Nicolas P. Retsinas

Senior Lecturer of Business Administration

Unit: Finance

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Nicolas P. Retsinas is a Senior Lecturer in Real Estate at the Harvard Business School where he teaches courses in housing finance and real estate in frontier markets. Mr. Retsinas is also Director Emeritus of Harvard University's Joint Center for Housing Studies, a collaborative venture of the Graduate School of Design and the Harvard Kennedy School, and a Lecturer in Housing Studies at the Graduate School of Design.

Prior to his Harvard appointment, Retsinas served as Assistant Secretary for Housing-Federal Housing Commissioner at the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development and as Director of the Office of Thrift Supervision. Mr. Retsinas also served on the Board of the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, the Federal Housing Finance Board and the Neighborhood Reinvestment Corporation. He received a Meritorious Service Award from the US Treasury Department in 1997. He also received the Excellence in Public Service Award from the Rental Housing Association in 1998 and the Housing Leadership Award from the National Low Income Housing Coalition in 2001.  He is in the National Housing Hall of Fame and was named one of the most influential people in real estate by the National Association of Realtors, in home building by BUILDER magazine, and in multifamily housing by Multi-Housing News. In 2008, he was inducted into the Affordable Housing Hall of Fame and in 2009 was named by BUILDER magazine as one of the top 30 innovators in the home building industry in the past 30 years. In 2010, Bloomberg Business Week named him one of the 50 most powerful people in real estate.  In 2011, Inman News named him as one of the 100 most influential real estate leaders and the National Housing Conference named him Person of the Year.

Mr. Retsinas also served the State of Rhode Island as the Executive Director of the Rhode Island Housing and Mortgage Finance Corporation from 1987 to 1993. He received his master's degree in city planning from Harvard University and his AB in economics from New York University.  In 2008, he received an honorary Doctorate in Public Service from Rhode Island College.

Mr. Retsinas serves on the Board of Directors of Community Development Trust, Inc., Freddie Mac, and the Center for Responsible Lending.  He chairs the Providence Housing Authority and is a past Chair of the Board of Directors of Habitat for Humanity International.  In 2012, Retsinas was named to the Bipartisan Policy Center's Housing Commission where he co-chairs the Mortgage Finance Reform Working Group.    

Mr. Retsinas has lectured and written extensively on housing, real estate and banking issues.  He has co-edited Low-Income Homeownership: Examining the Unexamined Goal (2002), Building Assets, Building Credit: Creating Wealth in Low-Income Communities (2005), Revisiting Rental Housing: Policies, Programs, and Priorities (2008), Borrowing to Live: Consumer and Mortgage Credit Revisited (2008) and Moving Forward: The Future of Consumer Credit and Mortgage Finance (2011).   He has also co-authored Opportunity and Progress: A Bipartisan Platform for National Housing Policy (2004) and Our Communities, Our Homes: Pathways to Housing and Homeownership in America's Cities and States (2007). He is a Fellow at the National Academy for Public Administration.

 

January 2014

Featured Work

  1. Moving Forward: The Future of Consumer Credit and Mortgage Finance

    The recent collapse of the mortgage market revealed fractures in the credit market that have deep roots in the system's structure, conduct, and regulation. The time has come for a clear-eyed assessment of what happened and how the system should be strengthened and restructured. Such reform will have a profound and lasting impact on the capacity of Americans to use credit to build assets and finance consumption.

    Moving Forward explores what caused the crisis and, more important, focuses on the path ahead. The challenge remains the same as ever: protect consumers, ensure fairness, and guarantee soundness of the financial system without stifling innovation and overly restricting access to credit and consumer choice. Nicolas Retsinas, Eric Belsky, and their colleagues aim to stimulate debate based on analysis of the opportunities and challenges presented by the various components of global capital markets: financial engineering, risk assessment and management, specialization of financial intermediation, and marketing methods. The contributors—leaders in business, government, academia, and the nonprofit sector—discuss new research and ideas about the future of credit markets, including how improvements might be shaped by industry leaders.

  2. Borrowing to Live: Consumer and Mortgage Credit Revisited

    Americans are awash in debt. Credit undergirds daily life more than ever before—it is one of the defining aspects of life in the United States today. The damage from a depressed housing market is exacerbated by the subprime lender implosion, sending shock waves through the financial sector, international economies, and the presidential campaign. Most low- or moderate-income people borrow, but they are doing it to stay afloat rather than to keep up with the Joneses. How did things go so wrong? How can we maintain and expand access to credit while protecting the consumer and avoiding a reoccurrence of the current crisis?

