Real Estate Symposium

2020 Real Estate Symposium

The 13th annual Real Estate Symposium, an exclusive Columbia Business School alumni-only educational forum will take place on December 8, 2020. For the first time ever, the half-day forum will be presented virtually, and we are delighted to be able to share a curated program highlighting thought leaders and industry experts with our real estate alumni community from all across the US and various parts of the world! 

Please email [email protected] with questions.

Views of NYC buildings

2020 Schedule of Events

Time Session
10:30–10:35 a.m. Welcome Remarks
10:35–11:20 a.m.

Opening Keynote Conversation on Housing

Bob Faith, CEO, Greystar
with Ivy Zelman, CEO, Zelman & Associates 
Moderated by Professor Chris Mayer, Co-Director, Paul Milstein Center for Real Estate 

11:25–11:35 a.m. Burst Topic: Rise of Small Cities During COVID-19
Ravi Bhalla, the Mayor of Hoboken
11:45 a.m. –12:30 p.m.

Panel 1: Future of Cities post COVID-19: Will urbanization continue or will smaller cities level up?

Moderator: David Sherman ’82, Co-Director, Paul Milstein Center for Real Estate

Melissa Burch, Executive General Manager, Lendlease Development 
Mark Portner ’99, Managing Director, Shorenstein
Gagandeep Singh, Senior Vice President, Head of Global RE and Workplace Experience, American Express

12:40–1:25 p.m.

Panel 2: Investment Playbook 2021 and Beyond  

Moderator: Adam Gallistel ’04, Regional Head of Americas, Chairman of Latin American Business Group, GIC Real Estate

Coburn Packard, Partner, Co-Head of Real Estate, MSD Partners
Onay Payne, Managing Director, Clarion Partners
Miriam Wheeler, Managing Partner, Co-Head Real Estate Finance Group, Goldman Sachs

1:352:20 p.m. 

Closing Keynote Fireside Chat on Retail

Jodie McLean, CEO, EDENS 
Moderated by Cia Buckley Marakovits ’93, President and CIO, Dune Real Estate Partners

2:20–2:25 p.m.

Closing Remarks

David Sherman ’82, Co-Director Paul Milstein Center for Real Estate
Professor Chris Mayer, Co-Director Paul Milstein Center for Real Estate

2:25–3:00 p.m. Virtual Networking!

Speaker Biographies

Opening Keynote on Housing

Bob Faith

Bob Faith 
CEO
Greystar
 

Biography
As Founder, Chairman, and CEO of Greystar, Bob leads the Company’s Investment Committee, Operating Committee, and Board of Directors.  He is responsible for the strategic planning and growth of the Company and maintains oversight over all aspects of the Company, working closely with business leaders while emphasizing Greystar’s Six Pillars of Excellence – People, Customer Satisfaction, Operational Excellence, Profitability, Growth, and Community.  

After receiving a BS in Petroleum Engineering from the University of Oklahoma and an MBA from Harvard Business School, Bob began his real estate career with the Trammell Crow Company and served as a partner in their Charlotte, NC office. In 1991, he co-founded Starwood Capital Partners, LP, a private investment company. In 1993, Bob founded Greystar Real Estate Partners, LLC in Houston, TX. From February 1996 to December 1997 he founded and served as CEO of Homegate Hospitality, Inc. Bob also served from December 2002 until February 2006 as the Secretary of Commerce for the State of South Carolina.

Bob is a member of the National Multifamily Housing Council, the Pension Real Estate Association, YPO and the Urban Land Institute. Bob and his family reside in Charleston, SC.

Ivy Zelman

Ivy Zelman
CEO 
Zelman & Associates 

Biography
Ivy Zelman is Chief Executive Officer of Zelman & Associates holding roughly 30 years of experience covering housing and housing-related industries. In 2007, Ivy co-founded Zelman & Associates. The firm provides analyses across all aspects of the housing spectrum. Ivy’s concept for the firm remains strongly rooted in the ability to perform thematic research overlaid with proprietary surveys to produce unparalleled differentiated value-added research.

Ivy has been widely known and respected for her bold thinking and accurate assessments where others failed, helping industry players avoid costly mistakes and capture game-changing opportunities. In 2005, she called the top of the housing market. Ivy famously asked Toll Brothers CEO Bob Toll on the Q4 2006 Toll Brothers conference call “Which Kool-Aid Are You Drinking?”

From there Ivy called the bottom of the housing market in January 2012, thus reinforcing her dominant reputation within the industry. She helped best-selling writer, Michael Lewis with research related to the mortgage crash. This became a part of his best-selling book turned movie, Liar’s Poker. Michael wrote in the book “all roads led to Ivy.”

Her convictions have been recognized by Institutional Investor ranking her as one of the most preeminent figures within the housing industry. Most notably, Institutional Investors - America Research Team rankings placed Ivy and her team with eleven 1st place rankings (1999 – 2004, 2006 – 2007 and 2010 – 2013). Additionally, Hanley Wood, a leading real estate media firm, ranked Ivy as 14th of the Top 50 most influential persons in housing. In 2020, Ivy was included in Barron's Top 100 Women in U.S. Finance.

As one of the most powerful women on Wall Street, Ivy Zelman is a sought-after expert on the housing sector, and what the overall housing market means for investors, homebuilders, industry executives and the economy at large. She frequently appears on television shows such as CNBC, in major publications including The Wall Street Journal, and has acted as a key witness in a congressional hearing.

Jim Cramer, host of the CNBC’s show Mad Money, said “Ivy is the Ax of the homebuilders – the analyst who understands the group better than anyone else on Wall Street.”

Ivy’s speaking requests by conferences, board meetings, podcasts or special events have included: Bloomberg, CNBC, TD Ameritrade Network, Bloomberg’s Master’s in Business, International Builder Show, MBS Highway, National Association of Homebuilders, NFX, National Association of Realtors, National Organization of Investment Professionals, Mortgage Banking Association, Moody’s, AmeriCatalyst, PropTechCEO Summit, Reality Alliance.

