Speaker Bios - 2016
Founder, Chairman | CEO Benchmark
Bassim is the founder, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Benchmark. His vision and direction lead the company to become a key player in the investment, development and management of real estate projects, with a multi-billion dollar portfolio across the MENA region.
Prior to Benchmark, Bassim was the co-head of Hines MENA, a global real estate development firm. Back in 1996, he founded Millennium Development, an international company that provides integrated planning, development and project management consulting services. Bassim acted as the chairman and CEO until end of 2006. Bassim also served as the Managing Director of Urban Associates, Chief Planner for the city of Arriyadh, Saudi Arabia, Senior Consultant to Merrill Lynch and the World Bank, as well as Chief Planner for the city of Boston. He is a member of the Board of Directors of several institutions across the United States and the Middle East.
Bassim holds a Bachelor degree in Architecture from the Beirut Arab University, Dual Master’s Degree in City Planning and Real Estate Development from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), and an MBA from the Sloan School of Management, MIT. Bassim has completed his qualifiers towards a PhD in Strategic Planning.
Co-CEO | Gensler
Diane Hoskins is one of two Gensler Co-CEOs, whose collaborative leadership model sets itself apart in the marketplace as a leading global Design firm through its innovation strategies. A hands-on leader, Diane oversees Gensler's global platform and its day-to-day operations, some 5,000+ people networked across 46 offices, serving clients in 120+ countries. She is Vice Chair of Gensler's Board of Directors and the catalyst for Gensler's Research program.
A Registered Architect, she graduated from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and holds a MBA from the Anderson Graduate School of Management at UCLA.
Diane received an Outstanding Impact Award from the Council of Real Estate Women and is both a Regent of the American Architectural Foundation and a Fellow of the American Institute of Architects. Her insights have appeared in the Financial Times, Harvard Business Review, The Washington Post and The Economist; and she was a featured speaker at Bloomberg BusinessWeek's CEO Conference.
Arnel Paciano Casanova
President and CEO and Vice-Chairman of the Board | Bases Conversion and Development Authority
Mr. Casanova has a diverse expertise focusing on public-private partnerships, real property development, urban planning, public infrastructure and utilities, finance, governance, social entrepreneurship, security, peace negotiations and mediation, and international relations. He leads BCDA, a $10-billion state-owned enterprise, in building modern urban districts such as the Philippines’ first and only smart, green, disaster-resilient metropolis—the 9,500 hectare Clark Green City. He took major leadership roles in all major property development projects and public-private partnerships that have established vibrant economic districts such as the 600 hectare Bonifacio Global City in Metro Manila and the Philippine’s longest and most modern 94 kilometer tollway, the Subic-Clark-Tarlac Expressway (SCTEX).
He served former President Fidel V. Ramos, as part of the peace panel that successfully negotiated peace with and recovered weapons of former military rebels involved in a series of bloody coup attempts against the late President Corazon Aquino. For this exemplary service, he was awarded the prestigious Philippine Legion of Honor Medal.
A staunch advocate of military reforms, Mr. Casanova testified on military corruption before the Feliciano Commission, a body created to investigate the “Oakwood Mutiny” in 2003. He won two landmark cases in the Philippine Supreme Court resulting in the recovery of government properties valued at approximately $1 billion which was misappropriated by a group of retired and active generals of the military.
He was the Executive Director for the Philippines of Asia Society, an international non-government organization promoting international relations between the US and Asia and among Asian countries themselves. He obtained his Master’s degree in Public Administration from Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government as a World Bank scholar and Mason Fellow. He is a graduate of the country's top university, the University of the Philippines (UP) earning degrees in Law, English studies, and Urban Planning. He teaches real estate law in the UP College of Law and was recognized as one of the most outstanding alumni of the UP School of Urban and Regional Planning.
Mr. Casanova is a reserve officer of the Philippine Navy and a member of the Philippine Army Governance Board. He serves in the boards of a number of corporations in the Philippines. He is a founding executive council member of the Urban Land Institute (ULI) in the Philippines and advises foreign leaders, urban developers and global institutions in urban redevelopment particularly in emerging economies.
