Asia-Pacific Investors Summit

Online, January 20, 2021


Wednesday, January 20, 2021, 9:00–10:00 AM HKT
(Tuesday, January 19, 2021, 9:00–10:00 PM EST)

As the coronavirus pandemic continues to impact economics, politics, and demographics, investors are eager to understand what the implications of the present mean for the future—especially in the relationship between Asia and the US.

In this quarterly AFIRE virtual event, the first of 2021, panelists will review current “COVID-proof” investments, including life sciences, data centers, and industrial. All have bidding wars and see pricing above preo-COVID levels. Are the fundamentals sustainable as a structural shift, or will this dominance subside as the vaccine is rolled out and the world returns to its “new normal?” (And what will the new normal look like?)

What is the pro/con case for the office sector—historically a favored asset class, but currently an outlier compared to other assets? Is the value of working from home overstated, or will a prolonged work-from-home period in the US create negative pressures in the US office sector, compared to Asia-Pacific markets, which had shorter periods of lockdown?

Experts will discuss the key indicators for distress, opportunity, and risk—including those introduced by continued economic, political, and trade uncertainties. What will be the structural changes in office, hospitality, and retail that will impact investment horizons? What is the state of debt pricing, availability, and leverage in US capital markets?

This event is open to all members and invited guests.


Since the beginning of his real estate career in 1985, Douglas Harmon has been a prominent leader in New York City and a trusted advisor on the international real estate scene. Mr. Harmon has handled most of the world’s largest, highest-profile and record-setting transactions over the last three decades. Douglas Harmon has sold both the largest office and residential transactions in history. Mr. Harmon is also the current record holder for several of the highest dollar per square foot achieved sales across multiple asset classes. Headquartered in New York City, Mr. Harmon is Chairman of Capital Markets at Cushman & Wakefield. Prior to joining Cushman & Wakefield in late 2016, Mr. Harmon was a Senior Managing Director and member of the Management Committee at Eastdil Secured, where he worked since 1993. In his first three years at Cushman & Wakefield, he led the charge on $40 billion of sales and recapitalizations. Mr. Harmon has executed over $200 billion in total transactions since 1996.

Mr. Harmon’s real estate transaction experience is broad and extensive, with a resume that includes well-known office properties like the Sears / Willis Tower, the Bank of America Center in San Francisco and the GM Building; to major residential assets such as Peter Cooper Stuyvesant Town, Starrett City, Parkmerced, and The Apthorp; to iconic hotels such as the Waldorf Astoria and the Chelsea Hotel. Furthermore, Mr. Harmon has been a pioneer in transacting in what are now Manhattan’s most exclusive submarkets. Just a few examples include the Chelsea Market, Google’s NYC Headquarters (111 Eighth Avenue), the Starrett-Leigh Building, Time Warner Center, The Toy Buildings, 10 and 30 Hudson Yards, 1515 Broadway and 1 Liberty Plaza.

Divesh Makan is a founding partner of ICONIQ Capital with over fifteen years of experience in the investment management industry. Prior to ICONIQ, Mr. Makan co-led a group at Morgan Stanley that served as a multi-family office, investing capital for a small number of families around the world. Prior to Morgan Stanley, he spent eight years at Goldman Sachs, where he was a Vice President, and worked as a Senior Manager at Accenture, specializing in private equity.  Mr. Makan earned an MBA from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania and a BS in Electrical Engineering from the University of Natal, South Africa. He serves on the Board of San Francisco Exploratorium.

Will McIntosh serves as Global Head of Research for USAA Real Estate. Will is responsible for developing the commercial real estate investment strategy and manages the firm’s global research platform that informs and enhances the real estate investment process. He is a member of the firm’s Investment and Executive Committees.

Prior to joining USAA Real Estate, Will was Head of Global Research for the Abu Dhabi Investment Authority’s (ADIA) real estate department, where he was responsible for developing ADIA’s global real estate investment strategy and built and led their real estate research platform. Prior work also included serving as Chief Investment Officer for Fund Evaluation Group (FEG) and Professor of Finance and Dean of the College of Business at the University of Cincinnati.

Will received his Ph.D. in Finance and Real Estate from the University of North Texas, his MBA with a concentration in Real Estate from Eastern Kentucky University, and his BS in Business Education from the same institution. He is a graduate of the School of Mortgage Banking of the Mortgage Bankers Association of America and served as a Faculty Fellow. He also completed the Management and Leadership in Education Program, Harvard Institute for Higher Education at the Harvard Graduate School of Education.

Will has served as President of the Real Estate Research Institute (RERI) and on the Board of Directors of the National Council of Real Estate Investment Fiduciaries (NCREIF), the American Real Estate Society (ARES), and the International Real Estate Society (IRES). He has served on the Investor Council of the National Association of Real Estate Investment Trusts (NAREIT) and on the Advisory Boards of several university real estate centers. Will is a past President of the American Real Estate Society and is a Fellow of the Homer Hoyt Institute. He has served as a Co-Editor of the Journal of Real Estate Portfolio Management and has published numerous articles in leading real estate professional and academic journals.

Bouwinvest Real Estate Investors B.V. is specializes in managing real estate portfolios for institutional investors. Bouwinvest strives to achieve sustainable returns on behalf of its pension fund clients. We manage €12.9 billion (YE 2019) in assets within five Dutch property sector funds and three international real estate investment mandates in Europe, North-America and Asia-Pacific.

With 65 years of experience and a heritage rooted in pension funds and the construction industry, we understand the needs of long-term institutional investors and the dynamics of the domestic and international real estate investment markets. Bouwinvest has an experienced team of 180 investment professionals.


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

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


Asmait Tewelde, Meeting Director 202 312 1404

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