2019 Graaskamp Center Spring Board Conference, April 11-12, Ritz-Carlton, Chicago, Illinois

Real Estate's Bull Run: Does it End Here?

April 11-12, 2019 | The Ritz-Carlton, Chicago, IL

Real estate cycles are said to die of old age, yet this cycle, now over 10 years running, is the real estate version of the movie Cocoon. U.S. GDP growth is likely to remain at 3% in 2018, unemployment at its lowest in 17 years, and the 2019 S&P 500 earnings per share forecast is for a 30% year-over-year increase.

While no one is predicting our current real estate bull market will run forever, less are predicting it will end any time soon. The world economy seems in fine shape, buoyed by a synchronized acceleration of economic growth in the U.S., Europe and Asia. And in late 2017, for good measure, the U.S. enacted a historic tax cut, adding fiscal fuel to an already strong economy. Real estate fundamentals, as well as its historic “canary in the coal mine"- retreating debt markets - exhibit none of the traditional indicators of a cycle ready to bust. 

But the dangers of long running bull markets on asset prices are well known. It's already the case that in almost all property types, current prices are higher than pre-crash prices. This poses significant challenges and temptations for investors. Do you curtail investing when fundamentals are strong, construction levels are moderate, and where debt remains historically cheap? Where are the bargains? The traps? The safe havens?  

Please join us for this invitation-only event filled with robust discussion, innovative perspectives, and high-level networking with industry leaders from every sector of the real estate business. The dinner and keynote presentation on April 11 and the conference on April 12 will both be held at the Ritz-Carlton, Chicago.

This event is invitation only. Please email graaskamp@bus.wisc.edu with any event inquiries.

Spring 2019 Board Dinner and Conference

April 11-12, 2019 | The Ritz-Carlton, Chicago, IL

Thursday, April 11, 2019

5:30 pm

Reception (Lakeside Room)
Sponsored by Draper and Kramer

6:30 pm Dinner (St. Claire Room)
Sponsored by CBRE
7:20 - 7:30 pm

Opening Remarks
Michael W. Brennan, Irgens Executive Director, James A. Graaskamp Center for Real Estate

7:30 - 8:30 pm

Dinner Keynote
Sponsored by Keeley Construction

8:30 pm Informal Gathering (Ritz-Carlton Torali Bar)

Friday, April 12, 2019

7:30 - 8:30 am Networking Breakfast (St. Claire Foyer)
Sponsored by Metzler
8:30 - 8:40 am

Welcome and Remarks (St. Claire Room)
Michael W. Brennan, Irgens Executive Director, James A. Graaskamp Center for Real Estate

8:40 - 9:30 am

Morning Keynote
Sponsored by Colliers
Mark Eppli, Director, James A. Graaskamp Center for Real Estate

9:30 - 9:45 am

Networking Break
Sponsored by US Bank

9:45 - 10:45 am

Session One: Disruptors and Innovations in Real Estate
Sponsored by Annaly

Agile working...e-commerce...the sharing economy – these forces are profoundly affecting how firms do business and how consumers acquire goods and services. Largely enabled by technological innovation, these forces have far-reaching impacts on real estate fundamentals. But they are just the beginning. A whole new world of innovation is rolling out which will sweep through our industry. Proptech is that world’s intersection with commercial real estate.  Sound overwhelming? Undoubtedly, but our expert panelists will discuss how real estate professionals can embrace these innovations to enhance customer experiences, investment performance and asset operations.

Moderator: Douglas Herzbrun, Co-Head of Global Research, CBRE Global Investors

Panelists: Aaron Block, Co-Founder and Managing Director, MetaProp
Bassem Hamdy, Co-Founder and CEO, Briq
Sonny Tai, CEO, Aegis AI

10:45 - 11:00 am Networking Break
Sponsored by Spaceco Inc. & Steward Title
11:00 am - 12:00 pm

Session Two: M & A Madness: Investment Strategies and Consolidation
Sponsored by MB Financial

The big are getting bigger, but what does industry consolidation mean for real estate investment management overall – for managers and for investment strategy? Panelists will dive into the drivers behind acquisitions and mergers and look at the impact on real estate portfolio management and construction. In addition, they will discuss what this for the industry as a whole and what are the challenges and opportunities given the current market conditions. 

