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Eteri Zaslavsky, 36, Managing Director, Next Realty

Chicago Retail

Eteri Zaslavsky immigrated to the US from Odessa, Ukraine, at age 10, with her entire extended family of 18. It had to be tough growing up in a pre-Lebron James Cleveland, but the only child survived and set her sights on college in a big city.

Like most econ undergrads at UChicago, she planned on a career in investment banking. After graduating in three years, Eteri joined the investment banking group at LaSalle Partners (now JLL) and fell in love with real estate. A couple years in the analyst program there led to a stint at private equity firm The Tuckerman Group, where her team provided equity to multifamily developers.

Her next stop was UChicago’s Booth school full-time for an MBA. “To be a woman in finance and private equity, I felt an MBA was an important way to distinguish myself,” she says. “And I knew if I didn’t go early, I may never go.”


Post-MBA at Allstate Investments, Eteri knew the debt markets were getting crazy in ’06 and ’07 when they started losing deals by basis points, and she knew it couldn’t last. She was itching to get back to the equity side, and an introduction to Next Realty CEO Andy Hochberg (above) through their mutual charity work paved her way. It’s been almost nine years now, and while Eteri wears innumerable hats at Next, her main mandate is sourcing new and more institutional acquisition opportunities.

Take the firm’s recent value-add acquisition of Lincolnshire Commons (pictured) from GGP. It’s their first foray into the institutional JV arena, Eteri says, and a pivotal deal in taking their platform to the next level. Next will continue to focus on retail in the Midwest and Mid-Atlantic and parking in markets where people pay to park (they just bought in Honolulu and are in the process of acquiring in Ft. Lauderdale), she says.

Eteri still encounters few women on the principal side of real estate investing. You’d think that was a problem of our mothers’ generation, she says, but it persists in a very real way. She thinks it has something to do with the grueling lifestyle, which is impossible without support, and feels fortunate to have amassed a strong network of friends and mentors (they’re also the best source of deals) over 15 years in the business.

Though Eteri’s missing the city after her family’s move to Deerfield, she does not miss the commute to Next’s Northbrook office. When she’s not chasing around her 3-year-old and 7-year-old, she’s very active with UChicago, and recently joined its Hillel Board.

Eteri is part of Bisnow's Ascent community of up-and-coming commercial real estate leaders. The top developers and investors under the age of 40 descend on the Ritz Carlton in South Beach Nov. 2-4. See who's attending and apply to be considered for one of the few remaining spots here.