Pearson Director Real Estate Asset Management - Americas in Boston, Massachusetts

Director Real Estate Asset Management - Americas


About the Company

Pearson is a global education company that helps people around the world to make progress in their lives through learning. With a rich heritage that combines 150 years of experience in publishing with the latest learning technology and digital services, we help people to learn whatever, wherever and however they choose. Our strength comes from our outstanding people; our strong relationships in the education world; our expertise in using technology to help people learn; our global footprint and local reach; and our position as a profitable, global company with a unifying sense of purpose.

Pearson structures itself around three geographical markets; North America, Core ((UK, Italy, Australia, Asia (exc. China), Asia and Africa (exc. South Africa)) and Growth (India, Greater China, Brazil, Hispano America, South Africa and Middle East).

Job Purpose

The primary function of this position is to support the SVP Global Property in identifying and driving value through the design and implementation of real estate asset strategies for the Americas portfolio of Pearson’s corporate properties with a global spend of c. $250m and to provide advisory and support on property matters in relation to the direct delivery/retail business. The global estate currently comprises c.1,000 leasehold and freehold assets (including corporate offices, warehouses, schools, learning centres and all other real estate assets supporting the education business) located in c.70 countries across the Americas, EMEA, India, China and Asia Pacific.

The Director of Real Estate Asset Management (Americas) will be responsible for the design and execution of location strategies, leasing and freehold re-financing decisions and the acquisitions and dispositions effort in all Corporate locations across North America, Central America and South America. The role will work closely with business stakeholders and will manage 3rdparty real estate professionals to achieve company objectives in terms of employee and customer location requirements whilst optimising the organisation’s cost-base and capital utilisation.

This role is a part of a global team covering all of Pearson’s markets. The role reports directly to the SVP, Global Property.

Key Performance Areas

Under the direction of the SVP Global Property, manage or direct the professional resources for all acquisition and disposition transactions (Americas).

Maintain current knowledge of the Pearson Americas property portfolio and real estate market conditions in all relevant locations to determine opportunities to improve real estate asset utilization and value.

Act as Property Advisor to the Pearson M&A team for its business acquisitions and dispositions program, including appointment of 3rdparty property service providers in Americas.

Develop, present and communicate real estate location strategies including drafting proposals and project approval documents.

Functional Outputs and Associated Activities

  1. Portfolio Benchmarking

Understand and maintain up-to-date knowledge of the physical locations, financial structure, commitments and performance of the Pearson property portfolio, including:

site-visits, as required

regular reviews of monthly/quarterly/annual financial and operational performance KPI’s

review of capital plans to identify potential areas for performance improvement

assure the optimal allocation of Pearson's balance sheet resources to fulfil its global occupancy requirements

Understand and maintain up-to-date knowledge of the key market drivers in all key Americas locations including market options, trends, local market conditions and opportunities to enhance financial and operational performance.

Regular portfolio performance assessment of assets under management against the market benchmarks and market competition.

Initiate business proposals that are designed to correct and/or improve overall portfolio performance and that of specific property assets.

  1. Mergers and Acquisitions

Participate as the SME representative on property matters on the Pearson M&A team for its business acquisitions and dispositions program to provide high level oversight and input on all property matters that impact the viability of proposed M&A initiatives.

Identify the appropriate third party property services professionals to undertake the various, required phases of ‘due diligence’, negotiations and integration/transition processes and advise on the selection process and the appropriate pricing, terms and conditions of the engagement of third party property services providers in the M&A process.

Serve as the ‘single point of contact’ on property matters between the Pearson M&A team and third party services providers, including those who are engaged on matters other than property.

  1. Location Strategies

Maintain a schedule of all agreed location strategies, decisions taken and on-going transactions including the development of an annual business plan(s) to review and implement change.

Engage with all relevant stakeholder and business partners regarding current and future business strategies which have or are likely to have an impact on the required real estate footprint in the short, medium or long term.

Collaborate with stakeholders, businesses and all enabling functions (HR, Technology, Finance, Risk and others) to determine the optimum workplace strategy in terms of real estate asset management requirements for location, footprint etc.

Contribute to the acquisition or disposition due diligence process including:

Utilise local market relationships to uncover new, alternative opportunities

Evaluate the options and target properties

Supervise the financial analysis of selected and alternative options

Challenge analytical models and validity of key assumptions.

Design and draft location strategy proposal documents (or provide advisory and support to local P&FM/business line heads where these are prepared locally or within the business division) including presentation of ‘base case’/hold/dispose/renovate/relocate proposals.

  1. Transaction Management

Assure that the Pearson database maintains a schedule of all asset management events including rent reviews, lease renewals, break notifications, termination dates and establish a process of regular and timely review.

