Christopher J. Mayer
Real Estate Finance
EMBA Block Week Course: Real Estate as an Asset as a Business
Christopher Mayer is the Paul Milstein Professor of Real Estate at Columbia Business School. His research explores a variety of topics in real estate and financial markets, including housing cycles, mortgage markets, debt securitization, and commercial real estate valuation. Dr. Mayer is also CEO of Longbridge Financial, an innovative reverse mortgage company focused on delivering responsible home equity products to older Americans to help finance retirement. Professor Mayer serves as a Research Associate at the National Bureau of Economic Research, a Director of the National Reverse Mortgage Lenders Association, and a member of the Academic Advisory Boards for Standard and Poor's and the Housing Policy Center at the Urban Institute. His research has received funding from the National Science Foundation and the Pew Charitable Trusts.
Dr. Mayer is active in the media and advising policymakers, testifying six times before committees of the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives, writing a paper for the Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission, and authoring numerous op-ed articles in major publications. Dr. Mayer previously served as Senior Vice Dean at Columbia Business School and held positions at The Wharton School, the University of Michigan, Harvard Business School, and the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston. He earned a BS in Math and Economics from the University of Rochester with highest honors and a PhD in Economics from MIT.
|Real Estate Finance
Boaz Abramson is an assistant professor in the finance division at Columbia Business School. He received his Ph.D. in Economics from Stanford University in 2022, and holds a MA and BA from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem.
His research lies in the intersection of macroeconomics, housing, and finance. He is particularly interested in the housing insecurity problem in the US rental market, where millions of renters are evicted every year and where homelessness is pervasive. His recent work examines how instating stronger tenant protections against evictions impacts rents, homelessness, and evictions.
Senior Lecturer in the Discipline of Finance
Real Estate Finance
Real Estate Debt Markets
Residential Real Estate: Dirt, Debt, and Derivatives
Brian P. Lancaster is a Senior Lecturer in the Discipline of Finance at the Columbia University Business School. Professor Lancaster teaches the following courses: Real Estate Finance, Real Estate Debt Markets, Residential Real Estate Finance, Capital Markets, Real Estate Entrepreneurship, and Debt Markets in the MBA and EMBA programs. He is also a faculty sponsor of Chazen Global Study Tours, most recently leading a student real estate study tour to Southeast Asia. Formerly, he taught the Real Estate Capital Markets and Debt Markets and Instruments courses in the MBA and EMBA programs at the Stern School of Business, New York University.
Professor Lancaster is also Founder and President of The Minot Group, LLC, a real estate finance, debt and derivatives markets consulting and investment firm. Domestic and international clients include: Alliance Bernstein, Alinma Investment Co., Centerbridge, China Construction Bank, Citadel, Citigroup, Deutsche Bank, Fidelity, Fortress, FHLB, Goldman Sachs, Housing Finance Fund of Iceland, McKinley and Co., McKinsey and Co., McGraw Hill, MFS Investment Mgmt., Parthenon Capital, Ping An of China, Verisk, and Wells Fargo. The Minot Group, LLC was voted one of America’s Best Management Consulting Firms by Forbes in 2017, 2018 and 2019. Recent projects include consulting with the FHLB regarding REITs, developing a callable bond program to finance callable residential mortgages, developing a new CRE finance data, analytics and capital markets business for a large global analytics firm and developing two multifamily projects.
Prior to his current work, Professor Lancaster was Managing Director and Co-head of Structured Transactions Analytics, Risk and Strategy and Head of MBS, CMBS, and ABS Strategy at the Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS). Prior to joining RBS, Professor Lancaster was the Chief Investment Officer of the $85 billion Real Estate Division of Wells Fargo/Wachovia and Head of Structured Products Research at the same company for nine years. He was also a Managing Director Principal at Bear Stearns where he led research teams in Agency MBS, CMOs and CMBS for eleven years. He was voted by clients onto Institutional Investor’s All America Research team as a top three research analyst for several years. He was also a Senior Economist Capital Markets at the Federal Reserve Bank of New York and the Bank of England in London for five years.
Professor Lancaster received his BS from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, his MBA from the Stern School of Business, NYU and a Masters of Public and International Affairs from Columbia University where he was selected as an International Fellow.
He is a former Executive Board member of the Mortgage Bankers Association and the Commercial Real Estate Finance Council, where he testified before the House Financial Services Committee, the Federal Reserve Board of Governors, the Securities and Exchange Commission, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, the Office of the Controller of the Currency and the US Treasury Department on the real estate crisis, the capital markets and financial regulations.
