March 14, 2019

NYU School of Professional Studies Schack Institute of Real Estate to Host 24th Annual REIT Symposium on April 3 in NYC

Keynote Speaker James D. Taiclet, Jr., of American Tower Corporation and Luncheon Speaker Sam Zell of Equity Group Investments Join a Line-Up of Distinguished Experts Who Will Explore Shift in the Industry and the Challenges and Opportunities They Pose

NEW YORK, March 14, 2019—The NYU School of Professional Studies (NYUSPS) Schack Institute of Real Estate will host the 24th Annual REIT Symposium on Wednesday, April 3, at The Pierre in New York City. For nearly a quarter of a century, the Symposium has been one of the sector's most compelling forums, convening industry leaders for a critical examination of the forces shaping the current and future real estate and real estate investment trust (REIT) markets.

The keynote speaker for this year’s Symposium is James D. Taiclet, Jr., chief executive officer of American Tower Corporation, who will discuss the revolution in REIT technology. The program also features a lunch discussion with Sam Zell, chairman of Equity Group Investments, and in-depth one-on-one conversations with Debra Cafaro, chairman and CEO of Ventas; Kenneth Caplan, global head of real estate at Blackstone; and Barry S. Sternlicht, chairman and CEO of Starwood Capital Group, as well as comprehensive panel discussions with more than 30 of the sector’s leading CEOs, bankers, lawyers, analysts, and investors. More than 500 industry professionals attend the Symposium each year and are active participants in the day’s discussions and debates.

“This past year, market volatility and disruption have impacted the REIT markets, and it is these substantive shifts that will fuel the discussion at this year’s Symposium. Experts will weigh in on the changing environment and will share their outlooks on what’s to come,” noted Sam Chandan, Larry & Klara Silverstein Chair in Real Estate Development and Investment, and associate dean of the NYUSPS Schack Institute of Real Estate. “Over the years, the REIT Symposium has become the pre-eminent event for REIT professionals who seek to stay— not only current—but ahead of the latest industry trends. It provides an invaluable forum for the discussion and debate of the industry’s most pressing issues.”

To register and to view the complete conference agenda online, please visit here. For registration inquiries, please contact

For inquiries about sponsorship opportunities, please contact Sonal Pande at or call 212-998-6961.

If you are a member of the press who wishes to cover the event, please contact Alka Gupta at or Michael DeMeo at




  • Sam Chandan, PhD, FRICS, Larry & Klara Silverstein Chair in Real Estate Development & Investment and Associate Dean, NYUSPS Schack Institute of Real Estate


  • Robin Panovka, Partner, Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz

KEYNOTE ADDRESS – The REITech Revolution 2.0

  • James D. Taiclet, Jr., Chairman, President and CEO, American Tower Corporation
  • Presentation of 2019 REIT Vanguard Award

SETTING COURSE: Long term strategy in turbulent times; how to think long term about interest rates, NAV, arbitrage with the private markets, scale and consolidation. Where have all the privatizations gone?

  • Guy A. Metcalfe, Managing Director & Global Chairman of Real Estate, Morgan Stanley [Moderator]
  • James B. Connor, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Duke Realty Corporation
  • Leslie D. Hale, President & Chief Executive Officer, RLJ Lodging Trust
  • Ronald L Havner, Jr., Chairman, Public Storage, PS Business Parks, Shurgard Europe
  • Timothy J. Naughton, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, AvalonBay Communities, Inc.
  • Martin E. “Hap” Stein, Jr., Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Regency Centers
  • Owen D. Thomas, Chief Executive Officer, Boston Properties

REITS AS DISRUPTORS: Getting ahead of change and disrupting the disruptors; harnessing prop-tech; adopting business models to take advantage of technological changes

  • Jeffrey D. Horowitz, Global Head of Real Estate, Gaming & Lodging Investment Banking, Managing Director, Bank of America Merrill Lynch [Moderator]
  • John Kilroy, Chairman of the Board and Chief Executive Officer Kilroy Realty Corporation
  • Joel S. Marcus, Executive Chairman & Founder, Alexandria Real Estate Equities, Inc.
  • Glenn Rufrano, Chief Executive Officer, VEREIT
  • A. William Stein, Chief Executive Officer, Digital Realty
  • Steven B. Tanger, Chief Executive Officer, Tanger Factory Outlet Centers, Inc.

BARRY STERNLICHT UNPLUGGED: A Worldwide Investing Perspective from the Chairman of Starwood Capital Group

  • Michael J. Bilerman, Managing Director, Head of Real Estate and Lodging Team, Citi [Moderator]
  • Barry S. Sternlicht, Chairman, Starwood Capital Group

REIT M&A: GETTING IT RIGHT: Identifying, negotiating, and integrating corporate acquisitions; How to maximize value through M&A

  • Michael J. Bilerman, Managing Director, Head of Real Estate and Lodging Team, Citi [Moderator]
  • Jon E. Bortz, Chairman and CEO, Pebblebrook Hotel Trust
  • Gordon F. Dugan, CEO, Gramercy Property Trust
  • Matthew J. Lustig, Head of Investment Banking, North America; Head of Real Estate & Lodging, Lazard
  • Mark S. Ordan, Serial CEO, Quality Care Properties


A CONVERSATION with SAM ZELL, Chairman, Equity Group Investments

  • Adam O. Emmerich, Partner, Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz [Moderator]

