• Convene Conference Center
  • October 29, 2018

Keynote Speaker

Scott Rechler
Chief Executive Officer and Chairman - RXR Realty LLC

Scott Rechler is the Chief Executive Officer and Chairman of RXR Realty LLC ("RXR"), a multi-billion dollar private real estate company which was formed subsequent to the sale of Reckson Associates Realty Corp ("Reckson") to SL Green in January 2007, one of the largest public Real Estate management buyouts in REIT history.

Mr. Rechler served as Chief Executive Officer and Chairman of the Board during Reckson's dynamic growth throughout New York City, Long Island, New Jersey, Westchester and Connecticut. Mr. Rechler was the architect of Reckson's $300 million IPO in 1995 and $6.0 billion sale in 2007 generating over 700% total return to Reckson shareholders.

Since its formation in January 2007, Mr. Rechler has led RXR in becoming one of the largest owners, managers, and developers in New York City and the surrounding region. The RXR platform manages 74 commercial real estate properties and investments with an aggregate gross asset value of approximately $17.7 billion, comprising approximately 23.7 million square feet of commercial operating properties and approximately 6,000 multi-family and for sale units in various stages of development in the New York Metropolitan area as of September 30, 2017, adjusted for transactions through October 18, 2017.

In June 2011, Mr. Rechler was appointed by New York Governor Andrew Cuomo to serve on the Board of Commissioners of the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, and served on such Board until October 2016. During his Board tenure Mr. Rechler served as Vice Chairman of such Board, and as Chairman of the Port Authority's Capital Planning Committee with responsibility for the Port's $30 billion capital budget, including the World Trade Center redevelopment. In May 2013, Mr. Rechler was appointed to represent Governor Cuomo on the Board of The National September 11 Memorial & Museum at the World Trade Center Foundation, Inc. In June 2017, Mr. Rechler was appointed by Gov. Cuomo to serve on the Board of the Metropolitan Transportation Authority.

Mr. Rechler prides himself on enhancing the communities where RXR operates. As such, he serves as Chairman of the Regional Plan Association, is a member of the Real Estate Board of New York, a Board member of The Feinstein Institute for Medical Research, and a member of the NYU Real Estate Institute Advisory Committee. In addition, Mr. Rechler serves on the Board of many of the region's top cultural institutions such as the Tribeca Film Institute where he serves as its co-Chairman of the Board, 9/11 Memorial & Museum Board of Directors, serving as Co-Chair of the Finance & Investment Committee, the Long Island Children's Museum, and the Performing Arts Center at the World Trade Center. He also serves on the Board of Directors for the Drum Major Institute and as Chairman of the Center for Social Innovation.

Mr. Rechler is a graduate of Clark University. He also earned a Masters of Science degree in Real Estate at the New York University Schack Institute.


James Allen
Managing Director and Fund Chief Financial Officer, Starwood Capital Group

James Allen is a Managing Director and Fund Chief Financial Officer at Starwood Capital Group. In this role, he is responsible for all fund financial operations and reporting for the Firm.

Prior to joining Starwood Capital in 2010, Mr. Allen was the Director and CFO of the DLJ Real Estate Capital Partners Group. In this role, he was responsible for all finance, accounting, investor reporting, tax, treasury and compliance activities for the firm's funds. Before that, Mr. Allen was the Director and Controller for UBS Real Estate Asset Management Group. Mr. Allen began his career at Ernst & Young, where he was an audit manager in the firm's New York financial services office, with a specialization in real estate.

Mr. Allen earned a B.S. degree in business from Fordham University. He is a CPA, and a member of the American Institute of CPAs and New York State Society of CPAs.

Richard G. Brace Jr.
Director, AEW Capital Management, L.P.

