Editor’s note: As part of the 40th anniversary of McKnight’s, McKnight’s Senior Living and McKnight’s Long-Term Care News are recognizing 40 notable newsmakers. Each week, the brands will highlight a new, high-profile leader from the past four decades. See the rest of the series to date here.

When people discuss how freely capital now flows in this sector, demographics and a strong economy usually get the credit. Often overlooked is the man perhaps most responsible for opening the spigot: Robert G. Kramer.

A man of towering intellect, keen insight and rare stamina, Kramer generally is regarded as one of the sector’s best minds.

This reputation largely was forged during his tenure with the National Investment Center for Seniors Housing & Care. He co-founded the organization in 1991 with Bob Eramian, Al Holbrook and Tony Mullen and ran it through 2017.

Kramer initially set out to develop NIC events that would link capital seekers and capital providers. He also wanted to generate revenue that could be used to invest in research and data — creating a virtuous cycle that would raise both knowledge and funding commitments in the sector.

By all measures, his efforts have been a success. NIC shows have become pre-eminent deal-making events. The organization also has established itself as an honest broker for market information.

Although senior living has not yet become as transparent as some other commercial property types — the industry lacks good aggregate time series data on financial performance at the property level — progress continues.

Much like the organization he’s synonymous with, Kramer continues to grow. Most recently, he announced plans to dial down his NIC commitments to spend more time on investment-worthy pursuits.

You might say he’s going with the flow.