Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Gary Beban of CBRE Accepts Innovator Award

In front of a capacity crowd at the UW-Madison Pyle Center, CBRE Executive Gary Beban received the Wisconsin Real Estate Program’s Innovator Award on Thursday, September 27, jointly awarded by the UW Real Estate Club and the James A. Graaskamp Center for Real Estate. The award was presented by Michael Brennan, Executive Director for the Graaskamp Center, and aims to celebrate the innovative achievements of key individuals within the real estate industry.

Gary began his presentation titled “Supporting Innovation” by tracing the trajectory of the company, which is now known as CBRE,  from 1971, his first year with the company, through the current year. Drawing on his experience as a history major during his days at UCLA, Gary brought a holistic approach to real estate throughout his career, noting that in order to be most effective, one must "understand your vertical". Put differently, you should know where your industry and company have been and where it currently is in order to create an innovative strategy for future growth. 

This strategic framework guided Gary, especially when he was named President in 1987, in his pursuit of repositioning the brokerage firm into a global, vertically integrated leader within the commercial real estate sector. Gary achieved this by understanding and capitalizing on two critical changes that would hit the industry: 1) the global circulation of capital; and 2) global corporate real estate services. With strategic acquisitions around the globe that linked CBRE offices across time zones, Gary established a formidable network through which CBRE employees were producing at every hour of every day, a far cry from a company with one office in San Francisco back in 1906. Furthermore, these acquisitions pushed the brokerage's vertical integration to new levels, as evidenced by the acquisition of Insignia that provided CBRE the industry's largest proprietary market research arm.

As was appropriate considering the student-focused setting, Gary provided a strategic industry look-ahead providing a look into CBRE’s Workplace Strategy. The basis of this strategy is acknowledgement of the original dynamics of developer, investor, user, and capital, synthesized with the more recent trends of advanced technology and telecommunications. Simply put, firms now view reducing costs inherent with occupying space as strategic strategies in their long-term planning. CBRE fits this within their vision by assuming increasingly mobile teams and occupancy square foot per employee from 350 to 50 to better serve their client base.

His closing remarks included words of wisdom for the attending students: stay current with global developments, and hone your financial skills and vertical knowledge. These certainly have proved fruitful for Gary throughout his impressive career at CBRE. The Wisconsin Real Estate Program was proud to welcome Gary to our UW-Madison campus!

Jonathan Brown comes to Madison from Washington, DC, where he managed downtown Class A office buildings for Tishman Speyer. Jonathan plans to leverage his prior experience with financial and analytic tools gained during the MBA program to develop and invest in urban commercial properties.

1 comment:

  1. What an amazing event. Wisconsin's real estate center continues to deliver!