JLL Taps Duke’s Christie Kelly as New CFO

Jones Lang LaSalle has a new CFO come July 1. The commercial real estate services firm tapped Christie Kelly to provide leadership to drive growth, supervise financial and business planning, and direct investor and banking relations.

Christie Kelly

Jones Lang LaSalle has a new CFO come July 1.

The commercial real estate services firm, headquartered in Chicago, tapped Christie Kelly to replace Lauralee Martin, who has maintained the CFO role since becoming the CEO for the Americas business early this year.

Kelly comes to JLL from Duke Realty, an Indianapolis-based self-administered and self-managed REIT, where she has served as Executive Vice President and CFO for the past four years. She leaves her former company “in a great position for growth,” where, in her own words, she has worked hand in hand with the executive team to transform the business and move it out of recession, and now she is simply ready to move on. Her resignation is effective May 17. Duke Realty promoted Mark Denien to succeed Kelly as CFO.

“At Duke Realty, we’re a domestic platform and Jones Lang LaSalle is a global platform, and just given my background that was one of the things that was really of interest to me,” she said. “The caliber of the people, the culture, the foundation on integrity and enterprise risk management is similar between the two companies and I really looked at that in terms of platform.”

Kelly has far-reaching global experience in both business and financial leadership positions at public companies. In her new role at JLL, she will provide leadership to drive growth, supervise financial and business planning, and direct investor and banking relations. She will report to President & CEO Colin Dyer and join JLL’s Global Executive Committee

“Her financial and operational skills, public company expertise and international experience will help drive the profitable growth that benefits our clients, people and shareholders,” said Colin Dyer in a prepared statement. “We all greatly look forward to working with Christie.”

Prior to Duke, Kelly was the Senior Vice President at the Global Real Estate Group at Lehman Brothers. And previously, she spent 20 years at General Electric Co. in an operational financial management position in the U.S., Europe and Asia, including M&A’s, process improvements, internal audit and risk management.

The finance veteran of more than 25 years admits there is a lack of significant diversity in commercial real estate, which tends to be a male-dominated field, but she is quick to quip that she is not one to focus on gender in the workplace. Her advice to other women looking to climb the corporate ladder is to simply–be yourself.

“Prepare yourself for the next opportunity. Be true to your colleagues, be true to your true core values, and take some risks,” she told Commercial Property Executive. “Step out of your comfort zone, it’s something that makes you stronger.”

Kelly holds a B.A. in Economics from Buckwell University. She is  a member of the Board of Directors at Butler University Business School, National Bank of Indianapolis and Kite Realty; the Inclusion and Diversity Committee of Finance Executives International and Park Tudor School Trust. She has also been recognized as one of the Women of Influence by the Indianapolis Business Journal.