    In Borrowing to Live, the Joint Center for Housing Studies of Harvard University bring together an elite group of experts, an eclectic group drawn from the best of academia, research, and public service. Together with editors Nicolas Retsinas and Eric Belsky, they dissect the current state of consumer and mortgage credit in the United States and help point the way out of the current impasse.

  3. Harvard's Retsinas Interview on U.S. Home Prices

    Jan. 25 (Bloomberg) -- Nicolas Retsinas, director emeritus of the Joint Center for Housing Studies at Harvard University, talks about the outlook for the U.S. housing market and mortgage foreclosures. U.S. home prices have reached a bottom and may be set to rise in the first half as buyers take advantage of increased affordability, said Karl Case, the economist who co-founded the S&P/Case-Shiller home price index. Retsinas talks with Pimm Fox on Bloomberg Television's "Surveillance Midday." (Source: Bloomberg)

Publications

Books

  1. Moving Forward: The Future of Consumer Credit and Mortgage Finance

    The recent collapse of the mortgage market revealed fractures in the credit market that have deep roots in the system's structure, conduct, and regulation. The time has come for a clear-eyed assessment of what happened and how the system should be strengthened and restructured. Such reform will have a profound and lasting impact on the capacity of Americans to use credit to build assets and finance consumption. Moving Forward explores what caused the crisis and, more important, focuses on the path ahead. The challenge remains the same as ever: protect consumers, ensure fairness, and guarantee soundness of the financial system without stifling innovation and overly restricting access to credit and consumer choice. Nicolas Retsinas, Eric Belsky, and their colleagues aim to stimulate debate based on analysis of the opportunities and challenges presented by the various components of global capital markets: financial engineering, risk assessment and management, specialization of financial intermediation, and marketing methods. The contributors-leaders in business, government, academia, and the nonprofit sector-discuss new research and ideas about the future of credit markets, including how improvements might be shaped by industry leaders.

    Keywords: Financial Crisis; Capital Markets; Credit; Financial Markets; Mortgages; Personal Finance; Governing Rules, Regulations, and Reforms; Demand and Consumers; Financial Services Industry;

    Citation:

    Retsinas, Nicolas P., and Eric Belsky, eds. Moving Forward: The Future of Consumer Credit and Mortgage Finance. Brookings Institution Press, 2011.
  2. Borrowing to Live: Consumer and Mortgage Credit Revisited

    Keywords: Borrowing and Debt; Customers; Credit; Mortgages;

    Citation:

    Retsinas, Nicolas P., and Eric S. Belsky, eds. Borrowing to Live: Consumer and Mortgage Credit Revisited. Brookings Institution Press, 2008.
  3. Revisiting Rental Housing: Policies, Programs, and Priorities

    Rental housing is increasingly recognized as a vital housing option in the United States. Yet government policies and programs continue to grapple with widespread problems, including affordability, distressed urban neighborhoods, poor-quality housing stock, concentrated poverty, and exposure to health hazards in the home. These challenges can be costly and difficult to address. The time is ripe for fresh, authoritative analysis of this important yet often overlooked sector. In Revisiting Rental Housing, leading housing researchers build on decades of experience, research, and evaluation to inform our understanding of rental housing challenges and what to do about them. The authors look at contributing factors and problems generated by the operation of rental markets, and assess whether existing policies and programs have helped and what lessons have been learned. Finally, the authors suggest new directions for housing policy, including the integration of best practices from past lessons into existing programs and innovations for large-scale, long-term market and policy solutions that can get to the root of rental housing challenges.

    Keywords: Governing Rules, Regulations, and Reforms; Policy; Government and Politics; Housing; Renting or Rental; Problems and Challenges; United States;

    Citation:

    Retsinas, Nicolas P., and Eric S. Belsky, eds. Revisiting Rental Housing: Policies, Programs, and Priorities. Brookings Institution Press, 2008.
  4. Our Communities, Our Homes: Pathways to Housing and Homeownership in America's Cities and States

    In Our Communities, Our Homes: Pathways to Housing and Homeownership in America's Cities and States, Henry Cisneros, Jack Kemp, Kent Colton, and Nicolas Retsinas put political views aside to address the impediments to housing and homeownership at the state and local levels. This volume is a compilation of bipartisan recommendations from the authors and success stories from all corners of the country.