She received a Bachelor of Science from George Mason University and currently lives in Cleveland, Ohio with her husband David and their three children, Zoey, Zachary and Zia. Ivy is a special advisor to Laurel School, BBYO, NCJW Cleveland as well as mentors’ high school and college students.
You can follow Ivy via Twitter - @Ivy_Zelman and LinkedIn - Ivy Zelman

Christopher Mayer

Christopher Mayer
Paul Milstein Professor for Real Estate
Co-Director, Paul Milstein Center for Real Estate
Columbia Business School

Biography
Christopher Mayer is the Paul Milstein Professor of Real Estate at Columbia Business School. His research explores a variety of topics in real estate and financial markets, including housing cycles, mortgage markets, debt securitization, and commercial real estate valuation. Dr. Mayer is also CEO of Longbridge Financial, an innovative reverse mortgage company focused on delivering responsible home equity products to older Americans to help finance retirement. Professor Mayer serves as a Research Associate at the National Bureau of Economic Research, a Director of the National Reverse Mortgage Lenders Association, and a member of the Academic Advisory Boards for Standard and Poor's and the Housing Policy Center at the Urban Institute. His research has received funding from the National Science Foundation and the Pew Charitable Trusts.
Dr. Mayer is active in the media and advising policymakers, testifying six times before committees of the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives, writing a paper for the Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission, and authoring numerous op-ed articles in major publications. Dr. Mayer previously served as Senior Vice Dean at Columbia Business School and held positions at The Wharton School, the University of Michigan, Harvard Business School, and the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston.  He earned a BS in Math and Economics from the University of Rochester with highest honors and a PhD in Economics from MIT.

Burst Topic

Ravi Bhalla

Ravi Bhalla
Mayor of Hoboken

Biography
Ravi Bhalla was elected Hoboken’s 39th Mayor on November 7, 2017 out of a field of six candidates. Born and raised in New Jersey, Mayor Bhalla is a 17 year resident of Hoboken and eight year member of the Hoboken City Council.

He received his undergraduate education from the University of California at Berkeley, where he received a B.A. in Political Psychology. Upon graduation, he attended the London School of Economics (L.S.E.) in the United Kingdom and received a Master of Science degree in Public Administration and Public Policy, and also earned a Juris Doctor Degree from Tulane Law School in New Orleans, Louisiana.
Ravi first set his roots in Hoboken at the age of 26, a bachelor fresh out of law school starting his first job at a small law firm in Newark, New Jersey.  Ravi earned national recognition in the New York Times for his legal advocacy after suffering a violation of his own constitutional and civil rights during a jail visit to a client. The incident motivated Ravi to lead a successful campaign to reform the federal government’s visitation policies at correctional facilities nationwide.

Ravi married his wife Bindya, and they had two children, Arza and Shahbegh.  It was during this time that Hoboken’s local government was in dire straits. He observed and witnessed mismanaged government at the local level, including a government budget that was underfunded and overspent by $12 million, a state takeover of Hoboken, and a 70% spike in municipal taxes in a single year.
Ravi ran for Council alongside Mayor Zimmer and worked tirelessly to get their message out of restoring honesty, professionalism and fiscal responsibility to Hoboken.  Out of twelve candidates vying for 3 council-at-large positions, Ravi received the highest number of votes, as a first time candidate for office.

Once in office, Ravi worked hard alongside Mayor Zimmer and his council colleagues to establish tangible reforms to the way government is run in Hoboken. Municipal taxes were reduced and Hoboken’s finances were put on a responsible long-term path.  The City’s bond rating was improved from junk bond status in 2009 to AA+ in 2013, the second highest rating, and had a responsible cash surplus for the first time in years.

Ravi was a leading voice on the council for securing the necessary funding for Hoboken’s second flood pump in Northwest Hoboken, advocated with Mayor Zimmer for the addition of 9 acres of open space, ensured our parks were built with detention systems to help alleviate flooding, voted to add progressive transportation options including corner cars and bike share, and played a large role in saving the hospital from closing in 2013, preserving more than 1,200 jobs and relieving taxpayers of a $52 million bond guarantee.  Ravi currently sits as a co-chair of the City’s Rebuild by Design project, in which the City was awarded $230 million to comprehensively protect Hoboken from storm surge events like Superstorm Sandy.

Ravi served as Council President from 2011-2012 and Council Vice-President from 2010-2011 & 2013-2014 and was Chairman of the Hoboken Democratic Party from 2010-2011. Prior to his service as a Councilman, Mr. Bhalla served as a local Democratic Committeeman for the 2nd Ward, 3rd District of Hoboken from 2007-2009.

Ravi and his wife Bindya reside on Garden Street with their two children, Arza Kaur, age 10 and Shabegh Singh, age 5.

Closing Keynote Fireside Chat on Retail

Jodie McClean

Jodie McLean
CEO
EDENS 

Biography
Jodie W. McLean is Chief Executive Officer of EDENS, one of the nation's leading private owners, operators and developers of retail real estate. With a more than 25-year tenure at EDENS, she has established herself as a key player in the company's growth and expansion to its current marketplace leadership, capitalized by blue chip investors and assets valued at $6.5 billion.

McLean is responsible for EDENS' strategy to move the portfolio to major urban centers, creating a portfolio of assets that are the center of community life. She was named Chief Investment Officer in 1997, President in 2002 and CEO in 2015. Overall, she has been responsible for the development, redevelopment, acquisition and disposition of more than $15 billion in retail assets.

McLean passionately believes that retail should evolve beyond a shopping experience, and advocates for connectivity to the communities  surrounding  the company's  retail centers. To ensure this, each EDENS development is crafted to serve as an authentic gathering place, including a unique merchandising mix and welcoming design elements, fostering a sense of engagement with its neighbors.

A native of Chicago, IL, McLean holds a B.S. in Finance and Management from the Moore School of Business, University of South Carolina and a degree from South Carolina Honors College. McLean serves as Trustee and Executive Board Member of the International   Council of Shopping Centers and Trustee of Urban Land Institute. She serves on the boards of Cushman & Wakefield, The Real Estate Round Table, Wofford College and Extended Stay America, as well as boards of several other institutions and charities. McLean is a member of the Liberty Fellowship (Aspen Institute) Class of 2009.

