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A View from the Top

Posted By Emmet Gaffney, Wednesday, October 4, 2017


Last week at the Wisconsin Real Estate Trends Conference, we were honored to have R. Scott Dennis, CEO of Invesco Real Estate, and Jody Thornton, Executive Managing Director of HFF, headline an impressive panel right before lunch. The session was moderated by Jeffrey Bramson, Senior Managing Director at HFF, and focused on the lessons Mr. Dennis and Mr. Thornton have learned throughout their distinguished careers as leaders in the industry.


Classmates and fellow graduates of the University of Texas at Austin, Mr. Dennis and Mr. Thornton have nearly 70 years of combined experience in commercial real estate, both having long tenures at their respective firms. They provided unique insights and outlooks for the future of institutional investment in real estate, specifically talking about the consolidation of money managers, impact of unfunded pension liabilities on the industry, and reduction in leverage amongst institutional investors. Their nuanced perspectives were well-received by the crowd, and prompted lots of questions towards the end of the session.


A key theme both men focused on was the importance of people, relationships, and teams in the industry, especially as a leader. Technical ability and industry knowledge is certainly crucial, they explained, but, as a leader, focusing on developing and investing in your people is paramount to success. Their message resonated with the Badgers and UW friends in the crowd, all of whom attended the conference to reconnect with former classmates or colleagues, create new relationships, and share in the collective spirit that embodies Wisconsin Real Estate.


We’d like to thank Mr. Dennis and Mr. Thornton for taking the time to share their wisdom and expertise and we hope to see them again soon!

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