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RICS World Built Environment Forum Summit 2019

Built environment professionals, innovators and global influencers will reconvene in New York for the RICS World Built Environment Forum Summit 2019.

MON 13 MAY 2019
09:00 - 18:00
Event ends on 14 May 2019
Conrad New York, 102 North End Avenue, NY 10282, USA
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The future of investment in real assets

In an industry constantly looking to adapt, lead and grow, we invite you to shape the world we live in, create positive change and be a part of the world’s most important discussions.

In an ever-changing geopolitical landscape, we need to know how to make informed investments in the world we live in and manage future risk. We need to know how to future proof the urban and natural environment against resource scarcity and climate change, and how to navigate the circular economy.

How will technology aid and inform decision making to limit economic risk? Big data, blockchain and other technologies will have a role to play in the future of the built environment and help us to create smart, liveable and resilient cities. It will change the workplace as we know it: the buildings we work and live in could become more educated than their residents.

In the context of investing in the built environment, our summit will explore:

  • The changing nature of work and workplace
  • The impact of algorithms and tokenisation
  • The real-world outcomes for cities and citizens
  • New finance models for energy and transport
  • Investment risk allocation

The countdown is on...

Technology is transforming every aspect of our lives. How can we harness new technology to mobilise private capital investment to meet the growing global demand for new infrastructure, new real estate and the renewal of existing assets?

Join the discussion at the World Built Environment Forum Summit

Meet the speakers:

Programme: Monday 13 May 2019

  • 08:00 Registration, networking and refreshments

  • 09:00 Multimedia summit opening

    With James Chau, Broadcaster

  • 09:10  Welcome to the World Built Environment Forum Summit New York 2019

  • 09:15 Connectivity, competition and capital: The new landscape for investors

    “The global system is characterised by certain megatrends that are so robust they have withstood every obstacle, every conflict, every financial crisis and every plague in history.”

    For bestselling author, scenario-based strategy advisor and summit keynote speaker Parag Khanna, the 4th Industrial Revolution does not mark a departure from history, but its repetition: the previous 75,000 years of civilisation provide a blueprint for prosperity in this age of disruption. The session will centre on three pivotal observations: 

    • The central role of cities and megacities in international commercial activity
    • The paramount importance of interconnectivity in driving competition and co-operation between cities
    • The emergence of the global supply chain as a geopolitical priority.

    What does China’s Belt and Road initiative mean for long-established transatlantic trade relationships? Can globalisation weather the apparent crisis of faith in the markets that most benefit from it? How vulnerable are the global infrastructure chokepoints on which we depend so heavily?

    Join “one of the most influential people of the 21st century” to consider how the global system’s long history of resilience can inspire confidence in its future


  • 10:15 People, place, possibility: Impactful investment in the 21st century’s cities

    The defining demographic development of the 20th century was the 400% increase in the global population. Projections suggest that the defining demographic development of this century will be the mass migration of the world’s people to urban areas. At a macro level, how can built environment professions, in partnership with policymakers and international institutions ensure our metropolitan regions are resilient and economically vibrant?


    • Denise Pellegrini, Bloomberg Radio

    Panellists will include:

    • Lamia Kamal-Chaoui, Director – Centre for Entrepreneurship, SMEs, Regions and Cities, OECD
    • Suparno Banerjee, Vice President and Global Lead – Public Sector and Smart Cities, Nokia Group
    • Jennifer Vey, Senior Fellow – Metropolitan Policy Program, Brookings Institution
    • Michael Spies, Senior Managing Director – Innovation; India and New Markets, Tishman Speyer
  • 11:30 Networking refreshment break

  • 12:00 Breakout topic A – New work, new workplaces: How technology and changing human habits are reshaping commercial real estate markets

    What makes commercial real estate investible in the 21st century? In an age of rapid, tech-driven cultural change, the traditional “bricks, mortar, walls and windows” perception of buildings is out of date. Considering shifting patterns of work and leisure, this session will assess how popular expectations of the built environment have evolved, and what this means for buildings as viable, revenue-generating assets.


    • Kate North, Vice President – Workplace Innovation Advisory, Colliers International

    Panellists will include:

    • Maureen Ehrenberg, Global Head of Digital Facility and Asset Management Services, WeWork
    • Dror Poleg, Founder, Rethinking.RE
    • Jodie LaRocque, National Real Estate and Strategy Director - International Portfolio Lead, PwC

    12:00 Breakout topic B – Building for the future: Modernising the construction industry

    Global economic prosperity is heavily reliant on the construction industry, a sector that has yet to futureproof itself for the demands of the 21st century. Exploratory funding falls markedly short of levels seen in comparable industries, with estimates suggesting that less than 1% of global construction revenues are reinvested into research and development. Disruptive technology poses a stark choice to the construction industry: modernise or become obsolete. With 13% of global GDP and 7% of the world’s workforce in question, the significance of the challenge, and the scale of the opportunity, is great.


