Deloitte Appoints New U.S. Real Estate Leader
- Feb 04, 2010
February 4, 2010
By Allison Landa, News Editor
The newly appointed leader of international accounting and consulting firm Deloitte’s U.S. real estate practice is looking to distressed asset funds, REITs, and international capital as three major components of the commercial real estate market in 2010.
Robert O’Brien replaces longtime practice leader Dorothy Alpert, who in turn has taken on the role of Deloitte’s northeast deputy regional managing partner. He will lead the firm’s initiatives with regard to tax, audit, enterprise risk, consulting, and financial advisory services in the real estate, homebuilding, and engineering and construction industries out of his Chicago base.
O’Brien said in a statement that as a professional advisor, Deloitte will consult with “new and evolving industry players” dealing with distressed assets as well as those representing REITs, the latter of which he says will see greater activity owing to public offerings as well as mergers and acquisitions. He cited several advisory needs of these real estate professionals, including enhanced financial reporting to investors and capital markets, valuation insights, and technology.
Additionally, O’Brien believes that the flow of both inbound and outbound international capital will continue to play a major role in defining real estate development, management and investment. Alpert said in a statement that O’Brien’s previous work as Deloitte’s global real estate funds initiative leader gives him a particular sensitivity to the needs of international clients.
“Bob exhibited an unmatched facility for the diverse needs clients face as real estate continues to evolve as a global industry,” she said.
O’Brien also discussed the current state of retail with CPE this week, asserting that the picture is improving, if slowly. He noted that the holidays were kind to a slate of retailers, particularly those who kept less inventory on the shelves than usual. Often when consumers saw there was not a particular item in the store, he said, they went home and ordered it on a company’s website, providing another stream of revenue.
A graduate of John Carroll University and Northwestern University, O’Brien joined Deloitte in 1983. He is a member of the National Association for Real Estate Investment Trusts, the National Council of Real Estate Investment Fiduciaries, and the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants.