Ric Clark is a global real estate executive, a senior managing partner of Brookfield Asset Management Inc., and chairman of Brookfield’s real estate business, the Brookfield Property Group and its listed affiliate, Brookfield Property Partners, L.P. He joined the predecessor company to Brookfield in 1984 and has overseen the expansion of the company’s real estate portfolio in North and South America, Australia, Asia and Europe. Bloomberg ranks Mr. Clark as one of the 50 most powerful people in real estate.
Mr. Clark (born 1958) described himself as a “third-generation real estate guy” in an interview with the Financial Times. He grew up in Pennsylvania and told the British newspaper that he was inspired by the example of his grandfather and father, who were both residential real estate developers. He holds a Bachelor of Science in Business from the Indiana University of Pennsylvania.
Clark paid his way through university working as a laborer and handyman on residential construction sites. His first job after university was with the Penn Central Corporation, then a holding company of diverse businesses including the residential developer Arvida Corporation. Four years later, he joined Olympia & York in New York City, the property developer behind Canary Wharf and New York’s World Financial Center, now known as Brookfield Place New York. From 1984, Clark took on a number of executive posts with Olympia & York and its successor Brookfield.
After being named President and Chief Executive Officer of Brookfield Properties, the predecessor to Brookfield Office Properties, in 2002, Mr. Clark expanded the office business globally and then broadened its focus to all forms of commercial property, including apartment buildings and industrial real estate. The company raises capital from both public and private markets. “Brookfield Property Partners is the listed entity that taps public capital, while Brookfield’s flagship global private fund taps institutional capital. The arrangement provides investors access to core, value-add and opportunistic real estate strategies,” according to UK financial publication IPE Real Estate.
In 2010, Mr. Clark led Brookfield’s investment in a portfolio of properties in Australia that included the acquisition of office buildings owned by construction firm Multiplex. Stakes in several of these properties were sold in 2015 for significant gains.
Mr. Clark was also a key member of the Brookfield team that led the 2010 recapitalization of General Growth Properties. Brookfield Property Partners eventually acquired GGP.
In 2012, Mr. Clark steered Brookfield’s expansion in London, acquiring a portfolio of office properties from Hammerson plc for US$827 million.
And in 2015, Mr. Clark and Brookfield teamed up with the Qatar Investment Authority to acquire the Canary Wharf estate and adjacent development sites for ₤2.6 billion. The Wall Street Journal reported that the new owners plan to spend more than ₤3 billion to develop 30 acres of vacant land with new offices, shops and residential units. By mid-2015, Mr. Clark led Brookfield’s development of 2.4 million square feet of office and residential property in the City of London, with anchor tenants secured at the four office buildings.
In New York City, Mr. Clark leads the team that is developing the 5.4 million square foot Manhattan West office and residential project. The site was created by installing a massive concrete deck, covering an entire city block, over a working rail yard. Forbes magazine noted that the Brookfield team shows great patience involved in bringing large scale developments to market: Manhattan West is an $8 billion project that has been in the works for two decades. Brookfield sold a 44% stake in Manhattan West to the Qatar Investment Authority in 2015.
Under Mr. Clark, Brookfield’s expansion into industrial property started in 2012 with the acquisition of logistics and warehouse companies that included Texas-based Verde, Atlanta-based Industrial Developments International, and Gazeley Ltd., which is based in London and has holdings in the U.K., Europe and Asia.
Mr. Clark serves as a director on several of Brookfield’s real estate affiliate company boards, including Brookfield Properties Retail Group and Canary Wharf. He serves on the executive committee of the Real Estate Board of New York, is on the board of directors of the Real Estate Roundtable in Washington, D.C., and chairs the board of the non-profit National Eating Disorders Association.
Mr. Clark is a member of the Board Advisory Council for the Mental Health Association of New York City. He is a member of the 'Hall of Distinction' at the Indiana University of Pennsylvania. He received the National Jewish Health Humanitarian Award in 2014.