    • Jan Tuchman, Editor-in-Chief, Engineering News-Record

    Panellists will include:

    • Carol Lemmens, Director – Global Leader Advisory Services, Arup
    • Antony Wood, Chief Executive Officer, Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat
    • Andrew Minson, Director – Concrete and Sustainable Construction, Global Cement and Concrete Association
  • 13:15 Networking lunch and exhibition

  • 14:15 Blockchain and the bottom line: Real estate transactions in the 4th industrial age

    From intelligent buildings to smart contracts, Blockchain is revolutionizing business processes for landlords and real estate professionals. Hear from leading professionals in commercial real estate and venture capital how blockchain and new technologies are changing their business, and what to expect from the future.


     Panellists will include:

    • Raj Bhutti, Chief Information officer, Newmark Knight Frank
    • Linda Isacsson, Senior Vice President, Director Business Intelligence, Data & Analytics, First American Title
    • Kevin Shtofman, Global Technology Strategy Lead – Real Estate, Deloitte Consulting LLP
    • Jeffrey Berman, General Partner, Camber Creek
    • Michael Beckerman, Founder & CEO, CREtech
  • 15:30 Networking refreshment break

  • 16:00 Responsible investment in a complex risk landscape

    Be part of an Investment Committee meeting, in which senior investment figures from around the globe analyze the interconnected and yet distinctive risks of competing commercial real estate investment propositions. In an extended investment cycle and a backdrop of geopolitical uncertainty, what are the best strategies for institutional investors to achieve satisfactory risk-adjusted returns while acting responsibly on their clients’ behalf?

    The RICS Investment Risk Forum is the only group of its kind, bringing together Chief Investment Officers and Chief Risk Managers from leading institutional investors, responsible for more than US$1tn of assets under management worldwide.


    Panellists will include:

    • Philip Barrett, Managing Director – Global Head of Business and Investment Operations, PGIM
    • Catherine Pfeiffenberger, Chief Strategy Officer, Skanska Commercial Development, USA
    • Karen Horstmann, Portfolio Manager, Norges Bank Investment Management
    • Lucy Fletcher, Managing Director – International Portfolio Management, QuadReal
    • Marc Mogull, Chairman, Chief Investment Officer and Investment Committee Member, Benson Elliott
    • Kai-yan Lee, Managing Director, Vanke
    • Nadja de Jager, Chief Investment Risk Officer, CBRE Global Investors
  • 17:15 Digital contracts and blockchain: Improving transparency and efficiency of transactions

    In 2018, the aggregate value of tradeable cryptocurrencies peaked at US$836bn – higher than the combined value of Facebook and Twitter – marking a crossover point for blockchain in the public consciousness. In the last month, the World Bank, IMF and European Commission have launched initiatives to test distributed ledger technology and to promote the regulatory and business reforms it will require.  Joseph Lubin and Michael Sheren join us for an unmissable session on the growing momentum behind the innovation Bill Gates has described as “a technological tour de force.” Our speakers will explore blockchain’s use in international financial institutions, governments and central banks.

    In conversation:

  • 18:00 Chair’s summary and close of day one followed by networking reception and buffet

Programme: Tuesday 14 May 2019

  • 08:00 Registration, networking and refreshments

  • 09:00 Chair’s opening remarks

    • James Chau, Broadcaster
  • 09:15 A new American century: Emerging global economic priorities and the need for leadership

    Although the global outlook remains healthy, growth momentum is slowing. Projections for North America, Europe and Asia to 2020 are trending downwards, reflecting ongoing trade tensions and climate concerns.

    As the economies of the world wrestle with the political fallout of the global financial crash of 2008, Day two's opening keynote will focus on collaborative, sustainable and inclusive approaches to kickstarting an era of widespread international economic wellbeing. Former Senator Jeff Flake will consider pathways to progress and state the need for America to renew its commitment to decisive, rather than divisive, global leadership.

    Introduction and in conversation:

    • Peter Grant, Editor – Commercial Real Estate, Wall Street Journal

    Keynote remarks:

  • 10:15 Navigating climate risk and opportunity in real estate

    Overall losses from world-wide natural disasters in 2017 totalled $330 billion dollars, up from $184 billion in 2016. While not all these disasters were climate-made, it is likely that climate change will increase the frequency and intensity of extreme weather events. In this session, ULI will share new research on how investment managers are beginning to factor climate risk into their investment strategy, as well as how they are working with owners, asset managers, insurers, and the public sector to build more resilient real estate portfolios. Further attention will be given to creative ways in which leading real estate developers are leveraging sustainability to unlock value in new and existing assets.