Executive Director,North American Investment & Development | Fosun Property Holdings
Anna Leung is Executive Director in the North America Investment and Development division of Fosun Property Holdings, a property investments and management company based in Shanghai, China. Fosun holds a number of development and operation entities with investments covering the entire finance, healthcare, cultural, tourism, and logistics sectors to provide comprehensive service to meet development and construction demand for urban upgrades in China.
Globally, Fosun focuses on property development, landmark building and asset management company acquisition. In her capacity as Executive Director, Leung focuses on global real estate initiatives from strategic planning to execution of corporate M&A transactions. She is involved with sourcing, processing and closing large scale real estate transactions focusing on core, core-plus, value-add and development through either direct ownership or a JV partnership.
Leung holds a PhD in Building Construction and Master's degree in Real Estate from the University of Florida.
CEO | Soyak Holding
M. Emre Çamlıbel has 25 years of experience in project management and business development primarily focusing on the real estate sector. He currently serves as the Chief Executive Officer at the Soyak Holding.
M. Emre Çamlıbel is a board member of the Turkish Real Estate Investment Trusts Foundation (GYODER), Turkish Home Builder’s Association (KONUTDER), Istanbul Constructor’s Association (İNDER), a member of the Turkish Quality Association and an Executive Committee member of the ULI Turkish Chapter.
M. Emre Çamlıbel holds a Master of Science degree in Civil Engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and a Bachelor of Science degree in Civil Engineering from the Yildiz Technical University. He has a PhD degree from Istanbul Bogazici University department of Civil Engineering, and published articles on the areas of energy efficiency and savings optimisation modelling, energy systems and sustainability, as well as urban transformation structural modelling and financing.
He is a part time professor at Bogazici University Civil Engineering department and a frequent guest lecturer at MIT, Berkeley, UTSA and Columbia University.
He is a founding shareholder and board member of a real estate fund management company and independent board member of several international companies.
President & CEO | JLL México,
Chairman | JLL Latin America
As President and CEO of JLL Latin America, Mr. Azcue is responsible for directing the company operations in the Region, where JLL has more than 1,500 employees located primarily in Mexico, Brazil, Argentina, Venezuela, Costa Rica, Colombia, Panama, and Miami. In 1991, Mr. Azcue founded the LaSalle Partners Mexico Office (the predecessor of Jones Lang LaSalle Mexico) and has been the head of that country since then. He joined the Firm in 1981 and has served as leader of diverse project teams in major Latin-American assignments involving Tenant Representation, Project.
Prior to joining JLL, Mr. Azcue worked in the International Marketing Group of Credit Suisse First Boston in London, England and the Investments Division of the Central Bank of Mexico in Mexico City as an Investments Officer.
Mr. Azcue holds a Bachelors of Science Degree in Industrial Engineering having graduated Suma Cum Laude from the Universidad Iberoamericana in Mexico City. He also earned a Masters in Business Administration from The Stanford Graduate School of Business.
Gerente General | Urbanova
Harold Gardener is General Manager of Urbanova Inmobiliaria and a member of the Young Presidents' Organization.
Gardener graduated from Universidad del Pacífico with a Bachelors Degree in Business Administration and received his MBA from the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University.
Co-founder | Asgard Capital
Mr. Henríquez is Co-founder of Asgard Capital and Desarrolladora del Parque. The first one is a Boutique Found, and the second one is a family office. He has been a Real Estate Investor since year 2000. His investments are mainly related to Residential Developments (middle and high income). In the last ten years he has started several ventures related to Real Estate in Greater Mexico City Area.
Mr. Henríquez holds an Accounting degree from Iberoamericana University and an MBA from Harvard Business School.
Managing Director, London & Regional | Panama Pacifico
Henry has been the project lead in Panama from its very beginning in 2005, creating the winning proposal for London & Regional’s bid as master developer. At LRP, Henry manages oversight of the entire Panama Pacifico project and serves as the liaison between the ownership and the Government of Panama.