    Keywords: Economic Growth; Local Range; Housing; Property; Welfare or Wellbeing; United States;

    Citation:

    Cisneros, Henry G., Jack F. Kemp, Nicolas P. Retsinas, and Kent W. Colton. Our Communities, Our Homes: Pathways to Housing and Homeownership in America's Cities and States. Harvard University, Joint Center for Housing Studies, 2007.
  5. Building Assets Building Credit: Creating Wealth in Low-Income Communities

    Keywords: Assets; Credit; Wealth; Poverty;

    Citation:

    Retsinas, Nicolas P., and Eric S. Belsky, eds. Building Assets Building Credit: Creating Wealth in Low-Income Communities. Brookings Institution Press, 2005.
  6. Opportunity and Progress: A Bipartisan Platform for National Housing Policy

    Keywords: Housing; Policy;

    Citation:

    Cisneros, Henry G., Jack F. Kemp, Nicolas P. Retsinas, and Kent W. Colton. Opportunity and Progress: A Bipartisan Platform for National Housing Policy. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University, Joint Center for Housing Studies, 2004.
  7. Low-Income Homeownership: Examining the Unexamined Goal

    Keywords: Poverty; Housing; Goals and Objectives;

    Citation:

    Retsinas, Nicolas P., and Eric S. Belsky, eds. Low-Income Homeownership: Examining the Unexamined Goal. Washington, D.C.: Brookings Institution Press, 2002.

Book Chapters

  1. Inflection Point: New Vision, New Strategy, New Organization

    Citation:

    Retsinas, Nicolas P., and Nancy O. Andrews. "Inflection Point: New Vision, New Strategy, New Organization." In Investing in What Works for America's Communities: Essays on People, Place & Purpose, edited by Nancy O. Andrews, David J. Erickson, Ian J. Galloway, and Ellen S. Seidman. San Francisco, CA: Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco, 2012.

Cases and Teaching Materials

  1. Generator Hostels: The Way Out

    Teaching Note to Generator Hostels: The Way Out, HBS Case No. 213-069.

    Keywords: real estate; Property; Financial Services Industry; European Union;

    Citation:

    Retsinas, Nicolas P., and Lisa Strope. "Generator Hostels: The Way Out." Harvard Business School Teaching Note 214-060, February 2014.
  2. Canyon-Agassi Investing in Charter Schools

    After an unusual round of doubles in May 2011, real estate investor Bobby Turner, Managing Partner, Canyon-Agassi Charter School Facilities Fund (CACSFF) and Chairman, CEO, and Co-Founder of Canyon Capital Realty Advisors, found himself at a loss for words. Turner was in the midst of raising capital for the CACSFF, a vehicle designed to promote the success and growth of best-in-class charter schools by acting as a for-profit "bridge" developer of educational facilities throughout the United States. He thought he had found the perfect investor in Bill Gates, the Microsoft founder and billionaire philanthropist, who for years had been an outspoken supporter of education reform. But as he made his pitch on the tennis court alongside his partner, retired professional tennis star Andre Agassi, and Andre's wife, retired professional tennis star Steffi Graf, he realized he would encounter more resistance than originally expected. Despite Gates' fascination and intrigue with the pair's novel concept, he was hesitant to mix the non-profit oriented efforts of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation with a for-profit private equity investment. Turner had heard similar concerns from other philanthropists and foundations. Furthermore, the fund's characterization as a social enterprise left unanswered questions regarding how making a positive impact could be juxtaposed with efforts to maximize investor profits. What started off as the match of the century ended rather unceremoniously as Gates graciously declined the opportunity to invest in CACSFF. As Turner and Agassi walked off the court, they realized they would have to go back to the drawing board to better gauge which investors would have an appetite for this type of investment and how best to market the fund to those parties going forward.

