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EXCLUSIVE: A Real Estate EMBA Concentration Is Coming To Cass Business School

New course highlights the boom in real estate at top business schools

London’s Cass Business School is poised to launch a real estate program in its Executive MBA, BusinessBecause has learnt.

The program highlights the boom in real estate at top business schools, as the market enjoys rising yields and surging commercial property values. A plethora of property-focused programs have been launched at schools, mostly in the US.

Dr Andres Perez Ruiz, MBA program manager at Cass, said demand “has exceeded our early expectations”. “Even before we launched the concentration, we were receiving calls from companies and prospective students,” he said.

The new offering forges the broad business literacy covered by Cass’ top-ranked EMBA with specific content, focused on real estate finance and investment.

But there is flexibility: six electives can be taken on topics including portfolio and fund management, debt markets and capital markets, and students can opt for a minimum of 30 or a maximum of 65 credits.

Cass’ concentration is aimed at those hoping to switch industry, seasoned real estate professionals, and company executives.

Career opportunities in real estate have exploded as property has been increasingly accepted as a mainstream asset class alongside equities and fixed income.

“For MBA graduates, the draw of real estate careers has been strengthened by the globalization of the industry, and the integration of real estate into the wider capital markets,” said Tony Key, professor of real estate economics at Cass.

The high salaries and bonuses are attractive, Andres added. “The real estate industry has proved [to be] a powerful magnet for executives from other sectors.”   

The concentration builds on Cass’ expertise in the field: it has two specialist masters programs in real estate and a strong alumni base.

Cass can also draw on its UK location, where £67.5 billion of real estate investment was channelled in 2015, according to information provider CoStar Group, and London, home to a number of financial services groups.

“We have close working relationships with companies in the finance industry and….The real estate investment sector,” Andres said.

But he insisted that the new concentration is not “just a product of the buoyant situation” of the UK real estate market.

Despite recent growth, some investors have questioned whether UK property has peaked. However, Andres said “many other countries and segments are soaring”.

“Even with the ups and downs of the markets, the investment and financial management of real estate remains reasonably stable,” he added.

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