Mr. Brace is a Director of the firm and a senior professional in AEW Research, the firm’s in-house research group. With 29 years of experience in applied market research, Mr. Brace has primary responsibility for providing strategic support and risk assessment in asset and portfolio management decisions for the firm’s senior housing and opportunistic investment funds. Mr. Brace joined AEW in 2007, after eight years with CBRE Econometric Advisors (formerly Torto Wheaton Research) in Boston, where he was Senior Vice President and Director of Investment Strategy services.

Previously, he was Research Director at AMRESCO, Inc., supporting real estate and capital markets needs for the firm and its subsidiaries. He is active in a number of professional associations, including Counselors of Real Estate (CRE), Urban Land Institute (ULI), National Council of Real Estate Investment Fiduciaries (NCREIF) and American Seniors Housing Association (ASHA) as well as a frequent speaker at industry events. Mr. Brace also held a position earlier in his career with AEW. Mr. Brace is a graduate of Dartmouth College (A.B. Economics) and a CFA charter holder.

Frederick N. Cooper
Senior Vice President, Finance, International Development and Investor Relations, Toll Brothers, Inc.

Toll Brothers, Inc. (Tollbrothers.com) (NYSE: TOL) is a Fortune 500 Company, the leading builder of luxury homes in the U.S. and one the nation's largest land developers. The Company began business in 1967 and went public on the New York Stock Exchange in 1986. Toll Brothers serves move-up, empty-nester, active-adult and second-home buyers, as well as renters, in suburban and urban markets in 22 states across the U.S. and in Washington, D.C. In 2018, Fortune magazine named Toll Brothers the World's Most Admired Home Building Company, the fourth year in a row it has been so honored.

Fred Cooper joined Toll Brothers in 1993 to establish its Finance and Investor Relations Departments. As the firm's in-house investment bank, the team he leads is responsible for Toll's capital markets and investor relations activities, as well as its partnering relationships with major U.S. and international financial and development institutions. Since formation, the group has raised over $15 billion from U.S., European and Asian banks, the public capital markets and institutional partners. In addition to capital raising, they advise on complex project structuring, joint ventures, corporate mergers and acquisitions and major property acquisitions.

Fred has been financial point for Toll's expansion into the urban high-rise condo business through Toll Brothers City Living, which has grown into an operation of over 45 buildings and 5,500 units.

He also has been financial point for Toll's expansion into the rental apartment business through Toll Brothers Apartment Living, which now controls $3 billion in assets in a pipeline of completed and in-development projects totaling over 14,000 units. He also has overseen Toll Brothers' development of international relationships in European, Asian, Latin American, and Middle Eastern markets.

From 1989 to 1993, Fred was Director of Corporate Finance and Planning at DKM Properties Corp., the real estate arm of the Dyson-Kissner-Moran Corporation, one of the nation's largest private companies. From 1984 to 1989, he was Senior Vice President and a member of the Executive Committee of the Financial Services Corporation, New York City's economic development bank. From 1980 to 1983 he worked in community-based affordable housing and economic development in the South Bronx and Brooklyn, New York.

He holds an A.B. from Brown University and a Master of Public Policy in finance and international development from Harvard University's Kennedy School of Government.

Daniel Levy
Partner, Ashkenazy Acquisition Corp

Daniel Levy is a Partner at Ashkenazy Acquisition Corp (AAC). Mr. Levy has over 15 years of experience and is responsible for AAC's acquisitions and financing efforts with a focus in New York and other major metro markets. Mr. Levy has been an integral part of growing AAC's nationwide portfolio to over 13 million square feet, consisting over 100 properties and valued at more than $12 billion. Mr. Levy oversees and manages the company's existing portfolio including retail, office and hospitality assets.

Mr. Levy graduated from Indiana University, Kelley School of Business and earned his Juris Doctor from Hofstra University School of Law.

Sujan Patel
Managing Director and Co-Head of US Investment Management, Colony Capital, Inc.

Mr. Patel is based in New York and is responsible for overseeing the sourcing, structuring and execution of Colony's opportunistic equity, debt and strategic investments across all asset types and geographies. In addition, he serves as the Chief Financial Officer of Colony Credit Real Estate, Inc., a publicly traded commercial real estate credit REIT managed by Colony with approximately $5Bn of assets under management.

