Join the discussion on how malls and department stores can compete in the new age of retail, which distribution strategies make sense (omni-channel, brick & mortar, online-only) and how tenant mix and property configuration can be modified to restore value. Our featured speaker will also share his multi-decade perspective on careers in the real estate industry.
Doug Sesler is a private real estate investor. Until April of 2021, Mr. Sesler was the Head of Real Estate for Macy’s, Inc., and was responsible for the 100 million square foot portfolio, including overall strategy to enhance real estate value and shareholder returns. In addition to monetizing/developing $2 Billion of real estate (160 transactions), he led the financial restructuring of Macy’s, Inc. during the COVID crisis, including raising $4.5 billion to recapitalize the company.
He has been involved in the real estate advisory, investing, finance and restructuring business for over 35 years. Prior to joining Macy’s in 2016, he consulted on strategic and operational matters for several entities, including iStar Financial, Lehman Brothers, Bentall Kennedy and Clarion Partners. Prior to this, he was the global head of real estate principal investments at Bank America Merrill Lynch where he managed an $8 billion portfolio of opportunistic real estate for the firm’s balance sheet and for third party fund investors. After the Bank of America acquisition of Merrill Lynch, Mr. Sesler orchestrated a wind down of the business and its 140-person team. Prior to this, Mr. Sesler was the co-head of Merrill Lynch’s global real estate investment banking unit and was a Managing Director in the real estate investment banking unit at Citigroup.
During his career, he was responsible for numerous M&A transactions, IPOs, and capital raising efforts (both debt and equity). Notable assignments include: a duel IPO and M&A strategy resulting in an ultimate sale of the $18-billlion Archstone multifamily platform, the sole representation of Equity Office Properties in its sale to Blackstone (at $40 billion, the largest privatization in history, at the time), numerous acquisitions on behalf of New Plan Realty and Brookfield Properties and IPO’s for DLF (India’s largest real estate company), Digital Realty and Douglas Emmett.
Mr. Sesler’s early career included positions at Chemical Bank (now JP Morgan) and Travelers Insurance as a lender, equity investor and restructuring specialist.
Mr. Sesler has been a member of The Real Estate Roundtable, The Urban Land Institute, NAREIT, and the ICSC. He also serves on the board of Urban Edge (NYSE: UE). Mr. Sesler is a graduate of Cornell University.