MBA candidates enrolled in Arthur Segel's class at Harvard Business School would do well to pay attention. After all, the professor teaching the Real Property Asset Management course at the famed university did not get to his position by writing thick tomes on economic theory or the evolution of the real estate investment trust market; he was in the trenches, spending 15 years building and running TA Associates Realty, a Boston-based institutional real estate advisory firm with more than $8 billion under management.
But more important than the work he did then is the work he's doing now. Given the popularity of real estate, students are clamoring to get into Segel's class, which has featured guest speakers such as Pension Consulting Alliance co-founder Nori Gerardo Lietz. The HBS Alumni Bulletin reported that more than 500 MBA students, including 50 from other Harvard graduate schools, wanted to register for a class that can only accommodate about a third that number. So what advice is Segel giving the thronging real estate moguls of tomorrow?
“Asia is definitely where the action is going to be over the next generation,” he told the HBS Alumni Bulletin. “I tell all my students: Go East.”
Segel practices what he preaches. He recently founded Xander Funds, a private equity real estate company focused on India. So, in addition to shaping the private equity real estate minds of tomorrow, Segel may soon be competing against them as well.