The annual Cornell Real Estate Conference has always featured a premier lineup of speakers, from the engaging Panel Discussions to the accomplished Keynote Speakers. For the 2016 Conference, Cornell is proud to announce that J. Allen Smith (B.S.’80, M.P.S.’86), CEO of Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts, will be featured as one of three Keynote Speakers. Smith will deliver the Lunchtime Keynote on Friday, October 14 when he will be interviewed by Adam Metz, Managing Director and Head of International Real Estate at The Carlyle Group.
In his position, Smith oversees all aspects of the Four Seasons’ global portfolio of hotels, resorts and branded residences. Since joining Four Seasons in 2013, Smith has led the firm’s evolutionary strategy, focusing on branded residences and expanding the brand to new markets while strengthening the firm’s longtime core business of luxury hotels in destinations throughout the world.
Prior to Four Seasons, Smith served as CEO of Prudential Real Estate Investors, one of the world’s largest real estate investment managers. Smith joined Prudential in 1987 after earning his master’s degree from the Cornell School of Hotel Administration. Beginning his career in the hotel investment group, his responsibilities expanded to include all property types and facets of the real estate investment business including strategic planning, organizational development, capital partner relations, portfolio management, corporate finance and business operations.
Four Seasons was founded in 1960 by Isadore Sharp, who built the company into the icon of luxury hospitality that it is today. The company was taken private in 2007 by long-term shareholders Kingdom Holding Company, Cascade Investment and Triples Holdings. Since that time, Four Seasons has continued to expand its leadership position by accelerating execution of its growth strategy to strengthen its brand while creating new opportunities for its guests, employees, and hotel owner partners worldwide.