RECM Conference 2021

Keynote + Featured Speakers

Annemarie DiCola
CEO, Trepp LLC

Annemarie DiCola, Esq., CEO of Trepp LLC, spearheads Trepp’s business as the global leader in the CMBS industry, and has expanded Trepp’s expertise and service offerings into the broader CRE Finance, Banking and Corporate Credit CLO sectors. Under her leadership, Trepp acquired Foresight Analytics, InvestCap Advisors, REITCafe, Commercial Real Estate Direct, Codean and Cerulean, and has developed a number of products aimed at leveraging Trepp’s depth in CRE finance and analytics.

Ms. DiCola recently served a second term as Chair of the CRE Finance Council (CREFC), the trade association for the $3.8 trillion commercial real estate finance industry. Actively involved in CREFC leadership since its inception, she served as its first woman Chair and received the CREFC Founder’s Award. She currently serves on the CREFC Board of Governors and the CREFC Executive Committee.

She serves on the Advisory Board of the NYU Stern Center for Commercial Real Estate Finance Research, the President’s Council of the Real Estate Roundtable, and is a member of the Partnership for New York City.

Ms. DiCola served as a member of the Board of Directors of the Gerber Life Insurance Company, a subsidiary of Nestlé S.A., until the acquisition of Gerber by Western and Southern Financial Group.  Other past service includes the Board of Directors of the New York Chapter of Commercial Real Estate Women (CREW), as well as the Corporate Responsibility Committee of the Daily Mail and General Trust (DMGT), Trepp’s corporate parent.

Ms. DiCola is an acknowledged voice in the CRE finance industry, highlighted by Sokol Media as a “Top Woman in Real Estate” and by Real Estate Forum Magazine as a “Woman of Influence.” She has been profiled by The New York Times, interviewed on CNBC, and lauded by the Women’s Venture Fund. Ms. DiCola was the Editor-in-Chief of the inaugural CMBS E-Primer, the electronic publication of CREFC designed for training in CMBS. She is a frequent speaker at industry events.

Ms. DiCola graduated from the Harvard Business School Advanced Management Program and holds a Juris Doctor degree from the New York University School of Law. She received her BA from Fordham University, where she maintained a Presidential Scholarship and graduated Phi Beta Kappa, summa cum laude in cursu honorum.

Sonny Kalsi
Chief Executive Officer, BentallGreenOak
Joseph Margolis
Joseph D. Margolis
Chief Executive Officer, Extra Space Storage Inc.
Joseph D. Margolis has served as the Chief Executive Officer of Extra Space Storage since January 1, 2017. Prior to that he was Executive Vice President and Chief Investment Officer from July 2015 until December 2016. Previously, Mr. Margolis served as a member of the Company’s board of directors from February 2005 until July 2015. From 2011 until July 2015, he also was Senior Managing Director and Partner at Penzance Properties, a vertically integrated owner, operator and developer of office and other properties in the Washington, D.C. metro area. Previously, Mr. Margolis was a co-founding partner of Arsenal Real Estate Funds, a private real estate investment management firm, from 2004 through 2011. Before forming Arsenal in 2004, Mr. Margolis held senior positions from 1992 to 2004 at Prudential Real Estate Investors in portfolio management, capital markets and as General Counsel. Before that, Mr. Margolis worked for The Prudential Insurance Company of America as in-house real estate counsel from 1988 through 1992, and as a real estate associate at the law firm of Nutter, McClennen & Fish from 1986 through 1988. Mr. Margolis is a graduate of Harvard College and Columbia University School of Law.


Anar Chudgar
Anar Chudgar
Managing Director, Artemis Real Estate Partners

Ms. Anar Chudgar is a Managing Director and Head of the Income and Growth Fund and sits on the Investment Committee. Ms. Chudgar joined Artemis in 2019 and is based in New York City. Ms. Chudgar is responsible for developing and implementing the acquisition and asset management strategies for Artemis’ Income and Growth Fund.

Prior to joining Artemis, Ms. Chudgar spent the last 9 years as a Partner at GCM Grosvenor, where she helped co-lead the creation and growth of the $3.0 billion real estate platform, expanding the business in 2012 from fund investments into joint ventures, co-investments and seed investments and growing the team. She has closed on $1.7 billion in joint venture real estate transactions in North America and Europe spanning both equity and debt, leading all aspects of investment management including transaction sourcing and execution, asset management, portfolio management and capital raising. Prior to that, Ms. Chudgar was a Principal in Alternative Investments at Credit Suisse Group AG, and also held positions at Onex Real Estate Partners, iStar Financial, Inc., and began her career at JP Morgan Chase. Anar graduated magna cum laude from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania. She is a member of the Board of Spark Youth and on the Board of Overseers for the Annenberg Center for the University of Pennsylvania. Additionally, she is a member of New York Women Executives in Real Estate (WX) and a member of the UDMUC green council at the Urban Land Institute.

