Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu Limited (DTTL) has appointed Robert T O'Brien to lead its global real estate group.
O'Brien (pictured), a vice chairman with Deloitte in the US, will also continue as the US real estate leader.
In his DTTL role, O'Brien will focus on sharing emerging trends and best practices with the network of member firms around the globe to help ensure a consistently high level of client-service worldwide. Backed by a 10-member Global Real Estate Executive Committee, O'Brien will work with the member firms to develop regional teams in emerging markets, enhance service programs for Deloitte's largest global clients, and leverage its industry expertise across consulting, tax, audit, enterprise risk and financial advisory services.
O'Brien will work closely with Chris Harvey, global lead, financial services industry, DTTL.
"To capture growth in the next few years, many major real estate players are diversifying their portfolios across geographic markets and asset classes. As the economic recovery matures, we are seeing an increase in cross-border capital flows in the real estate industry," says O'Brien. "Investment activity in emerging markets is strong. The dramatic flight to quality in the developed markets is now leading to favourable opportunities in secondary and tertiary locations. Further, around the world we see commercial real estate leaders getting more active in capturing the benefits of technological innovation, like cloud computing and advanced analytics, to drive business decisions and maintain a competitive edge."
O'Brien's background, spanning 29 years, includes significant global client relationships, initial public offerings, acquisitions, dispositions, workouts and bankruptcies. He has advised some of the largest public real estate investment trusts, private equity real estate funds and hospitality clients.
"Real estate continues to evolve as a global industry," says Harvey. "With a strong presence in every major financial centre and emerging market around the world, Deloitte's real estate practices offer clients an entry to a global network with the 'on- the-ground-expertise' so vital to real estate."
O'Brien has been the US member firm's real estate practice leader for three years. Prior to that he served as the US member firm's audit and enterprise risk management leader for its real estate practice, as well as Deloitte's global real estate funds initiative leader.