He is also the Principal of Summa Capital Management, a Director of GNB Sudameris Bank in Panama, a member of the Rotary Club of Panama and President of the Human Relations Committee of B’nai B’rith.
Henry holds a Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) in International Economics from Brandeis University, as well as an MBA from Columbia University.
CEO & Co-founder | Terranum
Alfredo Rizo is President and Co-founder of Terranum since 2013. His company is famous for Industrial and Logistic Real Estate investments. He lead the creation of the Joint Venture among the Santo Domingo family, Equity International and Cadillac Fairview. This J.V. created Terranum. He also participated in the first development of local REITs in Colombia.
From 1999 until April 2002, he worked at J. P. Morgan in New York and the Latin America Financial Institutions Group.
Alfredo is a graduate of the Universidad de los Andes in Industrial Engineering.
CEO | Investbridge Capital
Mark DeSario is Investbridge Capital’s (“IBC”) Chief Executive Officer. He is an American national who has spent the majority of his career in the financial services industry, including 17 years in the global asset and wealth management industry. Mr. DeSario is a certified public accountant, having spent seven years with Deloitte & Touch prior to joining Merrill Lynch Asset Management.
During his tenure with Merrill Lynch, Mr. DeSario held various positions in the Asset Management and Global Private Bank Divisions including that of Senior Vice President, International Business Development, where he spearheaded the build of local asset management companies in markets such as China, India, Indonesia, Australia, Brazil and Japan. As a senior executive of Merrill’s Private Bank, Mr. DeSario was responsible for the firm’s international wealth management platform, including the firm’s private equity and separate account investment activities.
In 2007 Mr. DeSario relocated to the UAE to join Landmark Properties, a regional leader in Real Estate, and developed the strategies for their expansion in the UAE and the broader MENA Region whilst establishing Landmark Advisory, a Real Estate research based consultancy practice. He ultimately moved to LRIM Investment Management, a sister company to Landmark and IBC’s parent company. In this role he took over and expanded the private equity real estate coverage to include intermediary capital funding. With the establishment of IBC in the DIFC, a DFSA regulated jurisdiction, Mr. DeSario has lead the group to expand its coverage in a variety of sectors throughout the GCC and MENA region. Most recently the group is focused of Eastern Africa, with a focus on Real Estate, Education and Energy.
Mr. DeSario is a graduate of the State University of New York at Binghamton where he received his degree in accounting and finance.
CEO | Delta Africa
Bronwyn holds a BCompt Degree from the University of South Africa, an Honours Degree in Accounting from the University of Durban and she is a qualified Chartered Accountant.
She is the Chief Operating Officer (“COO”) and previously Chief Investment Officer (“CIO”) of Delta SA, a REIT listed on the JSE with a portfolio of assets valued at R8 billion at 28 February 2015. She has been instrumental in growing the fund from R2.1 billion in 2012 to R8 billion by 28 February 2015 as well as in the establishment of a successful DMTN programme.
She has over ten years’ experience in the property sector with a specific focus on property ownership. Prior to joining Motseng in April 2009 as the CFO, Bronwyn was the Financial Director and joint founder of Universal Retail Construction Company. Bronwyn also filled the roll as the Financial and Operations Director of Universal Property Professionals, a development and property ownership company with a portfolio in excess of R12 billion
Laurus Development Partners
Carlo Matta has more than twenty years of experience in the property industry. In 2009, he set up the property development firm Laurus Development Partners with private equity group Actis. He spent the last five years developing commercial properties in Ghana, Nigeria with an aggregate value of $480M.
Before establishing Laurus Development Partners, Carlo spent eight years with Hines and was Managing Director at Hines Europe. Prior to Hines, Carlo was founder and principal of architecture and project management firm in Saigon, Vietnam.
He graduated from the School of Architecture in Turin and received an MBA from the McCombs School of Business at the University of Texas at Austin.
CEO | National Real Estate Co. (NREC)
Mr. Sidiqi joined NREC in 2012 with 10 years of experience in leading strategic initiatives in developed and emerging markets. At NREC, he is responsible for the development and implementation of the company’s strategic direction, and the management and growth of the company’s portfolio of real estate assets and developments across the Middle East and North Africa region.
