Sticking to our New Year's resolution to arm readers with the best information possible, we're adding three new elements to NREI's news coverage in print and online in 2007. This month marks the relaunch of the popular Financing Today column, a fixture in our magazine for more than 20 years. Joe Caton, a veteran financial editor and business consultant, will author the monthly column that covers trends in the debt and equity markets.

Previously, Joe worked for several years as the editor of Commercial Mortgage Insight magazine in Oxford, Conn., where he also carried out the dual role of organizing several mortgage banking trade conferences for Zackin Publications. A graduate of The City University of New York with a degree in economics, Joe's area of expertise includes small business lending, affordable housing, and asset-backed corporate and structured finance.

As Wall Street's influence on Main Street commercial real estate becomes more entrenched every day, Joe's insights will add an important dimension to our coverage. One of Joe's particular strengths is his ability to explain complex financial vehicles in straightforward terms. In his first column (p. 18), Joe discusses the increasing risks lenders are taking to get money out the door.

This March, we also will launch a monthly department page devoted exclusively to international development and investment. This news page will be compiled by seasoned commercial real estate reporter Bennett Voyles, now NREI's Paris correspondent. Previously, Ben worked for the global research arm of The Economist magazine. He is also a graduate of Yale University with degrees in history and English and holds an MBA in finance and marketing from New York University's Stern School of Business.

Underscoring the rise of commercial real estate globally as a preferred asset class, research firm Real Capital Analytics is expanding its coverage to track international markets. “It's just become apparent in the past six months how much activity and capital is going abroad, and how much of the global capital flows can be traced back to our U.S. clients,” Robert White, president of the New York-based firm, recently told NREI.

Online, NREI isn't remaining idle either. A monthly e-newsletter devoted exclusively to seniors housing finance and development trends will make its debut on Jan. 29. Some of the topics we'll cover in that newsletter include M&A activity, loan origination volume, sources of capital, demographic trends and changing consumer demand. We'll also regularly include a Q&A with a mover and shaker in the seniors housing industry. To subscribe, please visit our website at http://nreionline.com/subscribe/.

In historical terms, commercial real estate has never experienced anything like the current wave of capital pouring into the industry, which creates both opportunities and challenges. I prefer to call our expanded coverage an editor's definition of the value-added approach — giving readers something more than they expect.

matt.valley@penton.com