33] So we needed to start expanding to beyond our family and friends, to people who were interested in co-investing with us in these incorporations. So we did that for a number of years. We created 16 of these corporations or from 1999 till 2005, and then one of the one of the other partners in the business, Wayne Byrd, who’s integral part of things and our CFO today helped us amalgamate all of those syndications and launch the Real Estate Investment Trust, which is the apartment REIT today. That 80 was about 83 million worth of real estate that we balled up and used as a launching pad for the REIT, which now has about $4.2 billion worth of assets in it and has spawned the retail REIT, the commercial industrial REIT and the Clean Energy Fund out of that. So it’s been just a constant evolution over the years of that. You know, we’ve had our fingerprints all over those aspects of it. We realized that leveraging with people that are better at doing a lot of those things than we were, we’re important to bring on board. And you know, here we are today, 1000 strong coast to coast and four very successful funds and north of 5000 happy investors. So it’s been an overnight dream come true. So it’s we’re pretty happy and we’re pretty proud of how we’re going, but we’re not stopping here. There’s lots of business to be done and there’s lots of growth to be had and lots of opportunities with very talented people in this company that want to help continue to grow it. We’re still looking forward out the front window and we’re we’re growing and ready and poised to move from the last two years into the future.

Iain Grant: [00:08:09] An overnight dream that only took, what, three decades? Yeah. Yeah. Ray, there is a there is something really beneficial, though, to that kind of natural growth. As you build, you learn a lot of areas and you see a lot of things where they all kind of come together in the experience as the company grows larger, you know how to deal with things. You understand, you know, the cause and effect of various different areas as opposed to just jumping in at the deep end and deciding that you’re going to start a company.

Ray Punn: [00:08:37] One of the things I will say that has led to a lot of success in our business is that we continue to bring on really talented people and we bring them on across the country. And, you know, Jason was speaking on sort of the evolution of the company where it started with Jason, his brother, and and Jason Ashdown. Today, we’ve grown to well over 1000 employees in this company. And, you know, putting that time and development into these resources is what has brought us to where we are today. And they’re the launchpad for the future for us. So we continue to invest in and bring on just amazing talent across the country. And they are the ones that helped us get through the pandemic and they are the ones that are the future of this business.

Iain Grant: [00:09:13] Ray Payne, vice president of Skyline Wealth Management and Jason Castellan CEO and co-founder, Skyline Wealth Management, offers private alternative investment products in real estate and clean energy. Investors are enjoying historically stable investment performance. Skyline priding itself on offering investors a unique investment experience, helping to cut out a lot of the noise and emotion that so many investors have come to experience in the public markets. Skyline believe that investing should be enjoyable, engaging and rewarding. Connect with Skyline and share your investment goals. For more information on investments, the advisory team, the Skyline, investment philosophy, and so much more, visit the website Skyline Wealth Management. Not see a Skyline Wealth Management. This is Ask the expert. I’m Ian Grant here on Newstalk 1010 Toronto. This is ask the expert here on Newstalk 1010 Toronto. I’m Ian Grant. Today, we’re talking about one of Canada’s leading real estate and clean energy asset management companies. We’re talking about how investment conservatism and transparency have led to $7 billion of investor success. We’re talking about Skyline Wealth Management. I’m joined by Jason Castellan. He’s CEO and co-founder and vice president Ray Pan. Gentleman, keeping this at eye level, we need to make sure that we clarify some of the terms that we’re going to hear over this hour. So, Ray, why don’t we start with what are private alternative investments?

