Philip Byun (Moderator)
Principal, Asset Management, DRC Capital
At DRC Capital (alternative real estate lender), Philip oversees the asset management of all its investments totaling c£2 bln spanning all sectors (office, retail, student housing, coworking, residential, hotel, logistics). Following DRC's recent acquisition of three UK shopping centres, he's leading the transformation efforts of the centres in close cooperation with the local authorities including greater use of technology. Since joining DRC over 5 years ago, Philip has played an instrumental role in the scaled growth of the business underpinned by operational discipline.
Prior to DRC Capital, Philip spent 6 years at Hatfield Philips as VP of Special Servicing and 9 years at ABN AMRO in debt capital markets and risk management in Chicago, Amsterdam and London. He has an MBA from the University of Chicago Booth School of Business and a BS in Economics from the Universtiy of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Philip is also a CFA charterholder.
Marine Duchesne (Panelist)
Acquisitions Manager, Ennismore
As Acquisitions Manager at Ennismore, Marine is responsible for the origination, evaluation and acquisition of new sites for the Ennismore hospitality, leisure and co-working brands in Europe and the US. She joined Ennismore in January 2018, time at which the company started to engage in an asset light strategy, expanding the Hoxton brand through leases and management agreements, in addition to traditional acquisitions.
Prior to joining Ennismore, she spent 5 years at Christie & Co hotel advisory group covering hotel valuation, development feasibility and operations. Prior to Christie, she was in the Corporate Finance team at InterContinental Hotels Group. She holds an MSc in Real Estate from Cass Business School and an MSc in Finance from Université Paris Dauphine.
Hala El Akl (Panelist)
ULI Europe Young Leaders' Group Chair & Director, PLP Architecture
Hala El Akl, an architect and urbanist with over 10 years' experience, helps drive PLP Architecture's passion for innovation. At PLP labs, she leads teams exploring new ideas for future cities and the evolving role of architects – from co-living and future living to smart cities and social inhabitance. El Akl also chairs the young leaders' group for ULI Europe and the Urban Art Forum for ULI UK.
In London, Hala's work has focused on architecture and master planning schemes, including a mixed-use development in Covent Garden at 90 Long Acre. Hala co-led the award-winning concept masterplan for N+ Fasion City in Ningbo, China, a new urban genre that creates a city for fashion and contrasts the permanence of the built environment with the ephemeral transience of fashion. Other work includes the redesign, as part of an invited competition, of the Tour Montparnasse in Paris, a mixed-use development for Le Linéa at La Défense and master plans for the University of Montpellier.
Prior to receiving her MSc in urban planning at the LSE, Hala graduated with a Master of Territorial and Urban Strategies from the International University Sciences Po in Paris and a Bachelor of Architecture and Social Sciences from the American University of Beirut.
Vanessa Hale (Panelist)
ULI UK Chair & Director of Research, BNP Paribas Real Estate
Vanessa Hale is Director of Research at BNP Paribas Real Estate and youngest ever, chair of ULI UK. She has 20 years experience in global strategic research across all real estate sectors in the UK and the US.
She is currently responsible for leading BNP Paribas' Insights research programme (reseach and market insights) in the UK. Her previous research has focused on the breakdown of traditional real estate "sectors" and boundaries and the role of technology in changing how we use buildings.
She holds a bachelor of science degree from the University of Illinois and a master of science degree from Roosevelt University.
Brian Moran (Panelist)
Senior Managing Director, Hines Ireland
Brian is responsible for developing Hines' Ireland projects. He established the Hines platform in Ireland which currently has more than €2.3 billion of retail, office and residential assets under management, in addition to a major development pipeline which includes an additional €500 million of retail development and over 4,000 residential units. He re-joined the firm in 2011 having previously worked with Hines in Russia in the 1990's. In between, he ran his own successful development management and investment advisory firm based in Dublin which focused on large urban regeneration, university campus developments and housing PPP projects.
Brian is a graduate of Architecture from the Dublin Institute of Technology and obtained an MBA at the University of Chicago. He is a trustee of ULI Europe, a National Council Member for Ireland and also chairs the Irish Architecture Foundation.
Elliott Sparsis (Panelist)
Vice President of Real Estate, Convene
As London Vice President of Real Estate, Sparsis is responsible for the execution of real estate transactions within Convenes' first international expansion market. Sparsis joined Convene in November, 2018 after six years at Blackstone overseeing the firm's portfolio of Central London offices. He was involved in several of Blackstone's highest-profile investments in the office sector, including Chiswick Park, Broadgate Quarter, Adelphi, Lacon London, 20 Old Bailey, 125 Old Broad Street and Le Dome in Luxembourg.
Prior to Blackstone, Sparsis spent 2 years at Savills London office. In 2010, he co-founded Sociable Surveyors, the only all-expenses-paid global internship initiative in the real estate industry, and in 2017 he founded Dog House Fitness, a boutique spin and boxing fitness studio in southwest London.
Sparsis received first-class honors in real estate management from Kingston University and a master's degree in real estate finance from London South Bank University.
Barak Zimerman (Panelist)
Managing Director, REEF Technology
Barak heads the European operations of REEF Technology. REEF is a provider of smart parking platform intended to offer a technology-based alternative to the garage owners. Backed by the SoftBank Vision Fund, REEF Technology is the largest parking network operator in North-America with more than 1.3 million parking spaces in 4,500+ location. It aims to transform parking garages and lots into 'thriving hubs for the on-demand economy.'
Prior to REEF, Barak was a strategy associate at Amazon and served 12 years in various management roles in the Israeli Air Force. He received an MBA at the London Business School with a Concentration in Strategy.