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by Daniel Vasserman '22
This year marked the twenty-third anniversary of the Alexander Bodini Foundation Competition, which was held in-person for the first time in three years at the school’s new Manhattanville campus.
The competition served as the capstone project of the Real Estate Private Equity course taught by Andrew Jacobs ’96. Over the course of the semester, the participating students were divided into eight teams and worked directly with a sponsor on a real-world project, completing both quantitative and qualitative analyses and ultimately developing a comprehensive business plan and investment committee memo. This years’ project sponsors included Savanna, REEF Technology, Soho Properties, and Green Street. The top four teams, each representing a unique project, were selected to compete in the final round of the competition on April 29, 2022.
The panel of judges was comprised of a distinguished group of real estate alumni, including Matt Giammanco ’13, Senior Director of Development at AvalonBay Communities, Jane Yang ’10, Managing Director of Prospect Ridge, and Joseph Smith ’99, Founder and CEO of 1754 Properties.
1st Place: The team of MBA students which included Jack Davis ’22, Samuel Kornblau ’22, Gianmarco Rea ’22, and Daniel Vasserman ’22, helped Savanna determine the highest and best use for a site they are developing in downtown Brooklyn. Students conducted extensive research on the sub-market, considered the asset’s ownership within a fund structure, analyzed the impacts of the property being in an opportunity zone, underwrote various asset scenarios, projected potential returns, and toured the site with members of the Savanna team. Ultimately, the students applied their creativity and methodically arrived at a potential use that could be achieved for the development site. Jose Torres ’18, Vice President at Savanna provided students support with this project.
2nd Place: The team of MBA students which included Robert “Nelson” Crosby ’22, James Gruseke ’22, Thomas Leigh ’22, and Brendan Seaver ’22, analyzed a portfolio of parking facilities located in different markets and were tasked with evaluating and underwriting them. The project involved a feasibility analysis and valuation. Feasibility involved looking at each deal from a PropCo (investment) perspective and an OpCo (operations) perspective. The valuation component involved traditional real estate underwriting for a location while looking at entry, operations, and exit. Disha Shah ’16, Vice President at REEF provided students support with this project.
3rd Place: The team of MBA students which included Gabriela Airaldi ’22, Constantine Geanakoplos ’22, Alexander Peskind ’22, and Mahala Rummell ’22 (Illness meant that three of the team members needed to present via Zoom.) helped Soho Properties analyze and evaluate the acquisition of a large mixed-use development located in Queens, NY. Students performed an analysis of the local retail, residential, and office market and incorporated projections of future performance into the valuation. Throughout the project, the team gained exposure to issues relevant to the redevelopment of a large site in a congested urban center, including valuation and feasibility, analysis of the highest and best use, financial modeling, buildout decisions, valuation methodology and return metrics and zoning. The students drew on their findings to synthesize their conclusions and make a recommendation to the sponsor. Stephan Butler ’10, Head of Development & Construction at Soho Properties provided students support with this project.
4th Place: The team of MBA students which included Gonzalo Avila ’22, Melissa Blotner ’22, Jhonnari Jimenez ’22 and Yuxiang Zhou ’22 was tasked with advising an international hotel owner/operator on how they can enter the U.S. hotel market. The team’s objective consisted of three parts. First, they provided a specific market, hotel segment, and an underwriting framework that could be used to evaluate all current and future hotel investments. Next, they analyzed an existing hotel investment where they incorporated both qualitative and quantitative elements, a supply-demand analysis at the market level, an underwriting model at the asset level, and made financing assumptions. Lastly, they proposed a specific investing structure to the firm. Lillian Xia ’18, an Advisor at Green Street provided students support with this project.
The Columbia Business School faculty, staff, and students extends our sincerest gratitude to Ambassador Daniele D. Bodini ’72 for graciously supporting the Alexander Bodini Foundation Prize Competition. Through the support of Ambassador Bodini and the Foundation, this year’s competition marked the twenty-third edition, a signature offering of Columbia Business School’s MBA Real Estate Program and The Paul Milstein Center for Real Estate.
1st Place Recipients: Andrew Jacobs ’96, Gianmarco Rea ’22, Samuel Kornblau ’22, Daniel Vasserman ’22 and Jack Davis ’22
2nd Place Recipients: Andrew Jacobs ’96, James Gruseke ’22, Thomas Leigh ’22 and Robert “Nelson” Crosby ’22
3rd Place Recipients: Andrew Jacobs ’96 and Mahala Rummell ’22 (not pictured: Gabriela Airaldi ’22, Constantine Geanakoplos ’22, Alexander Peskind ’22)
4th Place Recipients: Andrew Jacobs ’96, Melissa Blotner ’22, Jhonnari Jimenez ’22, Gonzalo Avila ’22,and Yuxiang Zhou ’22
Daniel Vasserman ’22 is a second-year student at Columbia Business School (CBS) and will be joining CIM Group on their investments team in New York after graduating this May. At CBS, Daniel is Co-President of the Real Estate Association, VP for the Jewish Business Students Association, a Career Fellow for the Career Management Center, a Hermes Society Admissions Ambassador and Social Chair for his Cluster. Prior to starting CBS, Daniel was an Executive Director for the Commercial Real Estate business of JPMorgan Chase. He led the Boston office for his group, overseeing a multifamily portfolio with a $1.4B capitalization. He was responsible for originating commercial mortgages, sourcing new business opportunities, and managing the relationship of over 200 real estate clients, which included family offices, institutional investors, and developers. Daniel completed his undergraduate studies at New York University and is from the New York City area.