Power Women: Amy Price
Radical change doesn't scare Bentall Kennedy's US COO Amy Price. She left a longtime post at Morgan Stanley in 2011; two years later, she's plumped up the Canadian-based firm's small San Francisco investment team from two to nearly a dozen, filling in areas of development, deals, asset and portfolio management, and biz dev.
Bentall Kennedy's local investment portfolio is a tale of two different submarkets, Amy tells us. On one end, Transbay Block 6 is an uber-green residential tower rising next to the waterfront that'll act as a gateway to Financial District and SoMa jobs. On the other, the brand-new NEMA project in mid-Market--the city's biggest luxury rental development, below--sits smack dab next to Twitter and comes loaded with tech amenities. (Speaking of two submarkets, if Dickens were alive, you know he would've loved tweeting.) Both projects are about "transforming cities," she says. The company's also expanding into the medical office and industrial spaces, having just bought Amazon's 1.1M SF fulfillment and distribution center in Texas.
Amy's used to being in the minority. When she left Morgan Stanley, she was the sole female out of 30 real estate investing managing directors worldwide. Now, she's the only woman on the management committee at Bentall Kennedy. How she got there: At age 18, she made the trek from sunny SoCal to cold Colgate University in "the middle of nowhere" New York--one of three Cali-bred students in her freshman class. Armed with an econ degree, she landed in Manhattan as an analyst for Morgan Stanley and fell in love with the real estate side of finance.
She jumped at the chance to work for a year in Hong Kong ("why not?") before getting a biz degree at Wharton. (Above, the world traveler drifts along a canal in Thailand.) In 2000, she compromised with her venture capitalist fiance: move to dot-com San Francisco, where she could open Morgan Stanley's office. A dozen years and three kids later, she was ready for a big change. She got to know Bentall Kennedy's US CEO Mike McKee and liked the idea of narrowing her focus at a real estate-centric company. As COO, she has the daunting task of making sure the financial and operating performance of the equity giant is up to par.
Amy's biggest job outside the office is being a mom: her kids are 3, 6, and 9. Many big families opt to live across the bridge, but the Prices choose to be city folk for a reason, she says. Calling Pac Heights home reduces the radius between her Financial District office and what she calls "kid infrastructure": schools, activities, and doctors. Living and working within that 1.5 mile radius is important for her sanity, she says.