2014 Women of Influence: Victoria Rostow

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VICTORIA P. ROSTOW has been an advocate for REITs that operate or finance single and multifamily residential properties in the U.S. She is currently senior vice president for policy and regulation for the National Association of Real Estate Investment Trusts (NAREIT), which represents the $1 trillion publicly traded real estate market.

Rostow has worked collaboratively with regulators, policy experts, academics, administration officials and industry colleagues to harness the power of U.S. capital markets. She has guided equity and mortgage REITs focused on housing, a group that represents more than $45 billion in market capitalization, through the new financial regulations.

Rostow leads NAREIT’s efforts to ensure that federal, state and foreign regulation of capital markets do not unintentionally raise the costs of raising capital by U.S. REITs. Rostow is especially adept at analyzing complex technical rules that do not directly apply to REITs, but that could increase costs for REITs or impose barriers to their operations.

She secured landmark clarifications of CFTC rules favorable to REITs and, with a broad industry coalition, a federal bank regulatory interest rate swap proposal that will preserve the ability of equity REITs to hedge interest rate risk efficiently and effectively.

She is currently guiding NAREIT’s members in several related efforts aimed at expanding private sector involvement in U.S. housing finance, including Treasury’s PLS effort.

During the Clinton Administration, Rostow served as a deputy assistant secretary for banking and domestic finance at the U.S. Treasury Department, where she led congressional efforts that culminated in the landmark 1999 Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act, and produced more than $25 billion of housing-related initiatives, such as the New Markets Tax Credit.

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