AFIRE Virtual Event: Political Update with Real Estate Roundtable

Online, December 3, 2020


Tuesday, December 3, 2020, 10:00 AM – 11:00 AM ET

Election years always introduce new unknowns into real estate investing equation. With COVID-19 still spreading, economic and civil unrest in the US and abroad, business reopening challenges, heightened trade tensions, and often contradictory forecasts about future political outcomes, understanding the political dynamics of the weeks and months ahead will be essential for building long-term strategy.

In this special AFIRE discussion, experts will talk about the results of the 2020 US presidential election and its implications on the year ahead.

This event is open to all members and invited guests.


Congressman Joseph (Joe) Crowley, senior policy advisor for Squire Patton Boggs, provides strategic advice and consulting to clients on a wide range of public policy matters, including tax and financial services and healthcare. As former Chairman of the Democratic Caucus, the fourth-highest ranking position among House Democrats, Congressman Crowley brings strong negotiation skills and a deep understanding of complex congressional politics to his practice.

Congressman Crowley represented people of New York’s 14th congressional district, including his hometown of Woodside, Queens, in the US Congress for nearly 20 years. He served in the House Democratic leadership for six years, first as Vice-Chair and then as Chairman of the Caucus. He was also a member of the prestigious House Committee on Ways and Means, where he worked to protect Social Security and Medicare, championed efforts to make healthcare more affordable and advocated cutting taxes for middle class Americans and small businesses. He successfully helped shepherd legislation to reform laws that unfairly taxed foreign investment in US commercial real estate and was a key voice in discussions on how reform should be designed to benefit working men and women.

Congressman Crowley was on the frontline of efforts to pass the Affordable Care Act, enact marriage equality in New York State and protect women’s rights and human rights. He was also a three-time co-chair of the Congressional Caucus on India and Indian-Americans, co-chair of the Ad Hoc Committee on Irish Affairs and an active member of the Friends of Ireland Caucus, Chair of the New Democrat Coalition, and co-founder of both the Bangladesh Caucus and Rare Diseases Caucus.

Congressman Crowley’s rise in the Democratic Party leadership is indicative of his tireless work to elect Democrats at every level of government. He mentored colleagues and candidates and earned the respect of other Members of Congress with whom he served. Before entering national politics, Congressman Crowley served in the New York State Assembly from 1987 to 1998.

Dene is a partner in KPMG’s New York Real Estate Tax practice. He has over 30 years of experience in the real estate funds industry, having recently rejoined KPMG after 12 years as the tax director of UBS Realty Investors and fund manager for over $30 billion of real estate REIT-based equity and debt funds and separate accounts. He brings to the real estate asset management industry experience in the formation and management of funds with a focus on inbound institutional capital. His prior experience included serving as executive vice president of tax for alternative investments for Citigroup/Travelers for 1991–1994 and 2000–2004. He was with KPMG from 1982 to 1991 and from 1994 to 2000, becoming the lead Northeast Real Estate Tax partner with KPMG from 1996 to 2000 during which time he focused on public REITs, real estate funds, and insurance company mortgage loans, equity investments, and separate accounts. Dene is a member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants.

He has a BS degree in accounting from the University of Connecticut. He is a licensed CPA in Connecticut, pending in New York.

Audrey Klein is the Head of Fundraising for Kennedy Wilson Europe. Prior to this she held roles at Cromwell and Corestate but is best known for starting the European business out of London for the Park Hill Real Estate Group, a Division of Blackstone, which she ran for nine years.  Prior to joining Park Hill, she ran her own business for five years marketing alternative asset funds across all asset classes including private equity, real estate and hedge funds to European investors comprised of pension funds, banks, family offices and high net worth individuals. 

Before founding her company Audrey worked at Babcock and Brown in Germany where she co-founded the German office and helped establish equity relationships across Europe. Prior to making the move to Europe she worked at Bank of America in San Francisco doing syndication across various sectors before co-founding a real-estate fund for her group. 

Audrey is a graduate of Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of business where she received an MBA. She is also a graduate of Emory University where she received a degree in Economics.  She is on the Corporate Board of Great Ormond Street Hospital and holds Non-Exec Advisory Roles at Stone Estate, part of the Reech Corporations Group, and Gyana (on my Non-Exec role) with Planet Smart City, an Impact Proptech Company disrupting the Affordable Housing Market..

Ryan McCormick is Senior Vice President and Counsel at The Real Estate Roundtable, where he is responsible for managing the organization’s tax policy activities. The Real Estate Roundtable brings together leaders of the nation’s top publicly held and privately owned real estate ownership, development, lending and management firms and leaders of major national real estate trade associations to jointly address key national policy issues relating to real estate and the overall economy. The Roundtable is located in Washington, DC.

McCormick coordinates the activities of the Real Estate Roundtable’s Tax Policy Advisory Committee, a group of 150 leading real estate tax experts, including the in-house tax directors, general counsel, and chief financial officers of Roundtable members and senior partners from the country’s preeminent real estate advisory firms. The Roundtable’s Tax Policy Advisory Committee works to help lawmakers and federal officials understand how tax rules affect real estate activity, and it promotes pro-growth tax reforms that will facilitate sound, environmentally responsible real estate investment and development.

McCormick joined the Roundtable in May 2013 after serving nearly 11 years in the US Senate as a tax and economic policy advisor for Senators Bob Graham, Pat Moynihan, John Kerry, Joe Lieberman, and Bill Nelson. In the Senate, he developed policy initiatives, drafted tax legislation, and devised legislative strategies to advance his Members’ economic priorities. In the 112th Congress, McCormick was Staff Director of the Senate Finance Subcommittee on Fiscal Responsibility and Economic Growth. As staff director, McCormick guided and oversaw all aspects of the subcommittee’s activities, including bipartisan hearings on tax reform and tax policy matters.

In addition to his service in the Senate, from 2006 until 2008, McCormick practiced tax law as an associate at Miller & Chevalier in Washington, DC, the oldest tax law firm in the country. He is a graduate of Georgetown University; Sciences-Po in Paris, France; and the University of Texas School of Law, where he was editor-in-chief of the Texas International Law Journal and received the Vinson & Elkins Presidential Scholarship in International Law. From 2000 to 2001, McCormick researched tax reform in West Africa as a Fulbright Scholar.

Tom O’Shea is Managing Director for UBS Realty Investors. thomas oshea Prior to assuming this position in 2014, Tom was the General Counsel for Asset Management – Real Estate. He was responsible for legal matters for the Real Estate business area. Tom is a member of the Investment Committee and the Strategy Team for the US real estate business. Prior to joining UBS in April 2004, Tom was a Partner in the Real Estate Group of Bingham McCutchen LLP, where he was active in all aspects of real estate law with an emphasis on representing financial institutions in various debt and equity investment matters. He also was active in a wide variety of real estate asset management activities. Tom is a member of the Connecticut and American Bar Associations and he is admitted to practice law in Connecticut. Tom is also involved in the Association of Foreign Investors in Real Estate (AFIRE), the National Association of Real Estate Investment Managers (NAREIM), the Pension Real Estate Association (PREA) and the Real Estate Finance Association (REFA).


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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