Moderator: Zoe Hughes, CEO, National Association of Real Estate Investment Managers

Panelists: Jeff Giller, Partner, Head of StepStone Real Estate, StepStone Group
Tim Kessler, Global Head of Corporate Strategy and Business Development, LaSalle Investment Management
Doug LyonsManaging Principal, Pearlmark Real Estate
Ross Prindle, Managing Director, Duff & Phelps

12:00 - 1:00 pm Luncheon (St. Claire Room)
Sponsored by Freeborn & Peters LLP
12:30 - 1:30 pm

Session Three: The CEO Outlook
Sponsored by EY

Industry leaders will share their insights on the opportunities and challenges facing real estate investors today. How long a runway does the current business cycle have? What should you be doing now to prepare for a changing cycle? What impact will the new administration have on the industry? This session will be broad ranging, covering real estate capital markets and operational issues, and will examine the implications of a changing political environment for the real estate asset class.

Moderator: Serena Wolfe, Central Region RHC Sector Leader, EY

Panelists: Cindy Baier, CEO, Brookdale Senior Living
Bill Bennett, Principal and Founder, Novel Coworking
Mark Parrell, CEO, Equity Residential
Luke Petherbridge, CEO, ShopCore Properties, L.P.

1:30 - 1:45 pm Closing Remarks
Andra Ghent
, Academic Director & Associate Professor, James A. Graaskamp Center for Real Estate
1:45 pm Adjourn

Spring 2019 Board Dinner and Conference

Real Estate's Bull Run: Does it End Here?


Presenter Biographies

Cindy BaierCindy BaierBiographyCEOBrookdale Senior Living
Bassem HamdyBassem HamdyBiographyCo-Founder and CEOBriq
Bill BennettBill BennettBiographyPrincipal and FounderNovel Coworking
Aaron BlockAaron BlockBiographyCo-Founder and Managing DirectorMetaProp
Doug HerzbrunDouglas HerzbrunBiographyCo-Head of Global ResearchCBRE Global Investors
Sonny TaiSonny TaiBiographyCEOAegis AI
Michael BrennanMichael BrennanBiographyIrgens Executive DirectorJames A. Graaskamp Center for Real EstateChairman & Managing PrincipalBrennan Investment Group
Mark EppliMark EppliBiographyDirectorJames A. Graaskamp Center for Real Estate, Wisconsin School of Business
Andra GhentAndra GhentBiographyAcademic Director & Associate Professor, Real Estate & Urban Land EconomicsJames A. Graaskamp Center for Real Estate
Doug LyonsDoug LyonsBiographyManaging PrincipalPearlmark
Jeff GillerJeff GillerBiographyHead of StepStone Real EstateStepStone Group
Tim KesslerTim KesslerBiographyGlobal Head of Corporate Strategy and Business DevelopmentLaSalle Investment Management
Zoe HughesZoe HughesBiographyCEONAREIM
Mark ParrellMark ParrellBiographyCEOEquity Residential
Luke PetherbridgeLuke PetherbridgeBiographyCEOShopCore Properties, L.P.
Ross PrindleRoss PrindleBiographyManaging Director, Global Head of Real Estate Advisory GroupDuff & Phelps
Serena WolfeSerena WolfeBiographyPartner and RHC Central Market LeaderEY

Spring 2019 Board Dinner and Conference

April 11-12, 2019 | The Ritz-Carlton, Chicago, IL

Sponsorship opportunities

Don’t miss the opportunity to support this conference sponsored by the Graaskamp Center for Real Estate. This event offers outstanding opportunities to increase your visibility before a highly qualified audience of key decision makers in the industry -- all who are part of a long, proud tradition of fostering excellence in real estate education, research and outreach.

