AFIRE Virtual Event: Ethics Summit

Online, October 20, 2020


The fog of a global crisis can make the world seem murky, but it also has the power of revealing true character.

The real estate and investment ecosystem is no exception, especially as COVID-19 has revealed fissures in everything from political stability and economic inequality to racial justice and international relations.

In this inaugural Ethics Summit virtual event, AFIRE welcomes Professor Dan Ariely, a leading behavioral economist at Duke University and New York Times-bestselling author of The (Honest) Truth About Dishonesty, The Upside of Irrationality and other groundbreaking books in behavioral economics, alongside a host of AFIRE leaders, to explore what it means to be an ethical investor through and beyond 2020.

This 90-minute virtual event is open to all AFIRE member firms and delegates. The guided discussion will focus on real-world examples of COVID-era decision making, and begin to establish a basis for guiding the future of ethical conduct for the global real estate investment community.


Dan Ariely is the James B. Duke Professor of Psychology and Behavioral Economics at Duke University and a founding member of the Center for Advanced Hindsight. He does research in behavioral economics on the irrational ways people behave, described in plain language.

His immersive introduction to irrationality took place as he overcame injuries sustained in an explosion. During a range of treatments in the burn department he faced a variety of irrational behaviors that were immensely painful and persistent. He began researching ways to better deliver painful and unavoidable treatments to patients.

Professor Ariely became engrossed with the idea that we repeatedly and predictably make the wrong decisions in many aspects of our lives and that research could help change some of these patterns.

After using his knowledge of decision-making and behavioral economics to convince his girlfriend to marry him, Professor Ariely realized that understanding decision-making can help anyone in their daily life.

Irrationally Yours, Predictably Irrational, The Upside of Irrationality, The (Honest) Truth About Dishonesty, the movie Dishonesty and the card game “Irrational Game” are his attempt to describe his research findings in non-academic terms, so that more people will discover the excitement of behavioral economics and use some of the insights to enrich their own lives.

A founder of The Praedium Group, Mr. Appel has been building the Company since 1991 and has overseen all aspects of The Praedium Group’s activities, including its strategy and its investment policy.

In addition to his responsibilities with The Praedium Group, Mr. Appel ran Credit Suisse/First Boston’s (“CS”) Commercial Mortgage Finance business from 1991 to 1994, where he became a Managing Director. At CS, Mr. Appel supervised the execution of commercial and multifamily asset securitization and sale advisory assignments totaling in excess of $13 billion. Prior to joining CS in 1991 and his association with The Praedium Group, Mr. Appel was a Vice President in the Real Estate Department of Goldman Sachs & Co. for five years. At Goldman Sachs, he was involved in real estate-related sales, financings, mergers and acquisitions and capital markets transactions totaling in excess of $3 billion.

Mr. Appel holds a B.S. in Economics (magna cum laude) and an M.B.A. (with distinction) from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania. Mr. Appel served as Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Pension Real Estate Association between 2008 and 2010, and he had previously held the positions of Vice Chairman, Treasurer and Board Member.

Byron Carlock leads PwC’s U.S. Real Estate Practice. With 28 years of experience serving the industry, Byron brings extensive knowledge of the full real estate life cycle including matters ranging from strategic planning and property transaction advisory to capital formation, and business plan execution. In addition, he has expertise in governance, board matters, mergers and acquisitions and corporate conflict matters. Byron has experience advising major clients including corporate owners and users, developers, hospitality organizations, investors and REITs.

Prior to assuming his current role, Byron served as the CEO and President of CNL Lifestyle Properties, Inc for seven years and served CNL as President of two other REITs over his 11-year tenure there. His resume also includes three years as Executive Vice President and Chief Investment Officer of Post Properties and nine years as Managing Director for Crow Holdings International.

Byron is a CPA, currently a governor of the Urban Land Institute (ULI), a member of Real Estate Roundtable, NAREIT and AFIRE. He is also a board member of Harvard Club of Dallas and a board member emeritus of Harvard Business School.

