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Real estate veteran Joseph Russo dies at 65

The former Tishman Speyer and Westbrook executive passed away after a battle with cancer.


Former Tishman Speyer and Westbrook Partners executive Joseph Anthony Russo died on 31 July after a lengthy battle with cancer. He was 65. 

A veteran of the real estate investment world, Russo was a managing director at Tishman Speyer in its equity capital markets group before retiring at the end of 2007. He joined the New York-based developer-cum-fund manager at the start of that year to help implement the firm’s plan to expand its capital-raising group, working primarily with US institutional and private investors.

Before joining Tishman, Russo spent eight years as a managing principal at Westbrook Partners, where he was responsible for investor relations. Prior to Westbrook, he served as head of the real estate division at AT&T Investment Management, where he oversaw the AT&T Pension Plan’s $4.5 billion real estate portfolio for 18 years.

Paul Kazilionis, founder and chief executive officer of Westbrook, told PERE: “Everyone at Westbrook is saddened by the news of the passing of Joe Russo, a highly-respected colleague and a one-of-a-kind friend. One of the industry’s most-recognised and trusted professionals, Joe will be missed by all of us who had the pleasure to know and work with him over his extensive career.” 

Kazilionis added: “Joe truly set the standard as a great fiduciary who always put the best interests of the many he represented ahead of anything else. We join with so many in the industry to send our best wishes to Joe’s family at this time.”

Jerry and Rob Speyer, co-CEOs of Tishman Speyer, said in a joint statement: “We were saddened to hear about Joe’s passing. In addition to being a consummate professional, he was a great guy to have around due to his terrific personality. We know he will be deeply missed by his family and his many friends.”

Born in the Bronx on 15 October 1946, Russo eventually moved to Rockland County, New York before making Cedar Knolls his home for 28 years. He is survived by his wife Linda, his twin sons Christopher and Michael, his brother Frank and sister Lucille, as well as several other family members. The funeral was held today in East Hanover, New Jersey.