• History
  • Timeline
  • Direction
  • Leadership


Real Estate Finance Association was founded in 1987 with the goal of assisting real estate finance professionals by:

Communicating industry information

Providing continuing education and networking opportunities

Offering venues for members to exchange experiences

In 2001, the REFA chapters in Hartford and Fairfield/Westchester formed the Real Estate Finance Association of Connecticut (REFA-CT).

Nine firms became the Founding Sponsors contributing significant grants to help launch REFA-CT from a strong financial foundation. REFA-CT has continued as a well-funded and independently-operated association.

The Founding Sponsors:

Carlton Fields Jorden Burt

CIGNA Realty Investors

Day Pitney LLP

The Fidelity Family of Title Insurers/Chicago Title
Insurance  Company/Commonwealth Land Title/Fidelity
 National Title

First American Title Insurance Company

Hart Realty Advisers, Inc.

McElroy, Deutsch, Mulvaney & Carpenter LLP
People's Bank


Carlton Fields Jorden Burt has nearly 400 attorneys and government and financial services consultants serving clients from offices in California, Connecticut, Florida, Georgia, New York, and Washington, D.C. The firm is known for its national litigation practice, including class action defense, trial practice, white-collar representation, and high-stakes appeals; its regulatory practice; and its handling of sophisticated business transactions and corporate counseling for domestic and international clients.


Cigna Realty Investors is a division of healthcare provider CIGNA Corporation, sourcing new real estate investments.


Day Pitney LLP is a full-service law firm with more than 300 attorneys in offices in New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, Boston and Washington, DC. The firm offers clients strong corporate and litigation practices, with experience working on behalf of large national and international corporations, as well as emerging and middle-market companies and individuals.


Fidelity National Financial, Inc. (NYSE: FNF) is currently ranked number 472 on Fortune's list of America's Largest Companies and through our subsidiary companies and other investments is the leading provider of title insurance, mortgage services, and diversified services.


The First American Family of Companies' core business lines include title insurance and closing/settlement services; title plant management services; title and other real property records and images; valuation products and services; home warranty products; property and casualty insurance; and banking, trust, and investment advisory services.


Hart Realty Advisers is a closely held real estate investment manager specializing in the acquisition and management of domestic private equity, core, value-added and opportunistic investment opportunities. Founded in 1982 and registered as an SEC Investment Advisor in 1988, our highly-experienced team of committed real estate professionals has continually delivered performance excellence while controlling risk.


McElroy, Deutsch, Mulvaney & Carpenter, LLP ("MDM&C") is a diverse practice with lawyers who place the client first. MDM&C has more than 300 lawyers in ten offices in seven states, and offers a full range of legal services, including municipal and local government, litigation, labor and employment, healthcare, real estate, insurance, environmental, fidelity and surety, construction, corporate transactions, white collar crime and corporate compliance.


People's United Bank is a subsidiary of People's United Financial, Inc., a diversified financial services company with $28 billion in assets. People's United Bank, founded in 1842, is a premier, community-based, regional bank in the Northeast offering commercial and retail banking, as well as wealth management services through a network of 416 retail locations in Connecticut, New York, Massachusetts, Vermont, New Hampshire and Maine.


Informative and Fun

From the beginning, REFA-CT's innovative and highly valuable programming attracted larger and larger audiences. As real estate finance professionals discovered that REFA offered truly unique opportunities that were educational and enjoyable, both chapters enjoyed significant increases in members and sponsors.

In 2004, REFA-CT introduced its highly successful charity golf event. Since then, the annual REFA Golf Outing has raised more than $50,000 for Habitat for Humanity, the Mutual Housing Association, Adopt-a-House, and local food banks.



While making a difference in the community, REFA continued to expand its member benefits. Expanded offerings included: an online job bank, a website directory of speaker presentations, an e-newsletter, and online membership renewal and program registration. The targeted emphasis on member benefits continued to grow membership and further increased REFA's financial position.

In 2006, REFA-CT held its inaugural Gala Celebration, which became the association's most popular event of the year. Headline entertainment at the Gala has included acts and comedians, such as The Capitol Steps, Second City, Alonzo Boden, John Hefron, and Jake Johannsen.

Today, REFA-CT membership includes more than 600 of the industry's leaders with its continued focus on offering valuable industry knowledge as well as abundant networking opportunities.


To expand the knowledge and contacts of real estate finance professionals in Connecticut by providing popular educational programs and networking events that foster the exchange of ideas and experiences.

REFA-CT seeks to constantly maintain its status as the premier information resource for the Connecticut real estate community.


  Increase business opportunities for its members
  Exceed continuing education expectations
  Create networking environments that are eagerly
  anticipated and enjoyed by all
  Grow membership by developing top-quality programs that
  naturally attract new-member interest
  Communicate important industry and member news in
  a timely and frequent manner

REFA-CT's continued success is tied to a strict adherence to its core values of:

  Member Benefits

Executive Board

The REFA Executive Board of Directors provides governance, coordination, communication, consistency, income and expense allocation, and administrative cooperation among and between the chapters of REFA - CT.


Chapter Directors

The Chapter Directors for each chapter oversees chapter programs and events, establishes goals, reviews the chapter's financial condition, and makes recommendations regarding procedures and activities to the Board of Directors. The committee is comprised of the president, vice president, the three most-recent past presidents, directors, and committee chairpersons.

Fairfield     Hartford

Membership Committee

The Membership Committee is responsible for the recruitment, retention, and monitoring of membership for each chapter, as well as recommending dues structures and overseeing the chapter member communication strategies.

Fairfield     Hartford

Sponsorship Committee

The Sponsorship Committee is responsible for securing organizational support and non-dues revenue through the recruiting and retention of member firms to serve as REFA Sponsors.

Fairfield     Hartford

Program Committee

The Program Committee is tasked with developing and managing the breakfast/luncheon, members-only, and open programs with the purpose of educating, entertaining, and engaging real estate professionals in collegial forums.

Fairfield     Hartford





Corporate Contact Information

Real Estate Finance Association of Connecticut
One Regency Drive
P.O. Box 30
Bloomfield, CT

(860) 243-3977 : Phone
(860) 286-0787 : Facsimile

Quick Links



"As a new member of REFA, I would like to share my appreciation of the annual Gala. The venue was lovely, and the food and entertainment was fantastic.

Deborah Laviero
Vice President

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