David Hodes
David Hodes
Founder and Co-Managing Partner, Hodes Weill & Associates
David Hodes is a Founder and Co-Managing Partner of Hodes Weill & Associates, a global real estate advisory boutique with offices in New York, London and Hong Kong. He is a member of the firm’s Operating Committee and sits on the Investment Committee for Tunbridge Partners, an affiliate focused on investing in asset and fund management businesses. Previously, David co-headed the Real Estate Investments Group at Credit Suisse, where he and Doug Weill oversaw global real estate investment businesses that comprised over $40 billion of AUM on behalf of institutional and HNW party investors. He has also managed business units at other companies including Donaldson, Lufkin & Jenrette, Morgan Stanley and The Yarmouth Group. David is a prior Board member of the
Pension Real Estate Association. He is a regular guest lecturer at Columbia University as well as at his alma mater, Brandeis University, where he co-chairs the Board of Overseers for the Brandeis International Business School.
Ric Lewis
Ric Lewis
Executive Chairman and Chief Investment Officer, Tristan Capital Partners
Ric Lewis is Executive Chairman and Chief Investment Officer of Tristan Capital Partners, a London-based real estate investment management company with €12.0+Billion in AuM, specialising in investment strategies in all property types across the UK and continental Europe for global institutional, endowment and private wealth investors Ric founded the firm in 2009 and continued the collaboration and track record he established with his former partners at Curzon Global Partners/ AEW Europe, a €20 Billion+ real estate private equity company (1998-2008).

Tristan, headquartered in London, is majority-owned and autonomously managed by its principals with 140+ members of staff in eight locations across Europe. The firm’s professionals have developed a multi-year, multi-fund track record which has established the firm as one of the leading property investment management firms in Europe. The firm was voted by industry peers as the European Real Estate Private Equity Firm of the Year in 2014 and 2015 and Ric is the only two-time recipient of Real Estate Private Equity Professional of the Year (2013 and 2015). The firm also won The Queen’s Award for Enterprise and International Trade (2017). Ric was voted as JP Morgan/EY Powerlist Number 1 in 2019 as the most influential black person in Britain. In 2019, Ric was included in Facebook Grow’s Global list of “50 over 50” of the world’s leading entrepreneurs and innovators.

Outside of work, Ric volunteers the majority of his time to organisations dedicated to improving the pathways to, and the quality of education, especially for children from less advantaged areas and environments. In 2009, Ric founded his own UK and US registered charitable foundation, The Black Heart Foundation (, dedicated to supporting initiatives that improve educational benefits for young people and providing opportunity to those who are otherwise denied it. Each year, the Foundation provides several educational scholarships, through its Black Heart Scholars Programme, to young people in need in the UK and abroad. At present, the Foundation has over 100 Black Heart Scholars at 45 different universities, 6 schools and programmes throughout the UK and US. 

Ric also serves on a number of educational and community Boards including the Board of Trustees of Dartmouth College (USA), Board of Visitors for the Belfer Center – John F. Kennedy School of Government – Harvard University, Board of Governors of King Solomon Academy, the Board of Trustees (Chairman) of The Institute of Imagination, Sported, The Board of Trustees of the Royal National Children’s Springboard Foundation and The Board of Legal and General. He is also a Patron of the Eastside Young Leaders Academy.

Ric graduated from Dartmouth College and Harvard Business School and holds an Honorary Master’s Degree from Dartmouth College. He has resided in London since 1998 with his two daughters and holds British and American citizenship.
John Pattar
Partner & Head of Real Estate Asia, KKR
Robin Rossman
Robin Rossmann
Managing Director, STR
Robin Rossmann is Managing Director of STR, leading its operations across EMEA, APAC and LATAM. Robin is focused on continuing to improve the way STR provides the hotel industry with robust and insightful performance benchmarking that enables stakeholders to make better decisions. Robin has over 15 years' focused hotel sector experience, including 13 at Deloitte where he advised on hotel strategy, business planning, investment appraisal, market reviews, financial and commercial due diligence, IPOs, debt advisory, valuation, financial assurance, controls improvement and risk management.
Rekha Unnithan
Co-Head of Impact Investing, Nuveen
Rekha is Co-Head of Impact Investing, responsible for Nuveen's Impact Investment strategy across sectors, asset classes, and regions. She led the creation and investment of Nuveen's impact investing portfolio and is responsible for growing and expanding Nuveen's impact investment strategy. She currently also oversees a multi-asset class impact investing portfolio which includes private equity, private real estate, mortgages and fund investments, across thematic areas of Affordable Housing, inclusive Growth and Resource Efficiency. 

Prior to joining Nuveen in 2012, she worked for Bank of America Merrill Lynch as a vice president in their Institutional Investment Group. She has also held various positions at Merrill Lynch in Institutional Investments, and Investment Oversight and Risk Management. 

Rekha graduated with a B.A. in Economics from Yale University and an M.B.A. with a specialization in Financial Instruments and Markets and Social Innovation and Impact from New York University’s Stern School of Business and holds the CFA designation. Rekha is a board member of Aeris, a non-profit organization that helps investors make and monitor mission investments, and serves on the advisory board of the Operating Principles of Impact Management.

Co-Chairs and Planning Committee Members

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.