Melissa leads a team of research and strategy professionals focused on the U.S. direct real estate market. Collaborating closely with our global head of research, her deep U.S. expertise contributes to our market leading research capabilities, which inform all investment decisions. Melissa is a member of the Americas investment committee, as well as the global R&D team, which identifies global, regional and structural trends, ensuring our research feeds into every stage of the investment process as well as product development.
Prior to joining Nuveen Real Estate in 2017, Melissa was with MetLife Investment Management where she oversaw all research and strategy related activities with a focus on real estate. Previously, she was with Aberdeen Asset Management where she created its Americas research platform.
Melissa graduated with a B.A. in Economics from The University of Chicago and an M.B.A. from The University of Chicago Booth School of Business. She serves as the chair of the National Council Real Estate Investment Fiduciaries research committee and is a member of the National Multifamily Housing Council research committee and the International Council Shopping Centres North American research task force. Melissa is also active in the National Association of Real Estate Investment Managers and Pension Real Estate Association.
Tom Galli practices in the area of real estate law, representing clients in real estate transactions and development for mixed-use, data center, office, industrial, retail, stadium, multifamily and other types of properties located throughout the country. He has worked on matters involving the acquisition and disposition of single assets and portfolios (including loan portfolios), permanent, securitized, credit line and construction financing, loan restructuring and workouts, lease transactions for landlords and tenants, and public-private partnerships.
Mr. Galli’s clients include private equity firms, REITs, pension funds, opportunity funds, insurance companies, asset managers, banks, publicly traded companies, private companies, developers and government agencies. During the last economic downturn, Mr. Galli represented a number of private equity firms in acquisitions and asset management of nonperforming real estate loan portfolios having an aggregate unpaid principal balance of approximately $6 billion. Since the last downturn, Mr. Galli’s representation of clients has included the development of property in public-private partnerships and the acquisition, financing and leasing of data centers across the country.
Mr. Galli is a 1988 graduate of Stanford Law School and a graduate of the University of Pennsylvania, Wharton School of Business.
Dr. Arnold has a distinguished 30-year career as an investment professional and spent the last eleven years guiding the real estate activities of the Abu Dhabi Investment Authority (ADIA), initially as Head of Americas, then Deputy Global Head, and subsequently as Global Head of Real Estate.
Prior to his role at ADIA, Dr. Arnold was a partner and Managing Director at Cerberus Capital Partners, a Managing Director at ING Financial Services, a Director of Credit Suisse, and a Vice President of Salomon Brothers (now Citigroup).
Dr. Arnold is a frequent industry and academic speaker and has been published in the Journal of Portfolio Management and Tax Notes. Dr. Arnold is a licensed attorney, a member of the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS), and a holder of the right to use the Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) and Chartered Alternative Investment Analyst (CAIA) designations.
Dr. Arnold is a former Chairman of the Pension Real Estate Association (PREA), a former Chairman of the Association of Foreign Investors in Real Estate (AFIRE), a former Director of the Real Estate Roundtable, and is currently a Global Governing Trustee and Treasurer of the Urban Land Institute (ULI).
Dr. Arnold holds a Doctor of Business Administration, a Juris Doctorate, and a Bachelor of Science degree in Economics from the University of Florida, a Master of Business Administration from the Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth College, and a Master of Law (Taxation)from New York University.
Scott E. Peterson co-founded Digital Realty Trust (NYSE:DLR) in 2004. As Chief Investment Officer, Mr. Peterson was primarily responsible for all M&A activities and evaluating capital allocation decisions. As chair of the Investment Committee, he was responsible for overseeing all major development and leasing decisions, and spent significant time managing international operations and asset management for the company. Under his leadership, Digital Realty became the largest global data center company in the world, growing to the eighth largest publicly-traded REIT, with an enterprise value in excess of $35 billion, and was added to the S&P 500 in 2016.
Mr. Peterson conceived and executed the strategic plan to provide customers with a full spectrum of space, power, and interconnection on a global scale by acquiring and developing more than 200 properties in over 35 markets in the US, Europe, and Asia. From site selection, which fueled development, to executing new market expansions, his strategic M&A included the $7.5 billion acquisition of competitor DuPont Fabros and the nearly $2 billion acquisition of colocation and interconnection company, Telx. In total, Mr. Peterson closed over $17 billion in data center transactions, transforming Digital Realty into the most significant global data center provider of its kind
Prior to Digital Realty, Mr. Peterson held senior management positions with multiple real estate investment companies, including Digital Realty’s predecessor entity, GI Partners, where he served as Managing Director, and with GIC Real Estate. Mr. Peterson began his real estate career at LaSalle Partners and Trammell Crow Company, where he was active in acquisitions, development, and asset management. In total, Mr. Peterson has closed investments totaling well in excess of $20 billion.
