Real estate consultancy CBRE appoints Leah Stearns as chief financial officer

22 April 2019 Consulting.us

CBRE, the world’s largest real estate services and investment firm, has appointed Leah Stearns as its new chief financial officer. Stearns was previously the CFO of the US division of American Tower, a major communications infrastructure firm. She will be based out of Dallas.

As CFO, Stearns will oversee CBRE’s global finance and accounting structure, including tax, treasury, financial planning, and investor relations. Stearns has nearly 20 years of experience in finance and investor relations.

She rapidly climbed the ranks at American Tower after joining the firm in 2001. Based in Boston, the Fortune 500 company – structured as a real estate trust – owns and operates over 170,000 wireless and broadcast communications sites in 16 countries. Real estate consultancy CBRE appoints Leah Stearns as chief financial officerOver her career at the firm, Stearns focused on investor relations, financial planning, and capital markets, rising from the position of manager, to director, to vice president, and then senior vice president. In 2017, she was appointed CEO of the EMEA region, and in November 2018 Stearns was appointed CFO of the US division. In her final role at American Tower, she oversaw the US business’ finance and accounting, mergers and acquisitions, and supply chain, as well as other areas. American Tower had over $6 billion in revenues in 2017, with 50% of its operating profit arising from the US division.

Stearns holds an MBA from Boston College, as well as a BS In finance from Boston University. She is a board member of the non-profit Brookline Community Mental Health Center.

“Leah will bring tremendous capabilities to CBRE,” Bob Sulentic, the company’s president and chief executive officer, said. “She is an exceptional executive who has risen rapidly in her career and has had significant responsibilities in financial management, operational leadership and international activities. Her background is well suited to help us drive our strategy.”

Stearn’s appointment, effective May 15, will see current CFO Jim Groch transition to the role of global group president and chief investment officer.  As chief investment officer, Groch will lead CBRE’s M&A activities and capital allocation into real estate investments.

Based in LA, CBRE had over $14 billion in revenues in 2017, and has approximately 480 offices and 90,000 employees worldwide.

Related: CBRE recognized among World's Most Ethical Companies for sixth year running


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