Professor Lancaster has published two books, including Structured Products and Related Credit Derivatives with Frank Fabozzi and Glenn Schultz, Wiley Publishing and numerous journal articles on topics related to real estate, capital markets and securitization. He is the former Editor-in Chief of the Commercial Real Estate Finance Journal. He has also lectured occasionally at Duke University and the Wharton School of Business.
Real Estate Finance
PropTech and Real Estate Disruption
Tomasz Piskorski is the Edward S. Gordon Professor of Real Estate in the Finance Division at Columbia Business School. He is also a Research Associate at the National Bureau of Economic Research and serves on the Academic Research Council of the Housing Finance Policy Center at the Urban Institute. Professor Piskorski earned a M.S. in Mathematics from New York University Courant Institute of Mathematical Sciences and a Ph.D. in Economics from New York University Stern School of Business.
Professor Piskorski’s research explores issues in real estate finance, securities and mortgage markets, financial intermediation and banking, market structure and regulation, and housing policy. His recent work centers on inefficiencies in credit markets, financial technology, shadow banking, financial regulation, mortgage market reform, and the impact of consumer credit markets on the broader economy. Professor Piskorski’s research has been published in top academic journals in economics and finance as well as featured in major media, including the Wall Street Journal, the Financial Times, Bloomberg Businessweek, and the Economist. His research and market views have been presented at an array of academic, governmental, and financial institutions, including the U.S. Congress, the U.S. Treasury, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, the Securities and Exchange Commission, the London Stock Exchange, the Federal Reserve Banks, the European Central Bank, the National Association of Home Builders, the Brookings Institution, the Cato Institute, and the Woodrow Wilson Center. Professor Piskorski has been awarded funding from the National Science Foundation and the Pew Charitable Trusts. He received the AQR Insight Distinguished Paper Award that recognizes research that provides the most significant, new practical insights for tax-exempt institutional or taxable investor portfolios.
|Professor Parinitha (Pari) Sastry is an assistant professor of finance at Columbia Business School. Her research focuses on climate change, financial intermediation, and real-estate markets. She received her B.A. from Columbia University and her finance Ph.D. from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. She has worked previously at the Department of Treasury, Task Force on Climate-Related Financial Disclosures, Brookings Institution, and New York Fed.
Stijn Van Nieuwerburgh
Real Estate Finance
Real Estate Analytics
Stijn Van Nieuwerburgh is the Earle W. Kazis and Benjamin Schore Professor of Real Estate and Professor of Finance at Columbia University’s Graduate School of Business, which he joined in July 2018.
His research lies in the intersection of housing, asset pricing, and macroeconomics. One strand of his work studies how financial market liberalization in the mortgage market relaxed households' down payment constraints, and how that affected the macro-economy, and the prices of stocks and bonds. In this area he has also worked on regional housing prices, households’ mortgage choice, commercial real estate price formation, the impact of foreign buyers on the housing market, and mortgage market design.Professor Van Nieuwerburgh has published articles in the Journal of Political Economy, American Economic Review, Econometrica, Review of Economic Studies, Journal of Finance, Review of Financial Studies, Journal of Financial Economics, and the Journal of Monetary Economics, among other journals. He is Editor at the Review of Financial Studies. He is a Faculty Research Associate at the National Bureau of Economic Research and at the Center for European Policy Research.
He has served as an advisor to the Norwegian Minister of Finance, and has been a visiting scholar at to the Central Bank of Belgium, the New York and Minneapolis Federal Reserve Banks, the Swedish House of Finance, the International Center for Housing Risk, and has contributed to the World Economic Forum project on real estate price dynamics.
Professor Van Nieuwerburgh was awarded the 15th Edition of the Bérnácer Prize for his research on the transmission of shocks in the housing market on the macro-economy and the prices of financial assets. The Bérnácer Prize is awarded annually to a European economist under the age of 40 who has made significant contributions in the fields of macroeconomics and finance.
|Real Estate Development
Over his twenty-five year career in real estate, Professor Atkins has worked at the highest levels of institutional real estate as well as being a successful multi-strategy real estate investor. He has consummated the purchase and development of properties with a gross asset value in excess of $1 billion.
