Outstanding Industry Contribution 2018

Jim Fetgatter

Jim Fetgatter has been at the forefront of the global institutional real estate industry for over 40 years and is perhaps best known as the chief executive of the Association of Foreign Investors in Real Estate (AFIRE), a position he has held since 1992.
As the official voice of the foreign real estate industry in the US and the pre-eminent global real estate organisation, AFIRE is a not-forprofit association formed in 1988 whose members are foreign institutions that have a common interest in investing in real estate in the US. Collectively its members hold some $2trn in assets under management.
Under Fetgatter’s leadership the association has gone from a small group of Dutch pension funds looking to diversify into America’s large property markets, to an organisation representing over 200 investors from 22 countries. German investment firms now constitute the largest nationality of investors. While inbound investment into the US remains its members’ common bond, their portfolios have become increasingly global in scope.
AFIRE membership is confined to principals and senior executives and provides an exclusive environment where they can meet and exchange information through regularly scheduled meetings in the US, Europe and key cities around the world.
It provides exposure to influential US policy-makers and opinion leaders, updates on important legislation and tax regulations, and is dedicated to ensuring that foreign investors in the US are as informed as their US-based peers.
Moreover, it is a strong advocate of legislative and regulatory action to keep foreign investors in the US competitive with other global markets. In particular, AFIRE advocates modifications to FIRPTA, a tax levied on foreign investors active in US real estate, and is an active participant in the movement known as Invest in America Coalition that lobbies to reform FIRPTA.
Membership of AFIRE is on a corporate basis and by invitation only and the benefits of joining the association include:
  • High-level, informative meetings
  • Exposure to key US policy-makers and opinion leaders
  • Cutting edge research
  • Quarterly newsletters
  • Periodic updates on important legislation and tax regulations
  • Website members only section
  • The AFIRE Guide to US Real Estate Investing
  • Professional relationships
  • Annual foreign investor survey
  • Private membership directory.
AFIRE is governed by a board of directors made up of designated delegates from the membership. Members include up to three directors from each country represented and five directors from among the associate members. The directors serve a two-year term. From among the institutional members, officers are elected each year, including a chairman, deputy chairman, treasurer and corporate secretary.
AFIRE typically holds four educational conferences each year, as well as exclusive gatherings at the well-known large international real estate forums, MIPIM and EXPO REAL. Attendance is restricted to AFIRE members and invited guests.
Written by some of the leading practitioners in the field, the AFIRE Guide to US Real Estate Investing is an essential tool on how best to access and invest in property across the US. Now in its third year, it is an invaluable resource not only to those new to the US real estate market, but also to experienced investors, encompassing the spectrum of topics relevant to institutional investors with US commercial real estate portfolios.
Fetgatter holds a master’s in business administration from Harvard University and a bachelor of science from Oklahoma State University
Editor's comment:
"“Jim has been a key contact, and friend, to IPE for many years. His insight and knowledge has been invaluable and, under his leadership, AFIRE has been a powerful force for the global institutional real estate community"
  • Over 40 years in real estate investment industry
  • Chief executive of AFIRE since 1992
  • AFIRE represents of $2trn from 200 members in 22 countries
  • Organisation of regular informative conferences and meetings
  • Active engagement for reform of US real estate tax laws
  • Publication of yearly guide to investing in US