According to Investment News, an investor has written to FINRA to express her concerns about Behringer Harvard Holdings, LLC. D. Gayle Salyer says that within six years, the $50,000 that she invested in a real estate fund with them has decreased by $48,000. She has also written to the Texas State Securities Board to voice her concerns.
The real estate firm recently saw a number of its real estate funds and REITs drop in their estimated valuations. For example, ending last month the Behringer Harvard Short-Term Opportunity Fund I LP investors saw the fund’s valuation plunge to 40¢/share. Compare that to two years before when its valuation was $6.48/share. The fund used to have approximately $130 million in assets.
Salyer expressed dismay about the inadequate communication that she says she received from the real estate company regarding her losses. She claims that while the losses were recorded in her account statement, she was never given an explanation or warned that there was financial trouble.
Bob Aisner, who is Behringer’s CEO, has said that the Short-Term Opportunity Fund uses SEC filings and regular reports to make information available to the public. He noted that since the fund’s inception, investors have received $2.12/unit in total distributions. He also said that the fund got into trouble because of investments that were made in condominiums prior to the recession and due to the lack ability of financing for opportunistic assets in recent years. Aisner maintained that Behringher has been dedicated to the fund’s success, as can be seen by the $40 million in support it won’t be getting back.
FINRA has put out a proposed amendment about the valuation of illiquid investments. The revised rule would restrict for how long the initial, estimated value could be applied on the account statement of clients. It also would mandate that broker-dealers subtract the offering costs from that first valuation.
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Behringer Harvard client wants answers after seeing fund drop by 96%, Investment News, January 24, 2012
Wells Investment Securities Agrees to $300,000 Fine by FINRA for Alleged Use of Misleading Marketing Materials for REIT Offerings, Institutional Investor Securities Blog, November 23, 2011
Real Estate Investment Trusts, Investopedia
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