iStar Financial is a real estate investment trust focused on commercial real estate. The company provides secured and unsecured loans, debt, and lease financing to commercial real estate owners. iStar focuses on the top tier of the commercial real estate market and doesn't borrow money to make investments, which means iStar is less risky than its competitors, which depend on borrowing to acquire properties - which inflates either profits or losses depending on whether investments go well.
iStar's capital structure subjects it to interest rate risk, since an overall drop in interest rates will translate into lower revenues from the loans iStar makes to real estate owners. As a REIT, the company faces competition from almost 300 other such vehicles throughout the United States, as well as investment and commercial banks and asset managers.(Read more at Wikinvest )