RECM Conference 2021

SPEAKERS

Speakers to be confirmed

Co-Chairs and Planning Committee Members

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John M. Ferguson
Partner and Co-Chair of the Real Estate Private Investment Funds Practice, Goodwin

John Ferguson, a partner in the firm’s Business Law Department, is the co-chair of its Real Estate Investment Funds Group. Mr. Ferguson represents a wide range of clients in forming private investment funds, partnerships, joint ventures and other transaction structures, and in acquisition, financing, restructuring and disposition transactions.

Mr. Ferguson’s experience in the private investment fund area includes real estate, infrastructure, debt and credit, asset-backed securities, private equity and hedge funds and funds-of-funds. His experience focuses on establishing commingled funds, clubs and investment programs, joint ventures and separate accounts, organizing fund sponsor and manager entities, and advising fund managers with respect to employee compensation structures. This work includes US and international securities offerings, tax and regulatory-related structuring, and investment manager M&A transactions.

Mr. Ferguson’s experience within the real estate industry is extensive and multi-faceted, and includes for example the representation of: a global wealth management firm in the structuring and implementation of a several billion dollar domestic and international real estate investment program; financial and operating parties in both the formation and unwinding of joint venture transactions; portfolio and single asset acquisitions, financings (equity and secured, unsecured, and mezzanine debt) and dispositions; a NYSE-listed upREIT in a going-private transaction and a related exchange offer to its operating partnership unitholders; and investment funds as borrowers under subscription-secured credit facilities.

Mr. Ferguson earned his J.D. from the Emory University School of Law, 1998 and his B.S. from Boston University.

Chris Mayer
Christopher J. Mayer
Paul Milstein Professor of Real Estate; Professor of Finance Co-Director, Paul Milstein Center for Real Estate, Columbia Business School

Christopher Mayer’s research explores a variety of topics in real estate and financial markets, including housing cycles, mortgage markets, debt securitization, and commercial real estate valuation. Professor Mayer is also CEO of Longbridge Financial, an innovative reverse mortgage company focused on delivering responsible home equity products to older Americans to help finance retirement. Mayer serves as a research associate at the National Bureau of Economic Research, a director of the National Reverse Mortgage Lenders Association, and a member of the Academic Advisory Boards for Standard and Poor's and the Housing Policy Center at the Urban Institute.

Mayer is active in the media and advising policymakers, testifying six times before committees of the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives, writing a paper for the Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission, and authoring numerous op-ed articles in major publications. He previously served as senior vice dean at Columbia Business School and held positions at the Wharton School, the University of Michigan, Harvard Business School, and the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston. He earned a BS in Math and Economics from the University of Rochester with highest honors and a PhD in Economics from MIT.

Mark Opper
Mark Opper
Partner, Goodwin

Mark Opper is a partner in the Business Law Department at Goodwin and a member of the firm’s nationally recognized Real Estate Industry group and REITs and Real Estate M&A practice. He also participates in the firm’s Capital Markets, Public M&A/Corporate Governance and Private Investment Funds practices.

Mr. Opper has extensive transactional experience advising public and private companies in mergers and acquisitions and securities offerings, including IPOs and follow-on and 144A offerings, with a particular focus on REITs and real estate operating companies. He also regularly advises public companies on corporate governance matters and private real estate investment funds in connection with the fund formation process and ongoing governance and management matters.

Mr. Opper earned his J.D. from the University of Pennsylvania, and his B.A. from Georgetown University.

David Sherman
David M. Sherman '82
Senior Advisor and Co-Founder, Metropolitan Real Estate and Co-Director, Paul Milstein Center for Real Estate, Columbia Business School

David Sherman is senior advisor and chairman of the Investment Committee at Metropolitan, a real estate investment management company that he co-founded in 2002. Sherman has more than 30 years of real estate investment, finance and analytical experience. In 2000, Mr. Sherman founded D. Sherman & Company, Inc., an advisory firm focused on strategic issues and transactions in the real estate securities industry.

Previously, Sherman was managing director of Salomon Smith Barney’s REIT research team, which covered more than 60 stocks and supported the firm’s $15 billion of REIT offering activity. At Smith Barney, Mr. Sherman created a new approach to evaluate global real estate securities and initiated global coverage of the sector. Sherman also held other positions in real estate finance, investment banking, and strategic planning at Smith Barney, The Harlan Company, First Boston, and Paine Webber, including acting as the Chief Financial Officer of Paine Webber Properties, a family of real estate funds with over $500 million in property investments.

For seven years, Sherman was an adjunct professor of Real Estate Finance at Columbia Business School. He is also the former chairman of the Pension Real Estate Association (PREA) Institute Committee. He received an A.B. in Mathematical Economics (magna cum laude) from Brown University and an M.B.A. in Finance from Columbia Business School.