Real Estate Club News: May 2013
Wharton MBA Real Estate Club highlights of the year
Reporting in for the Wharton MBA Real Estate Club are Co-Presidents Amina Belouizdad and Natalie Martirosian with the academic year's highlights:
The Wharton MBA Real Estate Club provides students with opportunities to learn from each other, foster a strong, supportive community, and build upon technical and business skills in order to either break into the real estate industry or advance their existing real estate careers. Below represents some of the highlights from the 2012-2013 school year.
– The Wharton MBA team took second place in the UT Austin Real Estate Challenge in the fall, with team members Peter Oden, Sonia Sohaili, Nicholas Schiloff, Alex Finerman, Olivier Jacques and James Wilson.
– The Wharton MBA team was one of 12 selected from a group of 32 to travel to Boston to present cases in the MIT Center for Real Estate's "The Case 2013" competition in the spring, with team members Wen Qi Chow, Benjamin Shaffer, Christopher Burns, and Thijs Kwik.
– The club organized its annual Wharton MBA Internal Case Competition in partnership with Lubert-Adler in the fall. Judges included Robert Lane from Stevens and Lee, Samvir Sidhu from Megalith Capital Group, David Turner from Lubert-Adler, and Eric Weiss from O'Neill Properties. The winning team, with team members Chris Burns, Martha Kelley, Peter Oden, and Ben Shaffer, walked away with a $500 award and bragging rights for the next year.
– Several club members partnered with students from University of Pennsylvania School of Design to participate in the Gerald D. Hines Student Urban Design Competition.
– The Wharton Real Estate Club led career treks to San Francisco, Washington, D.C., and Boston, and two to New York City.
The Wharton Real Estate Club brings together real estate professionals to provide insight into the job search and specific sub-sectors of real estate. This year, events were:
– Entrepreneurship discussion with Matthew Pestronk of Post Brothers
– Young Alumni Panel with Brian Cantrell (Vornado), Katherine Kelman (Extell Development), Jeffrey Nelson (NYEDC), and David Turner (Lubert Adler)
– Financing, Banking and Capital Markets Panel with Shaun Gilbert (Eastdil Secured), Jackie Hamilton (Macquarie Bank), Brian Hanson (CW Capital), and Joe Walsh (Moelis & Company)
The Wharton Real Estate Club organizes training events and invites topical experts to help students prepare for internships and full-time positions. Events included:
– Buying a home with Joanne Davidow of Prudential Fox & Roach
– Joint venture considerations with Joel Breitkopf and Ken Horn of Alchemy Properties
– Buying debt with Jackie Hamilton of Macquarie Bank
– Financial modeling with Real Estate Financial Modeling (REFM)
– Argus training with Realogic
– Real Estate 101 with Todd Sinai
– Real Estate Macroeconomics with Joe Gyourko
Wharton Undergrad Real Estate Club checks in
The last two months have been an exciting time for the Undergraduate Real Estate Club. WUREC hosted great on campus speakers, sent students on four city treks, competed in case competitions, and elected a new executive board.
They started off March by bringing Andrew Farkas (CIIIóCapital, Island Capital) and Marc Lasry (Avenue Capital) to campus. The two discussed their careers as well as perspectives on real estate with a group of more than 60 students. The on-campus speaker series continued on April 18, with a lecture by Jeff Sutton (W'81) of Wharton Properties.
WUREC kicked off the Four Treks in Four Weeks initiative on March 14, sending a group of ten students to Chicago. While in the Windy City, they met with Sam Zell, Brett Rose at Walton Street Capital, Iana Kolev at SOM, Ray Lewis at Ventas REIT, and representatives at The Trump Chicago. Undergrad club president Sebastian Rossavik reports: "We learned a lot about many various aspects of the real estate industry through our meetings with Sam Zell, Walton Street, Ventas and S.O.M. Sam Zell was, as expected, very impressive, and provided us with invaluable insights from his career as a global real estate pioneer. We spent a full 1.5 hours with him over lunch in his conference room, where we had plenty of opportunity to have our questions answered." At Skidmore Owings Merrill they toured the architectural firm's impressive offices, examined their building models, and again had many questions answered.
The following week students traveled to NYC for a real estate finance and entrepreneurship focused trek. While there they met with Chris Mendez and Carey Flaherty at Madison International Realty, Peter Sotoloff and Tyler Henritze at The Blackstone Group, and Anoop Dave (W'03). Students returned to NYC the following week, this time to focus on design and development. They toured the Two Trees Management developments in DUMBO, visited with Grzywinski + Pons, the architects behind the Nolitan Hotel, and toured the Ace Hotel with Tungsten Partners. On the final trek of the month students traveled to Boston where they met with Robin Brown, developer of the Mandarin Oriental Boston, Tom DeSimone, principal at WS Development, Keith Gelb (W'92), managing member of Rockpoint Group, Bryan Koop of Boston Properties, and Steve Samuels at Samuels & Associates, and toured the Four Seasons with general manager Bill Taylor.
Students representing the Undergraduate Real Estate Club, the Wharton Real Estate Department, and Zell/Lurie Center competed in two case competitions, the HEEF Chicago Case Competition and the Villanova Real Estate Challenge, taking first place at Villanova. This represents Wharton's third top-two finish in their three years of participation at Villanova and follows on a first-place finish at Cornell's Real Estate Challenge last fall.
Finally, elections were held to elect the new Executive Board. Eric Wright (W'14) and Xander Brown (W'13) will lead the club as co-presidents in the 2013-2014 academic year.
Overall the trip was a great success. We were around 14 students, including two MBAs for part of the trip, and learned a lot about many various aspects of the real estate industry through our meetings with Sam Zell, Walton Street, Ventas and S.O.M. Sam Zell was, as expected, very impressive, and provided us with invaluable insights from his career as a global real estate pioneer. We spent a full 1.5 hours with him over lunch in his conference room, where we had plenty of opportunity to have our questions answered. Unfortunately I was not able to get a photo of his assistant Joey, but what I could see of her from afar seems fairly consistent with the emails — she was a very skinny African-American lady who was running around at 10,000 miles/hour. Coordinating Zell's life cannot be an easy task. Unfortunately Mr. Tomlinson had a last-minute commitment with the President and was unable to meet with us, but we were still able to get a tour of S.O.M.'s impressive offices, look at their building models, and ask questions.