Notes from the CEO Summit

January 20, 2016 admin

Last month, we held our 2015 CEO Summit in New York City. This is the first of what will become an annual event, specifically designed to enable the CEOs from around the globe who sponsor our publications to come together, connect with each other, exchange ideas and debate key issues that are important to them. (The event is open only to CEOs and only to sponsoring firms; no investors or consultants were present.)

The CEOs who attended this year’s event represented some of the world’s largest global, diversified, multiproduct-oriented real estate investment management concerns, and several smaller, more regionally focused or single-product-oriented firms. Participating CEOs included Robert Bellinger of ASB Real Estate Investments, Todd Briddell of CenterSquare Investment Management, Richard Coles of Vanbarton Group (formerly Emmes), Jeff Friedman of Mesa West Capital, Stephen Furnary of Clarion Partners, Tom Gochberg of TGM Associates, Michael Hayde of Western National Properties, Jeff Jacobson of LaSalle Investment Management, Chuck Leitner of the Berkshire Group, Chris Merrill of Harrison Street Real Estate Capital, Len O’Donnell of USAA Real Estate Co., Amy Tait of Broadstone Real Estate, Maury Tognarelli of Heitman and Peter Zabierek of Presima. Collectively, these CEOs oversee organizations controlling $231.5 billion in assets under management and lead teams with a combined total of more than 3,000 employees.

The meeting itself was held at the Harvard Club’s midtown Manhattan facilities, only a few blocks away from Rockefeller Center, where the annual Christmas tree lighting ceremony was taking place later that night. A light rain fell most of the day, while the streets surrounding the club were packed with holiday bystanders, and the shops and storefronts lining the Fifth Avenue shopping district were decked out in their usual holiday splendor.

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For the meeting sessions themselves, as for most of the gatherings we produce, we employed a roundtable discussion format, with no outside speakers or panels. The purpose was to provide these senior executives with an oasis from their daily grind, a place to retreat for a few hours, and gain some distance and perspective from the pressures they’re under every day; to focus strategically on common issues and concerns; and, most important, talk to each other.

GeoffFinalv5forwebGeoffrey Dohrmann is president and CEO of Institutional Real Estate, Inc.

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