Ray Punn: [00:10:46] Ian, there’s a lot to unwrap there. Private alternative investments also known as private investing. These are investments that fall outside of your traditional public equity stock mix. Generally, you can’t buy these on a stock exchange, and financial reporting may or may not be equivalent to what a publicly traded company may look like. Private investments. They are growing in demand and popularity amongst Canadians. And when you take a look at the assets that are in this class, I’ll just give some examples. One of the most popular actually is real estate, whether it’s a REIT or direct real estate ownership, non public company ownership, private debt and lending is also popular, just commodities. Recently, digital assets has become big and that includes things like nfts and crypto and other hard assets are collectibles. I know watches these days have become very popular with across the world. That’s just a little bit of a breakdown of the assets that fall under this class. Investors like private alternative investments because it gives them diversification across a different portfolio that they don’t necessarily have access to on the public side. Generally speaking, there can be lower volatility. A lot of alternative investments have a correlation from the public market swings, and they hinge more so on the underlying value of the asset and or the cash flow that is behind it. There’s also a tax benefit and potentially higher returns that can be a lead factor for investors wanting to put a part of their investment or a part of their sleeve into private investments. One thing to note is most institutional investors that include the major pension funds in Canada, they have exposure to private investments and in most cases it’s direct or indirect real estate ownership.

Iain Grant: [00:12:26] Jason, One of the other terms obviously we’re going to be using pretty much throughout this hour is REIT. So why don’t we just establish right now what a REIT is?

Jason Castellan: [00:12:35] Sure. While REIT is the acronym for Real Estate Investment Trust, So again, that’s different from income trusts. You know, we’ve heard a little rumblings in the media about the governments looking to tax these kind of vehicles in a different manner. But that’s that’s more along the lines of income trusts than investment trusts. So the real estate investment trusts, all we’re doing with our real estate and with our clean energy fund is we’re buying assets in a way, and bigger and better institutional grade assets no differently than an individual would buy a rental on their own, a little strip plaza or a one off residential house or a little solar project. Those can be done on their own. What we’re doing with a real estate investment trust or with our clean energy fund, we’re just going together, we’re pooling our investor money and we’re buying bigger institutional grade quality assets that are delivering cash flows, that are delivering returns that are earning. They’re not speculative in any way. We’re buying them and they’re churning out income. We’re operating those. We’re marrying the capital with maybe an acquisition that we’re doing today. But that entitles the investor to be part of the real estate that we already bought.

Jason Castellan: [00:13:47] And then if they don’t even invest another dollar, they’re still going to be part of the assets that are bought in the future. It allows you to participate in higher grade and institutional quality type of investments that you could really effectively do on your own. But we’re doing them together in a much more efficient manner. And that intermediary of that real estate investment trust or that clean energy fund, what that does is it provides for liquidity for investor to invest in the fund or or redeem units if they have to get money out at any time without us having to sell the assets, we’re able to create the units that they can trade in without having to put a piece of real estate up for sale to meet that redemption. So it’s just a much more investor friendly vehicle which gives the investors the benefits of direct ownership without the headaches that go along with it. We’re we’re taking on those headaches and we’re running it. We’re buying, we’re financing. We’re doing all the taking the calls to deal with the tenants and and all of that kind of stuff on behalf of our investors.

Iain Grant: [00:14:44] Jason, you once described it to me that really helped as the institutional quality investment for the everyday investor. And that really did help put it in a box that I could understand.

Jason Castellan: [00:14:54] Yeah, we have a lot of investors actually who get us because they started off knowing not much different than we did owning a few properties. But you know, we all have our day jobs, we have lives that we have to live. And they just didn’t didn’t want to take it and commit to that. Level that we did when we started out, we were able to make that commitment to forge through to that next level. So a lot of our investors, they’ve done that, gotten so far and they said, okay, I’ve been there, I’ve done that, I got some nice equity built up, I’m going to sell my portfolio and I’m going to invest with you guys and I’m going to take a trip or I’m going to retire. And that’s what we’re hearing. And that’s the kind of stuff that really, really motivates me. I love hearing our investor stories, what they’re doing with their with their investments with us and the pleasure it gives them, the hobbies they take on the trips they go on, the retirement they’re having, their kids, they put through school with it. All of that kind of stuff is really these days, really, really makes me feel good about what we’re doing here.

