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A Day in the Life

A Day in the Life, Commercial Real Estate, UST Program News

A Day in the Life of Ben Bastian – UST Real Estate Alumnus and Production Analyst with CBRE

This post was written by Dan Jackson, a 2012 UST MBA graduate. Dan completed many of his electives in real estate including participation in the spring 2012 REAL 714 International Real Estate Development course in the Cayman Islands.

Ben Bastian, Production Analyst at CBRE

A trip up 1,000 feet in North America’s fastest elevators and 360 degree views of Lake Michigan, the Magnificent Mile, the rest of Chicagoland and Las Vegas are just a few things that Class of 2005 alumnus, Ben Bastian, states as his most memorable experience at the University of St. Thomas (UST).   He took the trip as a member of the UST Real Estate Club.  “During my undergraduate experience, collaboration between the CBRE offices in Minneapolis and UST started.  Through the Real Estate Club, we planned a trip to Chicago that focused on touring and learning more about various properties in the Chicago central business district (CBD).  We toured a couple properties; the most recognizable property was the John Hancock Tower.  What was even more amazing about this trip was that we were able to venture out onto the roof of the Hancock building to enjoy the view,” stated Bastian.  Ben adds, “Another memorable experience was a trip to Las Vegas that was partly funded by the winning proceeds from the Commercial Real Estate Development Association (NAIOP) University Challenge.  Similar to the Chicago trip, we were able to tour local office buildings, including the Bellagio.”

Currently, Ben is a Production Analyst with the Minneapolis Debt & Equity Finance team within the Capital Markets Group at CBRE.  He has been in his position at CBRE for seven months, and previously was an analyst in investment sales at Cushman & Wakefield.  When asked to describe his typical work day, Ben stated, “I work a lot with numbers and perform financial analysis on prospective and current deals; I use Argus for financial modeling on most properties. Other things that take place in my day include – property tours with lenders, meetings with attorneys, prospective clients and conversations with lenders to market our current assignments.”  He continues to explain, “In a typical day I am dealing with clients who may have a property under contract to purchase or they are looking to refinance a property that they own.  Our primary goal is to be able to analyze the property, which involves determining the value, figuring out what elements are driving the value and taking this information to the market after thorough research has been completed.  All of this information is presented in a financing request package to the lenders to obtain their feedback about whether or not they want to make a loan on the property.”

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A Day in the Life

A Day in the Life of UST Alumnus Grant Campbell of Welsh Property Trust

This post was written by Dan Jackson, a 2012 UST MBA graduate. Dan completed many of his electives in real estate including participation in the spring 2012 REAL 714 International Real Estate Development course in the Cayman Islands.

Grant Campbell, Wesh Property Trust

Class of 2006 UST real estate alumnus, Grant Campbell, loves what he does, ”I enjoy the fact that every day is different. Every investment opportunity, every asset, every lease is different.  In this job, you need to be able to find ways to maximize value for both the company and our shareholders, and also for the tenants we work with.  This essentially involves figuring out what the key objectives are for those involved in a particular transaction  and finding the best way to meet those objectives for all parties involved, whether they be sellers, buyers, lenders or portfolio tenants.”, states Campbell.

 As Associate, Investments, for Welsh Property Trust, Grant Campbell works as part of a team to source, underwrite, execute, manage and dispose of real estate investments.  He has been in the role for a year and half, but has been with the company overall for close to 6 years.  Campbell started out as a Financial Analyst in 2006, just prior to his graduation from St. Thomas.  In this position he underwrote potential acquisitions for the company.  In late 2007, he transitioned and took on a more active role as a Senior Financial Analyst with Welsh.  A key component in this position was that he was able to manage the overall financial analyst team at the company, overseeing work allocation and development.   As he continued to develop professionally in this position, he had the opportunity to dive deeper into the corporate finance and asset management realm. All of this knowledge eventually morphed into his role today as an Investment Associate with Welsh Property Trust, where he focuses on sourcing and underwriting investment opportunities, corporate level financial modeling in conjunction with Welsh Property Trust’s investment partners, and assisting with portfolio management.

A typical day for Campbell usually begins by scanning various real estate and finance publications, for notable transactions and industry developments.  The overall core of his job involves a lot of underwriting in ARGUS and Excel, as well as time on the phone, “I focus on underwriting both potential new deals and current assets that we own.  A lot of the day can be spent talking with brokers in various markets where we currently own or are looking to buy, to discuss activity relating to our buildings or to discuss transactions that are for sale or have recently sold.  We are always trying to find opportunities.  To sum the position up – ARGUS, Excel, a time on the phone, property tours and lots of conversation internally amongst our team members – ultimately trying to find ways to add value to the Welsh Property Trust portfolio,” says Campbell. Continue Reading