Cia Buckley Marakovits '93

Cia Buckley Marakovits ’93
President and CIO
Dune Real Estate Partners

Biography
Prior to joining Dune in 2007, Ms. Buckley Marakovits was the President of the U.S. Fund Business for JER Partners, an affiliate of the J.E. Robert Companies. Before joining JER, Ms. Buckley Marakovits spent nine years in the Real Estate Investment Banking Group at Bankers Trust, where she was on the principal investing team, focusing on the acquisition of a broad range of real estate assets.
Ms. Buckley Marakovits is a member of the Urban Land Institute where she has served as a Trustee, Chairman of the Investment Committee and Treasurer of the ULI Foundation. She is a member of the Pension Real Estate Association, serves on the Columbia Business School’s MBA Real Estate Program Advisory Board and is a member of the Executive Committee of the Samuel Zell and Robert Lurie Real Estate Center at the Wharton School.

Ms. Buckley Marakovits is a member of the Board of Directors of Taubman Centers, Inc., a NYSE-listed Real Estate Investment Trust. Her responsibilities there include serving on the Nominations and Governance Committee as well the Compensation Committee. She is currently a Trustee of Phillips Exeter Academy in Exeter, NH and a Trustee and Treasurer of Collegiate School in New York City. Ms. Buckley Marakovits received an M.B.A. from Columbia University in 1993 and a B.A. from Lafayette College in 1988.

Panelists & Moderators

Melissa Burch

Melissa Burch
Executive General Manager
Lendlease Development

Biography
Biography to come.

Adam Gallistel '04

Adam Gallistel ’04
Regional Head of Americas, Chairman of Latin American Business Group 
GIC Real Estate

Biography
Mr Gallistel leads GIC RE’s real estate equity and debt investment activities in the Americas. He is a member of GIC RE’s Investment Committee which has oversight for GIC RE’s global real estate investments. Mr Gallistel also chairs GIC’s Latin America business group. The LatAm business group coordinates GIC’s efforts in the public and private markets throughout Latin America.
Prior to GIC, he held positions at LaSalle Investment Management and The Concord Group. Adam holds a BA in History from the University of Pennsylvania and an MBA from Columbia Business School.

Coburn Packard

Coburn Packard 
Partner and Co-Head of Real Estate 
MSD Partners

Biography
Mr. Packard joined MSD in January 2018 as a Partner to co-lead the Real Estate Group. Prior to joining MSD, he was a Partner at Apollo Global Management, overseeing the investment activities for its U.S. Real Estate Private Equity group. Prior to joining Apollo in 2010, he led the investment activities of Ridgeline Capital Group, an independent real estate investment management company, and was a Senior Vice President of Lehman Brothers Real Estate Partners, where he focused on real estate private equity investing in the Americas from 2000 through 2008. He began his career in Lehman Brothers’ Real Estate Investment Banking Group.
 
Mr. Packard received a B.A. in Ethics, Politics and Economics from Yale University. Mr. Packard is a member of Real Estate Roundtable, Urban Land Institute and the Real Estate Finance & Investment Center at the McCombs School of Business University of Texas at Austin.

Onay Payne

Onay Payne 
Managing Director 
Clarion Partners

Biography
Ms. Payne is an equity owner and Managing Director of Clarion Partners. She is a Portfolio Manager with responsibility for several billion in assets under management. Ms. Payne currently sits on Clarion’s Career Management Committee, and previously served on Clarion’s Investment Committee (2018-2020).  Ms. Payne joined the firm in 2003 and began working in the real estate and finance industries in 1997. 
Ms. Payne has portfolio oversight of several separate account and co-mingled investment mandates covering all major property types and markets throughout the United States. In overseeing Clarion’s Mexico platform, Ms. Payne manages the firm’s asset management, dispositions, structuring, restructuring, arbitration, litigation and risk management activity in the country, where Clarion has invested $1 billion since 2006.  
 
Ms. Payne is a magna cum laude graduate of Harvard College, from which she received an A.B. in 1997. She received an M.B.A. from the Harvard Business School (“HBS”) in 2003, where she was a Robert Toigo Foundation (“RTF”) Fellow.  Ms. Payne is fluent in Spanish. 
 
Ms. Payne currently serves as Vice Chair of the RTF Alumni Endowment Board.  She is also a member of the Harvard Alumni Real Estate Board; WX New York Women Executives in Real Estate; the Urban Land Institute, where she sits on the Commercial Retail Council and the ULI NY Advisory Board; the Advisory Board of Building Cyber Security; and the board of the Mark Morris Dance Group.
Ms. Payne was featured in the Pace Common Ground Campaign for Gender Equality in 2017, and in HBS’ “why do you do what you do?” portrait project honoring the 50th anniversary of women students at the school in 2013. That year she was also named one of the Toigo Foundation’s inaugural “40 Under 40”.  She was recognized as one of Real Estate Forum Magazine’s “Women of Influence 2010” and has co-authored research articles published in relevant industry periodicals, including The Institutional Real Estate Letter and Inmobiliare Magazine.  

Mark Portner '99

Mark Portner ’99 
Managing Director
Shorenstein 

Biography
Mark Portner joined Shorenstein in 1999. He oversees the Eastern United States Investment Group which includes Capital Transactions, Asset Management, Leasing, and Development. His responsibilities include overseeing the sourcing of investment opportunities and directing the underwriting, due diligence, structuring and closing of capital transactions. In addition, he is responsible for the investment performance of assets in the East through oversight of the development and execution of asset specific strategies during the company’s ownership.

Mr. Portner is a member of the Urban Land Institute.

Prior to joining Shorenstein, Mr. Portner was a vice president at Carey Winston Company in Washington, D.C. where he specialized in the disposition of distressed loans.

Mr. Portner graduated from University of Richmond with a B.S., and from Columbia University with an M.B.A.

David Sherman '82

David Sherman '82
Senior Advisor and Co-Founder, Metropolitan Real Estate 
Co-Director, Paul Milstein Center for Real Estate, Columbia Business School

Biography
Mr. Sherman is Senior Advisor and Chairman of the Investment Committee at Metropolitan, a real estate investment management company that he co-founded in 2002 and of which he served as President through 2018. (Metropolitan became part of the Investment Solutions Division of The Carlyle Group in 2013). In addition, Mr. Sherman is Co-Director of the Paul Milstein Center for Real Estate at the Columbia University Graduate School of Business Administration. Mr. Sherman has more than 35 years of real estate investment, finance and analytical experience.