Prior to the merger of Colony and NorthStar Asset Management Group (NorthStar) in January 2017, Mr. Patel was Managing Director and Co-Head of Investments at NorthStar where he was directly involved in or oversaw $21Bn+ of closed transactions. Prior to joining NorthStar in 2007, Mr. Patel was with Thayer Lodging Group, a lodging dedicated private equity firm, focusing on all aspects of sourcing, acquiring, financing and disposing of over $2Bn of hotel investments.

Mr. Patel began his career at Morgan Stanley in their investment banking division based in New York. Mr. Patel received a BA in Engineering Sciences modified with Economics from Dartmouth College, where he is a member of the Founders Circle for the Magnuson Family Center for Entrepreneurship. He serves on the Advisory Board of the NYU Schack Institute of Real Estate and is a member of the Board of Advisors of the Graaskamp Center for Real Estate at the Wisconsin School of Business.

In addition, Mr. Patel is involved in several real estate industry organizations including being a Vice Chair of the ULI Global Exchange Council and is a frequent speaker at industry conferences and seminars. Mr. Patel was named by the Commercial Observer in March 2014 as a member of its "Power 100" list honoring top commercial real estate professionals.

Gijs Plantinga
Director Northern American Investments, Bouwinvest

Since 2009, Gijs Plantinga is responsible for the real estate portfolio across the Atlantic as Director Northern American Investments at Bouwinvest. In this role, he has sourced more than $1 billion in real estate investments and oversees an integrated portfolio comprising of public REITs and private fund investments and joint ventures. Previously he oversaw a portfolio of over USD 2 billion of both listed and unlisted international real estate investments at Mn Services, prior to which he served as Senior Portfolio Manager Asia-Pacific/Americas at the corporate real estate department of the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Gijs holds an MSc in Real Estate Management of the Delft University of Technology and was member of the AFIRE Board of Directors from 2014 - 2016. He is member of ULI and the Development Affinity Group of PREA.

Nadir Settles
Managing Director, Sr. Regional Head, New York Office Investments

Nadir has over 12 years of investment management experience in various positions from asset management, acquisitions, and product development. Nadir is responsible for all aspects of New York office real estate acquisitions. Prior to joining TH Real Estate in 2012, Nadir was involved in both asset management and acquisitions roles at Silverstein Properties and RLJ development Urban Lodging Trust (formally RLJ Development LLC). Nadir holds a Master of Business Administration from Villanova School of Business, a Master of Science in Real Estate Finance from New York University, and a Bachelors of Business and Business Administration from St. John's University.

Jonathan Schultz
Co-Founder and Managing Principal, Onyx Equities

Real estate and CRE technology investor, Jon Schultz has combined his passions for real estate and technology as the Co-Founder of Onyx Equities. Through Jon's vision and creativity, Onyx has become one of the most diversified and active real estate investment, management and property service organizations in the Tri-State area. He has been instrumental in the capital-raising initiatives via Onyx investment vehicles. Under Jon's leadership, Onyx has embraced innovations that few other real estate companies have adopted – transforming nearly every aspect of the company's operations.

A serial blogger and authentic public speaker, Jon has also helped foster a new culture of tech-savviness and awareness in the commercial real estate space. Sharing his thoughts and experiences in everything from mentorship to real estate technologies, his weekly blogs and often outspoken social media feed have landed him on numerous "Top Influencer" lists in both the real estate and CRE tech space.

Jon is a board member of the Big Apple chapter of YPO, the premier network of chief executives and business leaders and is a founding board member of the "Award of Courage" foundation.  In this role, he raised significant funds for Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center and is a past recipient of their Humanitarian Award. His philanthropic efforts are now a significant part of his professional and personal life. Jonathan is also a member and Treasurer of the Riverview Medical Center Foundation Board of Trustees which serves the Hackensack Meridian Health Network. Jon also sits on the board of a publicly traded company in the technology arena and is a member of Mindaligned, a collective impact initiative to create arts-engaged schools.

