Home    Natixis boss is a real estate rock star

When the French banking large Natixis signed off on a $1.9 billion mortgage for Maefield Improvement’s 20 Instances Sq. improvement final yr, it was Cate Agnew’s digging that helped cement the deal.

As govt director and head of real estate valuation for the French banking large’s New York workplace, Agnew’s fingerprints are on just about each one of many $18 billion in loans it transacts yearly within the US.

She was tapped to launch the valuation group in 2017, a transfer that allowed the financial institution to independently appraise mortgage functions whereas adhering to the compliance rules surrounding the enterprise. “I created the insurance policies and procedures round valuation in assist of the lending that we do right here in industrial real estate,” mentioned Agnew, who truly employs her skills throughout the transaction, from consulting with Natixis’ lending line deal groups on upcoming tasks, to vetting appraisers, reviewing their calculations and, finally, approving and documenting the transaction.


“It’s a outstanding privilege being a part of the group that’s behind offers like 20 Instances Sq.,” mentioned Agnew.

Her prowess within the deal making course of has earned Agnew a spot among the many business’s Ladies of Affect as a Counselor of Actual Property, one of the crucial revered real estate specialists within the sector, and membership on a slew of boards, together with RICS Finance Committee, the Audit Committee of CCIM and the Worldwide Ethics Requirements Coalition, amongst others.

Which is why it’s arduous to fathom how she began out as a geologist.

“I loved being out within the subject and the analytical nature of manufacturing outcomes,” mentioned Agnew of her early years at William & Mary working in the direction of her Bachelors in Geology. When she graduated and set out for San Francisco on the hunt for a job in her subject, “there have been no jobs available for love nor cash and I needed to rethink what I used to be going to do,” she recalled.
Sarcastically, she noticed a variety of similarities between digging round within the filth of the pure panorama and the bricks and mortar of real estate.

“Industrial real estate appealed to my sense of going out within the subject, what’s on the market, gathering your information, analyzing and concluding.
“I knew to succeed I needed to be credentialed as a result of I wasn’t popping out of enterprise college, and so I went and received my MAI (Member of the Appraisal Institute) designation.”

It was the beginning of what Agnew calls a lifelong studying curve that noticed her construct a resume of accomplishments that finally led the Philadelphia native to the very pinnacle of the appraisal craft. “Individuals prefer to seize a label and so they don’t prefer to let it go,” she mentioned of her serendipitous journey. “My label has marginally stayed the identical, and though every thing I’ve accomplished has been very completely different, it has all been accomplished utilizing the identical primary instruments.”

Armed along with her MAI, she received her first job at a Minneapolis appraisal agency and located her terra firma. When she landed at US Financial institution as chief appraiser, she began classed on the College of Minnesota and received her MBA in Finance.

That took her to a big monetary agency in Massachusetts after which TIAA CREF in New York as affiliate director of real estate. After a stint with Washington Mutual within the multi-family residential evaluation and lending sector as a Fannie Mae delegated underwriting and servicing specialist, she discovered herself on the Diocese of Brooklyn and Queens, of all locations.

“I used to be staying with valuation, however shifting roles every time,” Agnew defined. “Each time I moved, I gained a brand new talent set to finally be taught the entire funding panorama from high to backside.”

She recollects her church real estate function with fondness. “It was a rare expertise. That they had by no means had anybody have a look at their real estate as an asset to be deployed earlier than, they simply noticed it as chunks of property.

“Brooklyn and Queens have been each based by immigrants and the complexion of the Catholic church mirrored that. It was structured so that every parish owned its personal stuff — colleges, rectories, convents. As they have been starting to shut down, what the church wanted to do with their real estate turned problematic. I flipped their mannequin, which had been that parishes supported their very own buildings, and mentioned let’s have buildings assist the parish. If these buildings are usually not getting used, let’s discover one other use — hire it or promote it so it’s giving a reimbursement.”

Agnew mentioned she seen her job with the diocese as certainly one of “altering the pondering,” and he or she put the practices and procedures in place that will take the church into the brand new millennium fiscally sound and strategically positioned to comprehend capital positive aspects from its property for the following 40 years.

“It was arduous to go away. I had created one thing I used to be very pleased with,” she recalled, however the extremely regulated world of monetary reporting beckoned and her subsequent cease was Atlanta, GA, the place Ernst & Younger employed her as valuation supervisor.

RICS headquarters in London

In control of nationwide monetary reporting and audit help, she was transferred to Florida, the place she first encountered the Royal Establishment of Chartered Surveyors, or RICS. Regardless of a stately moniker void of the kind of mass enchantment favored by People, the British establishment was intent on a membership push that included training of the colonists and was holding a convention in Miami.