Previously Mr. Sherman was Managing Director of Salomon Smith Barney’s REIT research team, where he initiated coverage of the sector and received recognition from Institutional Investor Magazine in 1998 and 1999. Mr. Sherman also held other positions in real estate finance, investment banking, consulting, and strategic planning at D. Sherman & Company, Smith Barney, The Harlan Company, First Boston, and Paine Webber. In addition, Mr. Sherman was an Adjunct Professor of Real Estate Finance at Columbia Business School for seven years. Over the years, Mr. Sherman has published numerous articles in periodicals including American Banker, PREA Quarterly, Shopping Center Business, and National Real Estate Investor.

Mr. Sherman received an A.B. in Mathematical Economics (magna cum laude) from Brown University and an M.B.A. in Finance from Columbia Business School.

GanganDeep Singh

Gagandeep Singh
Senior Vice President, Head of Global RE and Work Place Experience 
American Express

Biography
GaganDeep (Gagan) Singh joined American Express on January 27, 2020 as Senior Vice President, Global Real Estate & Workplace Experience (GREWE) based in New York.
 
Gagan leads our team that manages the company’s real estate strategy and facilities in 41 countries around the globe, providing a safe, productive, flexible and engaging work environment.
 
Gagan is an experienced corporate real estate leader who drives colleague engagement through workplace enhancements. Before joining American Express, he was Group Vice President of Real Estate and Workforce Planning at Gartner, a leading research and advisory company with operations in more than 40 countries.  At Gartner, Gagan’s team significantly expanded the firm’s global footprint, mitigated business disruption risks, and improved the colleague experience with a focus on productivity, health and sustainability.
 
Previously, Gagan served as Vice President of Real Estate Strategy for Goldman Sachs, and he spent more than 15 years in real estate and workforce strategy consulting at companies like Deloitte and HOK Consulting/Advance Strategies.
 
Gagan holds a bachelor’s degree in architecture from the School of Planning and Architecture, New Delhi, and a master’s degree in city planning from the University of Pennsylvania. He lives in Brooklyn with his wife Samira and two children: Kesar and Kabir. Gagan is a published industry thought leader, teacher and a cook worth his salt with prize winning BBQ to his credit.

Miriam Wheeler

Miriam Wheeler 
Managing Partner, Co-Head Real Estate Finance Group 
Goldman Sachs

Biography
Miriam co-runs The US Real Estate Financing Group, responsible for originating and structuring mortgage and mezzanine financings. Previously, she worked in Fixed Income, Currency and Commodities in mortgage sales from 2005 to 2007. Miriam joined Goldman Sachs in 2005 as an analyst, was named managing director in 2015 and partner in 2018.
Miriam is a board member of Win Partners, a New York-based nonprofit that provides safe housing, critical services and programs to help homeless women and their children rebuild their lives.
Miriam earned a BA, cum laude, in Ethics, Politics and Economics from Yale University in 2005.

2020 Steering Committee

Matthew Baron '07

Matthew Baron ’07  
President
Simon Baron Development 

Biography
Matthew M. Baron is the President of Simon Baron Development.  Since 2005, when Mr. Baron joined forces with Jonathan Simon, their company has grown from a few hundred million to over $1.5 billion of assets under management.
Mr. Baron currently sits on the Board of Directors of the Long Island City BID, and is also a member of the Board of Directors of Doorkee.  Mr. Baron was also an Adjunct Lecturer at New York University’s School of Continuing and Professional Studies where he taught a course on Real Estate Development.

Mr. Baron holds a BS in Finance from NYU Stern and an MBA from Columbia Business School.

Julie Brenton '89

Julie Brenton ’89 (co-chair)
Partner, Head of Investor Relations
Dune Real Estate Partners

Biography
Ms. Julie Brenton brings over 25 years of experience in the real estate investment management industry to the investor relations function at Dune, where she is responsible for investor relations, business development and communications with current and prospective investors and consultants.

Prior to joining Dune in 2014, Ms. Brenton was a Managing Director at Ranieri Real Estate Partners overseeing the firm’s capital raising and investor services functions since the firm’s inception in 2010.  Prior to joining RREP, Ms. Brenton held positions within the real estate investment industry including business development and investor relations roles at Olympus Real Estate Partners, Guggenheim Partners and O’Connor Group/JP Morgan Investment Management and investment positions at AT&T Investment Management.

Ms. Brenton is a member of the Pension Real Estate Association, serving for a decade as the Chair of the PREA Quarterly Committee and currently serving on the New Programs Committee. She is a Board Member and Chair of the Investment Committee of The Brenton Arboretum and former Trustee and Investment Committee Member of The Taft School.  Ms. Brenton received her M.B.A. in Finance and Real Estate from Columbia University Business School and a B.A. in Economics from Carleton College.

Lisa Cations '17

Lisa Cations ’17
Head of Enterprise Solutions EMEA
Hana

Biography
Lisa is responsible for Enterprise Solutions across EMEA. In her role Lisa is dealing with corporate clients helping them find flexible solutions that meet their changing occupational needs.

Lisa is a seasoned real estate professional with 15+ years of international experience working with global enterprise and investor clients. She has extensive commercial real estate strategy, portfolio and transaction management track record with the top global occupier clients, including Microsoft, Goldman Sachs, Unilever, Coca Cola, Barclays, Deutsche Bank, and Standard Chartered Bank.

​​Lisa is a globally recognised industry expert and influencer with publications on WeWork and the flex sector. She is a visiting lecturer on the topics of proptech, flex and agile workplace and the future of the office sector.
Lisa has MBA degrees from Columbia Business School and London Business School, MRICS and MSc in Real Estate from the University of Reading. Lisa is passionate about hospitality and making a difference to people's wellbeing through built environment.

Gideon Gil '00

Gideon Gil ’00
Executive Managing Director
Cushman & Wakefield

Biography
ROLE & RESPONSIBILITIES
Gideon Gil serves as an Executive Managing Director in Cushman & Wakefield’s Capital Markets Group focused on raising debt and equity for client properties and development projects throughout New York City, and the Eastern Seaboard.  Mr. Gil has been an advisor to or a principal investor in over $10.0 billion of commercial real estate transactions throughout his career.  Mr. Gil joined C&W in 2012.