Daniel Vitulli
Partner-in-Charge, Real Estate Group, Marcum LLP

Daniel Vitulli is a Partner in the Firm's New York office and National Partner-in-Charge, Real Estate group. Mr. Vitulli has over 20 years of diversified real estate experience including broad-based financial, accounting, and SEC experience, as well as expertise in all property types including retail, office, residential, hospitality, and industrial.

Mr. Vitulli's responsibilities include financial statement audits, securitizations, and consultation regarding fair value reporting. He also handles investment company audits, agreed upon procedures reports, regulated real estate project audits, reviews and compilations, and analysis of public filings.

Prior to joining Marcum, Mr. Vitulli was managing partner of Cornerstone Accounting Group LLP, based in New York. He oversaw operations for the firm's New York and Roseland, NJ offices. Mr. Vitulli also has experience in the New York Real Estate Audit and Business Assurance Services Group of a "Big 4" accounting firm, where he focused on auditing, mortgage-backed securitizations, and mergers and acquisitions of publicly traded REITs.

Isaac Zion
Co-Chief Investment Officer, SL Green Realty Corp.

Isaac Zion, Co-Chief Investment Officer, joined SL Green in January 2007 as a Managing Director and as co-head of the company’s Investments Group along with having overall responsibility for and being head of SL Green’s suburban division/portfolio. Mr. Zion has been the lead on property acquisitions, dispositions, and joint ventures. Over his career, he has played a senior role in over $30 billion of investment activity, including some of New York City's largest property transactions, and in over 15 million square feet of leasing. Prior to joining SL Green, Mr. Zion was a Managing Director at Tishman Speyer, responsible for office acquisitions and dispositions in the New York metropolitan region from 2004 through 2006. Upon joining Tishman Speyer in 2002, Mr. Zion was responsible for the leasing and marketing efforts of the company’s portfolio in New York City. Previously, Mr. Zion was a director in Insignia/ESG’s (now CBRE) Consulting Group and worked on large-scale leasing assignments from a tenant representative perspective. Mr. Zion holds a Bachelor of Science in management/finance from Binghamton University and an MBA from New York University. Mr. Zion is a member of REBNY, ULI, and an active participant in NYU’s Career Advisory Program. Mr. Zion graduated from the David Rockefeller Fellows Program, a program sponsored by the Partnership for New York City, in 2006. Mr. Zion was also selected by Real Estate Forum for inclusion in the 2010 national list of “40 Under 40” in real estate. Mr. Zion is also a founding member of the Center for Real Estate Finance Research at NYU’s Stern School of Business. Additionally, Mr. Zion is a member of the 9/11 Memorial Visionary Circle's Leadership and a board member of Hailey’s Hope Foundation.

David Zobel
Executive Vice President and Head of Acquisitions, Paramount

Mr. Zobel joined Paramount in 2008 and currently serves as Executive Vice President and Head of Acquisitions.  In this role, Mr. Zobel oversees all aspects of acquisitions and dispositions for the company's equity and debt investment platforms. Mr. Zobel also spearheads the company's private capital markets efforts, where he is responsible for fund formation, joint ventures, and other strategic partnerships. In his time at Paramount, Mr. Zobel has completed over $9 billion of transactions.  Prior to joining Paramount, Mr. Zobel worked at Credit Suisse, where he specialized in real estate debt placement.  Mr. Zobel is a member of the Samuel Zell and Robert Lurie Real Estate Center at the Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania and serves on the board of WIN Partners, a not-for-profit organization dedicated to breaking the cycle of homelessness for families living in New York City

Mr. Zobel graduated Magna Cum Laude from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania with a Bachelor of Science degree in Economics and a concentration in Finance.