Presenters & Panelists

Symposium Guest Speaker:

Jim Clayton
Head of Real Estate Strategy & Analytics
Barings Real Estate Advisers
Hartford, CT

At Barings Real Estate Advisers, a Hartford-based global real estate investment adviser, Dr. Jim Clayton is responsible for monitoring and forecasting real estate investment and capital market trends, advising on fund and client investment and portfolio strategy, and delivering applied research and strategic thought pieces.

Prior to joining the firm in 2008, Jim was Director of Research at the Pension Real Estate Association (PREA). Before joining PREA, he held faculty positions at the University of Cincinnati and Saint Mary’s University and is currently an Adjunct Professor in the Real Estate Program in the School of Business at the University of Connecticut.

Jim is a Fellow and former President of the Real Estate Research Institute (RERI) and Chairman of the PREA Research Committee. Jim holds a B.A. in Economics from Queen’s University, an M.A. in Economics from the University of Western Ontario and a Ph.D. from the University of British Colombia.


Private Equity Panel:

Richard Buttimer - Moderator
Senior Associate Dean and Professor of Finance
University of North Carolina Charlotte
Charlotte, NC

Dr. Richard Buttimer joined the Belk College faculty in 2002. Prior to coming to UNC Charlotte, he was an associate professor of real estate at the University of Texas at Arlington, where he also held the Gould-Mayfield Professorship of Real Estate. Dr. Buttimer has taught a variety of finance and real estate courses, including real estate finance, financial modeling, financial derivatives, and corporate finance. His primary areas of research are the development of mortgage default models and the application of options theory to problems in real estate development. He has published papers in many academic journals, has served on the Board of Directors for the American Real Estate and Urban Economics Association, and is a member of the editorial board of The Journal of Real Estate Finance and Economics. Dr. Buttimer is currently serving as the Senior Associate Dean of the Belk College. Dr. Buttimer holds both a Ph.D. and a B.B.A. from the University of Georgia.


James "Buster" Black
Vice President
AIG Global Real Estate Investment Corp.
Durham, NC

Buster Black is responsible for AIG Global Real estate’s equity investment activities in the Southeast United States.  He oversees the acquisition and development of office, multi-family, industrial, and retail assets.  Prior to joining AIG Global Real Estate in 2007, Buster worked at Forest City Ratner where he underwrote office, retail, and multi-family development deals for the New York City-based developer.  Prior to Forest City Ratner, Buster worked as an acquisition associate for Alliance Commercial Properties, a retail acquisition group based in Greensboro, NC. Buster received a Bachelor of Science in English Literature from the College of Charleston and a master’s degree in Real Estate Finance from New York University.

Michael Gallerstein
Principal, Acquisitions

Equity Resource Investments, LLC

Cambridge, MA

Michael Gallerstein joined ERI in 2012 as a member of the firm's acquisition group. He is responsible for structuring, underwriting, negotiating and closing equity and debt investments. Prior to joining ERI, he was a member of The Clarett Group, a New York City based developer, where he helped to establish the firm's value-added group and worked directly under the CFO in raising debt and equity to pursue development opportunities. Michael also held the position of Vice President at Lexington Realty Trust, where he was involved in the acquisition of nearly $1.0 billion of single-tenant net-leased office, industrial and special-purpose properties.

Michael holds a B.B.A. with high distinction from The Stephen M. Ross School of Business at The University of Michigan. He is a LEED Accredited Professional.

Robert F. Godard
Founder & CEO

Compass Real Estate

Atlanta, GA

Compass Real Estate helps successful individuals, affluent families and leading organizations optimize their portfolios by investing intelligently in private real estate.  Since 2002, we have provided direct access to and sophisticated management of diversified real estate investments for our clients. We acquire, develop and capitalize properties throughout the United States. 

