“Market Disruptors” presented by The University of Chicago Booth School of Business Real Estate Alumni Group on October 6, 2016 at The University of Chicago, Gleacher Center, Chicago, IL. The Tenth Annual Real Estate Conference 2016.
Lead Conference Sponsor Latham & Watkins LLP, LW.com (Providing strategic thinking and senior-level attention for innovative solutions to organizations’ most complex business issues.) Sponsors: BMO Harris Bank, BMOHarris.com (Providing a full range of Commercial Real Estate lending, treasury management and depository services.) Eastdil Secured, EastdilSecured.com (Providing the best-in-class services as the preeminent real estate investment banking firm for commercial real estate transactions ranging from single assets to large portfolios.) Equity Commonwealth, eqcre.com (Providing long-term value and aligning the interests of all stakeholders.) Draper and Kramer, DraperAndKramer.com (Providing financial and property services in real estate primarily in property management and leasing, commercial mortgage, residential mortgage, and acquisitions and development.) Ten-X, TenX.com/Commercial (Providing the nation’s leading online real estate transaction marketplace.)
Panel: Frank Schmitz ’89, Partner & Co-Founder, Park Hill Real Estate Group; Louis G. Conforti, Chief Executive Officer, Washington Prime Group, Inc., Prashant Tewari ’00, Principal, The Townsend Group, David Helfand, President and Chief Executive Officer, Equity Commonwealth; John Petrovski, Managing Director and Head of US Commercial Real Estate, BMO Harris Bank; With Moderator Ed Ryder ’92, Senior Managing Director, Waypoint Residential.
Frank Schmitz has over 25 years of experience in the real estate industry and is based in Chicago. Prior to the formation of PJT Partners, Mr. Schmitz co-founded Park Hill Real Estate Group in 2005 and served as a Senior Managing Director at Blackstone Group. Preceding his tenure at Park Hill Real Estate Group, Mr. Schmitz was a Managing Director and Head of Real Estate Equity at Principal Real Estate Investors.
Louis G. Conforti has been a board member since May 2014 of the Washington Prime Group Inc. (NYSE: WPG), a real estate investment trust focusing on retail real estate with 118 assets comprised of nearly 70 million square feet. Mr. Conforti is a Principal of Colony Capital Inc. and Global Head of Strategy (currently on a leave of absence). Previously, Mr. Conforti was Managing Director of Balyasny Asset Management LP, a global alternative investment manager.
Prashant Tewari is a member of the Investment Committee and the Global Macro Strategy Committee. Mr. Tewari leads global investment strategy for The Townsend Group, bringing over 17 years of global real estate investment, capital raising, and banking experience to the firm. Prior to joining The Townsend Group in 2014, Mr. Tewari was a Co-Portfolio Manager/Senior Research Analyst with Alliance Bernstein, responsible for a $2.5 billion global fund investing in REITs and other real estate securities.
David Helfand is President and Chief Executive Officer of Equity Commonwealth (NYSE: EQC), a publically traded real estate investment trust (REIT) that owns and operates commercial office properties throughout the United States. Mr. Helfand has served as Co-President of Equity Group Investments, a private investment firm, since January 2012. Prior to rejoining Equity Group Investments, Mr. Helfand was Founder and President of Helix Funds LLC, a private real estate investment management company.
John Petrovski leads the BMO U.S. CRE team that originates $2.5 billion a year of real estate secured loans on all property types across the United States. Loan sizes range from $10 million to $200 million. John also leads the Community Development Lending Program (CRA) and the small real estate lending program of $1 million to $10 million. John spent six years as the Group President for Merrill Lynch Capital overseeing an 80 person team with a $5 billion portfolio in CRE loans and investments, and was previously Group President at Heller Financial real estate responsible for 160 person organization with a $4 billion portfolio.
Ed Ryder is responsible for investment activity in the Midwest and Western states, and also has national oversight for various portfolio management functions. Prior to joining Waypoint Residential, Mr. Ryder spent 18 years with Pearlmark Real Estate Partners (formally Transwestern Investment Co.) where he invested over $1.4 billion nationwide, including 12,000 multifamily units and the 2.6 million square-foot of office space. He previously spent six years providing financing and advisory services to publicly traded REITs while at Merrill Lynch & Co. and EVEREN Securities (formally Kemper Securities).