NAREIM’s Renna switches associations

Stephen Renna has been named chief executive officer of the Commercial Real Estate Finance Council after almost three years at the National Association of Real Estate Investment Managers.

The head of the US real estate investment managers association, Stephen Renna, is leaving the organisation to take over as chief executive officer of the Commercial Real Estate Finance Council.

Renna has been president of the National Association of Real Estate Investment Managers (NAREIM) for almost three years and will take up his new role from 1 May, the two associations said in separate statements. NAREIM will now search for a replacement to Renna, led by head hunters Ferguson Partners.

The CRE Finance Council has been searching for a permanent CEO to take over from interim chief John D'Amico for the past six months. D’Amico was previously general counsel at Centerline Capital Group. CRE Finance Council president Lisa Pendergast said in a statement Renna was “uniquely qualified to lead this association” following his experience at NAREIM and prior to that with the Real Estate Roundtable and the National Association of Realtors.

Renna told PERE in an interview the move allowed him to work with a larger platform across a wider spectrum of the commercial real estate industry. “I have loved working for NAREIM, helping raise its profile as the trade association for real estate investment managers,” he said. “The CRE Finance Council has a strategic plan for building the association to represent all sectors of the commercial real estate finance and that’s an exciting opportunity.”

The CRE Finance Council has grown from an organisation representing primarily the CMBS industry to speaking on behalf of commercial real estate finance professionals including servicers, issuers, portfolio lenders, bondholders and investors, Renna added.

And with regulation of the securitisation industry a major concern in the US, Renna said it was vital to give “clarity of voice to lawmakers”. He continued in a statement: “Commercial real estate finance is crucial to the healthy function of the broader commercial real estate markets and to the larger economy, and the CRE Finance Council is ideally suited to provide the real estate finance community with an inclusive platform for sharing information [and] developing market standards.”