We offer sponsorship opportunities at several levels. (Please indicate your selection.)

Thursday, April 11, 2019

    • Reception at the Ritz-Carlton - Sponsored by
    • Dinner at the Ritz-Carlton - Sponsored by
    • Keynote at the Ritz-Carlton - Sponsored by
Friday, April 12, 2019

    • Networking breakfast - Sponsored by
    • Networking breaks (2 opportunities) 
    • Panels (3 opportunities) - Sponsored by:
Brennan Investment Group
    • Luncheon - Sponsored by

General event sponsorships are also available at any level! 

The Graaskamp Center would also like to thank this event's general sponsors and partners: Griffin Capital; Allstate; EY; & Podolsky Circle.

Sponsors may invite up to three guests or colleagues.

Why Sponsor the Graaskamp Spring Board Conference?
  • Direct access to high profile industry leaders who are shaping the future of the industry. Build rapport as you meet face to face and network with real estate leaders. You will have access to all networking functions providing a social and enjoyable environment to meet with all conference attendees. 
  • Recognition throughout the marketing campaign and at the conference. This includes: pre-conference recognition in outreach materials and media release; company logo on web site with link; company logo on promotional materials and on-site program; name/logo of organization on sponsorship slide in high traffic area; verbal acknowledgement at the conference. 
  • Gain valuable name recognition and goodwill for your company by supporting this high-profile conference on current trends and issues in the real estate industry. Be a part of this dynamic conference that features a range of experts who are on the front lines of real estate market research, policy and practice. 

Sponsor Information

Please complete this form and email, fax (608-265-4823), or send it to the Graaskamp Center for Real Estate by March 22, 2018.  Sponsorship payments can also be made online via our secure server: CLICK HERE.  

  • Please select Graaskamp Center Spring Board Conference for the event.
  • Enter 01 for the Reservation Number.
If you are interested in any of the sponsorship options, please contact Lee Gottschalk or Genie Trewyn by or before Friday, April 22. If you have questions, please call Lee at (608) 265-2032 or Genie at (608) 263-3459.

Spring 2019 Board Dinner and Conference

April 11-12, 2019 | The Ritz-Carlton, Chicago, IL

At our invitation-only spring board conference, board members and guests will be immersed in best-in-class thinking and diverse perspectives in an intimate forum with an elite group of industry peers, renowned faculty and our great group of real estate MBA students.

Members are also encouraged to identify a guest from your peer group who you think would be a good candidate for board membership. Please submit names and bios to Michael Brennan prior to inviting, due to space constraints and so that we can avoid duplication. 


Please note, this event is invitation-only. To request more information, please email graaskamp@bus.wisc.edu.

Spring 2019 Board Dinner and Conference

April 11-12, 2019 | The Ritz-Carlton, Chicago, IL

The Graaskamp Center spring board conference will be held at the Ritz-Carlton in downtown Chicago on April 11-12, 2019:


The Ritz-Carlton, Chicago 
160 East Pearson Street, at Water Tower Place
Chicago, IL  60611
(312) 266-1000

Please note, the Graaskamp Center does not have a room block at the The Ritz-Carlton; however, guests are welcome to arrange their own accommodations. Other nearby hotels include The WhitehallThe PeninsulaThe Conrad, Public, and The Chicago Marriott. We encourage all attendees to book early to ensure a room at their desired hotel.

Featured Speakers

Mark Eppli
Director, James A. Graaskamp Center for Real Estate


Cindy Baier
CEO, Brookdale Senior Living


Mark Parrell
CEO, Equity Residential

Event Sponsors & Partners

James A. Graaskamp Center for Real Estate

Brennan Investment Group
Griffin Capital                     


               Keeley Logo

Graaskamp Center Board of Advisors