Key Takeaways from 19th Annual Ziegler Senior Living Finance and Strategy Conference

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Ziegler recently hosted the 19th annual Ziegler Senior Living Finance and Strategy Conference, the industry’s leading invitation-only conference focusing on cutting-edge finance and strategic positioning trends affecting today’s senior living providers. Ziegler, a specialty investment bank, has been ranked number one in the nation in senior living financing since 1990¹ (Thomson Reuters).

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Ziegler recently hosted the 19th annual Ziegler Senior Living Finance and Strategy Conference, the industry’s leading invitation-only conference focusing on cutting-edge finance and strategic positioning trends affecting today’s senior living providers. Ziegler, a specialty investment bank, has been ranked number one in the nation in senior living financing since 1990¹ (Thomson Reuters).

More than 575 CEOs, CFOs, board members, institutional investors, credit enhancers, rating agency representatives and industry professionals gathered to hear from nearly 60 industry leaders on topics ranging from architectural trends and the growth of continuing care retirement communities (CCRCs) to engaged living innovations to the future of senior living. This year, the conference had a record-breaking attendance total with a noticeable increase in senior living industry board members who are continuing to increase their involvement in strategic company decisions.

Overall, attendees were optimistic about growth in the senior living industry and expect this trend to continue. Several key trends emerged from the conference, including:

  • A top concern for not-for-profit aging services providers is increased competition. Organizations are taking advantage of exceptional borrowing rates to facilitate new location developments and expansions that set them ahead of the pack.
  • While not at pre-recession levels, not-for-profit senior living growth has increased in recent years. Many players in this space are choosing to grow through affiliations and acquisitions because it allows them to stay competitive in the quickly changing healthcare environment while minimizing the time and resources that would be required to create a new campus. In 2016, more than three fourths (76.5 percent) of the LeadingAge Ziegler 150, who plan to grow, plan to do so through expansion or repositioning of an existing community compared to just 36 percent who plan to growth through new community locations.
  • Providers are differentiating themselves through scale and sophistication, which has led to an increase in corporate-level specialty positions being added to the mix, such as chief clinical/health officer, chief information/technology office, chief talent/HR officer, business development/strategy officer, chief compliance officer and philanthropy/foundation director. In 2015, the most popular new industry position among the providers in the LeadingAge Ziegler 150 was chief clinical or health officer.
  • At the same time, staffing is an increasingly complex and important issue. According to Ziegler CFO Hotline results from June 2016, 53 percent of providers surveyed had to work with temp agencies to fill direct care staff vacancies and 15.6 percent had to limit admissions due to staffing shortages. It is anticipated that the senior living provider industry will need to recruit 1.2 million staff members by 2025. Some factors creating staffing challenges include the aging population/retirements, increases in minimum wages and the Department of Labor’s overtime rules.
  • Senior living providers are facing increased pressures regarding post-acute services. In a recent Ziegler CFO Hotline released in August 2016, 44 percent of CFOs surveyed feel somewhat optimistic that their company has made progress toward being a strong player in the post-acute marketplace but still have room to grow. More companies are sending time focusing on post-acute activities, with several evolving from brick and mortar to a home and community based services (HCBS) model.
  • Coordination of care continues to be a focus for senior living provider executives. People are living longer and providers are serving multiple generations with different needs and preferences that necessitate new models and more efficient delivery of health care services.

Next year’s conference will be held in October and will mark the 20th anniversary of the Ziegler Senior Living Finance + Strategy Conference.

About Ziegler:
The Ziegler Companies, Inc., together with its affiliates (Ziegler), is a privately held, specialty investment bank with unique expertise in complex credit structures and advisory services. Nationally, Ziegler is ranked as one of the leading investment banking firms in its specialty sectors of healthcare, senior living, religion, and education, as well as general municipal and structured finance. Headquartered in Chicago, IL with regional and branch offices throughout the U.S., Ziegler provides its clients with capital raising, corporate finance, FHA/HUD, strategic advisory services and research. Ziegler serves institutional and individual investors through its wealth management and capital markets distribution channels.

Certain comments in this news release represent forward-looking statements made pursuant to the provisions of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. This client’s experience may not be representative of the experience of other clients, nor is it indicative of future performance or success. The forward-looking statements are subject to a number of risks and uncertainties, in particular, the overall financial health of the securities industry, the strength of the healthcare sector of the U.S. economy and the municipal securities marketplace, the ability of the Company to underwrite and distribute securities, the market value of mutual fund portfolios and separate account portfolios advised by the Company, the volume of sales by its retail brokers, the outcome of pending litigation, and the ability to attract and retain qualified employees.
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1.    Based on full credit given to senior manager of lead-managed underwriting principal volume for senior living transactions completed nationally. Rankings and amounts through Thomson Financial Securities Data as of 12/31/15.

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Leslie Weir
Ziegler
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