July 13, 2017 – Despite setbacks in certain locales, the real estate industry has bounced back from many of its problems in recent years. But a dire need still remains for executive talent in the field. In particular demand, recruiters say, are executives who have been through the last downturn but who now have a vision for better times ahead.
To help meet that need, London-headquartered executive search firm Sheffield Haworth has 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.
Serving a Growing Sector
“Our expertise in real estate and real assets is an essential component of the support we can bring to our clients,” said Julian Bell, head of Sheffield Haworth USA. “We are committed to providing a first-class service in this space globally.”
Jennifer Novack, managing director and head of the firm’s global real estate practice, said the hire looks like an ideal fit. “We are delighted to have Emily joining us, as we believe her industry experience will complement our current capabilities, within both the real estate practice and the broader firm,” she said.
Ms. Von Kohorn, who has worked in New York and Turkey, previously advised real estate companies on raising capital and asset management. Prior to founding her own business, she held roles at Tishman Speyer and Fir Tree Partners. Her experience spans North America, South America and Europe. Ms. Von Kohorn graduated from Harvard University with a bachelor’s degree in history and literature and Columbia Graduate School of Business with an MBA in real estate and finance.
Sheffield Haworth’s real estate practice is built around the team’s expertise in the sector. Every consultant brings at least 10 years’ experience in real estate, spanning executive search as well as industry roles in asset management, development, capital raising and investor relations. The team’s track record includes private and public clients. Its customers include real estate private equity firms, debt funds, REITs, owner-operators, developers, investment managers, sovereign wealth funds, corporate real estate teams and investment banks.
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Real Estate Sector
After years of drought, capital is again flooding into real estate. Investors other than the largest private equity firms and REITs now have access to capital. Markets like New York, Hong Kong and London which rebounded the quickest from the financial crisis, remain robust. And as economic development and real estate increasingly come back, organizations are finding it challenging to fill mid- to senior-level positions, said recruiters.
According to the “Real Estate Hiring Forecast” report released by recruiters Ferguson Partners, 93 percent of the largest real-estate companies either forecast an increase in hiring or maintaining their same level of hiring. In prior years, demand was higher for executives who could either invest or raise capital. This year’s report found 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 landscape, 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.
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