Mr. Peterson received a Bachelor of Arts degree from Northwestern University and a Master of Business Administration degree from the Kellogg Graduate School of Management at Northwestern University.
David is Managing Partner of Argosy Real Estate Partners, a real estate fund manager with approximately $1.4 billion in real estate assets under management through six fully discretionary, commingled funds. Argosy invests nationwide through opportunistic, value-added and core-plus strategies in conjunction with operating partners. Argosy also currently has an Opportunity Zone investment program. David has general management responsibilities for the firm's investment strategy, asset management, operations, and fundraising. He is a member of the firm’s Investment Committee and Management Committee.
Previously, he was Vice President and head of the San Francisco office for the real estate investment group of J.P. Morgan Investment Management. David joined JPM from AIG Global Real Estate, a global opportunistic real estate private equity investor, where he was a Vice President. David is a member of the Board of Directors and Past President of Stanford Professionals in Real Estate (SPIRE) and is also the Co-Founder of the Stanford Alumni Real Estate Council (SREC). David is also a member of ULI’s National Small Scale Development Council and is also a member of the Policy Advisory Board for the Fisher Center at UC Berkeley.
Mr. Butler earned a BS in Civil Engineering and a BA in Economics from Stanford University as well an MBA from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania.
Spencer Levy is the Chairman of Americas Research and Senior Economic Advisor for CBRE, the largest commercial real estate firm in the world. Spencer is the chief spokesman on real estate matters for CBRE in the Americas and is the one of the most sought-after speakers in the commercial real estate industry. He is regularly quoted in major business publications and frequently is a guest on business television, including Bloomberg, CNBC, CNN, PBS and Fox Business. He spends the majority of his time speaking to clients, in the media, public speaking training and hosting CBRE’s podcast, The Weekly Take.
By leveraging his 25 years of experience in commercial real estate, including the past 13 at CBRE, Spencer has redefined the role of research leader. Spencer combines his experience as a lawyer, investment banker and capital markets leader to create presentations that go deep and touch on all aspects of commercial real estate. Combined with his unique and engaging presenting style, this makes him one of the most respected commentators and advisors in the business. Spencer regularly speaks at major events of the country’s leading commercial real estate organizations, including CORENET, NAIOP, ULI, ICSC, NAREIM and CREW. He also has guest lectured at major universities, including his alma maters Harvard and Cornell, in addition to Columbia, NYU, Johns Hopkins, Georgetown, UCLA, USC, The Ohio State University, Pitt, Auburn and many others.
Spencer is a recipient of multiple industry awards, including a two-time winner of the CORENET Luminary Award for Excellence in Public Speaking, the CBRE Trammell Crow Master Builder Award, the CBRE Gary J. Bebon Teamwork Award, was named a Maryland Real Estate Influencer and was recently awarded the Lifetime Achievement Award for Excellence in Commercial Real Estate by the Daily Record in Maryland.
While a New Yorker for most of his life, Spencer currently hails from Baltimore and is a proud husband of 21 years and father of three children. Spencer sits on the boards of the Baltimore Leadership School for Young Women and Harvard Alumni Real Estate.
Jay A. Neveloff advises a broad range of clients involved with the development, ownership and financing of real estate projects, including high-profile mixed-use, commercial, retail, and residential projects in New York City and throughout the country. A nationally recognized transactional lawyer, Jay represents institutional and private equity funds, as well as other investors, in joint ventures, in the acquisition and sale of property, including portfolios of properties, and in connection with a broad variety of developments. He also represents major international funds and financial institutions in commercial lending transactions, loan restructurings and workouts.
David W. Hamm is a Senior Managing Director and Head of Acquisitions at Wafra responsible for recommending investment strategies for potential and existing clients. Mr. Hamm is also a key member of the Real Estate Investment Committee.
Mr. Hamm was previously a Managing Director at DWS/RREEF responsible for leading the East Coast transactions team focusing on office, retail, industrial and multifamily products for direct equity and structured debt investments. During his 19 years at DWS he completed more than $7.0 billion in transactions.
Mr. Hamm earned a BS from Lehigh University and an MBA from Columbia University. He is a member of ULI, ISCS and NMHC.
Daniel Lisk is a partner in the Real Estate Practice Group in the New York office. Daniel represents real estate funds, financial institutions, developers and property owners in a range of commercial real estate transactions, including mortgage and mezzanine financing, equity investments, construction lending, loan syndication, property acquisitions and dispositions, joint ventures, workouts and restructurings. Daniel is an active member of the Board of Directors of WaterAid America and the Board of Trustees of Usdan Summer Camp for the Arts. Daniel serves on the firm’s Alumni Committee, Attorney Integration Committee and Sustainability Committee.