INVESTMENT OPPORTUNITIES: Finding hidden treasure in real estate and REITs

  • Stuart Barr, Partner, Fried, Frank, Harris, Shriver & Jacobson [Moderator]
  • Billy Butcher, Member and COO of KKR Real Estate Group
  • Andy Jonas, Managing Director, Goldman Sachs & Co.
  • E. Nelson Mills, Chief Executive Officer, Columbia Property Trust
  • Marguerite Nader, President and Chief Executive Officer, Equity LifeStyle Properties, Inc.
  • Sherry L. Rexroad, Managing Director, BlackRock


  • Debra A. Cafaro, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Ventas
  • Kenneth Caplan, Global Co-Head of Real Estate, Blackstone moderated by
  • Sam Chandan, PhD. FRICS, Larry & Klara Silverstein Chair in Real Estate Development & Investment and Associate Dean, NYUSPS Schack Institute of Real Estate

IS THE FUTURE MIXED? A deep dive on mixed-use projects and tech-driven redevelopments; are mixed-use or tech REITs/funds the next mega-trend

  • Thomas A. Grier, Global Head of Real Estate, Gaming & Lodging Investment Banking, J.P. Morgan Securities [Moderator]
  • Conor C. Flynn, CEO, Kimco Realty Corporation
  • Jeffrey S. Olson, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Urban Edge Properties
  • Mark J. Parrell, President and Chief Executive Officer, Equity Residential
  • Scott H. Rechler ‘90, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, RXR Realty
  • Don Wood, President and CEO, Federal Realty Investment Trust



  • Bonnie S. Gottlieb, Senior Vice President, Nareit

WOMEN IN THE REIT BOARDROOM – Nearly 50 women were added to REIT boards in 2018, representing more than half of all REIT board appointments last year. During this special session, women serving on REIT boards will discuss how the boardroom is changing and how it is impacting decision-making in the executive suite.

  • Gemma Burgess, President, US Search, Ferguson Partners Ltd. (Moderator)
  • Jana Cohen Barbe, Partner, Dentons
  • Z. Jamie Behar, Director, Shurgard Self Storage SA
  • Greta Guggenheim, Chief Executive Officer, President and Partner, TPG Real Estate Finance Trust
  • Dana Hamilton, Senior Managing Director and Head of Real Estate, Pretium
  • Elizabeth I. Holland, Chief Executive Officer and General Counsel, Abbell Associates, LLC
  • Susan Swanezy, Partner, Hodes Weill & Associates


About the NYU School of Professional Studies Schack Institute of Real Estate
The NYU School of Professional Studies (NYUSPS) Schack Institute of Real Estate was founded in 1967 at the initiative of prominent members of the New York City real estate community, who encouraged NYU to establish an academic center that would provide a world-class education for industry professionals. More than 50 years later, the Schack Institute is at the forefront of real estate education and is recognized globally as one of the world’s leading centers of real estate research and pedagogy. Across the Institute’s graduate degree programs—notably the MS in Real Estate, the MS in Construction Management, and the MS in Real Estate Development—as well as a rapidly expanding undergraduate degree program, enrollment has grown to nearly 1,000 full- and part-time students from across the US and nearly 50 other countries. In addition to its flagship degree programs, thousands of working professionals enroll in the Schack Institute’s executive education, Diploma, and Career Advancement courses each year.

An anchor of real estate academia’s engagement with industry, the Institute is home to the REIT Center, the Center for the Sustainable Built Environment (SBE), and the newly established Urban Lab. In addition, the Institute hosts national industry events, including annual conferences on real estate capital markets and the REIT sector. Under the direction of the Schack Institute’s faculty members, ongoing applied research at the Institute spans an exceptional range of issues in real estate development and investment, urban economics, and market structure and regulation. For more information about the NYUSPS Schack Institute of Real Estate, visit

About the NYU School of Professional Studies
Established in 1934, the NYU School of Professional Studies (NYUSPS) is one of NYU’s several degree-granting schools and colleges—each with a unique academic profile. The reputation of NYUSPS arises from its place as the NYU home for industry-focused education and applied research that is related to key knowledge-based fields, in which the New York region leads globally. This is manifest in the School’s diverse graduate, undergraduate, and Professional Pathways programs that span a broad range of disciplines including: Accounting, Finance, and Law; Applied Health; Arts, Design, and Film, and TV; Economic and Urban Development; English Language Learning; Entrepreneurship; Fundraising and Grantmaking; Global Affairs; Global Security, Conflict, and Cybercrime; Hospitality, Travel, and Tourism Management; Humanities; Human Resource Management and Development; Languages; Management and Systems; Marketing; Professional Writing; Project Management; Public Relations and Corporate Communication; Publishing; Real Estate, Real Estate Development, and Construction Management; Sports Business; and Translation.

More than 80 distinguished full-time faculty members collaborate with an exceptional cadre of practitioner/adjunct faculty members and lecturers to create a vibrant professional and academic environment that educates nearly 5,400 degree-seeking students from around the globe each year. In addition, the School fulfills the recurrent professional education needs of local, national, and international economies, as evidenced by over 18,000 Professional Pathways enrollments in Career Advancement Courses, Certificates, and Diploma Programs. The School’s community is enriched by nearly 25,000 degree-holding alumni worldwide, many of whom serve as mentors, guest speakers, and advisory board members. For more information about the NYU School of Professional Studies, visit

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