WORK EXPERIENCE
Mr. Gil began his real estate career at Clarion Partners, working in the Acquisitions and Development Group rising to the level of Vice President.  From 2004 through 2008, Mr. Gil was a Portfolio Manager and Lead Originator at RCG Longview, a private equity fund focused on high-yield debt positions in commercial real estate.  Mr. Gil was a Managing Principal at Madison Realty Capital from 2008 through 2010 focused on purchasing distressed debt from financial institutions and originating high-yielding mortgage loans.  In 2010, Mr. Gil co-founded Columbia River Capital Advisors (“CRCA”) an advisor to Family Office clients and advised on the investment of over $100 million of equity into opportunistic debt and equity investments in commercial real estate.

EDUCATION, MEMBERSHIPS AND AWARDS
Mr. Gil holds a Bachelor’s degree from Cornell University and an MBA from Columbia Business School. He is a member of The Advisory Board of the Paul Milstein Center for Real Estate at Columbia Business School, a co-Chair of the REBNY Finance Committee and serves as a Board Member of the Friends Seminary School in New York City.

Musashi Liu '20

Musashi Liu ’20
Senior Associate, Acquisitions, Development & Asset Management
Tishman Speyer

Biography
Musashi Liu ’20 is a Senior Associate at Tishman Speyer in their Leadership Development Program in New York City and focuses on Acquisitions, Development and Asset Management. Prior to joining Tishman Speyer, Musashi worked as a Senior Associate in M&A, capital markets, and strategy for Mill Creek Residential Trust (spin-off from Trammell Crow) of Boca Raton Fl., a vertically integrated real estate developer/investment manager/operator ranked as the 2nd largest apartment developer in the US. He spearheaded Mill Creek’s $650MM M&A transaction with the Arizona State Retirement System and, in the past, has completed US and foreign capital investments in multifamily, retail, office, and land development. He has prior experience in real estate investment banking and global foreign exchange at Bank of America Merrill Lynch and BlueGate Partners. Musashi serves on the steering committee for the Columbia Business School Alumni Real Estate Symposium, is an active member of the Urban Land Institute, the Columbia Real Estate Circle, the Georgetown Real Estate Finance Initiative, The Real Estate Council, and a core volunteer for Habitat for Humanity. He holds his BA in Chinese and Business Administration from Georgetown University, and his MBA from Columbia Business School.

Christopher Mayer

Christopher Mayer
Paul Milstein Professor for Real Estate
Co-Director, Paul Milstein Center for Real Estate
Columbia Business School

Biography
Christopher Mayer is the Paul Milstein Professor of Real Estate at Columbia Business School. His research explores a variety of topics in real estate and financial markets, including housing cycles, mortgage markets, debt securitization, and commercial real estate valuation. Dr. Mayer is also CEO of Longbridge Financial, an innovative reverse mortgage company focused on delivering responsible home equity products to older Americans to help finance retirement. Professor Mayer serves as a Research Associate at the National Bureau of Economic Research, a Director of the National Reverse Mortgage Lenders Association, and a member of the Academic Advisory Boards for Standard and Poor's and the Housing Policy Center at the Urban Institute. His research has received funding from the National Science Foundation and the Pew Charitable Trusts.

Dr. Mayer is active in the media and advising policymakers, testifying six times before committees of the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives, writing a paper for the Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission, and authoring numerous op-ed articles in major publications. Dr. Mayer previously served as Senior Vice Dean at Columbia Business School and held positions at The Wharton School, the University of Michigan, Harvard Business School, and the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston.  He earned a BS in Math and Economics from the University of Rochester with highest honors and a PhD in Economics from MIT. 

Atif Qadir '14

Atif Qadir '14
Partner, Amanat Properties
Founder & CEO, REDIST 

Biography
Atif Qadir founded REDIST, a proptech startup based at Columbia Startup Lab, in 2020 and Amanat Properties, a development company focusing on the renovation of historic real estate in New Jersey, in 2017. Previously, he was at Extell Development, where he was on the acquisitions and development teams for deals across the United States and Canada. Prior to that, he was at Turner Construction and at Gwathmey Siegel Kaufman & Associates Architects. He is a licensed architect and a member of the American Institute of Architects. He also is the host of “American Building” a new podcast with Michael Graves Architecture & Design that will be launching this summer. He has previously spoken on real estate and entrepreneurship at Columbia, Harvard, Michigan, MIT and Yale. Atif serves as a city planning commissioner in Hoboken, where he also lives. He is on the boards of The Hudson School, Haven Adolescent Community Respite Center and En Garde Arts. Atif received his bachelor's degrees in architecture and in urban planning from MIT and his MBA from Columbia Business School.

Quentin Reynolds '02

Quentin Reynolds ’02
Chief Investment Officer
The Davis Companies

Biography
As a Managing Director and the Chief Investment Officer, Quentin leads The Davis Companies’ investment team and is responsible for the origination, underwriting, closing and monitoring of the investments made on behalf of the company’s value-add investment funds.

Quentin serves on the Investment Committee for each of the active funds and also shares the responsibility for setting investment strategy and overseeing fund level portfolio construction and overall risk management.

Prior to joining TDC, Quentin spent more than 15 years in real estate finance and investment management at Silverpeak Real Estate and its predecessor, Lehman Brothers Real Estate Partners where he was involved in the acquisition, financing and management of opportunistic real estate investments across a broad array of markets, property types and capital structures.

Quentin joined TDC in 2013 and has led the company’s investment team during the investment periods for funds II, III and IV. Quentin received a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Virginia and a Master of Business Administration with a concentration in Finance from Columbia Business School.

David Sherman '82

David Sherman ’82
Senior Advisor and Co-Founder, Metropolitan Real Estate
Co-Director, Paul Milstein Center for Real Estate, Columbia Business School

Biography
Mr. Sherman is Senior Advisor and Chairman of the Investment Committee at Metropolitan, a real estate investment management company that he co-founded in 2002 and of which he served as President through 2018. (Metropolitan became part of the Investment Solutions Division of The Carlyle Group in 2013). In addition, Mr. Sherman is Co-Director of the Paul Milstein Center for Real Estate at the Columbia University Graduate School of Business Administration. Mr. Sherman has more than 35 years of real estate investment, finance and analytical experience.

Previously Mr. Sherman was Managing Director of Salomon Smith Barney’s REIT research team, where he initiated coverage of the sector and received recognition from Institutional Investor Magazine in 1998 and 1999. Mr. Sherman also held other positions in real estate finance, investment banking, consulting, and strategic planning at D. Sherman & Company, Smith Barney, The Harlan Company, First Boston, and Paine Webber. In addition, Mr. Sherman was an Adjunct Professor of Real Estate Finance at Columbia Business School for seven years. Over the years, Mr. Sherman has published numerous articles in periodicals including American Banker, PREA Quarterly, Shopping Center Business, and National Real Estate Investor.

Mr. Sherman received an A.B. in Mathematical Economics (magna cum laude) from Brown University and an M.B.A. in Finance from Columbia Business School.

Walter Stackler '94

Walter Stackler ’94
Managing Partner
Shelter Rock Capital Group 

Biography
Walter Stackler has over 26 years of real estate related experience, including 20 years focused on capital raising for funds and joint ventures sponsored by private investment firms, real estate operating companies and public REITs. Investors in these vehicles have included public and corporate pension funds, sovereign wealth funds, foundations, endowments, insurance companies, commercial banks, family offices and other institutional and accredited investors. Prior to founding Shelter Rock, he was a Managing Director and co-founder of Greenhill’s Real Estate Capital Advisory group where he led project management and origination. Walter was previously a Managing Director, Co-Head and a founding member of the Credit Suisse Real Estate Private Fund Group (“REPFG”), which he joined in 2000 at Donaldson, Lufkin & Jenrette (“DLJ”) prior to its merger with Credit Suisse. Prior to the formation of REPFG in 2000, he was with DLJ’s Commercial Mortgage Group where he focused on the origination, underwriting and structuring of multi-family and commercial mortgages. Earlier in his career, Walter was with the Ernst & Young Kenneth Leventhal Real Estate Group where he specialized in distressed debt valuation, feasibility studies and strategic planning.

Walter holds a BS from the University of Richmond and an MBA from Columbia Business School.

Robert Stern '88

Robert Stern ’88 (co-chair)
Founder & Managing Partner
Castle Hill Investors

Biography
Robert Stern, Founder and Managing Partner of Castle Hill Investors, has a 30-year real estate background, encompassing finance, investments, portfolio and asset management, workouts, development and general management. He has invested in all property types throughout the Americas, Europe and Asia.

Castle Hill serves along the continuum between a real estate operating company and an investment management firm. Investing alongside local and product based "operators", Castle Hill connects capital to real estate in ways that bridge the capital/operator divide — providing investors access to deal flow and an asset management capability that limited partners often lack, a fiduciary overlay that may not exist at the operator level, and industry, capital markets and business skills to augment those of its operating partners - thereby​​​​​
​​​​delivering a true value proposition to all constituents.

Previously, Mr. Stern was a Managing Partner of Perry Capital, a multi-billion dollar hedge fund. At Perry, he was co-founder and Managing Partner of Perry Real Estate Partners, a global real estate private equity vehicle designed to make equity investments in real estate assets, portfolios and operating companies, purchase discounted notes and sub/non-performing debt and securities, and provide mezzanine and bridge financing. Prior to that, Mr. Stern served as a Managing Director of Blackacre Capital Management, the real estate arm of Cerberus Capital Management, a multi-billion dollar private investment management firm. Earlier, he was Director of Asset Services at BDG, Ltd., a privately held, Long Island based commercial real estate firm, where he was responsible for the Asset Management division. Before that, he was associated with Kemper Corporation where he served as a Director and Senior Asset Manager in Chicago, and Barcelona, Spain, with responsibility for the financing, management, administration and disposition of real estate investments, as well as a real estate development business unit. Over his career, Mr. Stern has invested in and financed several billion dollars of real estate assets and companies globally.

Mr. Stern has been a member of the Board of Directors for several privately held real estate companies. He currently serves on the Management Committee of GHC Housing, one of the five largest affordable housing companies in the U.S, and on the Investment Committee of Peninsula Investments Group, a Latin America investment fund focused on workforce and middle class housing development. He is a full member of the Urban Land Institute, a founding member of Columbia University's Business School Real Estate Circle, and an Advisory Board member of The Paul Milstein Center for Real Estate at Columbia University. Mr. Stern holds a BA from Connecticut College and an MBA from Columbia University.

Kristin Svenningsen

Kristin Svenningsen
Managing Director, Paul Milstein Center for Real Estate 
Columbia Business School

Biography
Kristin Svenningsen is the Managing Director of the Paul Milstein Center for Real Estate. Prior to her appointment at Columbia Business School in 2014, Kristin spent several years working in commercial real estate for SL Green Realty Corp (SLG), focusing primarily on tenant and building operations, managing all occupied and unoccupied office space for the SL Green wholly owned subsidiary, Emerge212 Boutique Office space; supervising expansion and development of new Emerge212 Centers, and overseeing 200+ tenant relationships across a myriad of industries.  While still at SL Green, she was able to redirect her focus to marketing and sales; building brand recognition, generating new business opportunities and leasing over 150,000 sq. ft. of office space, comprised over 250 individual offices.  Concurrently, Kristin received her M.A. in Higher and Post-Secondary Education from Teachers College, Columbia University. She earned a duel B.A. in Mass Communication and Theatre from Towson University, and in the years prior to her career in real estate, worked in the entertainment industry as a casting professional for Broadway and Off-Broadway Theatre (Manhattan Theatre Club and Second Stage Theatre) as well as Network Television (Showtime and The CW).

Please check back for updates.

