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Fri, Jun 26



HBS Prof. Nori Gerardo Lietz

Join HBS real estate alumni and friends via live webinar to learn from Harvard Business School Professor Nori Gerardo Lietz as she discusses the future of real estate with Seth Singerman (Singerman Real Estate), Josh Benaim (Aria Development Group) and Zuriel Chavez (JP Morgan). Is retail dead? Will

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HBS Prof. Nori Gerardo Lietz
HBS Prof. Nori Gerardo Lietz

Time & Location

Jun 26, 2020, 11:00 AM – 12:00 PM


About the event

HBS Prof. Nori Gerardo Lietz Discusses The Future of Real Estate with Leading Industry Experts

About this Event

Join HBS real estate alumni and friends via live webinar to learn from Harvard Business School Professor Nori Gerardo Lietz as she discusses the future of real estate with Seth Singerman (Singerman Real Estate), Josh Benaim (Aria Development Group) and Zuriel Chavez (JP Morgan). Is retail dead? Will office ever come back? What will urban residential look like? What of the other sectors?

While this event is free, we encourage you to donate to Teaching Matters (ANY amount helps) and partner with us to make a difference to society. Teaching Matters, a 501©3 nonprofit, has been extremely helpful during the COVID-19 pandemic and is collaborating with school districts nationally to provide online curriculum to teachers and facilitate distance learning for K-12 students (more on them below).

This event is not officially affiliated with Harvard Business School. It is an off the record discussion by senior leaders organized by alumni for alumni + friends.

Feel free to share this event with your colleagues + friends, including those that did not go to Harvard Business School. Our goal is to add value to everyone.


Nori Gerardo Lietz Senior Lecturer of Business Administration Harvard Business School

Nori Gerardo Lietz is a Senior Lecturer of Business Administration in the Finance and Entrepreneurial Management Units. She presently teaches Real Estate Private Equity and Venture Capital and Private Equity.

Nori Gerardo Lietz is the founder of Areté Capital, a real estate advisory firm. Until June 2011, Ms. Gerardo Lietz was a Partner at Partners Group, a Swiss based private alternative asset manager. At Partners Group she was Chief Strategist for private real estate, a member of the Global Investment Committee, and Chair of the private real estate Investment Committee. Ms. Gerardo Lietz co-founded Pension Consulting Alliance (“PCA”) in 1988 and developed its real estate investment management and advisory activities. PCA became the largest real estate advisory firm in the world in terms of client assets. In that capacity she represented many of the largest real estate investors in the world. Previously, she co-founded Public Storage, Inc., an institutional money management firm deploying pension capital to acquire real estate assets. She began her career as an attorney at Paul, Hastings specializing in SEC and ERISA matters on behalf of pension funds, real estate managers and real estate pension consultants.

Ms. Gerardo Lietz holds an AB with honors from Stanford University. She also holds a juris doctorate from the UCLA School of Law where she was the Chief Comment Editor of the UCLA Law Review.

She is a member of the Mack Cali Board of Directors. She is a former member of the Pension Real Estate Association Board of Directors and of the Real Estate Research Institute Board of Directors. In 2005 she was the Commencement Speaker for the MIT Center for Real Estate. She received the 2014 Distinguished Teaching Award for the Elective Curriculum from the Harvard Business School Class of 2014. The Private Equity Real Estate Magazine named her one the 30 most influential industry leaders in 2006, the second most influential real estate person globally in 2007, and one of the 10 most prominent women in real estate in 2010.


Seth Singerman Founder and Managing Principal Singerman Real Estate

Seth Singerman founded Singerman Real Estate, LLC in 2010 and is responsible for the overall strategic direction of the firm. Prior to forming SRE, Mr. Singerman was a Managing Director of GEM Realty Capital, where he worked for over a decade from 1999-2009 and was the youngest partner in the history of the firm. At GEM, other than one of the founding partners, he was the only partner to have senior investment responsibility for both GEM Realty Securities and GEM Realty Properties. Mr. Singerman has sourced direct investments in properties and performing and non-performing loans with value in excess of $2.5 billion and across the major real estate asset classes.

