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Real Estate Capital Markets Conference + PropTech 2020


12 February 2020 | Christine Baird, CEO Clarus Tech Partners


At this year’s Real Estate Capital Markets (RECM) conference, a Goodwin Law and Columbia Business School sponsored annual event on global real estate capital markets, attracts industry thought leaders and a sophisticated audience of real estate fund managers, REIT executives, real estate investors, investment bankers and start-ups.


For 2020 the RECM focus was on real estate capital markets, global capital flows, smart cities and climate change, market trends in Europe, and technology in real estate.


Guy Metcalfe, Managing Director and Global Chairman at Morgan Stanley and Owen Thomas, CEO of Boston Properties discussed global flows of capital. Then was followed by a panel, moderated by Nancy Lashine, Managing Partner and Founder of Park Madison Partners and the panel included Nicholas Bienstock, Managing Partner at Savanna, Jackie Brady, Executive Director of Business Development at PGIM Real Estate and Craig Leupold, Strategic Advisor to Green Street Advisors who discussed the flow of global capital for commercial real estate investments, the global economic outlook, and potential impacts to their organization’s investment decisions.


Keith Breslauer, Managing Director and Senior Partner at Patron Capital Advisors, a firm with 20 years experience in European property investing, discussed his perspectives on the strong European markets.


This year’s conference again discussed PropTech – merging real estate and technology – by Marc Ricks, CEO & Head of Corporate Development, by Sidewalk Labs, a Google Alphabet company, who discussed Smart Cities use cases and how technology disrupts traditional real estate asset classes.


For example:

Offices – WeWork, Covene, and VTS

Residential – Common, Compass, Opendoor

Retail – Amazon, Warby Parker, BONOBOS

Hospitality – Airbnb, Expedia, Priceline

Parking – Waymo, Uber, Lyft


Mr. Ricks discussed how real cities need an integrated approach with digital innovation, building and housing, mobility, public realm, social infrastructure and sustainability. The important takeaways for the markets was that the customer experience and smart building technology are key business initiatives.


An enlightening discussion by Dr. Robin Bell, PGI Research Professor at Columbia University who discussed climate change and changing coastlines and the effects on buildings and cities.


The keynote speaker was Stephen Schwarzman, Chairman, CEO and Co-Founder of Blackstone was moderated by Miriam Gottfried, a reporter for The Wall Street Journal, on how Blackstone stays connected through the use of remote technology and his optimistic thoughts about the global markets.


At the 2019 RECM conference, the panelist were more investment cautious and had concerns that there could potentially be a U.S. and global recession starting in 12-18 months; however, this year’s panelists said there was no slow down occurred and they do not expect a slow down in 2020 or 2021.


Christine Baird is the CEO of Clarus Tech Partners and is a thought leader on business and technology leadership & strategy.  #RECM #PropTech #SmartCities #Goodwin #ColumbiaUniversity