Beyond The Bio: 16 Questions With Veritas Investments Chief Financial Officer Nina Tran
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This series profiles men and women in commercial real estate who have profoundly transformed our neighborhoods and reshaped our cities, businesses and lifestyles.
Nina Tran’s 25-plus-year career in real estate and financial management started at PricewaterhouseCoopers. A bulk of her career was at AMB Property Corp., now known as Prologis, where she spent 18 years and served as chief global process officer and chief accounting officer. She later served three years as chief financial officer at Starwood Waypoint Residential Trust. She currently manages Veritas Investments’ finance, accounting, human resources and business process improvement activities. She also serves on the board of directors at AIMCO.
Bisnow: How do you describe your job to people who are not in the industry?
Tran: I’m the chief financial officer of a private real estate company. We’re the largest owner of multifamily and urban retail space in San Francisco. I oversee finance, accounting, people and culture and business process improvements.
Bisnow: If you weren’t in commercial real estate, what would you do?
Tran: Help my daughter launch her own company. She’s only 14 years old right now, but has a lot of great business ideas; she wants to be an entrepreneur one day.
Bisnow: What is the worst job you ever had?
Tran: Door-to-door knife saleswoman. I was horrible at it and was only able to sell a few items to friends and family.
Bisnow: What was your first big deal?
Tran: In 1997, I was part of the team that took a real estate company public.
Bisnow: How do you define “making it”?
Tran: Achieving your career goals, enjoying the work that you do and at the same time being able to live a happy, balanced life with family and friends.
Bisnow: What is your biggest pet peeve?
Tran: Lack of integrity and not keeping your promises.
Bisnow: Who is your greatest mentor?
Tran: A former boss who advocated for me and gave me opportunities to grow.
Bisnow: What is the best and worst professional advice you've ever gotten?
Tran: Best – Step outside of your comfort zone in order to grow and learn. Worst – Move a poor performer to another role, even when you know he/she won’t succeed.
Bisnow: What is your greatest extravagance?
Tran: Probably my car.
Bisnow: What is your favorite restaurant in the world?
Tran: Not a restaurant, but my husband’s home cooking.
Bisnow: If you could sit down with President Donald Trump, what would you say?
Tran: How are you going to make America great if you continue to be divisive and spark racial tension throughout the U.S. and the world?
Bisnow: What's the biggest risk you have ever taken?
Tran: Leaving a stable global company where I was at for many years and starting a new CFO role a few years back with a smaller, less-established firm.
Bisnow: Whose work do you most admire?
Tran: Sheryl Sandberg. She’s a role model for women executives. Despite her personal tragedies, she continues to persevere, stays focused and encourages positive change throughout the globe.
Bisnow: What keeps you up at night?
Tran: The uncertain political climate and racial tensions under our current administration.
Bisnow: Outside of your work, what are you most passionate about?
Tran: Spending time with my kids and competing in club tennis on weekends.