Selected Client Representations
Andrew Jacobs is a Managing Director and Co-Head of Americas based in Metropolitan’s New York City office. With many years of experience in real estate, he is responsible for sourcing and evaluating fund managers and investment opportunities in the United States and Latin America. Mr. Jacobs also co-manages Metropolitan’s Co-Investments funds and separately managed accounts.
Prior to joining Metropolitan, Mr. Jacobs served as a Director with Angelo, Gordon & Co. for 10 years, where he undertook senior-level acquisition and asset management responsibilities for a diversified portfolio consisting of 50 properties located throughout the United States with a total capitalization of $1.7 billion. While at Angelo Gordon, Mr. Jacobs focused on the opportunistic and core-plus strategies. Prior to Angelo Gordon, Mr. Jacobs was a Project Manager for Hines at their corporate headquarters in Houston. There, Mr. Jacobs oversaw the development of a 473-room Westin Hotel and the disposition of a large portfolio of industrial properties. Before Hines, Mr. Jacobs worked for Campbell Soup, selling surplus industrial properties and selecting retail locations for Campbell's subsidiary, Godiva Chocolatier.
Mr. Jacobs has been an Adjunct Professor of real estate finance at Columbia Business School since 2008. He has also been a member of the Urban Land Institute since 1994.
Mr. Jacobs received his BA in art history from University of Pennsylvania and his MBA in real estate finance from Columbia Business School.
Peter Auerbach is the Founder and Managing Partner of Auerbach Funds. Mr. Auerbach is responsible for the overall management of the Company and its three underlying Funds: Auerbach Opportunity Fund I, LP., Auerbach Opportunity Fund II, LP, and Auerbach Opportunity Fund III, LP. In this role, he conceptualizes and creates the investment strategy of the Company and spearheads the Company’s acquisition and asset management process. Mr. Auerbach is personally and intimately involved in all investments in the managed Funds. Throughout his career, Peter has personally overseen the acquisition of over $1 billion of real estate assets comprising over 9.4 million square feet. Peter was formerly the Chief Investment Officer of ALTO Real Estate Funds; and started his career in the investment banking and asset management divisions of Merrill Lynch and Credit Suisse. He was formerly an adjunct professor at New York University in his spare time and still enjoys giving lectures on real estate investing. Peter holds a BS in Finance from Lehigh University where he graduated as Senior Class President and delivered the commencement address. Peter lives in Charlotte North Carolina with his wife, two children, and dog.
Akbar Tajani is a Managing Director with Barings’ Real Estate platform in Los Angeles. Barings is MassMutual’s investment management business spanning all asset classes, and the Real Estate team oversees approximately $50 billion of AUM globally, across debt and equity strategies. Mr. Tajani joined Barings in March, 2020 and is focused on core to opportunistic credit investments, including senior loans, mezzanine debt and preferred equity.
Previously, Mr. Tajani was a Director with Pine River Capital Management in New York, where he was responsible for originations, capital markets and asset management for a publicly traded mortgage REIT, Granite Point Mortgage Trust (NYSE: GPMT). Prior experiences include Abraaj Capital in Dubai, a global emerging markets alternatives investment firm where Mr. Tajani was responsible for real estate private equity, and BlackRock in New York, where Mr. Tajani focused on real estate private equity as a member of the portfolio management, acquisitions and financing teams.
Mr. Tajani earned his MBA from Columbia University and his Bachelor’s degree from University of Southern California.
Jim joined Baird's Real Estate Investment Banking Group in 2011 from FBR Capital Markets, where he established and led the Real Estate Private Equity and Advisory Group. Prior to FBR, Jim was a member of the Private Equity Placement Group with UBS Investment Bank for five years and served as President and Founder of CVC Investments, Inc. from 1989-1999. Jim received a BS in management from St. Joseph's University and earned an MBA from Duke University.
Lee co-founded SharpVue and leads its real estate investment effort. He has spent his 25+ year career in real estate investment and finance and has been involved in the sector in several contexts, including private equity, investment banking and commercial banking. Immediately prior to SharpVue, he served as budget director for the State of North Carolina, a role in which, among other initiatives, he led an effort to rationalize the state’s real estate portfolio.
Before his time in public service, Mr. Roberts was most recently Managing Director of Piedmont Community Bank Holdings, a private equity-backed bank investment platform in Raleigh. He was earlier a Partner at Cherokee Investment Partners, a real estate private equity fund in Raleigh, and he spent nine years with Morgan Stanley in London and New York, focused on real estate investment banking.
Education: Georgetown, JD; Duke, BA
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