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News

November 18, 2020

Introducing New Members of the Real Estate Circle: Fall 2020 →


October 16, 2020

Real Estate Association Elects 2020-2021 AVPs →


September 21, 2020

Real Conversations: 10 Questions with the 2020–2021 REA Co-Presidents →


September 17, 2020

The Paul Milstein Center at Columbia Business School Hosts 10th Anniversary Housing-Urban-Labor-Macro (HULM) Conference →


September 1, 2020

Faculty Interview Series: Ross Smotrich ’83 →


August 25, 2020

Introducing New Members of the Real Estate Circle: August 2020 →


July 6, 2020

Introducing New Members of the Real Estate Circle: July 2020 →


June 3, 2020

Distinguished Alumni Interview: Steven Shores ’00 →


May 18, 2020

Real Conversations: Angela Wang ’21 →


May 12, 2020

2020 Alexander Bodini Foundation Competition Winners →


May 8, 2020

Real Estate Association Elects 2020-2021 Board →


April 21, 2020

Distinguished Alumni Interview: Meredith Marshall ’92 →


April 6, 2020

Federica Burelli '20 Awarded 2020 WX Scholarship →


April 1, 2020

Introducing New Members of the Real Estate Circle: April 2020 →


March 27, 2020

Spring 2020 NIC Conference: A Firsthand Account →


March 13, 2020

Building Networks at the 11th Annual Real Estate Career Forum →


February 24, 2020

Real Conversations: 10 Questions with Justine Murphy ’21 →


January 21, 2020

Introducing New Members of the Real Estate Circle: Winter 2020 →


January 8, 2020

2019 Real Estate Symposium Report: Opening Discussion on Retail and Public REITS →

2019 Real Estate Symposium Report: “Virtual Kitchens: Strategic Partnerships and the Impact on Commercial Real Estate” →

2019 Real Estate Symposium Panel Report: PropTech in the Era of Climate Change: How the Built Environment Must Innovate to Maintain Sustainability and Resiliency →

2019 Real Estate Symposium Report: Co-Living and Beyond: Changing the Residential Paradigm →

2019 Real Estate Symposium Panel Report: Investment Strategies for 2020: Navigating the Longest Cycle →

2019 Real Estate Symposium Report: Keynote Fireside Chat →


January 6, 2020

Distinguished Alumni Interview: Brian Steinwurtzel ’04 →


December 16, 2019

Columbia Business School Hosts 8th Annual Workshop on Negotiating Real Estate Joint Ventures →


December 6, 2019

REA Treks Around NYC →

REA Treks to Austin, Texas →


November 14, 2019

Faculty Interview Series: David Sherman ’82 →


October 17, 2019

2019 NIC Fall Conference: A Firsthand Account →


October 11, 2019

Real Estate Association Elects 2019–2020 AVPs →


September 26, 2019

Introducing New Members of the Real Estate Circle: Fall 2019 →


September 11, 2019

Real Conversations: 10 Questions with Musashi Liu ’20 →


August 23, 2019

Real Conversations: 10 Questions with the 2019–2020 REA Co-Presidents →


May 30, 2019

Team of 2019 CBS Grads Analyzing a Land Acquisition Opportunity Win the 2019 Alexander Bodini Foundation Prize Real Estate Private Equity Class Competition →

Columbia Business School Students’ Winning Case Competition Envisions Redevelopment of Boston’s City Hall →

REA Treks to Washington, DC →


May 8, 2019

Distinguished Alumni Interview Series: Neville Rhone, Jr. ’00 →


April 4, 2019

Real Conversations: 10 Questions with Sophie Nitkin ’20 →


March 29, 2019

Strengthening the Columbia Business School Community at the 10th Annual Real Estate Career Forum →


February 28, 2019

2019 NIC Spring Conference: A Firsthand Account →


January 22, 2019

2018 Real Estate Symposium Report: Keynote Address →

2018 Real Estate Symposium Report: “Making Blockchain Real—Charting a Course to Generating Business Value” →

2018 Real Estate Symposium Panel Report: Global Capital Flows: Thinking Beyond the Cycle →

2018 Real Estate Symposium Panel Report: The Intersection of Real Estate and Technology: How Will Real Estate and the Buildable Environment be Different in 2028 and Beyond? →

2018 Real Estate Symposium Panel Report: Data, Profits, and Pitfalls: Entrepreneurial Solutions to Workforce/Millennial Housing →

2018 Real Estate Symposium Report: Fireside Chat with Hines’ Executives: Laura Hines, Chris Hughes, Tommy Craig ‘82 →

Welcome New Members of the Real Estate Circle →


November 29, 2018

Columbia Business School Hosts 7th Annual Workshop on Negotiating Real Estate Joint Ventures →


November 26, 2018

2018 NIC Fall Conference: A Firsthand Account →


November 13, 2018

REA Tours Panorama with LIVWRK →


November 8, 2018

REA Tours Uptown House Harlem →


October 15, 2018

Real Estate Association Elects 2018–2019 AVPs →


October 3, 2018

Real Conversations: 10 Questions with the 2018-2019 REA Co-Presidents →


September 24, 2018

Faculty Interview Series: Stijn Van Nieuwerburgh→


September 17, 2018

Real Conversations: 10 Questions With Gillian Dudeck ’19 →


August 21, 2018

Turning an Independent Study into a Building: Australia House →


August 6, 2018

Welcome New Members of the Real Estate Circle →


August 2, 2018

Welcome Professor Stijn Van Nieuwerburgh →


July 6, 2018

Sea Level Rise and Coastal Development: Science Speaks Directly to Business →


June 13, 2018

Real Conversations: 10 Questions with Kenny Thompson ’19 →


May 29, 2018

2018 WX Scholarships Awarded to Three Columbia MBA Students →


May 11, 2018

Faculty Interview Series: Michelle Felman →


May 9, 2018

REA Tours Essex  Crossing with L+M Development →

REA Tours Industry City with Jamestown and Belvedere Capital →


May 8, 2018

Real Estate Association Elects 2018-2019 VPs →

REA Students Explore Miami's Hot Market →

Columia Business School Hosts 4th Annual Real Estate Technology and Entrepreneurship Panel →


April 23, 2018

From the Underground Metro to the World's 2nd Tallest Building, REA Students Learn About Chinese Real Estate →


April 17, 2018

Columbia Business School Women's Week Event: Leadership and Impact of Women in Real Estate →