In addition to his direct real estate investment background, Mr. Singerman helped lead the formation and on-going development of a long-short real estate hedged strategy that invested both domestically and internationally in real estate securities. During Mr. Singerman’s tenure, the company’s assets under management for the securities strategy grew from approximately $30 million to over $1.2 billion.

Mr. Singerman championed the utilization of relationships with public real estate companies to source direct real estate investment opportunities. Reflective of this public/private background, in 2009 he sat on the Ad Hoc Creditors Committee for the Extended Stay Hotels – the largest hospitality bankruptcy in

U.S. history.

Mr. Singerman is Board Member of the Center for Real Estate and Finance, Cornell School of Hotel Management; Board Member of the Graaskamp Real Estate Program and the Real Estate Applied Security Analysis Program, University of Wisconsin – Madison School of Business; Board Member of the Next Generation Council to the United States Holocaust Museum. Past Board Member of IMH Financial, NAREIT Investor Advisory Council; The Dean’s Young Leadership Advisory Council, Cornell School of Hotel Management and past Co-Chair of Jewish Federation of Chicago’s Young Real Estate Division. Mr. Singerman was a founding member of Hedge Fund Cares – Midwest Hope Committee; and is a member of the Young Presidents’ Organization – Windy City Chapter. He received his MBA with a concentration in Real Estate and Finance from Northwestern University, Kellogg School of Management and his B.S. with a concentration in Real Estate and Finance from Cornell University where he graduated as a Ye Host Honor.

Joshua Benaim Founder and CEO Aria Development Group

Joshua Benaim is a leading real estate investor and entrepreneur and the Founder of Aria, an award-winning real estate company focused on next generation multifamily, value investment and special situations investing, repairing the torn fabric of cities, and creative real estate development and operations.

Benaim founded Aria in 2009 to create a different kind of values-driven real estate company, one that would marry value investment philosophy with the traditional real estate principles of location, scarcity and beauty. Since then, it has cultivated an expertise in next generation multifamily, and is currently developing more than 1,500 beautiful affordable luxury and mixed-income apartments in great neighborhoods across the United States. Aria brings a unique philosophy and passion to the multifamily investing, development and management, rooted in humanistic values and a willingness to “think different.”

Benaim credits much of the inspiration for his vision to growing up in New York City and the creativity and dynamism of the urban experience. Thanks to his serendipitous discovery of opera on a rainy day waiting for the M10 bus, Benaim became an operatic baritone who has appeared with the Metropolitan Opera and performed widely across the United States and Europe. Benaim has sought to infuse Aria’s real estate developments with a meaningful multi-sensory experience by marshaling some of the poetry, passion, and historical authenticity he found In opera.

Aria’s work has been imbued with a sense of public spiritedness that has sought to humanize the experience of living in our great cities. This spirit has manifested itself in our urban design, locations, and our work with communities. Aria has worked closely with community leaders, municipalities and neighborhoods to incorporate mixed-income and multigenerational housing, environmental sustainability, the arts and creativity and other social goods in our projects. Our innovative unit mix and diversity of housing options and price points have enabled more residents to experience some of the great walkable or historic neighborhoods of vibrant cities that might otherwise have been unaffordable. Our development work has gone hand in hand with our work with community organizations, associations and municipalities as well as our philanthropic work. In doing so we feel we are strengthening the fabric of our cities.

Prior to founding Aria, Benaim was a Managing Principal at Square Mile Capital Management LLC, where he focused on the New York, Washington, DC, South Florida and San Francisco markets. Mr. Benaim began his career as at Credit Suisse First Boston in the Mergers & Acquisitions group and subsequently Principal Transactions. He then served as an advisor to REIT hedge fund High Rise Capital Management at the time of its inception. He learned real estate development working with Manocherian Brothers, his family organization with a sixty year track record as a multifamily developer and operator in New York City.

Benaim has a passion for thought leadership In our Industry and mentoring the next generation of real estate talent. He served as Co-Chair of the Harvard Business School Real Estate Alumni Association during the initial development of that organization, and as an advisor to Professor Arthur Segel in the creation of HBS’s first online real estate course. He recently appeared as a guest on an AFIRE Podcast on Arts, Tragedy and The Future of Urban Multifamily and is the author of Real Estate: A Love Story.