Byron earned his BBA at Harding University and also participated in the International Asian Studies Program at The Chinese University of Hong Kong, where he was a Rotary Scholar. Byron also earned his MBA at Harvard Business School. Byron has been extensively featured in media such as Fox Business News, and The New York Times, and writes a regular monthly column for National Real Estate Investor.

Ignacio Diego is the CEO of Avila Real Estate and was born and educated in Madrid, Spain. After graduating from Colegio San Pablo / Complutense University of Madrid with a BBA in Finance and a Master in Business Law and Accounting, Ignacio Diego became active in the international real estate industry. Since the mid 1980s, Ignacio, through various investments and partnerships, owns and manages a diverse real estate portfolio of 8,000 apartment units, office properties and other assets. He brings a hands-on owner’s approach and service oriented culture to Avila. His company has managed investment of over $800 million in more than 35 real estate transactions alone since 1984.  His professional involvements include:

  • Board member of Association of Foreign Investors in Real Estate (“AFIRE”)
  • Advisory Board Member to the Dean of Georgia Tech College of Architecture
  • Served in the Spanish Armed Forces in the mid 1980s

Evelyne Dubé’s role at Tricon is focused on business development and private capital fundraising.

Prior to joining the Company, Ms. Dubé spent 15 years in London, UK, where she held senior business development positions at private equity real estate managers Forum Global Partners, Apollo Management/Citi Property Investors, and Curzon Global Partners/AEW Europe. She also previously held corporate finance advisory roles at KPMG Corporate Finance in London and Montreal. She currently serves as a board member of the Academy of St Martin in the Fields in London, UK.

Ms. Dubé holds a Master of Business Administration (MBA) from HEC-Montréal and a Bachelor of Laws (LL.B.) from Université de Montréal. She also studied at the London Business School in the UK and is a member of the Bar of Quebec, Canada.

Grot joined Blue Sky Group in 2009 and serves as a Senior Portfolio Manager within the Global Real Estate Group. He is responsible for due diligence, selection of new investments, monitoring of existing investments, and market research. Prior to joining Blue Sky Group, Grot worked as a Researcher for the Ministry of Education, Culture and Science of the Netherlands, where he was researching the Dutch residential market. Grot received a BS in finance and an MS in finance with a concentration in real estate finance from the University of Amsterdam.

Elchanan (El) Rosenheim is the Founder and CEO of Profimex, a leader in global real estate investments since 1998, serving high-net worth individuals, private and public companies, Kibbutzim, and institutional investors. Profimex enables its investors to participate in diverse investments within real estate and renewable energy, together with Profimex itself and its partners.

To date, Profimex and its investors have invested in assets with a total value of approximately $50 billion, and the company’s clients benefit from a range of investments in specific assets, co-investments, joint-ventures, funds, and funds of funds. These investments are spread across various countries, real estate sectors, investment strategies, and investment structures. Profimex investments are made under the strict principle of compensating the General Partner (GP) on a success basis to insure a true alignment of interest.

As CEO of AFIRE, Gunnar Branson brings nearly three decades of experience across commercial real estate, professional services, education, and association leadership.

Prior to joining AFIRE in 2018, he served as CEO of the National Association of Real Estate Investment Managers (NAREIM), and before that, he led strategy and marketing for Fortune 500 and other innovative mid-market companies.

As a recognized thought leader, Gunnar is a regular speaker, panelist, and spokesperson for the global real estate and investing community, focused on institutional investing, urbanism, sustainability, and future trends.



Launched in early 2020 as part of AFIRE’s membership events program, AFIRE Virtual Events provide a recurring digital format for AFIRE members to stay connected beyond in-person meetings.

Other special virtual events, outside the weekly scheduled, focus on specialized and timely topics, as well as supporting ongoing education and research.

AFIRE Virtual Events are recorded and made available for members only.


Asmait Tewelde, Meeting Director 202 312 1404

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