    Panellists will include:

    • Ed Walter, Global CEO, Urban Land Institute
    • Billy Grayson, Executive Director – Center for Sustainability and Economic Performance, Urban Land Institute
    • Mark Wilsmann, Managing Director and Head of Equity Investments, MetLife Real Estate
    • Laura Craft, Head of Global Real Estate Sustainability, Heitman

  • 11:30 Networking refreshment break

  • 12:00 Breakout topic A – Alternative energy infrastructure investment

    Global energy demand, driven partly by rapid growth in developing markets, is set to rise by 40% against current levels over the next 20 years. With energy security threatened by geopolitical uncertainties, the challenge of accelerating flows of capital into energy innovations is pressing. To what extent do new technologies promise the democratisation of energy generation and provision, and how are the market’s established players responding?

    Panellists will include: 

    • Michael Ferguson, Director – US Energy Infrastructure and Sustainable Finance, S&P Global Ratings
    • Peter MerriganChief Executive Officer & Partner, Taurus Investments 

    12:00 Breakout topic B – Transport infrastructure investment

    With the global infrastructure funding gap to 2030 estimated at US$57tn, competition for investment is fierce. At the same time, rapid innovation in transport could render new and costly infrastructure projects obsolete before they can begin to return dividends.

    With governments continuing to favour infrastructure renewal as a means of stimulating sustainable growth globally, this session will question how investors can prioritise public benefit without compromising on yields. Further consideration will be given to the potential of obsolete infrastructure to reverse the decline and disappearance of the urban public realm.

    Panellists will include:

    • Tim McManus, Vice President – Major Projects, McKinsey & Company
    • Murray Rowden, Managing Director – North America and Global Head of Infrastructure, Turner & Townsend
    • Brian Burkhard, Global Technology Leader – Advanced Mobility Systems, Jacobs

  • 13:15 Networking lunch and exhibition

  • 14:15 Valuing Real Estate in the 21st Century: How is technology redefining the art and science of valuation?

    How will enhanced automation in valuation re-shape the CRE appraisal landscape over the next 3-10 years? Our panel of leading banking experts will discuss the pros and cons and the variables and risks in automating the valuation process.

    Will predictive analytics shift the emphasis of valuation from current to future value? What does this mean for the next generation of professional appraisers, and how will that impact more complex real estate landscapes such as Manhattan?


    • John Busi, President – Valuation and Advisory, Newmark Knight Frank

    Panellists will include:

    • Cate Agnew, Head of Valuation – Executive Director, Natixis Corporate & Investment Banking 
    • Therese Rutherford, Managing Director – Head of CIB Appraisal, JP Morgan Chase
    • Alyce DeJong, Global Chief Real Estate Appraiser, PGIM
    • Wayne R. Miller, Senior Vice President - Chief Appraiser, Bank of America
    • Thomas Boyle, Senior Vice President and Chief Appraiser, U.S. Bank
    • Tye Neilson, Chief Appraiser, Wells Fargo
    • Mark Snow, Managing Director – Chief Appraiser, Citibank
  • 15:30 Networking refreshment break

  • 16:00 A time for action

    As human behaviours and investment decisions are increasingly shaped by technology, how do we assure city leaders and their citizens that investments are made responsibly? Can algorithms ever be transparent and do they magnify human biases? Does their innate amorality in pursuit of optimisation lead to extreme actions? How can real estate investors effectively collaborate in the consistent and coherent regulation of crypto-currencies, to the benefit of the real estate investment community?

    Panellists will include:

  • 17:15 President’s closing address

    World Built Environment Forum Summit New York 2019 in summary.

  • 17:30 Summit close

Platinum sponsors

  • Newmark Knight Frank

  • Shanghai Oriental Investment Supervision

  • Cushman & Wakefield

    Cushman & Wakefield


  • Media partner

  • Summit partner


Accomodation options:

The Conrad New York

102 North End Ave,
New York,
NY 10282

Book now 

Marriott Downtown

85 West Street at Albany Street,
New York,
NY 10006

Book now

The Wall Street Inn

9 South William Street,
New York,
NY 10004

Book now

World Center Hotel

144 Washington Street,
New York,
NY 10006

Book now

Venue directions

Conrad New York is set in the heart of Lower Manhattan and offers excellent transportation to and from New York’s three international airports. Enjoy easy access to all the best sights, attractions and activities that New York has to offer.