USPS – Why Monetize Real Estate?

2-usps why monetize

President Trump has threatened to block federal aid for the U.S. Postal Service unless it raises shipping rates for online companies. We agree. And go a step further urging a monetization of USPS significant real estate assets.

The USPS has been in the spotlight in recent years due to the dramatic and ongoing changes affecting the industry and the change in way customers consume information. In other countries too,  liberalization of the European postal market and other pressures from alternative means of communication are forcing operators throughout the world to consider innovative ways to raise funds and improve balance sheets by rationalizing asset bases. In many countries the postal agency is the largest owner of real estate in a country, thus requiring an effective real estate strategy – but is seldom implemented. Postal operators around the world have already publicly announced their intention to close and monetize post offices in large numbers or are developing strategies to manage their existing portfolios.

Between 2007 and 2018, the Postal Service has experienced net losses totaling $69 billion and around $9 billion in 2019. Americans are mailing fewer and fewer First Class letters and USPS generating less revenue and cannot cover its operating costs. Declines in mail volume and the costs of its pension and health care obligations will continue to rise further exacerbating costs.  USPS should get out of the real estate business.

Author: Sameer_Jain

Partner. Sameer Jain is founder of FinTech, the world’s first portal that seamlessly integrates traditional, illiquid and alternative investments within portfolios. Prior to this he was Chief Economist & Managing Director at AR Capital. Before that he headed Investment Content & Strategy at UBS Alternative Investments. At UBS, he served as a non-voting member of the Wealth Management Research investment committee, and as a capital allocator was responsible for all illiquid investing including fund manager selection and due diligence across the platform. Prior to UBS he headed product development & investment research at Citigroup Alternative Investments that managed over $75 billion of alternative investments across hedge funds, managed futures, private equity, credit structures, infrastructure and real estate. Here he led a team that developed proprietary models for portfolio strategy and asset allocation with alternative investments, provided investment support and research to pension plans, sovereign wealth funds, endowments as well as internal clients including Citi Private Bank. Before this he was with Cambridge Alternative Investments and SunGard (System Access) where he travelled to over 80 countries for work across Europe, Asia, Middle-East and Africa. He has written over 30 academic and practitioner articles on alternative investments with thousands of downloads at SSRN, presented at over a hundred industry conferences and has coauthored a book, Active Equity Management. Mr. Jain has multiple degrees in engineering, management, public administration and policy and is a graduate of Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Harvard University. He is a recipient of the Alfred Sloan Fellowship and subsequently was a Fellow of Public Policy and Management at the Harvard Kennedy School of Government for a year. He holds Series 7 and 66 securities licenses.

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