Ray Punn: [00:15:47] There’s a few short stories that I can share this with with regards to some of these stories that we hear from our investors. And we’re across the country throughout the year and we get in front of our investors and we meet them and we hear from them and they share sort of how their investments have changed their life. And, you know, there’s two stories that come to mind. The first one is an investor. Maybe three years ago, we’re having a chat, we’re having a drink together. And he at the time, I believe he was about 63 years old and he made a very bold name. And he looked at me. He says, look, you know, I retired at 58 and it’s not because my company pension was subsidizing or nothing of that nature. He said that my Skyline Investments helped me perform and gave me enough stable income to let me retire at 58 years old. The same night, actually, another investor I was speaking to and this investor shared a story on just sort of the struggles of putting money together to put their children through university. And university isn’t cheap in Canada and North America. It does cost a lot of money. Hardworking family weren’t able to put the equity together to put their kids through university, but over the course of a few years and they were able to get some investment with Skyline and the performance and the cash flow of those investments helped them pay partially for that university education. And they remember that. And we remember those stories as well. And these are from three years ago, and I remember them just vividly.

Iain Grant: [00:17:10] Ray Skyline has four investments now. Three of them are REITs. One is the Clean Energy Fund. Can you tell us about those? How are the strategies different for each one of the investments?

Ray Punn: [00:17:20] The first thing I’ll say is that all of our investments and all of the assets within those investments, it’s a 100% Canadian portfolio which is invested across the country. Every asset that goes into our investments, a portfolio specifically, they go through a very rigorous due diligence prior to purchase. And what we’re looking for is suitability and are they a value add to the portfolio. So if we look at the Skyline apartment REIT, this is it’s an over $4 billion fund. We have over 21,000 tenants living in these units and we buy in secondary markets across Canada. And the simple reason for that is it’s the value of the asset in secondary cities versus a major city. We find that it’s more accretive and we can add a lot more value for our fund by buying in secondary cities. In short, we’re getting a better value but a similar cash flow. So that’s another way to look at it. So the multi Asset class, it’s a very popular asset class with Canadians across the country, not only for for living purposes but also for investing purposes. Our next investment is the Skyline commercial REIT. Others refer to this as the industrial. It is one of the most sought after asset classes in North America and specifically in Canada. There’s a very, very low vacancy which has created a high demand. Our fund is $1.3 billion in assets. We have over 8 million square feet across 82 properties. And with the rise of e commerce, the strategy has become warehousing, distribution and logistics. So 80% of our tenants fall within that tenant base. We have strong long term leases and we have some some recognized names in this portfolio. Bec is is a large food cold storage. They’re a big part of our portfolio. We have Nespresso that recently joined with us Canadian Tire out in western Canada and that’s just to name a few. The function or the strategy behind this is that we ensure that our properties in the industrial REIT are along a major highway or a major transportation route or an airport. So they’re very close to logistics.

Iain Grant: [00:19:28] Let me jump in. We’ve covered two of the investments. We still have one of the routes to talk about and of course we’ve got to talk about the Skyline Clean Energy Fund. So we will do that after traffic. Ray Pun, vice president of Skyline Wealth Management and Jason Castellan CEO and co founder Skyline Wealth Management offers private alternative investment products in real estate and clean energy. Investors are enjoying historically stable investment performance. Skyline priding itself on offering investors a unique investment experience, helping to cut out a lot of the noise and emotion that so many investors have come to experience in the public markets. Skyline believe that investing should be enjoyable, engaging and rewarding. Connect with Skyline and share your investment goals. For more information on investments, the advisory team, the Skyline, investment philosophy, and so much more. Visit the website. Skyline Wealth Management S.A.. Skyline Wealth Management S.A.. This is us, the expert. I’m Ian Grant here on Newstalk 1010 Toronto. We’re back. This is Ask the Expert here on Newstalk 1010. I’m Ian Grant. This afternoon we’re talking about the Skyline Group of companies. It’s a private company. It has an exempt market dealer, Skyline Wealth Management that distributes for investment products. We’re talking about the Skyline apartment REIT, the Skyline, Commercial REIT, the Skyline Retail REIT and Skyline Clean Energy Fund. I’m joined by Jason Castellan. He is CEO and co-founder and Ray Pun, vice president of Skyline Wealth Management. Just before the break, we were talking about the four investments that Skyline has and as we mentioned, three of them REITs, one clean energy fund. Ray, we talked about one or two. Let’s just cover those quickly for anyone who joined us throughout the break and then we’ll also pick up on three and four.

