24 Black Executives Shaping Commercial Real Estate
A football player at Stanford University in the early 1990s, Khalif Edwards has tackled commercial real estate the same way he did the opponents he faced on the field.
In his more than 20-year career in commercial real estate, Edwards has helped raise more than $2.5B in equity from institutional investors, private and public pensions and other investors. On one deal in particular, when he was at Clarion Partners, he helped raise more than $400M in a student housing fund.
“Clarion is known for their open-end funds. It had been a while since they raised a closed-end fund in the market,” Edwards said. “I was tasked with running point on raising capital for that vehicle so it was a niche property type, first-time fund for Clarion and we had a successful fundraising for that vehicle. We raised more than $400M. Four hundred million dollars for a first time focused fund is quite an accomplishment.”
Now, as the managing director and head of capital raising and investor relations at Cityview, Edwards will not only help raise funds, but also have a vote on how that money will be invested.
As an African American in the industry, he has seen commercial real estate change. Companies have made it a point to hire and support African Americans, women and minorities in the industry, he said.
He recalls about 15 years ago, Troy Jenkins, a prominent African American real estate executive, helped bring him along and took him under his wing. Today, Edwards is doing the same by providing guidance, leadership and introduction to the next generation of African Americans and minorities in the industry.
“I’m doing my part, whatever I can do,” Edwards said. “I want to give back.”