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Property, Technology, and PropTech - Seeking Alpha in a Time of Change

Tue, Jun 4, 2019 2:02 PM EDT{LOCAL_TZ}

Property, Technology, and PropTech - Seeking Alpha in a Time of Change

Technological changes both inside real estate (“PropTech”) and in society in general have the potential to create both great opportunities as well as significant risks for investors. What are some of the emerging technologies that will affect commercial real estate and how should investors be thinking about their current and future investments given these developments?


Greg MacKinnon, Director of Research, Pension Real Estate Association
Greg MacKinnon is the Director of Research for the Pension Real Estate Association (PREA), a non-profit trade association for the global institutional real estate industry. His role includes providing information, research, and thought leadership on real estate investment issues. Prior to joining PREA, Greg began his career as an academic and his work on real estate investment issues has been published in the top research journals. Greg is a Fellow of the Homer Hoyt Institute, serves on the Board of the Real Estate Research Institute, and is co-editor of the Journal of Real Estate Portfolio Management, as well as the bi-annual special real estate issue of The Journal of Portfolio Management. Greg holds a Ph.D. in Finance from the University of Alberta and is also a Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) charterholder. 


Elie Finegold, Venture Advisor, MetaProp 
Elie Finegold has been an entrepreneur and leader at the intersection of real estate and technology for nearly twenty years, leading Innovation globally at two of the world’s largest publicly traded real estate companies, serving as founding President of a $1.5 billion AUM global real estate business, and founding a number of startups in both the real estate and technology sectors.  He is currently an entrepreneur, Venture Advisor to MetaProp, an advisor to numerous startup and growth-stage companies, and a featured speaker and author on the impacts of technology on real estate.

From 2010-2016, Elie was a Senior Vice President of Global Innovation for CBRE.  In that role, Elie helped guide the company’s new technology and business model innovation strategy across all business lines and geographies.  He founded and led CBRE Labs, CBRE’s internal organization for experimenting with, developing and testing deployment of new technologies.  Elie has been a frequent featured speaker, including at CBRE client events, CRETech, DisruptCRE, IREI, CoreNET and the Wharton Zell-Lurie Institute,

Until 2007, Elie was the founding President of IGY Marinas, the world's leading developer, owner, and operator of luxury yacht marinas and waterfront lifestyle developments. During his tenure, IGY grew to nearly 1,000 worldwide employees, with more than $1.5 billion AUM (excluding management agreements). Elie was responsible for all major operations, corporate and real estate acquisitions, and development planning and financing.  

During that time, Elie was also a Managing Director of Island Capital Group, a New York-based real estate investment banking company led by Andrew L. Farkas, where he was a member of the executive management team since the company's inception. Previously, Elie was Chief Innovation Officer of the publicly traded Insignia Financial Group, at the time one of the worlds’ premier real estate services companies.

Prior to joining Insignia, Elie founded and managed two companies in the Seattle area. Until 2000, he was Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of, Inc., a web-based portal for companies seeking to find, source and occupy business real estate, that was acquired by Insignia. Prior to that, he was President and Chief Executive Officer of Syncretic Media, Inc., a web services and development company.

Elie graduated magna cum laude from Harvard University (1995) with a degree in Ethnomusicology, a major he designed himself. His honors thesis received the Hoopes Prize and was published by the Harvard Library Press. A graduate of The Lakeside School in Seattle, he was also a two-time national champion in high school rowing. An active member of his community, Elie served as President of the Board of Seattle Works, Seattle's largest organization promoting volunteerism among young adults.

Asieh Mansour, Senior Advisor, The Townsend Group

Asieh Mansour is a senior advisor to The Townsend Group and a member of the Townsend Global Macro Strategy Committee. Asieh contributes to ongoing development of the Townsend global macroeconomic outlook and investment perspective on real estate and real assets.

She has over 25 years of experience leading global economic research and strategy. Most recently, Asieh served as Head of Americas Research at CBRE, managing a 200-member real estate research department, supporting brokerage, capital markets and investment management across the Americas. Prior to joining CBRE, she was the Chief Economist and Global Investment Strategist for Deutsche Bank’s Alternative Asset Management Arm, RREEF. She was responsible for global macroeconomic strategy and shaping both strategic and tactical investments across the asset class. Across her senior roles, Asieh covered private and public real estate, structured debt and infrastructure, and advised internal and external clients on optimal investment strategies.

Most recently, Asieh has also been appointed as a Non-Executive Director at Colonial First State Global Asset Management. In this board role, she oversees the Global Diversified Infrastructure Fund (GDIF) on behalf of stakeholders. GDIF invests in core economic infrastructure assets across the OECD.

Ms. Mansour received a Ph.D., M.A. and B.A. degrees in Economics from Tufts University and contributes frequently as a speaker and writer on the essential and complex issues of investing in real assets globally.

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