Professor Atkins is currently the co-founder and CEO of Zenith IOS. Zenith is a vertically integrated industrial outdoor storage (“IOS”) company which was formed in 2021 to assemble a national portfolio of institutional quality IOS assets under a branded and standardized platform. Since inception Zenith has purchased over $400 million of IOS sites across the United States, which it owns and operates in a joint venture with J.P. Morgan Asset Management.
Professor Atkins is also the Founder and President of Abingdon Square Partners, a real estate development company formed in 2011 and headquartered in Brooklyn, NY. The Company seeks commercial and industrial opportunistic investment opportunities within emerging and undervalued markets, with a focus on New York, Florida and Texas. Since inception, Abingdon has transacted on properties with a net asset value in excess of $300 million.
From 2002-2011, Professor Atkins was a principal in The Atkins & Breskin Company (“A&B”), a privately held real estate investment firm based in New York City. While there, Professor Atkins built a portfolio of retained mixed- use assets which currently exceeds fifty properties.
Professor Atkins began his real estate career in 1997 as a real estate attorney at the law firm of Simpson Thacher & Bartlett LLP in New York City. From 1999 to 2002, he was a Vice President at Vornado Realty Trust, one of the nation’s largest commercial real estate firms, and served as General Counsel of the firm’s New York Office Division. He holds a Juris Doctor degree from Columbia Law School (1997) and a BA in political science from Columbia College (1993).
Professor Atkins is also a former two-time fencing National Champion and NCAA Champion and is a member of the Columbia University Athletics Hall of Fame.
|Advanced Seminar in Real Estate
Michelle Felman is an Adjunct Professor of Business at Columbia Business School. She is a Trustee of Forest City Realty Trust (NYSE: FCE) where she serves on the Compensation Committee. Professor Felman is also a Trustee of The Partners Group (PGPHF), a global private equity firm where she serves as the Chair of the Investment Oversight Committee. She also sits on the Board of the Turner Impact Fund, a social impact platform that invests in education, workforce housing and healthcare. She is a member of the Board of Directors at the Cumming Corporation, a global construction management firm and Reonomy, a real estate technology platform. She is the founder of JAM Holdings, an investment and advisory firm.
Professor Felman began her career at Morgan Stanley in the Investment Banking Division after graduating with an MBA from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania. She later joined GE Capital as a Managing Director of Business Development, where she was responsible for the acquisition of real estate and non-performing loans from the Resolution Trust Corporation (RTC), banks and insurance companies in the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom and France. In her role, she was responsible for setting strategy for entering new markets and developing new products for the commercial real estate division.
From 1997 to 2010, she served as Executive Vice President - Acquisitions and Capital Markets of Vornado Realty Trust. During her tenure, she helped grow the REIT from a $3 billion equity capitalization company to a $16 billion equity capitalization company. During that same period, Vornado diversified from a strip center company into the largest owner of office buildings in New York City and Washington DC. She remained a consultant to VNO through 2012. She served as a Board member of LNR, the largest special servicer in the United States, until the company was sold to Starwood Capital in 2013.
At CBS, Professor Felman co-teaches Advanced Seminar in Real Estate with Adjunct Professor Russell Platt of Forum Partners. She co-authored the case study on The Amazon/Whole Foods Market Transaction: Implications & Impacts on REITs (2017). In a recent interview with Joy Kang ’18, she discussed her thoughts on the current real estate market as well as her experience and advice to aspiring young professionals.
John T. Haggerty
|Real Estate M&A Workshop
|John Haggerty is a partner in and co-chair of Goodwin’s Public M&A / Corporate Governance practice. He works on a wide variety of corporate and securities matters, including public and private mergers and acquisitions, public and private offerings of equity and debt securities by public companies, corporate governance and other matters of general corporate and securities law. He has been recognized in the Corporate/M&A: Capital Markets category by Chambers USA: America’s Leading Lawyers for Business.
|Real Estate Transactions
Karen is the Regional General Counsel and Senior Vice President – Legal for the New York region of Boston Properties. Karen and the legal team at Boston Properties are responsible for managing all legal and compliance matters in the New York region. Prior to joining Boston Properties, she acted as general counsel to Crown Acquisitions, the real estate investment company of the Chera Family where Karen handled all aspects of real estate investments and joint ventures for the family. Prior to joining Crown, Karen spent her formative years with Shearman & Sterling LLP and Ropes & Gray LLP. Karen has spent the last 18 years participating in a wide array of real estate transactions with a primary focus on New York City including acquisitions, leasing, joint ventures and financings. Karen spends her personal time with her husband, 2 boys, 2 dogs, and 2 cats in Chappaqua, NY or skiing wherever there is snow.
