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Winter Newsletter 2018

As 2018 begins to unfold, we at the Zell/Lurie Real Estate Center thank our Research Sponsors and Primary Sustaining Members whose generous contributions have made the wonderful events of 2017 possible. Much happened in 2017:

Department News + Research · Faculty & Staffing Changes · Members Meetings 2017 · Expansion of Global Programming · Research Sponsor Events · Student Activities · Other Events in 2017 · Upcoming Events · Current Members

Department News & Research

Some highlights from Wharton Real Estate faculty members’ recent speaking engagements, media reports and publications.



Gilles Duranton

Dean’s Chair in Real Estate Professor, Chair, Real Estate Department

Fernando Ferreira

Associate Professor of Real Estate and Business Economics & Public Policy

Joe Gyourko

Martin Bucksbaum Professor of Real Estate, Finance and Business Economics & Public Policy, Nancy A. Nasher and David J. Haemisegger Director of the Zell/Lurie Real Estate Center

Mariaflavia Harari

Assistant Professor of Real Estate

Marja Hoek-Smit

Adjunct Professor of Real Estate, Director/Founder, International Housing Finance program, Zell/Lurie Real Estate Center

Benjamin Keys

Assistant Professor of Real Estate

Susan M. Wachter

Albert Sussman Professor of Real Estate, Professor of Finance

Maisy Wong

Associate Professor of Real Estate

View a full list of Wharton Real Estate faculty working papers.

Faculty & Staffing Changes

The Center has had some staffing changes in 2017.

Susan Sessa was promoted to Managing Director of the Zell/Lurie Real Estate Center. Maisy Wong was promoted to Associate Professor of Real Estate and designated as an Assistant Director of the Zell/Lurie Real Estate Center in July of 2017.

Members’ Meetings in 2017

Twice a year, Zell/Lurie hosts Members’ Meetings where our members, their guests and our students convene to network and discuss contemporary issues in the industry. The meeting summaries for 2017’s Spring and Fall Meetings can be found below.

Spring Members’ Meeting
April 26-27, 2017

Fall Members’ Meeting
October 26-27, 2017

Expansion of Global Programming

In May 2017, Zell/Lurie held its fourth international event at the Royal Automobile Club in London and its first under the auspices of the John P. Grayken Program in International Real Estate. The program focused on “Economic and Political Factors Behind Changing Country Risk: Europe and the World.”



European Advisory Board

In December of 2017, the first European Advisory Board Meeting took place in London. The board consists of real estate professionals who share in Zell/Lurie’s passion for educating the future leaders of industry as well as connect the leaders of today. View a list of our European Advisory Board Members below.



Mr. Ian Marcus

European Advisory Board Members

Mr. Eric Adler

Ms. Amy Klein Aznar
Head of Investments and Special Situations

Mr. Olivier Brahin

Mr. David Brush
Chief Investment Officer

Mr. Michael Cochran
Senior Managing Director

Mr. Saul Goldstein

Mr. Spencer B. Haber
Chief Executive Officer

Ms. Catherine Hong
Executive Director

Mr. Patrick Long
Managing Director

Mr. John Lutzius
Managing Director

Mr. Roy Hilton March
Chief Executive Officer

Mr. James Seppala
Head of European Acquisitions

Mr. François Trausch

Research Sponsor Events

Being a Research Sponsor of Zell/Lurie has many benefits, including access to private networking events.

Dinner at Le Bernardin

Research Sponsors dined at world-renowned Manhattan restaurant Le Bernardin twice this year. On January 8, 2017, Research Sponsor David Helfand, CEO of Equity Commonwealth, arranged for Joshua Harris, Senior Managing Directory, Apollo Management, to speak on “Global Macroeconomic Environment and Implications for Investing.” Research Sponsors returned to Le Bernardin on October 10, 2017, when Research Sponsor Edward Baquero, President of Corigin Real Estate Group, arranged a salon-style conversation with acclaimed architect Robert A.M. Stern. Both evenings were met with praise from our Research Sponsors.

West Coast Event

The first West Coast Zell/Lurie event took place on March 2, 2017. Research Sponsors gathered at the Wharton San Francisco Campus in the beautiful South of Market district to hear Andy Cohen, Co-CEO, Gensler speak on “The Impact of the Driverless Car and Shared Use Economy on Development.” This tremendously successful event was provided with the aid of Executive Committee Member Edward Cook, Co-President, McCarthy Cook.

