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What You Don’t Know About SwissReal’s Nadja Gehriger


SwissReal Group's Nadja Gehriger moved back from London with one building in mind: downtown’s buzzy new office project, The Exchange, a super-green 32-storey tower that'll incorporate the old stock exchange on Howe Street.


“It's takes up the majority of my time," Nadja tells us. "It’s a huge project and we’re a pretty small office.” The Exchange—poised to be Vancouver’s first LEED Platinum heritage conversion when it opens in 2017—is the brainchild of Nadja’s father, SwissReal CEO and founder Franz Gehriger (father and daughter are pictured at the site with Nadja’s daughter Ella). Nadja, 36, joined her dad’s firm after spending 14 years in investment banking in Zurich and London, for Credit Suisse (now the majority stakeholder in The Exchange) and Merrill Lynch, and co-founded a boutique investment banking firm.


The primary focus with The Exchange—a $240M project that includes 370k SF of office space, and retail in the podium—has been creating a healthy work environment, Nadja explains. She believes The Exchange will be one of the most sustainable buildings in North America when it opens in three years. “Everything here will be of exceptionally high-quality,” she tells us. “It’s been designed in a Swiss mindset.” 


Nadja grew up in a real estate environment (her dad started SwissReal 30 years ago) and always wanted to work in the business. But it was just last year that she left London to help her father bring The Exchange to fruition, along with other new projects. “I know he’ll never retire,” Nadja says, “but he’ll need someone to help take over the business eventually.”


What You Don’t Know About Nadja Gehriger  

Born: Zurich.

Raised: Vancouver.

Education: UBC, BComm; CFA.

First-ever job: I was a gofer in a small hotel in the mountains of Switzerland. I did everything: worked in the kitchen, cleaned, manned the front desk. 

First real estate job: Working at SwissReal during summers as a kid. Filing, reception, etc.

Greatest fear: Don’t have any overwhelming fears. Fear small things every day. 

Person (living/dead) you'd most want to meet: Bill Gates. He’s an entrepreneur who built up an incredible global business, but he also founded one of the biggest global charities. He’s extremely smart and his heart's in the right place. 

Daily habit: Try to exercise most days; I run or do Pilates. And every morning I make my fruit smoothie before work. 

Favourite music artist/band: Black Eyed Peas.

Recent good read: Bossy Pants, by Tina Fey .

Favourite movie: Groundhog Day.

Favourite vacation spot: That one’s easy — Maldives. 

Favourite restaurant: Miku at Canada Place.

Bucket list: Love to travel. Fiji, Australia, Laos, Vietnam and Cambodia would all be on my list. 

Hobbies: Running, skiing, hiking, traveling.

Startling fact about you: I've flown almost a million miles on British Airways and visited over 40 countries.