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Chris Merrill | Co-Founder and CEO of Harrison Street

This week’s podcast guest is Chris Merrill, the co-founder and CEO of Harrison Street, a $55 billion family of real estate funds focused on demographically-driven real estate niche sectors such as student housing, senior housing, life science, self-storage and infrastructure throughout the U.S., Canada and Western Europe.

He talks about their strategy as a break out from the four main real estate “food groups” and how their strategy is “de-risked” both by focusing on these multiple niche sectors and through working through multiple operating partners in each business.

Chris shares about his starting the company with his long time mentor, Chris Galvin, the prior CEO of Motorola. He talks about how the partnership with Galvin focused Harrison Street’s business strategy around these alternative real estate asset classes and a spirit of innovation rather than following the herd in the business. He also talks about recapitalizing the company with an investment by Colliers Group International and the synergies that enabled the company’s tremendous growth and new opportunities for his teammates.

Chris shares about the growth, evolution and the natural progression into new investment areas for the firm, including internationally, and how he is mentoring and providing opportunities for the next generation of leaders in his business. 


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