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AFIRE Taps New CEO As Longtime Head James Fetgatter Retires

AFIRE's new CEO, Gunnar Branson

The longtime head of the Association of Foreign Investors In Real Estate is retiring and being replaced by another industry veteran. 

AFIRE, the D.C.-based group that tracks cross-border real estate investment, named Gunnar Branson as its new CEO. Branson will take over upon the September retirement of James Fetgatter, who has led the group for 27 years. 

Branson has spent the last seven years as CEO of the National Association of Real Estate Investment Managers. He has previously held leadership roles with GE Capital Real Estate and Heller Financial and consulted with several top real estate firms. 

“We are very pleased to welcome Gunnar Branson," AFIRE Chairman Edward Casal said in a release. "His leadership skills and intellectual curiosity regarding the economic and technological forces that shape the real estate industry will ably lead the association into the future."

AFIRE's membership includes about 200 institutions from 21 countries. The organization conducts an annual survey and releases a report showing the top cities for foreign investors. Fetgatter was the association's first full-time chief executive and has remained atop the group as it has grown to its current size. 

“It has been my privilege to serve the members of AFIRE as chief executive for almost three decades and to be a part of the transformative growth of the association,” Fetgatter said. “The members of AFIRE have been like family and many have become lifelong friends. I have no doubt AFIRE will continue to prosper under the able leadership of Gunnar Branson.”