At the Core of KBS Direct: Transparency

Institutional-quality commercial real estate investment is usually an exclusive club roped off to individual investors—until now. KBS, one of the largest, most trusted names in commercial real estate, with approximately $37 billion* in transactional volume since inception, has launched, a new online investment platform.

“As the regulations changed and the industry changed, there was a need for an even better product; one that allows investors to invest directly with complete transparency. With KBS’ institutional background, experience, track record and the technological infrastructures that were coming into place, we realized we could create a gold standard, different from everybody else. So, we developed,” said Jim Chiboucas, KBS Vice Chairman and Chief Legal Officer.

Informed investors

Lewis Feldman,’s Chief Strategy Officer, emphasized that the quality of the investment asset is first, and the online process is second—but it’s still important.

“The online experience has to reflect the transparency of management and I think that’s really the key in the user experience [and is] fundamentally important. At KBSDirect, [we crafted] a user experience that educates and makes sure that someone has learned what they need to learn about the area and the investment before they invest.”

“[We make] sure that we have informed investors and that registered investment advisors who are recommending these securities can feel that they are doing their fiduciary duty and are aligned with their investor and with KBS for everybody’s success.”

Foundation of transparency

“We are investor-centric,” said Mr. Chiboucas. “Before we make any decisions or do anything we typically ask two questions: how does this help the investor? How is this going to increase investor returns? Because if the decision doesn’t do that, what’s the point?”  

Mr. Schreiber, has expanded on that, attributing KBS transparency and method to examining the element of risk.

  • KBS assesses the risk at the time of acquisition.
  • KBS buys assets “in areas where we have appreciation, not only in cash flow but appreciation in value.”
  • KBS identifies the time when “we can sell that asset and develop realized returns for that investment.”

“The investment market has changed drastically over the last 20 years and for retail investors, over the last 15 years,” said Mr. Schreiber. “It’s promising to find that investors are well-educated thanks to the available materials online. As a result, we’re giving those educated investors the opportunity to invest in a high-quality portfolio in a structure that they’ve never been able to pursue previously. And we’re excited about this because I don’t think it has been done before.”

Do you have any questions? Speak with an Investor Relations Representative.


*Presented by calendar year for the period 1993 through September 30, 2017. Includes equity investments in, and real estate-related debt investments secured by, real property assets, real property assets acquired through foreclosure, all consolidated joint venture investments and unconsolidated joint venture investments in which KBS owned or owns a majority interest, but excludes unconsolidated joint venture investments in which KBS did not or does not own a majority interest. Consolidated joint venture investments and unconsolidated joint venture investments in which KBS owned or owns a majority interest are shown at 100% of the respective purchase and/or sales price. Includes the following properties for which third-party asset managers unaffiliated with a KBS advisor provide asset management services, business and operation plans and other services: 867 bank branches, office buildings, operations centers and other properties; apartment and hotel properties; and an unconsolidated joint venture investment in which KBS owns a majority interest.

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