History

AFIRE was founded in 1988 as an essential forum for real estate investment thought leadership. For more than 30 years, AFIRE has served a tightly-knit community of institutional investors, investment managers, brokers, and service providers with a shared focus on becoming Better Investors, Better Leaders, and Better Global Citizens through conversations, research, and analysis of real estate capital markets, cross-border issues, policy, economics, technology, and management.

Headquartered in Washington, DC, and originally named the Association of Foreign Investors in US Real Estate, AFIRE was established by a small group of executives working for a Dutch-owned real estate company who saw the need for networking and peer insights exchanged with like-minded leaders involved with global institutional real estate investing. The first AFIRE Board meeting was held in 1988, and the first annual membership meeting was held in 1989.

Under the leadership of AFIRE’s first CEO, Jim Fetgatter, the association has welcomed two former US Presidents, four former Secretaries of State, four former Secretaries of Defense, two former Prime Ministers of the UK, and former Prime Ministers from Australia, Denmark, Ireland, and Spain at its meetings, held in key cities around the world.

Fetgatter retired from AFIRE in 2018 and the association welcomed Gunnar Branson, former CEO of the National Association of Real Estate Managers (NAREIM), as its new CEO.

Today AFIRE counts more than 200 global institutions from 24 countries as members. Through meetings, publications, research, and thought leadership, AFIRE helps improve the quality of investing through information, insight, and collaboration.

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