Before joining NREC, he spent eight years with Agility Logistics KSC, where he led numerous acquisitions and held key roles in strategy and operations across the Middle East, the US, Europe and South Asia. Prior to that, he worked with Bain & Company where he advised Fortune 500 companies on strategy.
Mr. Sidiqi holds an MBA from the Wharton Business School, an MA in International Studies from University of Pennsylvania’s Lauder Institute, and a Bachelors degrees in Economics and Political Science from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
MD & Head of Real Estate Investments Americas | Canada Pension Plan Investment Board (CPPIB)
Peter Ballon is Managing Director, Head of Real Estate Investments, Americas for the Canada Pension Plan Investment Board. Mr. Ballon is responsible for CPPIB's real estate in the Americas which currently encompasses investments in Canada, the US, Mexico and Brazil.
Prior to his current role, Peter lead the investment teams for the US and Brazil. Mr. Ballon is also a member of CPPIB's Real estate Investment Committee which has oversight for CPPIB's global real estate investments. Mr. Ballon has over 20 years of commercial real estate experience. Prior to joining CPPIB in 2007, Peter worked with several leading real estate companies including Canderel, Brookfield and TrizecHahn.
Mr. Ballon holds a Bachelor of Commerce degree from McGill University and an MBA from the Ivey School of Business.
Senior Managing Partner & Global Head of Real Estate | Brookfield
Ric Clark is a Senior Managing Partner and the Chairman of Brookfield Property Group and Brookfield Property Partners. Under his leadership, the property group acquired Canary Wharf in London, expanded its investments to the multifamily, industrial, and hotel sectors, and extended its geographic footprint to India and China. As President and CEO of Brookfield Office Properties from 2002 to 2012, Mr. Clark spearheaded the re-positioning of the company into a global office business with the acquisition of the Hammerson office portfolio in London in 2012 as well as 18 Class A office properties in Australia in 2010.
Mr. Clark serves as a director on several of Brookfield's real estate affiliate company boards, including chairman of Rouse Properties, and board member of General Growth Properties, IDI Gazeley and Canary Wharf. He is on the board of directors of the Real Estate Roundtable, serves on the executive committee of the Real Estate Board of New York, and chairs the board of the National Eating Disorders Association.
Mr. Clark holds a Bachelor of Science in Business from the Indiana University of Pennsylvania.
CEO | AEW Europe
Rob Wilkinson is CEO of AEW Europe with overall responsibility for the management of the firm. He has over 20 years of experience in real estate and corporate finance. Rob has ultimate responsibility for defining and implementing the strategy of the firm. Since joining the firm in 2009, Rob has overseen over €15 billion in real estate transactions across Europe and has expanded the platform to include UK fund management capabilities. Rob is a member of a number of industry bodies and is the current Chairman of the Green Rating Alliance.
Rob was previously a Managing Director with the Goodman Group and previously held investment banking positions at UBS and Eurohypo.
He holds a degree in Law from the University of Cambridge.
Global Head of Real Estate | Abu Dhabi Investment Authority (ADIA)
Bill Schwab is the Global Head of Real Estate for Abu Dhabi Investment Authority. Within this capacity, he is responsible for private equity / debt and public equity / debt real estate investments globally. Investments include all part of the capital stack across all major real estate sectors and various ownership structures.
Prior to joining ADIA, Mr. Schwab was Managing Director at J.P. Morgan where he focused on EMEA real estate debt, mezzanine financings, preferred equity, distressed debt and non-performing loans. Before joining J.P. Morgan, Mr. Schwab was Director at Deutsche Bank and Vice-President at Goldman Sachs.
Mr. Schwab holds a Bachelors in Economics from MIT, an MBA from The Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania, a Certificate in Building Construction Technology from Pennsylvania State University and a Master's degree in Tax Law from Temple University.
Global Head, Client Capital Group | LaSalle Investment Management
Jon joined LaSalle in 2012 as Global Head of the Client Capital Group. He is responsible for leading LaSalle's global activities relating to capital raising, new product development, large-scale, cross-border strategic investments and marketing and communications.
