“When I joined Slate in 2019, I quickly learned that irrespective of where you are in your career or how long you have been at the firm, Slate encourages you to make meaningful contributions and strive to have a strong impact within the company, which was exactly the kind of environment I had been looking for.”
Tell us about the path that led you to Slate.
I started my career in real estate investment banking at a large Canadian bank, which was a great way to develop a wide range of soft and hard skills while learning about capital markets and corporate finance. After several years in this advisory position, I began searching for a role that would allow me to be more involved within an organization and effect change from the inside, which ultimately led to me to Slate.
When I joined Slate as an Analyst on the Investor Relations team in 2019, I quickly learned that irrespective of where you are in your career or how long you have been at the firm, Slate encourages you to make meaningful contributions and strive to have a strong impact within the company, which was exactly the kind of environment I had been looking for.
How has your career at Slate evolved since you joined?
Starting out in Investor Relations helped me understand the inner workings of the business and form relationships with team members across the organization and at different levels. I was also able to get to know our various investors and understand what their challenges and priorities are, and how we can best partner with them.
With all this context, I felt that my next challenge was to really learn the nuts and bolts of real estate and round out my understanding of our business. When I was presented with the opportunity to shift from investor relations into an asset management role focused on our grocery portfolio in the US, I was excited to take on the challenge.
In your experience, what does it take to be successful in asset management?
I think of my portfolio of assets as individual small businesses, each requiring a unique approach but all having the same goal of maximizing value for our investors. At Slate, we take a very hands-on approach to asset management, which requires a deep understanding of the markets our assets are in. A part of developing this understanding is being present on site at various properties, so a willingness to travel is key. The other key is trust-based relationships; in this business you can’t do everything yourself, so you have to leverage your partners on the ground and rely on their insights to make good business decisions.
I’m involved in a wide variety of functional areas, from leasing and redevelopment projects, financial reporting, various ESG initiatives, and acquisitions and dispositions. Having that broad understanding of our business from my time on the investor relations team also helps me navigate through of all those areas.
You recently relocated from Toronto to Chicago with Slate. How will this move impact your day-to-day role?
Moving to Chicago enables me to travel more around the United States to visit our American tenants and brokers. Chicago is centrally located and a travel hub, so I can easily access our various property markets to assess their performance, look at potential new markets, and meet with institutional tenants. I’m also going to get to collaborate more closely with my team members who are based in Chicago, as well as train and mentor some newer members of our fast-growing team. I’ve been able to build some of those relationships by traveling regularly to Chicago, but getting to spend more time together in person and training our newer team members will make our team dynamic even better.
What is your favorite pastime outside of the office?
Growing up in Canada, I played hockey from a young age. While I still enjoy hockey, in recent years, I’ve focused more on endurance sports, like long-distance biking and Ironman 70.3 races.
I like activities that push me to be better and allow me to be competitive. Real estate is an extremely competitive business, so there is always an emphasis on improving, working hard, and producing the best outcome. Sports taught me the value of a strong work ethic, how to work with and rely on a team, and how to apply constructive feedback to improve my performance. These are qualities that have positively influenced my work here at Slate, and made me a better professional.