PREA James A. Graaskamp Award - 2019 Recipient

Mary Ludgin

PREA's biennial James A. Graaskamp award was presented to Mary Ludgin at PREA's 29th Annual Institutional Investor Conference on October 17th in Washington, DC.

Dr. Mary Ludgin is a Senior Managing Director and Head of Global Research at Heitman. She is an equity owner of the firm, a member of its Global Management Committee, and holds a seat on the firm’s private equity/debt investment committees for North America, Europe, and Asia-Pacific. She is the editor of Heitman’s Perspective and Insights series and directs and edits the firm’s white papers and research studies.

Mary has held leadership positions at four major industry organizations focused on enhancing knowledge of real estate and its performance as an asset class. She was the Chair of PREA (2007-2009), President of NCREIF (1999-2000), President of the Real Estate Research Institute (2017-2018), and Global Trustee for the Urban Land Institute (2013-2019). Her work within these organizations centers on two themes. First, she has endeavored to expand the industry’s understanding of opportunity and risk in non-traditional property types. Second, she has focused on heightening awareness of environmental change, sustainability, and climate risk, and how investors should position their assets and portfolios to maximize performance and minimize risk as climate change accelerates.

Prior to Mary’s term as President of NCREIF, the organization tracked the performance of five core property types. Mary successfully argued to the NCREIF board that NCREIF should broaden its focus to include such non-traditional property types as self-storage, student housing, senior housing, data centers, and medical office. In response, NCREIF expanded its data collection to all properties NCREIF data contributors held that met NCREIF inclusion criteria. Heitman had expanded its investment focus to include specialty property types in its value-added/opportunistic investment strategies during the 1990s. In a break from convention, Mary championed the inclusion of self-storage and medical office in Heitman’s North American open-end core fund, which began investing in 2007. This was a first within the core open-end fund universe and a move that helped focus investor attention on property types poised to make valuable contributions to core real estate performance.

Mary’s work on sustainability and climate change began while she was Chair of PREA. She represented PREA at a conference on the investment implications of climate change convened by The Real Estate Roundtable, and oversaw research on the valuation implications of property-level sustainability initiatives, funded by PREA. She sits on PREA’s Innovation Affinity Group, where climate change and sustainability form part of the content areas. At ULI, she is a frequent speaker on climate risk and sustainability and she recently joined the board of ULI’s Center for Sustainability and Economic Performance. In the past year, Mary and her team worked with the ULI to develop a joint research report titled Climate Risk and Real Estate Investment Decision-Making, which explores the array of risks climate change poses for real estate investors.

Under Mary’s leadership (and that of Graaskamp award winner, Charlie Wurtzebach), the research role at Heitman has expanded broadly. When she joined the firm in 1990, she was the second in a two-person group. Today, she oversees a team of 19 on three continents. In parallel with the growth of the research group has been the expansion of its role within the firm. Today, research is at the core of how Heitman invests – Mary and her team are involved in every stage of the life cycle of an investment, from strategy development and execution to the sale decision.

Dr. Ludgin received an AB from Vassar College and an MA and PhD from Northwestern University. She is a Governing Trustee of the Urban Land Institute and she chairs ULI’s Chicago District Council. She is a fellow of the Homer Hoyt Institute, she gives architecture tours for the Chicago Architecture Center (and served on its board), and is a member of the board of the Metropolitan Planning Council of Chicago. She also sits on the board of the Oak Park Economic Development Corporation. Prior to joining Heitman, Mary was an urban planner for the City of Chicago and she worked in retail site location.


Past Recipients of the James A. Graaskamp Award


David Shulman
Salomon Brothers, Inc.


Tony Downs
The Brookings Institution


Jeffrey Fisher
Indiana University


Blake Eagle
Frank Russell Company


Charles Wurtzebach
Heitman Capital Management Corporation


Susan Hudson-Wilson
Property & Portfolio Research


S. Michael Giliberto
J.P. Morgan Investment Management, Inc.


Leanne Lachman
Schroder Real Estate


Wylie Greig
The RREEF Funds


Michael E. Miles
Fidelity Management & Trust, Co.


Jacques N. Gordon
LaSalle Investment Management


Glenn R. Mueller
Legg Mason Wood Walker, Inc.


Kenneth Rosen
Haas Business School, University of California


Doug Poutasse
AEW Capital Management


Raymond Torto and William Wheaton
Torto Wheaton Research


Peter Linneman
Linneman Associates


David Geltner
Massachusetts Institute of Technology


Mike Kirby
Green Street Advisors


Joseph L. Pagliari Jr.
University of Chicago Booth School of Business


Will McIntosh
USAA Real Estate Company


Mary Ludgin


About the Award