2011 King's Graduate Enters Real Estate Analysis
Kelly Gebert Hired by The Townsend Group
NEW YORK, November 1, 2011—Just months ago, Kelly Gebert was a senior at The King’s College finishing his Bachelor of Science in Business Management. In order to pass required courses like managerial accounting, corporate finance, and valuations, Kelly built financial models and performed detailed analysis on financial statements. Today, not much has changed. The only difference is that Kelly now works in Cleveland, Ohio, as a Private Equity Real Estate Analyst for The Townsend Group. The analysis is the same, the stakes are much higher, and Kelly loves his new job.
The Townsend Group is the world’s largest institutional real estate advisory and investment firm, advising over $110 billion and investing more than $10 billion from endowments and pension plans around the globe. Kelly is the analyst for the Co-Investment and Special Situations team. The Co-investment team has roughly $3 billion in assets under management and a mandate to invest globally in “special situations” – distressed properties that require extensive turnaround work. “One of the things I love most about my job is the diversity of properties that we come across,” Kelly said. “I might spend my morning building cash flow models for warehouses in Tokyo and my afternoon on a call about offices in London.” The Co-Investment group invests alongside a wide range of property managers and private equity firms such as Blackstone, Apollo, Fortress, Starwood, and Bainbridge.
Kelly said that his primary duty is to perform asset management for the funds that the Co-Investment team oversees. “Basically,” he said, “I develop an understanding of the buildings we have purchased in the past and work with the building management to track the financial performance and outlook of the buildings. I also assist in the underwriting, due diligence, and closing process of investments for the fund, with a heavy emphasis on financial analysis and research.”
The job is rigorous, but Kelly enjoys a challenge. “Besides,” he said, “it's a lot of fun. The quality of my analysis on a project can have a significant impact on whether or not we proceed with the investment. This isn't the classroom or a case study anymore; we're not playing with Monopoly money.”
For Kelly, the King’s education was instrumental in helping him land the job. “King's does a fantastic job fostering a community of learning and creating a thirst for knowledge in their students. The culture of the business program is very unique to King’s in the way it develops a sense of professionalism in its students, especially in their speech and dress. It also inspired me to read extensively outside of class, and during my interview I was able to provide my thoughts on several large real estate transactions that had recently occurred.” More specifically, Kelly said that “Professor Clements also taught what has to be one of the best finance classes ever professed, and that provided me with most of the technical financial knowledge I needed to surpass the expectations of the interviewers.”
One of the most valuable aspects of his King’s education, however, was the House system. Kelly said that, “the guys in Bonhoeffer were beside me throughout my entire college education, even when I didn’t have much time in my schedule to give back. And we’re still connected today. I recently received a text from an older Bonhoeffer alumnus who lives in Cleveland about hanging out.”
The King’s College educates students in the ideas upon which nations rise and fall. With a focused curriculum in the liberal arts tradition, students are prepared to help shape, and eventually to lead, the institutions of government, civil society, media, law, business, education, the arts, and the church. King’s is a Christian college located in the Empire State Building in New York City.
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