Bay Area Power Women: 5 Questions With Essex Property Trust Chief Financial Officer Angela Kleiman
This limited series profiles Bay Area Power Women who have helped shape Bay Area cities, neighborhoods, businesses and lifestyles. These women will be honored at Bisnow's Bay Area Power Women event in San Francisco on May 30.
Essex Property Trust Chief Financial Officer Angela Kleiman has over two decades of experience in commercial real estate. She joined Essex in 2009 to manage the private equity platform and grew the business from $750M to $3B in gross assets. Prior to joining Essex, she served as senior equity analyst and vice president of investor relations at J.P. Morgan and was responsible for over $2B in the firm’s real estate investment trust assets. She also served as vice president with J.P. Morgan Real Estate & Lodging Investment Banking Group, where she advised management and boards on business platforms and investment transactions. She began her career in real estate development management.
Bisnow: How do you describe your job to people who are not in the industry?
Kleiman: As the chief financial officer, I am primarily responsible for setting and executing the company's financial strategy in order to facilitate growth and improve the competitive differentiation of our business.
Bisnow: What is the biggest business problem you have faced and how did you solve it?
Kleiman: Problem: Perception that the economy is headed for a recession resulting in an adverse impact to our stock price.
Solution: First, we proactively communicate with our investor base regarding the state of the economy, providing relevant data points and cogent analysis to explain that deceleration to long-term average after many years of accelerated growth is natural. Second, we shore up our balance sheet, which will enable the company to weather a recession or capital market dislocation, should either occur.
Bisnow: What is one thing you think companies can do to address wage and gender inequality?
Kleiman: Evaluate current employees' roles and their wages to determine if any inequality exists and then proactively make any needed adjustments.
Bisnow: What piece of advice do you give others entering the industry?
Kleiman: I suggest that they try to understand the intersection of their personal strengths and the key drivers of the business with which they seek employment, thus enabling them to add value to that business.
Bisnow: What do you do to unwind when you’re not working?
Kleiman: I either play the piano or watch an exciting action movie.
Meet Essex Property Trust Chief Financial Officer Angela Kleiman at Bisnow’s Power Women event in San Francisco May 30.