Donors Steer Real Estate Initiative Forward

April 04, 2012

Georgetown McDonough’s Real Estate Finance Initiative, which is part of the school’s Center for Financial Markets and Policy, received a major boost in its fundraising efforts. The school has raised $6.5 million toward an initial goal of $15 million, with $5 million from a single gift by Robert and Lauren Steers. Robert (BSBA ’75, pictured above) is co-chairman and co-CEO of Cohen & Steers Inc., chair of the McDonough School of Business Board of Advisors, and a member of Georgetown University’s Board of Directors.

Steers leads by example through his work at Cohen & Steers Inc., a global investment manager specializing in real estate investment securities, listed infrastructure, large cap value, and preferred-stock portfolios. Gifts to support the initiative also have come from Robert Billings-ley (SFS ’68), Larry Botel (BSBA ’88), Marc Flamino (BSBA ’89), Jason Hart (BSBA ’99), Paul Hill (BSBA ’67), Timothy McBride (JD ’75, MLT ’80), and Gil Tenzer (BSBA ’84).

“These important gifts provide the funding we need to develop future business leaders in the real estate industry,” says Reena Aggarwal, director of the Center for Financial Markets and Policy (pictured above). “We want to enhance our curriculum, offer experiential learning, and expand the professional opportunities for our students and alumni.”

The investments also will support the hiring of a new director, who will be charged with leading and growing the program at both the undergraduate and graduate levels by developing strong relationships with the academic, professional, and policymaking communities.

The initiative also aims to make Georgetown McDonough a forum for industry leaders and policymakers to discuss changing industry trends and share their knowledge. A hallmark of the initiative is the Real Estate Luminaries Series, which features industry experts such as Sam Zell, chairman, Equity Group; Steers and his Cohen & Steers partner, Martin Cohen; and Christopher Nassetta, president and CEO, Hilton Worldwide, among many others.