The Baker Program’s Distinguished Speaker Series Welcomes Avi Mehrotra

By: nicholasg

On March 5, the Baker Program in Real Estate’s Distinguished Speaker Series will feature Avinash “Avi” Mehrotra. Mehrotra is currently a Partner and Head of Real Estate Mergers and Acquisitions at Goldman Sachs.

Born in India and raised in Queens, New York, Mehrotra graduated with Distinction from Cornell’s College of Engineering in 1991, earning a B.S. Electrical Engineering.  After early work experience at Intel, Morgan Stanley and McKinsey and Company, he attended Stanford University’s Graduate School of Business, earning an MBA in 1996. That same year, he joined Goldman Sachs as an Associate in Mergers and Acquisitions, advising clients in the Industrials and Consumer sectors.  He later moved to the Technology, Media and Telecom group in 2002, earning a promotion to Managing Director in 2004.  Around this time, he moved to Dubai to lead Goldman’s investment banking business in the Middle East and North Africa. Additionally, from 2006 to 2010 he was Co-Head of Goldman’s Technology Mergers and Acquisitions Group. He was named Partner in 2010.

Mehrotra has previously been featured as a Baker Program in Real Estate Distinguished Speaker, most recently in February 2013. Alumni who were students that year fondly recall Mehrotra delivering an engaging lecture that divided into two equally intriguing sections. First, he predicted that Real Estate M&A deal volume would grow due to the manner in which real estate investment was evolving. He illustrated such changes by going over in detail the 2012 merger of Sunrise Senior Living with Healthcare REIT. In that deal, Mehrotra’s team utilized a controlled auction format, leading to a final merger price that was well in excess of projections, delivering a much better deal for Sunrise’s shareholders. The second half of Mehrotra’s lecture focused on the increasing importance of sovereign wealth funds to international real estate investment. Sovereign wealth funds carry a great deal of potential capital that could flow into real estate, with the top echelon routinely exceeding $500 billion. While these funds have traditionally focused their investments in financial services companies, their strategies have recently become more integrated, often allocating more to real estate and infrastructure investments.

Jason Abel (Baker ’16), stated “Mr. Mehrotra has a wealth of experience in global real estate, both geographically and in practice. He has advised both buyers and sellers, as well as financial services companies in addition to other industries. It will be interesting to hear not only how financing strategies have evolved over the past few years, but how the structural changes in investment management, especially sovereign wealth funds, have affected the sector.