Deloitte has announced the appointment of Jeffrey Smith as leader of the firm’s real estate professional services.
Smith will succeed his predecessor Jim Berry, who assumed leadership in 2017 and will be retiring from Deloitte after nearly 36 years in May.
He will take over the reins of Deloitte’s U.S. real estate practice where he will lead the organization’s overall strategic direction and broad client-facing efforts in the industry, as well as direct Deloitte’s real estate resources to respond to clients’ needs.
Commenting on his new position, Smith said: “Deloitte is intently focused on helping our clients navigate the changing operating landscape as they re-examine how people are using real estate in their daily activities.
“Deloitte is focusing efforts on the industry’s digital transformation and operational excellence, which will be key to the success of real estate companies operating in a post-pandemic world. We’re at an exciting juncture for the industry, and I’m honored to be leading our U.S. real estate team as we continue to support clients who are developing the future of real estate solutions and services.”
Smith has been a partner of Deloitte for nearly 30 years, with his experience spanning across the public and private owners, developers, sponsors, managers and lenders of all sizes and across nearly all sectors of the real estate industry.
During his time at Deloitte, Smith has also held numerous client-service and practice-leadership roles, serving as the New England real estate practice leader and co-leader of the organization’s Chicago audit and assurance practice, as well as a lead client-service partner at some of Deloitte’s largest clients in both regions.
He has also worked with real estate clients on a range of issues, including historical cost and fair-value reporting, accounting for complex lease, contract, and finance transactions (including debt restructuring and bankruptcy) and SEC filings for public equity and debt offerings (including IPOs).
Monica O’Reilly, a vice chairman of Deloitte who leads the overall financial services industry group, added: “The pandemic has impacted all industries, and especially real estate, we expect to see significant changes as the industries emerge from the pandemic and determine real estate needs.
“We anticipate more innovation in the industry over the coming years and are excited to have Jeff guide Deloitte clients through this important time.”