Jeffrey Smith Named Leader of Deloitte’s US Real Estate Sector
NEW YORK, March 18, 2021 / PRNewswire / – Deloitte today announced the appointment of Jeffrey Smith as vice chairman of Deloitte LLP and US real estate leader of the Professional Services Organization, which serves more than 80% of Fortune 500 real estate companies.
He achieves Jim Berry, who took over the management of the US real estate practice in 2017 and is leaving Deloitte in May after almost 36 years.
Smith will lead Deloitte’s U.S. real estate practice at a time when commercial property owners are facing a number of changes accelerated by the pandemic. He will lead the overall strategic direction of the company and the extensive efforts of clients in the industry, as well as lead Deloitte’s real estate resources to address client needs.
According to Deloitte’s Commercial Real Estate Outlook 2021, leading commercial real estate companies plan to cut costs by an average of 20% this year in response to rising operating costs and a tightening financing environment. At the same time, 56% of respondents believe the pandemic has exposed deficiencies in their company’s digital capabilities, increasing pressure to quickly fill the technological gap that the real estate industry has long struggled with.
“Deloitte is focused on helping our clients navigate the changing business landscape as they re-examine how people use real estate in their day-to-day activities,” said Smith. “Real estate is fundamental to each of us. It is embedded in the fabric of our daily lives. Our focus is on helping our customers maximize that value for the users we all are.” Smith noted that Deloitte advises on everything from traditional audit and tax compliance services to the future of work to digitization and innovative ideas and services to help cut costs for customers.
“Deloitte is focusing its efforts on the digital transformation and operational excellence of the industry, which will be critical to the success of real estate companies in a post-pandemic world. We are at an exciting time for the industry and I am honored to be to do that.” We lead our US real estate team as we continue to support clients who shape the future of real estate solutions and services. “
Smith is a partner at Deloitte & Touche LLP and has nearly 30 years of experience working with public and private owners, developers, sponsors, managers and lenders of all sizes in virtually every sector of the real estate industry.
“The pandemic has affected all industries and especially real estate,” he said Monica O’Reilly, a vice chairman of Deloitte LLP who leads the entire group of the financial services industry. “We expect significant changes as the industries emerge from the pandemic and determine real estate needs. We anticipate further innovation in the industry in the years ahead and we are excited to have Jeff Deloitte clients guide us through this important time.”
While at Deloitte, Smith also held numerous customer service and practice management roles, as well as serving as director of the New England real estate practice and co-head of the organization Chicago Auditing and insurance practice and leading customer service partner for some of Deloitte’s largest customers in both regions. He has worked with real estate clients on a number of topics including historical cost and fair value reporting, accounting for complex lease, contract and financial transactions (including debt restructuring and bankruptcy), and filing SEC filings for public stocks and debt (including) IPOs).
Smith, a chartered accountant, is an active member of several real estate industry groups including the National Association of Real Estate Investment Trusts (NAREIT), the Urban Land Institute (ULI), and the International Council of Shopping Centers (ICSI). He grew up in a small farming town in the country Nebraska and has spent most of his professional career in Chicago and Boston. Smith holds a bachelor’s degree in government from the Notre Dame University and a Masters in Accounting from DePaul University.
“Real estate is one of the biggest factors in our day-to-day human experience, and it may be more valued during a pandemic than any other time,” said Smith. “As an industry, real estate is now at a turning point. As a result, many real estate owners and users are turning to Deloitte to understand how people can transform the way people use and experience real estate in a socially responsible way.” “
Deloitte provides industry-leading accounting, advisory, tax and advisory services to many of the world’s most admired brands, including nearly 90% of the Fortune 500® and more than 7,000 privately held companies. Our employees come together for the common good and work across industries to advance and shape today’s market. They deliver measurable and lasting results that increase public confidence in our capital markets, inspire clients to see challenges as opportunities for transformation and success, and help point the way to a stronger economy and a healthier society. Deloitte is proud to be part of the world’s largest network of professional services, serving our customers in the markets that are most important to them. Building on more than 175 years of service, our network of member companies spans more than 150 countries and territories. Find out at www.deloitte.com how Deloitte’s more than 330,000 employees worldwide combine to make an impact.
Deloitte refers to one or more of Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu Limited, a UK Limited Liability Company (“DTTL”), its network of member firms and their affiliates. DTTL and each of its member companies are legally separate and independent entities. DTTL (also known as “Deloitte Global”) does not provide any services to customers. in the The United States, Deloitte means one or more of DTTL’s US member firms, whose affiliates operate as “Deloitte” in The United States and their respective affiliates. Certain services may not be available to certify clients under public accounting rules and regulations. You can find more information about our global network of member companies at www.deloitte.com/about.