Leadership Changes Announced at PGIM Real Estate

Cathy Marcus will assume the role when Kevin Smith retires in May, while Alfonso Munk will take on expanded responsibilities, as well.

Cathy Marcus
Cathy Marcus

After 36 years at PGIM Real Estate, Kevin Smith, the firm’s head of Americas, will retire in March, a plan originally announced to investors last May.

In his time at the company, Smith served as head of its U.S. business from 2012 to 2014, was senior portfolio manager for PGIM Real Estate’s flagship core equity real estate fund, PRISA, as well as its value-add fund, PRISA III, and was responsible for the oversight of all aspects of each fund’s operations, including portfolio strategy, acquisitions, sales and asset management.

“Throughout his nearly four-decade career at PGIM Real Estate, Kevin has served as a thoughtful and astute investor, partner and mentor, and embodied PGIM Real Estate’s client-centric culture and steadfast commitment to transparency and integrity,” Eric Adler, PGIM Real Estate’s CEO, said in a prepared release. “We thank Kevin for his tremendous contributions and wish him happiness in his well-deserved retirement.”    

With Smith’s retirement just months away, PGIM Real Estate has named Cathy Marcus head of the U.S. business, to go with her role as global chief operating officer. First coming to the company in 1998, Marcus has served in a range of transactions and portfolio management roles, including senior portfolio manager for PGIM Real Estate’s flagship core equity real estate fund. In her new role, she will be responsible for the development and implementation of the firm’s strategy and operations in the U.S., and has oversight of U.S. portfolio and asset management. 

Alfonso Munk, Americas chief investment officer, will also now serve as head of Latin America. He originally came to the company in 2012 and retained oversight of the day-to-day Latin America operations upon his appointment to Americas chief investment officer in 2015. In his new position, Munk will be tasked with the development and implementation of strategy and operations in Latin America, and has oversight of Latin America portfolio and asset management. 

“Delivering superior investment performance and service to our clients hinges on our ability to effectively develop and promote our deep bench of talent,” Adler said. “Cathy and Alfonso each bring significant real estate investment management experience and in-depth knowledge of our platform to their roles.”

Additionally, Phil Barrett, global chief investment risk officer, has assumed a new and expanded role managing the company’s day-to-day business and investment operations globally. Meanwhile, Len Kaplan, current head of Customized Investment Strategies, was named global chief investment risk officer.

“I am confident that these collective leadership appointments will support our long-term business objectives, and enable PGIM Real Estate to continue to leverage the breadth of our global and on-the-ground regional resources on behalf of our clients,” Adler added.

Forging Ahead

PGIM Real Estate is the real estate investment business of PGIM, the global investment management businesses of Prudential Financial Inc.  

In December, Marcia Diaz, global head of originations at PGIM Real Estate Finance, said the swift rise of e-commerce, coupled with a ramped-up Amazon takeover, has forced many national retailers to shutter their stores and focus more on e-commerce offerings.

Also that month, PGIM Real Estate teamed with the Carroll Organization to acquire a multifamily portfolio of 28 properties across Florida, North Carolina, Tennessee and Texas, and the six metros where these properties reside had seen average employment growth outperform the U.S. average for seven straight years, in some cases by more than double.

Photo courtesy of PGIM Real Estate