Ray Punn: [00:21:21] Sure. Let’s do that again. We talked about the Skyline apartment REIT. It’s our Staple fund. It’s a $4 billion fund and it houses 60,000 Canadians across 21,000 units. And it’s why you’ll see the Skyline banner across the country in secondary cities. We talked about the Skyline commercial REIT as well. It’s also known as the industrial, a very sought after asset class, very low vacancies in Canada, which has created a very high demand. And we’re very lucky to be in this space with over 8 million square feet across 82 properties. So our third REIT is the Skyline Retail REIT, which is made up of grocery and pharmacy anchored real estate. And these are not shopping malls or what we may call plazas in secondary and tertiary communities. 70% of this portfolio is made up of national national anchor retailers in communities where these plazas are the cornerstone of the community. Our tenants are some of Canada’s most recognized retailers the banks, fast food, and there’s over 112 properties in this fund and the makeup is about $1.3 Billion.

Jason Castellan: [00:22:26] I’d like to just jump in and say that with the retail rate, it really follows the secondary tertiary market of this skyline Apartment REIT. We we have secondary tertiary markets. People need a place to live. They also need a place to get their food, they need to get their medicines, they need to get their services. So that’s where the retail REIT really shines and that it goes hand in hand with that. I think what might come to some people’s mind is that retail is attached to fashion. We’re intentionally not focusing on fashion, we’re intentionally focusing on the necessities, the services that people need, the quick service restaurants, grocery pharmacy, those the banks, those kind of fundamental essentials that are in retail. So I just want to make sure that people are you know, we focus more narrowly within retail than what might jump to a lot of people’s minds.

Iain Grant: [00:23:12] The fourth let’s talk about the Clean Energy Fund, because, Jason, I can remember when you guys introduced this and you were just so incredibly proud of it.

Jason Castellan: [00:23:18] It’s it’s been excellent. And, you know, like with all of our other funds, I talked about our our history that we evolved from student rentals to syndicates to to the REITs. Well, so did the Clean Energy Fund. We’ve been producing power through the micro fit and the fit programs on the roofs of our buildings. Since 2010 when those programs were rolled out. They’re good revenue generators for people and they’ve really spawned an whole industry that we’re benefiting from and that is moving forward and has allowed us to move into a more institutional style investment.

Ray Punn: [00:23:51] In similar to the REITs, the Skyline Clean Energy Fund. It also invests in clean energy assets in Canada. This fund falls in the sleeve of ESG or equity growth, ESG being an environmental, social governance. So this portfolio is made up of solar and bio gas and is and is backed by government contracts. And the fund is grown very quickly. It’s a $220 Million fund today with a lot of acquisitions in the pipeline that you’ll see coming to fruition in 2022. So today we are sitting at 70 assets in this portfolio looking at the solar. All of the solar is backed by guaranteed provincial government contracts. They’re known as the contracts. They were introduced, I believe, around 2009, 2010, and this was to give a kick start to the solar industry back then and today. Now we feel that this solar has its own legs to stand on. And in our portfolio we have about approximately 12 years left on on those agreements with the provincial government. When we look at sort of the evolution of the fund in 2021, we purchase our first biogas facility and these are facilities that take green waste. It breaks it down and then it converts it to what we call renewable energy, biomethane and that. Full back to the grid and again behind the biogas facility. We also have those guaranteed government contracts.

Jason Castellan: [00:25:15] Those contracts as well. They have a timeline to them and we’re aware of that. And we want to have a multi generational investment. We’ve seen a shift and which is again, part of the kickoff of this whole fund was that those government contracts have now transitioned where we’re now able to have private, private direct relationships where we can sell our power to high energy consumers like factories, like apartment buildings, like any other type of business out there, that’s a high energy consumer. So we can do that through this fund. So it’s evolved and it’s changing. But those initial government contracts again, kicked off an industry, and we’re taking it now to that next level for sustainability long beyond the expiration date of those contracts.

Iain Grant: [00:25:59] Guys, the volatility of public markets, you got pandemic supply chain issues out there, recessions, the war in Ukraine, interest rates, inflation. I got to wonder, do these have an impact on your business at any level?

Jason Castellan: [00:26:13] Well, of course they do. Aside from the initial impact of those things, giving us a little bit of gray hair, you know, these are things that we just have to deal with. We have to roll with. We’re not bigger than any market out there. So we’re we’re rolling with the with the changes. And as things come and we adapt and we take the business in the direction that is, again, be the most sustainable and most profitable for our investors. We found in that we’ve gone through the financial crisis, we’ve gone through even back to the dot com bubble, the financial crisis, stock market bubbles, wars and now most recently pandemics. And we found that owning assets, essential assets like this, where people need basic needs like shelter, food, clothing, they need these manufacturing plants to provide the goods that give people mobility and give people the ability to function in today’s society, being the landlord of those types of investments and the energy that people need to consume to live in today’s world. Having that has always prevailed throughout these bumps in the road. In fact, we’ve experienced every time something like that comes along, we seem to come out the other side even better. And it’s difficult. I know a lot of people going through those times, but for some reason, owning these assets and having the fundamentals behind it has allowed us to make lemonade. When you’re dealing with lemons, it’s been a great role in that and that historic stability continues on as we see going forward.

Iain Grant: [00:27:38] And Skyline has always prided itself on the communication that you have with the investors. As you said earlier, You know, I mean, when you’re dealing especially with family, they want to know what’s happening and they want to know today and when the world is in the kind of turmoil that I just explained. People have questions and they get concerned and they wonder, you know, what’s going on. It must be good for them just to pick up the phone, give you a call and just make sure that, you know, hey, the world is gone a little bit crazy, but things are okay.

Ray Punn: [00:28:05] To talk it up. You know, one of the things I’ll say that we do really well in is that we’re very transparent and our communication is very strong. So if you want to speak to us, we’ll answer our phone. If you email us, we will respond to you. If you want to see us face to face, you’ll see us face to face. We have a strong team across the country. On the advisory side, our executives are available. I mean, we’ve been out with this this month to several different events. And this is not just a few of us. There’s over 20 of us. Skylanders at these events, hosting hundreds of our investors. I think that really speaks to the culture, not only the culture of our company, but how much we actually care to be in front of our investors. Like I said earlier, when the pandemic started, we very quickly put together our own podcast studio or a webinar studio, and we started to do recordings on a weekly basis so we could communicate with our investors and vendors because we didn’t know any other way to communicate. What I’ll say is that we really have built up that trust with Canadians, whether it’s tenants, whether it’s investors, whether it’s vendors, because we continue to be that company that is transparent with our communication.

Jason Castellan: [00:29:10] Our investors are all different, made up of different people that have different interests and different knowledge and things like that. And so having that wide array of Skylanders available to answer their questions, somebody may have an interest in operations, somebody else may have an interest in finances or in how we operate, how we do different things within the business. And so we want to make ourselves available to our investors to be able to to answer those questions. Sometimes when the going gets tough, people get quiet and they don’t talk about things. Well, we want we wanted to intentionally go the other way and and explain what is the impact of this, what are the pros, what are the cons, how do we deal with it? How how are we walking through that? So we we’re communicating quite regularly over the past couple of years. We’re going to continue to do that because it’s been well received. Our investors like that. I think when the next issue comes along, they know that we’re prepared for it, we’re thinking about it and they’re going to hear about it. So that’s important that we’re we’re always talking and that we’re always communicating.

Iain Grant: [00:30:06] Jason Castellan. Here. He’s CEO and founder and vice president of Skyline Wealth Management. Skyline Wealth Management offers private alternative investment products in real estate and clean energy. Investors are enjoying historically stable investment performance. Skyline priding itself on offering investors a unique investment experience, helping to cut out a lot of the noise and emotion that so many investors have come to experience in the public markets. Skyline believe that investing should be enjoyable, engaging and rewarding. Connect with Skyline and share your investment goals. For more information on investments, the advisory team, the Skyline, investment philosophy, and so much more, visit the website Skyline Wealth Management Dot S.A., Skyline Wealth Management S.A.. This is us, the expert. I’m Ian Grant here on Newstalk 1010 Toronto. This is Ask the Expert here on Newstalk 1010 Toronto, I’m Ian Grant. Today we’re talking about one of Canada’s leading real estate and clean energy asset management companies. We’re talking about how investment conservatism and transparency has led to $7 billion of investor success. We’re talking about Skyline Wealth Management. I’m joined by Jason Castellan. He’s CEO and co-founder and vice president Ray Payne. Ray, how would you describe a Skyline investor?

