Real Estate


As real estate markets continue to mature, the industry is experiencing an ongoing transformation with a tight labor force, the implementation of new technology, and the adoption of practices to attract new capital. Industry players are adjusting accordingly to capitalize on the expected transition to a more stable and sustainable real estate market.

What are the key emerging trends in the dynamic real estate market and how can investors access potential opportunities derived by such trends?

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Shai Zelering: ‘01

Brookfield | Managing Director, Head of U.S. Hospitality Portfolio Management

Mr. Zelering is a Managing Director in Brookfield’s Real Estate Group, responsible for portfolio management activities for all hospitality properties in the U.S. With extensive experience as a hotel operator, Mr. Zelering manages all relevant issues in channel distribution, brand positioning, value enhancement through capital projects and other key topics.

 Prior to joining Brookfield, Mr. Zelering worked for Thayer Lodging Group and for Blackstone’s hotel operating platform, LXR Luxury Resorts and Hotels.  
Mr. Zelering graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Hotel Administration from Cornell University and an M.B.A. from Northwestern University’s Kellogg Graduate School of Management.


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Nicole Sermier

Oz Real Estate Management | Senior Principal, Head of Residential Investments

Based in New York, Ms. Sermier is a Senior Principal and Head of Residential Investments at OZRE. In this role, Ms. Sermier oversees OZRE’s investment activity across various residential strategies, including multifamily, senior housing, and affordable housing. Ms. Sermier’s experience includes both debt and equity transactions, and investments in stabilized assets as well as development projects.  

Ms. Sermier graduated with an M.B.A. from the Stanford Graduate School of Business, and graduated Phi Beta Kappa from Wesleyan University, where she received a B.A. in Government, and was a Fulbright Scholar. Ms. Sermier is a member of WX Real Estate and the ULI Urban Development and Mixed-Use Council.

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Daniel Hayes: ‘95 (M.R.P. Real Estate Development)

Heitman | Senior Vice President, Real Estate Debt Group

Mr. Hayes is a Senior Vice President in Heitman’s Real Estate Debt group, where he is responsible for originating and structuring mezzanine and senior debt opportunities across all real estate sectors. Prior to joining Heitman, Mr. Hayes was a senior vice president for Hunt Investment Management (formerly known as The Tuckerman Group).  His responsibilities included acquisitions, portfolio management, asset management, and client relations for several of the firm's real estate investment vehicles. 

Mr. Hayes had previously worked as a Vice President and Senior Underwriter for the Construction Lending Division of Capmark Finance Inc, where he was responsible for the structuring, underwriting, and closing of over $1.5 billion in construction loans and credit enhancements for a variety of commercial real estate asset types. Mr. Hayes has also served as a senior risk analyst at GE Healthcare Financial Services, where he underwrote and closed approximately $250 million in bridge and mezzanine debt for the acquisition and refinancing of various healthcare-related real estate assets. 

Mr. Hayes received his BA in Political Science/Spanish from the University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign and his MRP in City and Regional Planning from Cornell University.

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Ken Wisdom: ‘89

Portfolio Advisors | Senior Managing Director, Real Estate

Mr. Wisdom serves as Head of the Portfolio Advisors Real Estate Investment and Advisory team and serves as a voting member for several of the firm’s Investment Committees.

 Previously, Mr. Wisdom was a Managing Director and founding principal of PrivateTrade, a Real Estate and Private Equity secondaries advisory firm. Before PrivateTrade, Mr. Wisdom served as the Private Equity Officer for the University of California Office of the Treasurer responsible for its $3 billion private markets program, and prior to that role, the Senior Investment Analyst for Alternative Investments for the Massachusetts Pension Reserves Investment Management Board responsible for its real estate and private equity programs.

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Zach Tanenbaum: ‘06

Starwood Property Trust | Senior Vice President, Head of Investor Strategy

Mr. Tanenbaum is Head of Investor Strategy for Starwood Property Trust. In this role, Mr. Tanenbaum is responsible for cultivating and managing the company’s relationships with the global investment and analyst communities.

Prior to joining Starwood Property Trust in 2014, Mr. Tanenbaum served as a Senior Analyst at Wesley Capital Management, a long/short real estate securities hedge fund. In this role, he generated investment ideas across the REIT, real estate operating company, specialty finance and homebuilding sectors. Mr. Tanenbaum previously served in senior sell-side equity research positions at FBR Capital Markets and MLV & Co.

Mr. Tanenbaum received a Bachelor of Science degree in Hotel Administration from Cornell University and a Master of Science degree in Real Estate, with a concentration in finance and investment, from the New York University Stern School of Business.


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Moderator: Rob Dusel: ‘06

KKR | Director, Real Estate Capital Markets

Based in New York, Mr. Dusel works as a member of the KKR Capital Markets team, focused on Real Estate. Prior to KKR, Mr. Dusel worked for three years at Hudson Advisors/Lone Star Funds arranging debt for the North American real estate fund. Mr. Dusel also previously worked in a capital markets capacity for Pyramid Management Group and in real estate acquisitions for Vico Capital, an Irish family office.

 Mr. Dusel serves on the Board of Directors for Minds Matter of New York City, an education non-profit that provides mentorship and college guidance to low income, high-achieving high school students.

 Mr. Dusel earned a Bachelor of Science in Industrial and Labor Relations from Cornell University and a Master of Philosophy in Land Economy from the University of Cambridge where he was a Cambridge Overseas Trust scholar.