Agnew recalled, “I had been doing a variety of worldwide work with a earlier employer and I used to be always going to RICS for information and other people to speak to about a number of the markets I used to be working in. So, I went to the convention and, as soon as I began realizing the type of that have been required to be a part of it and what they needed to supply each within the US and overseas, I started to discover the thought of becoming a member of as a Fellow.

“I used to be very intrigued by the inroads they have been making. That they had an outstanding marketing strategy and it crammed a necessity within the US that was unfilled. The necessity was for a designation that bridged the world between how the US views real estate and crammed in with how the remainder of the world views real estate. There’s a sure parochialism to the US view of real estate and all its complexities. As a substitute of it by means of one lens, RICS embraces each side.”

She discovered there was an entire lot extra to RICS than a man standing close to a highway with a tripod and a employees. “Members are concerned in each side of the business, from allowing, to land use, to city planning, engineers, price pricing, undertaking administration. They don’t should be a surveyor — there isn’t such a place right here — however no matter their career, every RICS member is held to the identical excessive normal.

“I’ve at all times believed everybody must refresh their data base all through their profession and RICS gave me the chance to do this. I dug in and have become as lively as I might.”

As a member of the worldwide institute’s finance board, Agnew is certainly one of a key group that handles RICS funds and investments. With its personal property portfolio — together with a headquarters constructing in London’s Westminster Sq. — and a big quantity of curiosity in monetary investments, the board is tasked with making RICS cash work for members in a “considerate and prudent means” whereas the group strives to advance the professions of its members.

Calling the designation “the benchmark of our business,” Agnew mentioned, “If you find yourself a member RICS, you might be held to a really excessive degree of professionalism and violations carry severe penalties. It protects your entire membership by making certain every member is held to the identical excessive normal. It additionally gives training, authorities outreach and powerful data and metrics on the constructed surroundings in an accessible means.”
She mentioned her RICS membership introduced her into an enormous community of achieved specialists and enriched the experiences she has with different organizations, similar to CREW (Industrial Actual Property Ladies, which she co-founded in New York and Minneapolis) CCIM (Licensed Industrial Funding Member) and the Appraisal Institute.

“My membership introduced me not solely a brand new talent set, however new relationships, and it was after becoming a member of RICS that I used to be invited to develop into a Counselor of Actual Property. I used to be very honored. It was the results of 15 years of a profession transferring ahead and it was fantastic to have that acknowledgment. What I’ve drawn from RICS pushed me ahead to that subsequent degree.”

That subsequent degree was main the real estate advisory, valuation division of PwC in Manhattan. “I had been recruited to E&Y and when a buddy of mine started a brand new apply at PwC, he recruited me. Each have been nice experiences. I’m a fan of lifelong studying and every job introduced me a special understanding that taught me learn how to do new issues. I set to work on monumental offers each day, from worldwide mergers and acquisitions to landmark valuations.”

In 2015, Agnew joined Deutsch Financial institution as group chief of its Americas valuation division and, from there, she was recruited by Natixis to begin its appraisal group. “We’ve some actually good folks on the deal groups right here,” she mentioned of her co-workers. “And what I take pleasure in most is how this job is refreshing what I do know and resetting that data curve.”

Maybe a biologist at coronary heart although, Agnew likens her profession path to a layering. “I at all times felt that I needed to go additional, I wished to have the ability to take a 360 diploma view of funding real estate in order that I might work across the cycle and see it from all of the angles — every thing from leasing and gross sales, to asset administration and monetary reporting, to valuation within the US and internationally, and each step I took, my curiosity was additional piqued.”

She’s not resting on her laurels now both. She’s at the moment working in the direction of what’s known as a Hypzert designation — for the layman, a worldwide gold star from the Worldwide Group for Standardization, one of many first sanctioned consultants to the United Nations Financial and Social Council.

Agnew defined, “Natixis is the one French financial institution that has a lending apply in Germany and I’m working in the direction of the Hypzert designation for Pfandbrief [German debt securities] in order that, sooner or later, I will likely be prepared to assist Natixis with that. Then the logical subsequent step is to be on a company board of administrators. I’ve spent a lifetime mastering talent units and making use of them to each potential angle of real estate and that is one thing that I really feel brings worth to Natixis and that I believe I might deliver worth to any board.”

She can also be nurturing a brand new technology of real estate professionals, though she doesn’t just like the time period mentoring.

“Mentoring feels like I do know all of it and I contemplate them to be my equals,” she mentioned of her novices. “Their data base is completely different, nevertheless it doesn’t imply it’s any much less worthwhile than my data base and what I can be taught from them.

“I joke that I like my mates to be 10 years older than me and 20 years youthful. Older in order that they’ll educate me what’s going to occur subsequent and youthful to maintain me from falling behind on what tendencies I’m going to be coping with tomorrow.”

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