Prior to joining LaSalle, Jon worked at AREA Property Partners as Senior Director responsible for client relationships, deal origination and strategic development. Prior to AREA, he spent 28 years at JP Morgan Chase, where he held a number of senior positions including Global Head of Real Estate Investment Banking and Head of sub-Saharan Africa.
Jon holds an MBA from Harvard and an AB in Economics from Dartmouth. He serves as Chair of the Cambridge Land Economy Advisory Board of the University of Cambridge, as a Trustee of the Urban Land Institute and as a member of the Board of Advisors of the John Sloan Dickey Center for International Understanding of Dartmouth.
International Chair, Real Estate Board, Cottonwood Management
Tinchuck Ng is the International Chair, Real Estate Board, Cottonwood Management. Prior to Cottonwood she was Head of Real Estate Business Development in the Asia Pacific Region for Aviva Investors and also ran her own real estate advisory company, Athena International Capital in Hong Kong. She previously held a number of senior management positions including Director of Real Estate Acquisitions at BlackRock where she covered the emerging and developing Asian markets, and Principal of the capital markets group at Taurus Investment Holdings, where she co-developed the firm's institutional fund management and institution business and co-led all institutional capital formation and large scale transactions for the company.
Ms. Ng started her real estate career as a project manager focusing on high-end residential developments in the greater Boston area. To date, she has closed 100+ assets, totaling over US$1.25 billion of real estate transactions globally in the US, Europe, and Asia.
Ms. Ng was trained as an architect and is a graduate of MIT and has her Masters in Architecture from Harvard University.
Principal | Europa Capital
Mr. Charles I.M. Graham is a Co-Founder, Principal, and Member of Investment Committee at Europa Capital. He is based in London and is responsible for acquisitions by the Europa Funds in Germany and Central Europe and for asset management of the investments. Mr. Graham is a part of the Middle and Central Europe team at the firm.
In 1979, he was employed at SAICO/Mitsui Fudosan joint venture in Saudi Arabia and Egypt. Mr. Graham was employed at Knowlton Realty Limited in Calgary, Alberta, and San Francisco. In 1984, he joined London & Edinburgh Trust plc to become Managing Director at its USA subsidiary, assembling a $500 million portfolio. In 1994, Mr. Graham returned to the United Kingdom to rejoin Sir John Beckwith in establishing a pan European investment business which culminated in the establishment of a United Kingdom mezzanine Fund and a French Real Estate Opportunity Fund. He is a council member of the Urban Land Institute and a Member of the US Pension Real Estate Association. Mr. Graham volunteers as the Chairman of the Endowment Committee of the Reading Real Estate Foundation.
He attended The University of Reading and holds a diploma from University Besancon.
CEO | MERLIN Properties
Mr. Clemente has over 20 years' experience as a real estate professional. He has worked at Garrigues, Bankers Trust REIB, DB Real Estate and RREEF, as Managing Director. Mr. Clemente has participated in transactions with an aggregate volume of approximately €5.0 billion across all property sections. These include the sale and leaseback of the Tree Portfolio, the largest real estate transaction executed in Europe in 2009.
During his tenure at RREEF, he was responsible for a team managing an asset portfolio of more than €3.0 billion, representing the full range of global funds advised by RREEF. This team also raised seven investment vehicles, of which two are still active, representing approximately €500 million of equity on behalf of Spanish private clients and family offices.
Mr. Clemente holds superior degrees in Law and in Economics & Business Administration, with a specialization in Finance, from ICADE (E-3), is a lecturer of the MRE programme at IE Business School and a member of the Spanish Council of the Urban Land Institute (ULI).