Bob Godard guides the strategic direction of the company and leads our investor relations efforts.  He is the Managing Partner and Chairman of the investment committee for each of our investment vehicles.  Bob built Compass on the foundation of his expertise as a developer and investment sponsor.  He has had tremendous success as the lead sponsor of acquisitions and developments across a diverse range of properties and investment strategies and has been a principal owner of every major property type throughout the United States.

Prior to starting Compass, Bob was a partner with a regional developer where he was responsible for the acquisition and development of office and industrial buildings and parks throughout the Southeastern and Southwestern United States.  He has served in a leadership capacity for numerous professional and community service organizations.

Bob graduated at the top of his class from the College of Architecture at the Georgia Institute of Technology and holds a real estate brokerage license in the State of Georgia.

Santosh Govindaraju
CEO and Portfolio Manager

Convergent Capital Partners LLC

Tampa, FL

Santosh is a Chief Executive Officer of Convergent Capital Partners LLC. He brings over 17 years of real estate investing experience to the Convergent team. Santosh’s investment history includes over $1 billion of investment in both equity and debt in commercial real estate throughout the United States. His experience includes active investment, development, and turnaround of multifamily, retail, office, hotel, and land development in various geographies. Based in Tampa, Santosh leads Convergent’s opportunistic investments and complex negotiations.

Prior to Convergent, Santosh was Chief Executive Officer of Paragon Capital Partners LLC for over 10 years, with responsibility for investments in mortgage debt and real estate development.  Prior to Paragon, he was a fixed income derivatives trader at Lehman Brothers Inc. in New York.

Santosh is a member the Samuel Zell and Robert Lurie Real Estate Center at the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania, The Committee on Foreign Relations, and Leadership Florida. He serves on the board of directors of the IndoUS Chamber of Commerce, the board of directors of Asian American Chambers of Commerce of Tampa Bay, the board of directors of Chinmaya Mission Tampa Bay, and the board of trustees at Academy at the Lakes.

Santosh graduated from the University of Pennsylvania's prestigious Jerome Fisher Program in Management and Technology (M&T), with a Bachelor of Science in Economics with concentrations in Finance and Entrepreneurial Management from the Wharton School, a Bachelor of Applied Science in Systems Engineering from the School of Engineering & Applied Science, and minors in Theater Arts, Mathematics, and South Asian Studies.

Clint Hinds
Senior Vice President

Bentall Kennedy

Bethesda, MD

Clint Hinds is a Senior Vice President at Bentall Kennedy within the portfolio management group.  He serves as a portfolio manager for multiple separate account relationships.  Clint has over 20 years of experience in the real estate advisory business, with a range of experience including acquisitions, dispositions, investment management, financing and portfolio management.  Over his career, Clint has worked on multiple asset types, including multifamily, healthcare, office, retail and industrial properties.    

Prior to joining Bentall Kennedy, Clint held the position of Executive Director for Morgan Stanley Real Estate where he served as a Portfolio Manager for a range of separate account clients. Prior to his role there, Clint worked in multiple positions for Lend Lease.

Clint holds a BBA from the University of Georgia in accounting and a MBA with a concentration in finance from Georgia State University.  He is a Chartered Financial Analyst and member of the CFA Society Washington, DC.  He is an active member of the Urban Land Institute and its Health and Life Sciences Council.  

Matthew Schoaf
Senior Vice President, Acquisitions

Blue Vista Capital Management
Chicago, IL

Matthew Schoaf is a Senior Vice President at Blue Vista, with responsibility for sourcing, structuring, underwriting and executing transactions on behalf of Blue Vista’s Middle Market equity funds.

Prior to joining Blue Vista, Matthew was a Vice President at Mesa Development, where he was responsible for sourcing and evaluating new acquisition and development opportunities, asset and capital management activities and investor relations. Prior to that, Matt was a strategic team member involved in the development of Verrado®, an 8,800-acre master-planned community in Arizona. He also held previous roles at Transwestern Investment Company and JLL’s Capital Markets group.

Matthew earned an MBA from the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University, a Master of Real Estate Development from Arizona State University and a BBA from the University of Notre Dame.