Gina Baker Chambers

Gina Baker Chambers

Gina Baker Chambers

Principal and Portfolio Manager at Artemis Real Estate Partners

Gina Baker Chambers
By June 22, 2021 2:03 PM

Gina Baker Chambers describes the past 15 months as challenging “in expected ways and unexpected ways.”

She expected some hurdles around working remotely, uncertainty around how long the early pause in market activity would last, and questions about what the new normal might look like.

But, “there was a psychic toll that I wasn’t anticipating,” she said. “It was the accumulation of not only dealing with the pandemic, but the reality of COVID disproportionately impacting communities of color, America’s racial reckoning, and then not being able to go and physically connect with people. All of those things built upon one another, and the reality of it all, made me sit still for a while, and reassess what was important and what I was gaining joy from — not only in my personal life, but in my professional life.”

She joined Artemis 11 years ago, and today is a principal of capital raising, a co-portfolio manager for the New York City Retirement System’s co-investment separate account, and the portfolio manager for the Illinois Municipal Retirement Fund separate account.

A significant portion of Baker Chambers’ role is dedicated to supporting Artemis’ emerging and diverse manager platform, growing the equity that the firm has to partner with those managers and bringing additional new partners into the fold.

“I was able to reassess what I was doing, make that personal-professional connection, and feel like there is real value in what I do, day in and day out,” she said.

And she’s actively sourcing new opportunities and partners, with a direct mandate from the Illinois Municipal Retirement Fund to deploy capital with diverse and emerging managers, predominantly in a joint venture structure. “Occasionally, we’ll look at a fund, and so I’ve been busy looking at a few managers for that strategy; one has a more industrial focus, led by a Latinx group, and then I’m looking at some affordable and workforce housing with an African American-led group in the Midwest.”

As for whether the past year has moved us to the precipice of real changes around diversity, equity and inclusion in the real estate industry, “I’m hopeful. That’s the word I’ll use,” Baker Chambers said.

“To the extent that real estate companies rely on outside capital from public pension plans or corporate pension plans, there’s going to have to be some movement — because the folks who are providing the money are absolutely requiring it going forward.”

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