Golf Outing

On June 20, 2017, Research Sponsors perfected their swing during a round at historic Baltusrol Golf Club, located in the rolling hills outside of New York City.


Student Activities

Zell/Lurie funds and assists with four University of Pennsylvania Real Estate Clubs. In 2017, the Real Estate Clubs have produced some wonderful programming.

The Ballard Executive Speaker Program

Zell/Lurie’s Ballard Executive Speaker program is very popular among our students. In 2017, fourteen Research Sponsors came to campus as Ballard Executives. These informal lunches are of tremendous value to our students, as indicated by their attendance and active participation. The Ballard Executive Speakers of 2017 were:

JAN 25, 2017 Robert Silverman Cozen O'Connor
JAN 31, 2017 Matthew Kaplan Almanac Realty Investors
FEB 6, 2017 Martin Kravet Royal Abstract of new York, LLC
FEB 14, 2017 Alan Feldman Resource Real Estate, Inc.
FEB 22, 2017 Carl Tash Starwood Capital
SEPT 21, 2017 Martin Burger Silverstein Properties
SEPT 28, 2017 William Glazer Keystone Property Group
OCT 4, 2017 Matthew Lustig Lazard
OCT 11, 2017 Eric Schlager The Bullfinch Companies, Inc.
NOV 2, 2017 Edward Siskind Cale Street Partners, LLP
NOV 14, 2017 Michael Lehrman Cantor Fitzgerald
NOV 21, 2017 Yon Cho Pacific Coast Capital Partners
NOV 28, 2017 Robert Bellinger ASB Real Estate Investments
DEC 7, 2017 Jonathan Rosen RCP General Inc.

ARGUS Training

Zell/Lurie offered a one-day ARGUS training to members of the four real estate clubs on Friday, November 3, 2017. Participating students also received a four month license to ARGUS OnDemand.

As a part of the Penn Student Women in Real Estate (PSWiRE) initiative, the Wharton Real Estate Club (WREC) and the Zell/Lurie Real Estate Center hosted Daniela Gastner, who is a Managing Director for the University of Pennsylvania’s endowment, on November 9, 2017. Ms. Gastner talked about her experiences leading the endowment’s real estate investments and her previous role as head of capital markets at Crow Holdings. She also discussed the challenges facing women in the industry as well as her recommendations for women who are pursuing careers in real estate.

Mentor and Mentee Program
This year, Zell/Lurie matched 126 students to  107 volunteer mentors. Many have had the chance to meet in person.

Highlights from the MBA Real Estate Club

Students of the Wharton MBA Real Estate Club enjoy participating a variety of programs including the Ballard Executive Speaker Program, the Mentor Program and attending our Members’ Meetings.

Highlights from the Undergraduate Real Estate Club

Wharton Undergraduates have a very active schedule. This year, Wharton Undergraduates took first place at Cornell University’s International Real Estate Case Competition. Two treks were made to New York City in the fall of 2017. During their time in Manhattan, Wharton undergrads visited with the Rockefeller Group, Vornado Realty Trust and Silverstein Properties to see some of the current properties in development.

Highlights from the School of Design Real Estate Club

Students of the School of Design Real Estate Club  have had many trips locally to see how real estate is redeveloping in Philadelphia. After sitting vacant on Broad Street for over a decade, the Divine Lorraine Hotel has plans to reopen after renovations are completed. Students toured the apartment and restaurant spaces of this impressive redevelopment. There has been a  lot of speculation as to where Amazon will build. At the beginning of the fall semester, students toured a potential location for the Amazon factory, namely, the Navy Yard Campus.

Other Events in 2017

Other events hosted by Zell/Lurie included:

Annual Alumni Breakfast

On January 19, 2018 alumni gathered to network and eat breakfast prior to the Career Fair.

Our Annual Career Fair

This year, 77 companies attended Zell/Lurie’s 17th Annual Career Fair held on January 19, 2018. The career fair was well attended by Penn students looking for opportunities in real estate.

Annual Zell Lecture

September 25, 2017. As expected, Sam Zell drew a crowd for the Annual Zell Lecture. Attendees of the packed room listened as Joe Gyourko and Sam Zell discussed the current real estate climate.


Upcoming Events in 2018

Zell/Lurie is looking forward to many events in 2018. Please join us for the following: