Note from the Editor: Summer/Fall 2022


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In the world of long-term investments, some years go according to expectations, and other years, nothing goes as planned.

As evidenced by the ups and downs of the past six months alone, 2022 has imparted a level of economic, political, and environmental palaver that typically crests only once every few decades.

The intersecting challenges of global inflation, the Russian invasion of Ukraine and spiking geopolitical tensions, increasingly massive environmental disasters, and sundry novel public health crises can make once-confident investors far more cautious (perhaps rightfully so).

But for investors at institutional scale, caution cannot mean inaction.

As detailed in the first article of this issue, which provides an abridged version of new AFIRE pulse survey focused on current capital markets alongside future trends, institutional real estate investors are being realistic about the present moment, but firmly focused on looking beyond the near horizon for meaningful returns.

Following this introduction, we’re pleased to offer perhaps one of our most comprehensive issues of Summit to date, covering all sides of the investment landscape.

Joseph Pagliari from the University of Chicago offers a unique take on market cycles, while Sabrina Unger and Britteni Lupe of American Realty Advisors, Gleb Nechayev of Berkshire Residential Investments, and Robert Seldin of Madison Highland Live-Work Lofts bring unique perspectives on the demographic and economic trends transforming closely held real estate investment philosophies.

Noted author and urbanist Richard Florida returns to Summit alongside Michael Cooper, both of Dream Unlimited Corporation, with a look at the future of sustainable development.

Ishmam Ahmed, one of the emerging leaders involved in AFIRE’s new fellowship program, covers an emergent area of Islamic finance in the first of what we expect to be an ongoing series of topics focused on the nuances of Islamic finance.

The rest of the content in this issue crosses through and beyond real estate as well, complementing one of our core views at AFIRE—that commercial real estate stands at a complex intersection of how we live, work, and play. And more importantly, that there are no absolute truths in this industry.

This is why we’re proud to include the voices of our AFIRE Editorial Committee in this issue, posited in direct conversation with journal contributors to show that real estate is a conversation, not a monologue.

Finally, we’re proud to welcome our first-ever underwriter for Summit Journal, Aegon Asset Management—a long-time AFIRE member and frequent contributor to this journal, as well. With support from our authors, editorial board, and gracious sponsors, the conversation at Summit continues to expand, providing a forum for the exchange of ideas we need to continue weathering the challenges ahead.

– Benjamin van Loon, Editor-in-Chief, Summit Journal



Through the rest of this year, investors forecast challenges for global capital, but thoughtful investors are forging ahead.
Gunnar Branson and Benjamin van Loon | AFIRE


While the market rarely sends clear investing signals, current market conditions are replete with clues, but as timing for corrections is difficult, a move to risk-off strategies could be useful.
Joseph L. Pagliari | University of Chicago


Mobile information technology has upended US land use regulation, and the ramifications of this technological upheaval are finally coming into view.
Robert Seldin | Madison Highland Live Work Lofts


As buildings become increasingly technologized, especially after the pandemic, cyber-attacks can put entire properties at risk and require a firmwide security approach.
Noëlle Brisson and Michael Savoie | CyberReady, LLC


The rapid rise in consumer prices has rekindled the old debate about whether commercial real estate provides a long-term hedge against inflation (hint: look at multifamily).
Gleb Nechayev, CRE | Berkshire Residential Investments


While the real estate industry has long understood the need for data, it still struggles with connecting information to decision making. New strides in data science could change that.
Brian Biggs and Ashton Sein | Grosvenor


The practice and expectations of investing across all industries is undergoing major upheaval and the key to stability will mean looking beyond profit for profit’s sake.
Michael Cooper and Richard Florida | Dream Unlimited Corporation


Forecasts about the future of the office sector are often wildly conflicting, but the looming high tide of generational leadership transitions could change the script.
Sabrina Unger and Britteni Lupe | American Realty Advisors


The logistics sector was the winner of the pandemic recession—but is its rise built to last?
Hugues Braconnier and Dr. Megan Walters | Allianz Real Estate


From retail to office to abandoned factories and warehouses, owners of real estate are rethinking—and reinventing—the future of their investments.
John Thomas and Stacey Krumin | Squire Patton Boggs


Data centers have become an increasingly institutionalized property class over the past several years, but finding success in the sector depends on talent and expertise.
Max Shepherd, Jannah Babasa, and Isabel Ruiz Halter | Sheffield Haworth


As insurance costs of residential and commercial spiral out of control, a 1400-year-old tradition is poised to offer long-term, sustainable growth for real estate investments.
Ishmam Ahmed | Georgetown University & AFIRE


Dive into the report to understand if and how COVID impacted domestic migration patterns on a state, city, and zip code level.
Ethan Chernofsky |


How does the Consumer Price Index account for the cost of housing?
David Wessel and Sophia Campbell | The Brookings Institution


Aegon Asset Management is an active global investor that manages and advises on assets of $328 billion* for global pension plans, public funds, insurance companies, banks, wealth managers, family offices, and foundations. Aegon AM’s Real Assets platform focuses on delivering yield-oriented and total return solutions spanning the risk/return spectrum.

With an over 35-year history and $25 billion* in AUM/AUA, the Real Assets business is built on a cycle-tested platform, deep and broad market access, and long-term relationships.

Our real assets debt and equity strategies seek to deliver strong relative value and returns through a research-intensive process. The process encompasses thoughtful top-down research and intelligent bottom-up analysis deployed by an experienced multidisciplined team of over 110 investment professionals.*

Each capability is underpinned by dedicated, in-house support and service teams including applied research, engineering and environmental, valuation, accounting, client service, legal and risk management.

*As of June 30, 2022. The assets under management/advisement described herein incorporates the entities within Aegon Asset Management brand as well as the following affiliates: Aegon Asset Management Holding B.V., Aegon Asset Management Spain, and joint-venture participations in Aegon Industrial Fund Management Co. LTD, La Banque Postale Asset Management SA, and Pelargos Capital BV.

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