Manage the selection, approval, appointment of all brokers, lawyers, agents and other relevant 3rdparty professionals engaged in the acquisition of disposition of all real estate assets within the C&G Pearson estate.

Cooperate with local P&FM and the management of the Geographies, markets and local business units to manage the most effective utilization of third party professional resources, market based remuneration and appropriate levels of services support

Maintain a schedule of recommended of preferred 3rdparty professionals by location to act as guidance and coordination where property decisions are led by the management of the Geographies, markets and local business units.

Direct involvement in or supervision of the negotiation of all freehold transactions and all major leases including financial due diligence for specific, individual transactions and the review and approval of all lease documentation.

Direct involvement in or supervision of the negotiation of all other asset management events including rent reviews, lease renewals and break exercise or termination notifications.

Key Stakeholders and Relationships

SVP Global Property: Property location strategies, portfolio performance

Head of Real Estate Advisory, Global Property:Property location strategies and transactions support / approval

3rdParties & Professionals: market benchmarks, market opportunities, deal validation , assurance

Functional Heads of P&FM: frameworks, metrics, analysis, reports, project progress

Regional Heads of P&FM: local requirements, project execution, escalations, issues, resolution

Stakeholders: local/functional requirements, options analysis

Support Partners: Finance (Financial analysis), HR (FTE data, employee issues, HR metrics), Risk (operational risks), Communications (real estate change initiatives, strategy communication) and Procurement (3rd party vendors)


Summary of Competencies

  1. Qualifications

Bachelor’s degree qualified

Relevant post-graduate or professional real estate qualification. E.g. MBA, MRICS, etc

Minimum 10 years of relevant experience designing and implementing global commercial real estate strategies and transactions for corporate institutions.

  1. Desired Work Experience

Extensive, global property asset management experience in the management of third party professional resources in the implementation of location strategies, acquisition and disposition transactions, capital structures and financing principles gained from either a consultancy or a client side role.

Experience in the selection and appointment of 3rdparty brokers, agents, real estate lawyers and other professional teams and experience of dealing and interacting with tenants.

Specific real estate experience across Americas (essential).

Strong understanding of and experience of implementing commercial real estate fundamentals including freehold acquisitions and sales, leasing agreements, sell/buybacks, sub-letting, lease renewals, rent reviews, break exercise, refurbishments, assignments, terminations and other relevant property events.

Proven experience in designing and presenting feasibility studies, options analysis, financial opportunity reports and designing and drafting location strategy proposal documents for the acquisition, disposal, refurbishment or re-financing of real estate assets at Executive/Board level which recognise the operational and financial impact on the overall portfolio.

Proven experience in negotiation and completion of successful real estate transactions that add value to the assets under management and/or make better use of allocated capital.

  1. Desired Skills

Highly analytical with strong financial modelling skills including P&L, DCF and NPV scenario analysis; IRR, ROI and payback analysis, asset valuation principles and knowledge of accounting for leases, (e.g. PV of operating lease reporting, accelerated write-offs, non-cash adjustments).

Significant knowledge of the current trends and conditions in the global real estate market with specific knowledge in major cities in the Americas.

Thrives in a fast-paced and demanding environment to meet critical deadlines with strong time-managements skills and ability to prioritise and re-prioritise when necessary.

Highly organised, can manage multiple projects simultaneously and able to think creatively, critically and proactively, even when under time-pressure.

Consistently demonstrates good business judgement and reasoned decision making based on excellent attention to detail and balanced analysis of objectives, risks, implications and costs.

Tactful and experienced at dealing with sensitive and confidential information.

Strong relationship building, influencing and communications skills across all levels of the organisation including strong negotiating and presentation skills.

Excellent written and oral presentation skills including proficiency in relevant PC skills (e.g. Microsoft Office)

  1. Desired Key Personal Attributes

Confident and articulate with good presentation skills

Assertive, adaptable, and creative

Professional and positive approach

Analytic ability / Action and results oriented / Diligent with attention to detail

Collaborates well / Effective communicator at all levels

Self-motivated & self-sufficient / Dynamic and vigorous / Ability to cope under pressure

A can do attitude and willingness to go the extra mile when required​


Pearson is an Equal Opportunity and Affirmative Action Employer and a member of E-Verify. All qualified applicants, including minorities, women, protected veterans, and individuals with disabilities are encouraged to apply.

Primary Location: US-NJ-Hoboken

Other Locations US-MA-Boston, US-DC-Washington

Work Locations: US-NJ-Hoboken-221 River 221 River Street Hoboken 07030

Job: Real Estate and Facilities

Organization: Technology & Operations

Employee Status: Regular Employee

Job Type: Standard

Shift: Day Job

Job Posting: Jul 3, 2018

Job Unposting: Ongoing

Schedule: Full-time Regular

Req ID: 1809677

Equal Opportunity Employer Minorities/Women/Protected Veterans/Disabled