Andrew Jacobs ’96
|Real Estate Private Equity
|Andrew Jacobs is a Managing Director at BentallGreenOak Strategic Capital Partners. Professor Jacobs is responsible for identifying, evaluating and overseeing direct real estate investments, as well as real estate private equity fund investments. Investments span the capital stack, property types and global markets, but his focus is managers based in the eastern United States and Brazil. Professor Jacobs also seeks and reviews opportunities to purchase interests in underlying funds on the secondary market. For the ten years prior to Metropolitan, Professor Jacobs was with Angelo, Gordon & Co. where he undertook senior level acquisition and asset management responsibilities for a diversified portfolio, consisting of 50 properties located throughout the U.S. with a total capitalization of $1.7 billion. The funds in which Professor Jacobs worked included the opportunistic and core plus strategies. Prior to working at Angelo Gordon, Professor Jacobs was a project manager for Hines. Based at Hines' Houston corporate headquarters, Professor Jacobs oversaw the development of a 473 room Westin hotel and the disposition of a large portfolio of industrial properties that formed the foundation of Gerald Hines' portfolio. Before Hines, Professor Jacobs worked for Campbell Soup, selling surplus industrial properties and selecting retail locations for Campbell's subsidiary, Godiva Chocolatier. Professor Jacobs's first real estate position was working for Grubb & Ellis in their Philadelphia office. Professor Jacobs is active in several architecture preservation organizations in New York and has been a member of ULI since 1994. Professor Jacobs holds an MBA in Real Estate Finance from Columbia Business School and a B.A. in the History of Art from the University of Pennsylvania.
|Distressed Real Estate Investing
Mr. Kravit is a Senior Managing Director of Tracker Capital, a stage agnostic venture capital firm that principally invests in emerging technologies that advance national security. Currently, Mr. Kravit is a senior advisor to several other companies including Hello Alfred, a technology and service company focused on residential real estate sector, Platform Ventures, and Harridge Development Company. Prior to joining Tracker Capital, Mr. Kravit was at Cerberus Capital Management for 22 years, where he was most recently Co- Head of North American Real Estate and a Senior Managing Director. From 1994 to 1996 he was a Managing Director at Apollo Real Estate Advisors, where he was responsible for new business development, acquisitions, and asset management. Prior to Apollo, Mr. Kravit was a Managing Director at G Soros Realty Advisors/Reichmann International, an affiliate of Soros Fund Management and separately, Vice President/Chief Financial Officer at the Maxxam Property Company in Houston. Mr Kravit graduated from Georgetown University and received an M B A from The Wharton School of Business at the University of Pennsylvania.
Adjunct Professor of Business
|Advanced Seminar in Real Estate
|Mr. Russell C. Platt serves as the Co-Founder, Chief Executive Officer and Managing Director of Forum Partners Investment Management LLC. He serves as Chief Investment Officer of Dividend Capital Investments at Dividend Capital Group LLC. He served as the Managing Director of Security Capital Research & Management, responsible for its private equity and international investment businesses and the President of JER Partners - International. He served as the Managing Director of Security Capital Group Incorporated. Mr. Platt served as the Managing Director of Morgan Stanley & Co., where from 1982 to 1999, he was involved in all aspects of its real estate business. He founded and managed the global real estate department of Morgan Stanley Asset Management. He served as the Chief Investment Officer of Dividend Capital Realty Income Allocation Fund and Dividend Capital Investments. He served as the Chairman at Crown Mortgage Management, Ltd. He was principally responsible for the portfolio management of the Fund and serves on the Adviser's Board of Managers. He had been a Member of the Supervisory Board at DIC Asset AG since November 8, 2005 until July 2015. He is a Member of the Advisory Boards of the National Multi Housing Council, The Wharton Real Estate Center and the MIT Center for Real Estate. He serves as a Trustee of Board of Managers of Dividend Capital Investments LLC and an Adviser of Dividend Capital Realty Income Allocation Fund. He serves as a Director of Keystone Property Trust. He served as Chairman of Link Mortgage Services Ltd. He served as a Director of Tower Realty Trust Inc. since March 1998. He served as Trustee Nominee at Workspace Property Trust. He served as a Director of Keystone Property Trust from June 1999 to June 2001. He has over 30 years’ experience and career in real estate finance and investment in Europe and North America. Mr. Platt received an M.B.A. from Harvard Business School in 1986 and graduated from Williams College in 1982 with a B.A. degree in Economics, Magna Cum Laude.
|Real Estate Transactions
Dave Powell focuses on structuring real estate equity and debt investments. A partner in our Real Estate practice, Dave represents investors in a variety of real estate transactions, with a focus on joint ventures and other partnerships.