Benaim received his A.B. in Social Studies from Harvard University and his MBA from Harvard Business School. He lives in New York City with his wife and three children.

Zuriel Chavez Executive Director, Real Estate, Gaming & Lodging Group J.P. Morgan

Zuriel Chavez is an Executive Director at J.P. Morgan in the Real Estate, Gaming & Lodging Investment Banking Group. He joined J.P. Morgan in 2013. Prior to joining J.P. Morgan, Zuriel worked for Cushman & Wakefield and JLL in their Capital Markets Group. Zuriel received his MBA from Harvard Business School and received a BA from Harvard College.

Selected transactions include:

• Marriott International’s $1.6bn bridge, bond and RC financing

• SciPlay’s $352mm Initial Public Offering

• TIER REIT’s $2.3bn merger with Cousins Properties

• W.P. Carey $5.9bn acquisition of CPA:17

• Cushman & Wakefield’s $1.1bn Initial Public Offering

• Americold Realty Trust’s $833mm Initial Public Offering and subsequent secondary offerings totaling $2bn+

• CalAtlantic’s $9.3bn merger with Lennar

• Century Communities’ $336mm acquisition of UCP and associated debt financing

• Xenia Hotels & Resorts $280mm hotel portfolio sale

• Scientific Games’ $5.1bn acquisition of Bally Technologies

• Orix’s acquisition of Boston Financial Management

• Lead-left high yield offerings for Forestar, Lennar, Century Communities and Tri Pointe

• Numerous investment grade and equity follow-on offerings for office, net lease, retail, hospitality, healthcare and multifamily REITs

100% of donation/sponsorship proceeds will go to Teaching Matters!

About Teaching Matters

Teaching Matters is a professional learning organization dedicated to increasing teacher effectiveness, a critical factor in student success. Our mission is to close the opportunity gap of an unequal education system for underserved and historically marginalized children. We envision a nation where every student has equitable access to excellent teaching, regardless of zip code. From states and districts to schools and classrooms, we partner to help teachers and school leaders develop the skills they need to teach well, lead their peers and drive school-wide improvement. From 25 years of working in New York City’s public schools, we’ve developed an understanding of realistic and lasting ways to improve student outcomes, and we’re committed to real, measurable results. Teaching Matters is a 501©3 nonprofit organization. Teaching Matters has a 4-star, 91.06 rating from Charity Navigator. See this video to learn more:

Organized by Dionis Rodriguez + The Crimson Connection

This event is brought to you by The Crimson Connection. The Crimson Connection aims to strengthen relationships as well as increase the collective success of attendees, while making a difference to society by bringing attention to/donating to worthwhile charities and causes. The Crimson Connection grew out of the Harvard Business School Real Estate Alumni Association (HBSREAA), which Dionis Rodriguez founded in 2008 (along with an incredible group of co-founders). HBSREAA became inactive after transitioning to new leadership and we founded The Crimson Connection to continue to provide value to HBS real estate alumni and friends. The mission of The Crimson Connection is to provide opportunities for HBS real estate alumni and friends to network, share ideas, work on deals together and add value to society. The organization donates a significant portion of its revenues to charity and other worthwhile causes. Thank you for your support!

In addition to founding The Crimson Connection, Dionis Rodriguez is Founder and Managing Partner at Crimson Rock Capital, a highly focused, value-oriented real estate investment firm. In his 20-year career, Dionis has invested in all property types in North America, Europe, and Asia with a key focus on hospitality. He has worked as an entrepreneur, consultant, and private equity investor. He is a board member at Teaching Matters, The Guestbook and Academy of Our Lady School. He founded, was President & Chairman of the Board of the Harvard Business School Real Estate Alumni Association (HBSREAA). He is a former member of the Board of Managers of the Harvard Club of New York and is a past Trustee of New York Nativity Centers. Dionis received an MBA from Harvard Business School and a Bachelor of Science from the Cornell University School of Hotel Administration.

Sponsorship opportunities available - 100% of sponsorships go to Teaching Matters! and are tax deductible donations. Email for details.

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