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CBRE Global Investors Hires Helen Gurfel for New Sustainability Role


CBRE (CBRE) Global Investors has tapped investment veteran Helen Gurfel for its newly created senior executive position as head of global sustainability and innovation, the company announced.

Gurfel — who was previously a managing director for LEN X, Lennar Corporation’s venture group, since January 2018 — will be charged with spearheading CBRE Global Investors’ new Sustainability Vision announced earlier this year in response to increasing market demand for more environmental, social, governance (ESG) initiatives. 

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She has developed ESG investment strategies over the course of her 25-year career and advocated for environmental performance improvements across the real estate industry.  

“She is an authority in this space and brings a deep understanding of our strategic ambition to be a market leader in innovative and sustainable real assets investment solutions,” Chuck Leitner, CEO of CBRE Global Investors, said in a statement. “As the world emerges from a period of immense uncertainty, it is our mission to help our clients and our users make sense of this change. With professionals of Helen’s caliber within the team, we are increasingly well-positioned to optimize the vast opportunities within the real assets sector, with purpose and alpha in equal measure.”  

Prior to LEN X, Gurfel ran the Urban Land Institute‘s ULI Greenprint Center for Building Performance, leading a global consortium of 40 real estate owners, investors and partners on improving ESG data analysis, benchmarking and best practices. Gurfel started her financial services career at PricewaterhouseCoopers in 1996, before going to GE Capital where she established GE Real Estate’s global ESG vision and strategy.

Gurfel earned a Bachelor of Science from Columbia University, a Master of Arts in International Studies from the University of Pennsylvania and an MBA from its Wharton School of Business. She is a member of ULI’s technology and real estate council and is on the board of the Columbia Engineering Alumni Association

The Gurfel hire marks CBRE Global Investors’ second big personnel move in less than a month. In late June, the firm appointed Sondra Wenger as head of Americas for office and retail deals.