2021 Winter Speaker Series

Online, March 9–11, 2021


Monday, March 9–Wednesday, March 11, 2021

While 2020 marked a year of significant change, uncertainty, and imagination in the real estate sector, 2021 represents a new era of recovery and permanent change in the way people live, work, and play. What are the implications of this evolution on cross-border investment into the US, and how do these changes impact the outlook of institutional investors around the world?

AFIRE’s Winter Speaker Series, a. virtual event taking place in three sessions over three days from March 9 to 11, will explore the answers to these questions and look at the future of real estate with exclusive insights from investors, developers, and futurists focused on value creation, sustainability, and community beyond the age of global disruption.

The members-only results of and findings of AFIRE’s revamped Annual Investor Survey, underwritten by Holland Partner Group, will also be distributed and discussed during the speaker series.

Day 1 | Annual Investor Survey | March 9:

  • R. Byron Carlock, Jr., Real Estate Practice Leader, PwC US
  • Clyde Holland, CEO & Chairman, Holland Partner Group
  • Will McIntosh, Global Head of Research, USAA Real Estate

Day 2 | Focus on Technology | March 10:

  • TBA

Day 3 | The Future of Cities | March 11:

  • Richard Florida, Professor, University of Toronto


Martin Brühl has been a member of the Management Board of Union Investment Real Estate GmbH in Hamburg since 2016. As Chief Investment Officer, he oversees all transactions in Union Investment’s 22 national markets worldwide.

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.

Richard Florida is a professor at the University of Toronto’s Rotman School of Management and School of Cities, and distinguished visiting fellow at New York University’s Schack Institute of Real Estate. His books include The Rise of the Creative Class and The New Urban Crisis.

Richard has held professorships at George Mason University and Carnegie Mellon University and taught as a visiting professor at Harvard and MIT. Florida earned his Bachelor’s degree from Rutgers University and his Ph.D. from Columbia University. His research provides unique, data-driven insight into the social, economic and demographic factors that drive the twenty-first century world economy.

Clyde Holland is the CEO of Holland Partner Group, which is active in developing, redeveloping, acquiring and managing multifamily communities in some of the Western U.S.’s most demanding markets. Recognized by the industry for excellence in urban planning and design, Clyde’s work has received numerous awards from the Urban Land Institute, the National Multi-Family Housing Council, and Multi-Family Executive. He has directed over 50,000 units of housing and $10 billion (USD) in transaction value.

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.

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.

Leaders and employees of AFIRE member organizations, and invited guests, are welcome to the AFIRE Winter Speaker Series.

Registration is complimentary for Institutional Members.

Registration is $275 per person for Associate and Supporting Members, or $200 per person for groups of five or more. Payments to be processed by invoice.


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
atewelde@afire.org+1 202 312 1404