June 13, 2018 – Despite setbacks in certain locales, the real estate industry has bounced back from many of its problems in recent years. But a dire need for executive talent in the field still remains. In particular demand, recruiters say, are executives who survived the last downturn and who now have a vision for better times ahead. To help meet that need, Lisberg Executive Search in Denmark has added Henrik Rohde as partner to focus on the real estate sector.
Mr. Rohde has 18 years of experience in the real estate industry, having worked as CFO for an international real estate investment company and as senior asset manager for international fund- and asset managers. He was previously a partner and head of KPMG Corporate Finance in Denmark and an M&A director at Nordea Corporate Finance.
In his new role, Mr. Rohde will assist in finding, selecting and recruiting executives, managers and specialists for the real estate industry. He will be responsible for serving property companies, development companies, investment and asset managers, equity funds and service and consulting companies.
“The strong growth in property investments, including a high proportion of cross-border transactions and new foreign ownership in Denmark, has brought an internationalization and professionalization of the real estate industry,” Lisberg said. “It has also led to the requirement of establishing and developing local organizations with the best suitable executives, managers and specialists.”
“The real estate industry has already experienced a strong development in the competency levels required to service its investors, and the requirements for industry executives and specialists will be increasing in the years ahead in order to further exploit and develop the assets for value-add purposes,” the firm said.
Downturn Leads to Opportunity
According to the “Real Estate Hiring Forecast” report, recently released by recruiters Ferguson Partners, 93 percent of the largest real estate companies forecast either an increase in hiring in 2018 or that they would maintain hiring at their current levels. In previous years, there was much higher demand for executives who could either invest or raise capital. The new report found a greater focus on individuals who can drive value and cash flow in assets.
While real estate is still largely a local business and sector, more key players are starting to adopt a regional focus across borders, looking to apply development processes to a dynamic and challenging industry, according to Egon Zehnder. As a result, these global and regional players want leaders with the competence and skills to successfully operate in and cope with such a demanding, competitive and at times crowded environment.
To thrive in this new environment, executives will need an exceptional understanding and knowledge of the real estate market. Of particular importance will be awareness of fundamentals, influencers, dependency and dynamics, said Egon Zehnder, as well as a regional/ international/ cross-cultural leadership mindset, robust risk management skills and contingency planning know-how. Strong organizational and stakeholder leadership combined with a fast-paced and forward-thinking perspective on development and scenario planning will allow real estate leaders to structure unique deals that will maintain viability and profitability in dynamic, fluid markets, the recruitment firm said.
Search Firms Stepping Up
Search firms have been bulking up their services to the real estate sector in recent month. Here are a few examples from the Hunt Scanlon Media archives:
RETS Associates has expanded into the residential real estate sector. The firm has hired John Colelli, a veteran industry professional who will serve as a director and key driver in the placement of residential real-estate positions, ranging from mid- and senior-level management to division presidents.
A new executive recruitment firm, Hanning Recruitment, has been launched in the U.K. It is headed by Toby Speke and backed by Rory Penn and Thomas van Straubenzee of the London agency VanHan. Headquartered in Mayfair, the firm will focus on the residential and commercial property sectors.
Odgers Berndtson has appointed Robert Baron as partner and national practice leader, real estate & infrastructure. Mr. Baron leads the firm’s efforts on behalf of developers, investors, lenders, occupiers and service providers in the real estate and physical infrastructure sectors.
London-headquartered executive search firm Sheffield Haworth expanded with the addition of Emily Von Kohorn as a managing director in the firm’s global real estate practice. Based in New York, she brings a venerable background in real estate asset management, development, capital raising and investor relations.
Contributed by Scott A. Scanlon, Editor-in-Chief; Dale M. Zupsansky, Managing Editor; Stephen Sawicki, Managing Editor; and Will Schatz, Managing Editor – Hunt Scanlon Media