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Hines names new co-CEO

Laura Hines-Pierce will be co-leading the $83.6bn global real estate firm with her father Jeff Hines as part of an ongoing succession plan.

Hines Jeff Laura Hines-Pierce
Jeff Hines and Laura Hines-Pierce: collaborating on decision-making

Hines has promoted Laura Hines-Pierce to co-chief executive of the Houston-based global real estate firm. She will be co-leading Hines with her father, chairman and co-CEO Jeff Hines.

Hines-Pierce, 38, had already been working side-by-side with the elder Hines as senior managing director in the office of the CEO since 2020. In that role, she helped to shape firm-wide strategy and manage key areas of risk.

“We’ve been operating together for the last couple years in our decision-making,” Hines-Pierce told PERE. “Having our different perspectives, not only from a gender perspective, but from a generational perspective, we are really pushing each other in positive ways to get to the best outcome or best decision that I think we wouldn’t be doing individually.”

Hines-Pierce’s elevation to the top post marks the third generation of the Hines family to assume the leadership reins at Hines, which was founded 65 years ago this week by Gerald Hines. The sharing of the leadership between two generations similarly occurred when Jeff Hines began co-running Hines with Gerald Hines three decades ago, with the former leading efforts to globalize the firm, launch its investment management business and diversify its portfolio from office development to the four major property types across the risk spectrum.

“I feel very lucky to be in a position to carry on that family legacy and be focused on the next 30 years,” she noted. “My generation has grown up with an intense focus on innovation, technology, the importance of ESG and the changing nature of the client experience around us. And that’s the perspective that I’m excited to really bring to the leadership of Hines.”

Innovation, technology, ESG and the client experience will be major areas of focus for Hines-Pierce as co-CEO: “The real estate industry is really changing faster than we’ve ever seen it change before. I think it’s changed faster in the last five years than it had in the previous 30 years.”

In terms of ESG, “we’re actually in the process of comprehensively reviewing and analyzing how to best set targets that are realistic, but also impactful and sustainable,” she said. “And we’re thinking about that across the entire ESG spectrum.”

With technology, Hines-Pierce will be focused on the concept of smart buildings and the digitization of real estate to improve both building operations as well as the client experience. On the innovation front, Hines has an internal group called Conceptual Construction that does pre-development research and development across all of the firm’s projects and has introduced a new product type called T3 (Timber, Transit and Technology), for creative office buildings made from wood. Additionally, the firm is building its own internal incubator focusing on new ways of work, new technologies and new businesses across the risk spectrum and across property types.

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Hines-Pierce: expecting her second child in April

Hines-Pierce, who is expecting her second child in April, is one of only a handful of women at the helm of a global private real estate business. That cohort also includes Isabelle Scemama, global head of AXA IM Alts, Nathalie Paladitcheff, CEO of Ivanhoé Cambridge, Kathleen McCarthy, global co-head of real estate at Blackstone, and Sophie van Oosterom, global head of real estate at Schroders.

Hines-Pierce began her career at Hines in 2012, with responsibility for project management of developments and support of new business opportunities in the US’s Midwest and Southeast regions. In 2017, she worked in the office of the chief investment officer on several firm-wide initiatives relating to the firm’s investment strategy and acquisition efforts. From 2018-20, she was Hines’ transformation officer, focusing on strategic initiatives across the business.

Hines-Pierce’s ascension to the co-CEO role is part of an ongoing succession plan that also anticipates her brothers – Adam Hines, who currently works in Hines’ capital markets division, and Matthew Hines, who is part of a development team in the company’s West region – eventually joining the office of the CEO, albeit with no fixed timeline. At that time, Jeff Hines is anticipated to hand over the day-to-day management of the firm to his children.

As of June 30, 2021, Hines oversaw investment assets under management totaling approximately $83.6 billion. The firm operates in 255 cities across 27 countries and has 4,850 staff worldwide.

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