Dave represents institutional, private equity and foreign investors in structuring and managing U.S. real estate equity and debt investments, often through private real estate investment trusts, partnerships and other joint venture transactions. He advises these clients in connection with asset and entity-level acquisitions, joint ventures, dispositions and financings across all asset classes.
Dave was recognized as a Next Generation Lawyer by the Legal 500 2017 guide in Real Estate. A frequent panelist and speaker on real estate joint ventures, Dave is also a Lecturer at Law of Real Estate Transactions at Columbia Law School.
David M. Sherman '82
|Distressed Real Estate Investing
Mr. Sherman is Senior Advisor and member of the Investment Committee at BGO Strategic Capital Partners (formerly Metropolitan Real Estate), a real estate investment management business that he co-founded in 2002 and of which he served as President through 2018. Metropolitan, which was acquired by BentallGreenOak in 2021, is an industry leader in indirect real estate investment, specializing in real estate secondaries and co-investments. Mr. Sherman also serves as Co-Director of the Paul Milstein Center for Real Estate and an Adjunct Professor at the Columbia University Graduate School of Business Administration.
Mr. Sherman has more than 35 years of real estate experience. Prior to co-founding Metropolitan, he held positions in real estate investment banking, equity research, consulting, finance and strategic planning at D. Sherman & Company, Smith Barney, The Harlan Company, First Boston, and Paine Webber. He has also served as Chairman of the Pension Real Estate Association (PREA) Institute Committee, and currently serves as Co-Chair of the PREA Governance Committee.
Over the years, Mr. Sherman has served on a number of corporate boards, including Brookfield Residential Properties and Keystone Property Trust, as well as several not-for-profit boards including Breakthrough New York (of which he is currently Vice Chair) and the Children’s Cancer and Blood Foundation.
Mr. Sherman received an A.B. in Mathematical Economics (magna cum laude) from Brown University and an M.B.A. in Finance from Columbia Business School.
Ross Smotrich '83
|Real Estate Securities Analysis
Ross L. Smotrich joined Barclays in September 2008 and is currently a managing director and senior research analyst responsible for the US real estate investment trust (REIT) and real estate securities sectors. Previously, Mr. Smotrich joined Lehman Brothers in June 2008 after 10 years as a senior managing director at Bear Stearns and four years as a senior equity analyst at Merrill Lynch.
Mr. Smotrich has ranked in Institutional Investor’s “All-America Research Team” survey nine times and has twice been named to The Wall Street Journal’s “All-Star Analysts” survey (earnings forecasting). Before moving to sell-side research, Ross was a real estate banker for Chemical Bank doing lending, investment banking, and workout.
Mr. Smotrich earned an MBA from Columbia University in Finance/Real Estate and a BA from the University of Pennsylvania in Diplomatic History/International Economics.
Ivo de Wit ’17
|EMBA Block Week Course: Real Estate as an Asset as a Business
Ivo de Wit is a Managing Director and Fund Manager of the Global Alpha Fund. Based in London, Ivo is a member of the GIP Executive Committee and he is responsible for performance, strategy, and investment decision making of the global portfolios. In addition, he is an Adjunct Professor and Senior Fellow at Columbia Business School.
Ivo joined CBRE Global Investors in July 2010. Prior to this Ivo worked at ING Real Estate as Global Portfolio Manager in London, where he was responsible for managing global non-listed real estate investment accounts for institutional clients. Before that, Ivo was part of the Global Executive Team of ING Real Estate Investment Management. He has been responsible for strategic planning, asset allocation, investment selection and performance monitoring for both listed and unlisted funds. During his more than 20-year real estate investment career, he has worked in various regions around the world focusing on business and strategic direction, executing new business opportunities and allocating seed capital. In New York, Ivo was a Vice President for Clarion Partners.
Ivo has a Ph.D. in Finance from Maastricht University and an MBA from the Joint Global Executive Program from Columbia Business School and London Business School