Head of Global Real Estate, US | UBS Realty Investors
Matthew Lynch is Head of Global Real Estate for UBS Realty Investors, the investment management business of UBS Global Asset Management, a position he has held since 2004. Also a member of the firm's investment committee since 1996, Matt has been its Chair since 2004. Mr. Lynch heads the US management committee and has been a member of the global management committee since its inception in 2002. He joined UBS in 1996 as general counsel and a member of the senior management team. In this role, Mr. Lynch had responsibility for legal and compliance issues, the development of products for the business, as well as assisting in the establishment of the company’s global real estate organization. He joined Aetna Life Insurance Company’s Law Department in 1994 as counsel in the Real Estate Investment Practice Group, and was previously a partner in the Boston law firm of Hale and Dorr, practicing Real Estate and Environmental law for 10 years.
Mr. Lynch is a past member of the board of directors of the National Association of Real Estate Investment Managers (NAREIM), a member of the National Council of Real Estate Investment Fiduciaries (NCREIF), the Pension Real Estate Association (PREA), the Real Estate Roundtable, and the Real Estate Finance Association (REFA). He is admitted to practice law in Connecticut and Massachusetts.
Vice President | Independencia Asset Management
Brian Antonellis joined Independencia Asset Management In March 2013 as a Vice President, managing all assets and acquisitions on the East Coast of the United States. Independencia manages the largest publicly traded real estate fund in Chile, “Fondo Rentas Inmobiliarias”, and
in 2012 launched the first REIT in Uruguay. The firm invests in commercial Real Estate throughout the U.S., Chile and Uruguay.
Prior to joining Independencia, Brian was a Supervising Senior Accountant at PKF, P.C. a public accounting firm, where he was responsible for multiple audits including, but not limited to, national real estate management companies, small nonprofits, multiple hotel properties and multi-million dollar distribution companies. He performed government compliance audits for Unites States Air Force bases in the U.S. and abroad, as well as provided support for sales and acquisitions of hotel and office properties for his clients, including accounting procedures under FAS 141 and 141(R) for acquisitions and review of intangible valuations.
Brian holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Accounting from the Isenberg School of Management at the University of Massachusetts Amherst.
Dr. Ryan C.C. Chin
CEO | Optimus Ride
Former Managing Director & Research Scientist, City Science Initiative | MIT Media Lab
Dr. Ryan Chin is a leading expert in the area of Smart Cities and urban mobility systems. Dr. Chin was the Managing Director of the City Scienct Initiative at the MIT Media Lab. He researched Autonomous Mobility-on-Demand Systems - a network of self-driving, shared-use, electric vehicles (EVs). He developed EVs including the CityCar - a foldable, electric, two-person vehicle which was named "Automotive Invention of the Year" in 2007.
Dr. Chin advises industry and government agencies on Smart Cities innovations. He is a member of the White House PCAST's (President's Council of Advisors on Science and Technology) working group and teaches a Professional Education course "Beyond Smart Cities" at MIT. Dr. Chin has won awards for his research including the Katerva Award (2014) and the 100K Buckminster Fuller Challenge (2009).
He received at MIT his PhD (2012) and MS (2004) in Media Arts and Sciences and a MArch (2000) in Architecture. He earned both his BCE and BSArch from the Catholic University of America (1997).
Prof. Joseph Paradiso
Director, Responsive Environments Group
Co-Director, Things That Think Consortium | MIT Media Lab
Joseph Paradiso directs the Responsive Environments group, which explores how sensor networks augment and mediate human experience, interaction and perception. In addition, he co-directs the Things That Think Consortium, a group of industry sponsors and Media Lab researchers who explore the extreme fringe of embedded computation, communication and sensing.
After two years developing precision drift chambers at the Lab for High Energy Physics at ETH in Zurich, he joined the Draper Laboratory, where his research encompassed spacecraft control systems, image processing algorithms, underwater sonar, and precision alignment sensors for large high-energy physics detectors. He joined the Media Lab in 1994, where his current research interests include embedded sensing systems and sensor networks, wearable and body sensor networks, energy harvesting and power management for embedded human-computer interfaces, and interactive media.
After receiving a BS in electrical engineering and physics summa cum laude from Tufts University, Paradiso became a K.T. Compton fellow at the Lab for Nuclear Science at MIT, receiving his PhD in physics there for research conducted at CERN in Geneva.