Canadian in Asset Management seeking advice

I studied accounting/finance, have my CPA, and I'm about a year into a role in asset management but on the user side (retail) and would like to make the move to the owner side. The role I'm in now is interesting and engaging but I feel limited in the strategy side of AM.

My end goal is AM or acquisition in a REPE or the real estate arm of the pension funds, but I'm wondering if it would be better to move towards a REIT first, as I have decent exposure to the major players and work with them for our portfolio. Or should I go to do my MBA and then use that as an opportunity to meet and get recruited by REPE or pension funds?

I know that MBA to REPE isn't guaranteed but based on the employment/recruitment reports from the major MBA schools in the GTA (Ivey, Rotman, Schulich) I've seen a lot of the top firms recruit from their program.

Alternatively, if going into a REIT first will still get me to REPE or pension fund, I could bypass the MBA entirely since I'm only in it for the recruitment potential.

Would appreciate any advice, especially from those who were in RE before their MBA and were still able to use the MBA to further their career.

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Comments (6)

2mo 
willwork4bananas, what's your opinion? Comment below:

thanks for the response, my only hesitation about the contacts i have in the REITs is that they're mostly with the leasing team, and so i feel like my role is viewed more as a leasing manager role vs. a strategic investment role.

If i were to join a REIT in the leasing team, would it be easier to move internally to the investments side? Or would i be better off trying to go directly to investments

2mo 
Canadian CRE, what's your opinion? Comment below:

Not sure how good Ivey and Rotman are in terms of real estate in Canada. Schulich MREI is pretty good. Only spend a year in school and gain access to alumni network from both MBA and MREI.

Maybe someone can share their opinion on this but IMO there are barely any active large REPE in Canada, the only one I can think of is Kingsett. So your chance of breaking in might be low since they tend to keep their team lean like any IB.

REITs can be good if you can land an investment role at a diversified REIT, otherwise you might stuck working with only one asset type. Pension funds or insurance funds backed RE advisory shops are probably your best bet. Oxford, Quadreal, Brookfield, AIMco and GWL are all good options.

2mo 
willwork4bananas, what's your opinion? Comment below:

i've heard the same about Schulich and the MREI and that's what i'm leaning towards at the moment.

REPE doesn't have to be the end goal, I just figured it would be where i could learn the most before moving onto a pension or upper management role at a REIT. I'm not sure if an MBA would help with entry into REPE or if i should skip that route entirely and focus on the companies you mentioned below.

2mo 
CREnadian, what's your opinion? Comment below:

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