Ray Punn: [00:31:32] Ian We’ve grown to 5300 investors across Canada, and the makeup of our investors is there’s at the retail level, which are people like you and I. Ian and we have an advisory channel and we also have institutions that invest with us across that those 5300 investors, we manage over $3.3 billion of investor equity and we continue to see rapid growth. We’re seeing a lot more interest in the investments that we offer. And we talked a little bit earlier about the growth of private alternative investments. And because our investments are private, you don’t see the same volatility as a public market where our unit prices are based on the underlying value of the asset plus the cash flow itself and not.

Jason Castellan: [00:32:17] Emotion.

Ray Punn: [00:32:17] Emotion or someone sending a silly tweet or other things happening that do affect the stock market. So our investors have come to appreciate this historical consistency with unit price as well as yield on their investment. Scott And investments, they are available only through Skyline Wealth Management. We are the wealth manager that connects investors to the investments. And the one other thing that I would like to say is that all of our products are registered and eligible so our investors, they can invest any one of our products in their TFSA and their RRSPs or their other retirement accounts.

Iain Grant: [00:32:56] If a listener listening now has decided that, you know, they want to be part of this, they’d like to invest in the private alternative investment market, what should they be looking at before they do that?

Ray Punn: [00:33:08] So when looking at a private alternative investment or just any investment in general, I think the first thing is that you research the asset class and you see how it fits into your overall investment portfolio. And the other thing is it is really important that you take a look at the management team, the track record and the reputation behind those that are managing the investment itself, financial reporting, the transparency and accessibility is very important because you want to be able to pick up the financials and review them and make sense of them. The question to ask yourself is, is this company going to be around 25 years from now? Is this asset class sustainable 25 years from now? And that’s just more of a gut check question. And the last thing that you would want to consider is liquidity. Can you access your capital or how easily can you access your capital? And are there fees involved with a redemption?

Iain Grant: [00:33:58] What do you think makes Skyline unique? What is it that that really sets you apart?

Jason Castellan: [00:34:03] I think one of the things that early on was has been ingrained in us is that we want to control the whole situation right from the beginning, from the acquisition to the financing to the operations to the communications with our investors. We just felt that if we gave that to somebody else, we lost something or something gets lost in the message. So vertical integration is something that we’ve always grown up doing. We want to have our hands and our arms wrapped around every part of our business. You want to be able to make sure the right messaging is going out to our investors, make sure that the right management on the ground is being done to our benefit, not to the benefit of a third party profitable entity or whatever. So we want to do that within to make sure that we’re looking after the best interests of the properties so that we can from the ground up, develop a strong foundation that’s going to deliver a long term stable returns for our investors. So we’re at 7 billion of assets in our portfolio and growing and growing and growing. We like that. That’s worked for us and we’re going to keep doing that. Having lots of experts in the House that we can turn. Two things get done quickly. We deal with things right away. We nip them in the bud or we can pivot very quickly. When you have control over all of those aspects of your business. So we think that that’s been very exciting and, you know, nobody will tell you what’s going on better than an owner or better than than a skyliner to what’s happening with your investment today. So we want to be able to do that. That’s probably the biggest part of our success, right?

Iain Grant: [00:35:31] How does someone then invest with you?

Ray Punn: [00:35:33] Well, being private, our funds are generally open when acquisitions are taking place. When our presidents are acquiring new real estate for their funds. We do widely communicate when our funds are open or closed for new investment. But the best way to know is go to our website w w w dot Skyline Wealth Management for all of our contact information is there. You can call us, you can email us as we commit it earlier. We do respond back. We will communicate back with you. We have a very strong team of advisors, advisors that are very knowledgeable in this space and we want to get to know you and we want to see if these investments are suited for you.

Iain Grant: [00:36:10] So what about retirement then? How would Skyline fit in with someone looking to invest forward for their retirement?

