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Former UDR Exec Joins Proptech Investment Firm To Boost Housing Fund

The proptech sector attracted a record $32B this year from venture capital investment.

Proptech investment firm RET Ventures has named Jerry Davis, a veteran of Colorado-based multifamily owner and manager UDR as a senior adviser, following the launch of the company’s Housing Impact Fund.

Davis was president and chief operating officer of UDR, where he spent more than 30 years. In 2021, he stepped aside as COO but remained as president of the company until December 2021, when he retired from UDR entirely.

UDR is one of the largest multifamily REITs in the U.S., with more than 50,000 units under management. 

Along with Davis, RET hired former UMB Managing Director Jacob Zornes as its chief financial officer and promoted three members of its investment team, according to a statement from the company. Aaron Ru was promoted to principal and Jameson Hartman and Sam Kroll to vice president.

RET’s Housing Impact Fund is the company’s first environmental social and governance-focused investment fund. The funding round, announced last month, was led by UDR as well as Essex Property Trust.

The fund targets $80M in investments and intends to support ESG solutions for the housing industry, including technology that supports outcomes of new developments and existing properties.

REITs and other traditional real estate firms have increasingly invested in proptech companies and venture capital firms in recent years to diversify their holdings. RET partner Christopher Yip told Bisnow last year that between the closing of RET’s first fund and the closing of its second, it doubled the number of commercial real estate backers to 40.

UPDATE, JUNE 8, 4:21 P.M. ET: This story has been updated to include the promotions of Aaron Ru, Jameson Hartman and Sam Kroll.