April 5, 2018

Making Meaningful Connections at the 9th Annual Career Forum →

Spring 2018 NIC Conference: A Firsthand Account →


March 1, 2018

Distinguished Alumni Interview Series: David Neithercut ’82 →


February 21, 2018

Introducing New Members of the Real Estate Circle →


January 29, 2018

Beverly Hills Retail Proposal Wins the 2017 Alexander Bodini Foundation Prize Real Estate Project Class Competition →


January 16, 2018

2017 Real Estate Symposium Report: Keynote Address →

2017 Real Estate Symposium Report: Feature Presentation on Global Real Estate, Europe and London →

2017 Real Estate Symposium Panel Report: Global Institutional Real Estate →

2017 Real Estate Symposium Panel Report: The Innovative Practices and Tools Affecting a Revolution in Design and Construction Methods →

2017 Real Estate Symposium Panel Report: The Changing Landscape of Retail →

2017 Real Estate Symposium Report: Closing Fireside Chat →


December 19, 2017

Columbia Business School Hosts Real Estate Career Panel Focused on Debt Markets →

Columbia Business School Hosts 6th Annual Workshlop on Negotiatin Real Estate Joint Ventures →

Real Estate Association "Treks" to San Francisco →


December 7, 2017

REA Tours SL Green's One Vanderbil →t

Columbia Business School Real Estate Students Earn First Place at the 2017 UT Austin National Real Estate Challenge →


November 30, 2017

Eric Schaffer ’18 Wins YM/WREA Scholarship →


November 14, 2017

REA Tours the World Trade Center with Silverstein Properties →

2017 NIC Conference: A Firsthand Account →


October 18, 2017

Faculty Interview Series: Gil Menna →


October 17, 2017

Real Estate Association Elects 2017-2018 AVPs →


October 10, 2017

Real Conversations: 10 Questions with Jonny Cohen ’18 →


September 25, 2017

Distinguished Alumni Interview Series: Philippe Visser ’04 →


September 5, 2017

Meet the Eight Startups Joining MetaProp NYC's Real Estate Accelerator →


August 1, 2017

Real Conversations: 10 Questions with Jenny Rae La Roux ’18 →


June 27, 2017

Annual WX Scholarships and WX Summer Internship Grant Awarded to Three Columbia MBA Students →


June 12, 2017

REA Students Enjoy Warm, Sunny Trek in Our Nation's Capital →


Jun 12, 2017

MetaProp Pre-Accelerator Columbia University →


June 2, 2017

Columbia Business School Team Seeks to Transform Military Housing →


May 17, 2017

REA Tours South Street Seaport with Howard Hughes Corporation →


May 12, 2017

Real Estate Association Elects 2017-2018 VPs →


May 11, 2017

2017 Annual Real Estate Alumni Reception →


May 8, 2017

It's Time for [South] Africa: A Firsthand Account of the 2017 REA Chazen Study Tour →


April 21, 2017

Columbia Business School Hosts Real Estate Family Business Panel →


April 19, 2017

Paul Milstien Center for Real Estate Hosts 3rd Annual Real Estate Technology & Entrepreneurship Panel →


April 19, 2017

A Productive Morning of Relationship Building at the 8th Annual Real Estate Career Forum →


April 18, 2017

REA Tours WeWork Headquarters →


March 21, 2017

Columbia Business School Students Earn First Place at the 2017 UNC Real Estate Development Challenge →


February 21, 2017

2017 Real Estate Capital Markets Conference Recap →


February 2, 2017

Distinguished Alumni Interview Series: Andrea Olshan ’04 →


February 1, 2017

Real Conversations: 10 Questions with Nicole Atoyan ’17 →


February 1, 2017

Real Conversations: 10 Questions with Daniel Liu ’17 →


January 31, 2017

Welcome New Members of the Real Estate Circle! →


January 27, 2017

2016 Real Estate Symposium Report: Opening Keynote Address →

2016 Real Estate Symposium Panel Report: The Future of Investing in Cities →

2016 Real Estate Symposium Panel Report: Shadow Banking - The Growth of Alternative Lending →

2016 Real Estate Symposium Panel Report: Investing Globally in Economic and Political Uncertainty →

2016 Real Estate Symposium Report: Closing Discussion on Retail →


January 10, 2017

Faculty Interview Series: Rachel Diller ’99 →


January 10, 2017

Hawthorn Mall Redevelopment Wins the Alexander Bodini Foundation Prize Real Estate Project Class Competition →


December 22, 2016

REA Tours 50 West Street with Time Equities and the Albanese Organization →


December 5, 2016

REA Tours Flushing Commons with AECOM and F&T Group →


December 5, 2016

Lights, Camera, Action! Real Estate Students Trek to Los Angeles →


November 29, 2016

Columbia Business School Hosts 5th Annual Workshop on Negotiating Real Estate Joint Ventures →


November 29, 2016

Real Estate Students Take Third Place in the 2016 Annual National Real Estate Challenge →


October 28, 2016

Real Estate Association Elects 2016-17 AVPs →


October 20, 2016

Real Conversations: 10 Questions with Sophie Haas ’17 →


September 29, 2016

David Sherman ’82 Appointed Co-Director of the Paul Milstein Center for Real Estate →


September 29, 2016

Real Estate Tech Unbundled →


September 1, 2016

Students Tour the World Trade Center with Silverstein Properties →


August 8, 2016

Faculty Interview Series: Brian Lancaster →


August 5, 2016

Professor Christopher J. Mayer Appointed Co-Director of the Paul Milstein Center for Real Estate →


July 26, 2016

Daniel Liu ’17 & Alec Maghami ’17 Awarded PREA Scholarships →


July 26, 2016

Real Estate Students Tour the Empire State Building →


June 21, 2016

REA Students Trek to South Beach for a Sunny Market Overview →


May 13, 2016

REA Tours Two Ironstate Development Jersey City Towers →


May 11, 2016

2016 Annual Real Estate Alumni Reception →


May 11, 2016

Real Estate Association Elects 2016-2017 VPs →


May 10, 2016

REA Visits Floored, Inc. →


May 2, 2016

Columbia Business School Hosts Second Annual Real Estate Technology Panel →


Distinguished Alumni Voices

Distinguished Alumni Voices