Ray Punn: [00:36:18] Our products are registered eligible and I would say approximately 40% of our accounts are registered in our business. And for those that are looking to retire or even those that are retired, this is a great way to earn income from your investment. So one of the benefits of our investments is there’s a monthly cash flow and that cash flow gets distributed to our unitholders. And the unit holder has a decision on whether or not to take that cash flow to their bank account so they can live their life and they can enjoy their retirement. Or maybe they don’t need those funds and they can take those funds and just reinvest them back into the REIT and they can purchase more units on a monthly basis. So we give that flexibility to to our investors and that can those sorts of decisions can help those that are in their retirement years.

Jason Castellan: [00:37:07] And and as well, a lot of our investors early on when they when they’re when they’re working and they don’t need the cash flow, they’re allowed to enroll in our distribution reinvestment program so that those cash flows that they would normally take into their bank account and do what they like with it can be auto purchasing units for them to appoint a date and time when they want to flip over or they retire, and then they can start turning over to receive from the drip now to get those cash distributions to come to them. So that works for even non-registered funds that you want to build a base and then extract from that later on during retirement. And just as anecdotally as, you know, my my father, who has his RRSPs with us, you know, he’s converted that over to a riff, but the cash flows that we spend out to him in his rrif are actually contributing to it more than what he actually is required to redeem based on the government formula. So it’s it’s kind of interesting and funny to hear to hear that story.

Iain Grant: [00:38:06] Jason, we started off the hour talking about how skylines started, you know, three guys just working together in a partnership. Fast forward to today. Skyline keeps getting recognized for having a unique culture with your staff across Canada. How do you maintain a culture with such a large volume of staff across the country? And, you know, that was always one of the questions that I kind of asked you and shows we’ve done before is as you grow, you know, it gets bigger and bigger and bigger and yet you have managed to maintain that.

Jason Castellan: [00:38:37] Well, I think it’s important that we have a singular focus, and our focus is we have an ultimate duty to our investors to perform with a trickle down effect. From that is by performing. That’s not by treating your tenants poorly. It’s not by treating your assets poorly. It’s by having a common goal to give the best experience to our tenants, produce the best from our energy assets, to deliver the best returns. And in doing that, it aligns all of our staff and all of our employees to go in the same direction. We’re all pointing towards the same goal. We have a lot of people and we have a lot of diversity of thoughts within our company that we will take into consideration and use the way they look at things differently to better the company, not be sort of a top down. We want to hear from our staff and we want to find different ways to be more efficient and to provide better service in a better way for our tenants. Keeping it very simple. Keeping it simple. Pointing in the right direction and establishing that culture is what allows people from coast to coast to achieve the same goal.

Iain Grant: [00:39:38] And incredibly fast. Our guys, thank you so much for taking the time to join me today. For the listeners out there, want more information on Skyline, what’s the best way for them to get in touch with you.

Ray Punn: [00:39:51] In the best way for your listeners to get in touch with us is go to w w w dot Skyline Wells. Ca There’s lots of information on our investments. You can learn about our advisory team. You could see what we’re up to. There’s lots of information on there. And we also have our. Contact information there. Our phone number, our email address, it’s all in there. So that would be the quickest and easiest way to get a hold of us.

Iain Grant: [00:40:13] Jason Rae, thank you so much for joining me this hour. Really enjoyed it.

Jason Castellan: [00:40:17] Thanks, Ian. Thanks to.

Ray Punn: [00:40:18] Ian.

Iain Grant: [00:40:18] Jason Castellan, CEO and co-founder and Ray Pond, vice president of Skyline Wealth Management. Skyline Wealth Management offers private alternative investment products in real estate and clean energy. Investors are enjoying historically stable investment performance. Skyline priding itself on offering investors a unique investment experience, helping to cut out a lot of the noise and emotion that so many investors have come to experience in the public markets. Skyline believe that investing should be enjoyable, engaging and rewarding. Connect with Skyline and share your investment goals. For more information on investments, the advisory team, the Skyline, investment philosophy, and so much more. Visit the website Skyline Wealth Management Dot S.A., Skyline Wealth Management UK. This has been ask the expert here on Newstalk. 1010 Toronto.