Roger Orf of Apollo Management is
the new chairman of ULI Europe.
Roger Orf, partner and head of real estate in Europe for Apollo Management, has succeeded Scott Malkin of Value Retail as the new chairman of ULI Europe and will serve a two-year term.

An active member of ULI since 1985, Orf plans to expand the Institute’s operations and membership across Europe by developing a greater understanding of ULI’s mission among members of the real estate industry, and through increased engagement with city leaders. “Our mission is what differentiates ULI from other membership organizations and pure trade associations across Europe. Building a better understanding of our mission and how it manifests itself in our everyday lives will be at the core of my term as chair. In practical terms, this means doing more to help talented young people achieve their aim of building a career in real estate; helping struggling cities to build viable public/private partnerships in pursuit of sustainable urban development; as well as [conducting] carefully targeted philanthropic initiatives that will make a real impact.

“We will focus on the three Ms—mission, membership, and mayors,” Orf says.

ULI Europe’s membership currently stands at approximately 1,800 members in 27 countries. “From mission will flow membership. As people understand that by joining ULI they are not just furthering their own interests but also helping to build better urban environments for everybody, our membership in Europe will expand,” Orf says. “We will continue to enhance the benefits of membership and support our 14 national councils to offer regular, industry-related events in their home markets. We are fortunate to have excellent leadership for both our national councils and our sector-specific European councils, and I will be working closely with both them and the staff team to deliver high-quality ideas and content to all of our members.”  

ULI is already engaged with municipal leaders across Europe in places as varied as Amsterdam, Barcelona, and Moscow, but Orf says he believes there is more potential to aid public/private sector collaboration. “The impartial platform that ULI creates makes it an ideal forum for fostering true public/private sector partnerships,” he says. “We will therefore be looking to increase the number and visibility of mayors, city leaders, and other public sector professionals within our membership. This will create a richer understanding of how the real estate industry can work constructively with city leaders to generate economic growth, address infrastructure challenges, and respond intelligently to sustainability issues.”

As part of deepening ULI’s mission in Europe, Orf says he is committed to real estate education and helping people at the beginning of their careers. “I was inspired to become involved in ULI during the early stages of my real estate career by Claude Ballard, my mentor and first boss at Goldman Sachs. Claude was passionate about real estate and ULI, and his enthusiasm had a big impact upon my career and how I viewed the built environment,” Orf says.

“However, the economic downturn has meant there has been a real lack of opportunities for young people over recent years, and I believe that senior real estate professionals have a duty to nurture the next generation of talent. I am proud that my son chose to join ULI within the first year of his real estate career, and we hope to attract and support more young members by strengthening our already extremely successful Young Leaders program in Europe.” ULI has approximately 330 Young Leaders based across Europe who regularly participate in a broad range of events from lunch-and-learn meetings and site visits to cross-border study tours and an annual summer school.  

Orf has firsthand experience operating in a number of the countries in which ULI has national councils. Originally working with Goldman Sachs in the United States selling real estate investments to Japanese investors during the 1980s, he relocated to London with the company in 1990. He has principally spent the past two decades investing in European real estate markets on behalf of Goldman Sachs. Orf is also a founder of E-Shelter, a data center business based in Germany. In 2010, Orf joined Apollo, where he oversees all property investments and fundraising activities on behalf of the company’s real estate funds throughout Europe.

“Roger’s extensive knowledge of ULI’s work and his truly pan-European experience in the real estate market will add great value in advancing our mission over the next two years,” says Joe Montgomery, chief executive of ULI Europe. “Under Roger’s leadership, we hope to make significant progress in a wide range of areas, but especially in the work we do to support cities and young people.”