    Keywords: charter schools; real estate; fund raising; social entrepreneurship; Property; Real Estate Industry; Financial Services Industry; United States;

    Citation:

    Retsinas, Nicolas P., Nicole Shomair, Vernon Beckford, and Lisa Strope. "Canyon-Agassi Investing in Charter Schools." Harvard Business School Case 214-033, November 2013.
  3. Hotel Ivory

    Cheick Sanankoua is an MBA student who believes that he has found the perfect investment property, a small, independently-owned hotel, on the Ivory Coast. However, he has had trouble raising money for the investment beyond friends and family. Through contacts in the private equity industry, he has one last opportunity to pitch the deal to Asdar Capital. If unsuccessful, the time on Sanankoua's exclusivity agreement with the owners will run out.

    Keywords: real estate; emerging market; private equity; Property; Real Estate Industry; Africa;

    Citation:

    Retsinas, Nicolas P., and Lisa Strope. "Hotel Ivory." Harvard Business School Teaching Plan 214-002, November 2013.
  4. Residencial Los Andes

    Peninsula Investment Group is deciding whether or not to recapitalize an equity investment in a Residencial Los Andes, a residential project in Santiago, Chile, or take a substantial loss. The project did not meet its sales goals and the bank pressured the investors to liquidate the construction loan. Early on, Peninsula had identified Chile as a target market; however, in investing in Residencial Los Andes, it had made several exceptions to its investment strategy. The case addresses what went wrong in the evolution of the project, what measures would need to be taken if Peninsula did increase its capital commitment.

    Keywords: real estate; emerging market; Latin America; finance; investment management; Management; Negotiation; Finance; Entrepreneurship; Real Estate Industry; Latin America;

    Citation:

    Retsinas, Nicolas P., and Lisa Strope. "Residencial Los Andes." Harvard Business School Case 213-074, December 2012. (Revised January 2014.)
  5. Making Lemonade in Chicago's Troubled Neighborhoods (TP)

    Citation:

    Retsinas, Nicolas P., and Lisa Strope. "Making Lemonade in Chicago's Troubled Neighborhoods (TP)." Harvard Business School Teaching Plan 213-021, September 2012.
  6. Making Lemonade in Chicago's Troubled Neighborhoods

    This case focuses on the complexities of building a real estate investment company in two Chicago low-income neighborhoods, Roseland and Englewood, during the foreclosure crisis in 2011.

    Keywords: real estate; investment management; Financial Management; Social Issues; Investment; Real Estate Industry; Chicago;

    Citation:

    Retsinas, Nicolas, Jazzmin Lamas, and Lisa Strope. "Making Lemonade in Chicago's Troubled Neighborhoods." Harvard Business School Case 212-042, November 2011. (Revised December 2012.)
  7. OpCo / PropCo Valuation

    This technical note describes the "OpCo/PropCo" process of valuing a real estate intensive business. The term "OpCo/PropCo" refers to a business arrangement in which a consolidated, real estate-intensive enterprise is split into two separate businesses: (1) A property company and (2) the underlying operating business.

    Keywords: real estate; valuation; Property; Valuation; Investment;

    Citation:

    Retsinas, Nicolas P., Lisa Strope, and John C. Hettinger. "OpCo / PropCo Valuation." Harvard Business School Technical Note 213-070, November 2012.
  8. Hotel Ivory

    Cheick Sanankoua is an MBA student who believes that he has found the perfect investment property, a small, independently owned hotel, on the Ivory Coast. However, he has had trouble raising money for the investment beyond friends and family. Through contacts in the private equity industry, he has one last opportunity to pitch the deal to Asdar Capital. If unsuccessful, the time on Sanankoua's exclusivity agreement with the owners will run out.

    Keywords: real estate; emergent countries; investment; investmen; Investing; entrepreneurial finance; venture capital; Debts, Cash flow, Quantitative analysis, Financing, Entrepreneurial finance, Development stage enterprises, Small & medium-sized enterprises; Africa; ivory coast; Venture Capital; Emerging Markets; Property; Investment; Accommodations Industry; Real Estate Industry; Africa;

    Citation:

    Segel, Arthur I., Nicolas P. Retsinas, and Jonathan Lo. "Hotel Ivory." Harvard Business School Case 213-050, December 2012. (Revised October 2013.)
  9. Generator Hostels: The Way Out

    Josh Wyatt, Director of Patron Capital Partners, needs to make an exit decision for a successful investment in Generator Hostels. After five years of explosive growth and in the middle of a financial crisis, Wyatt needs to evaluate Patron's alternatives: IPO the platform, seek a strategic investor or sell the platform outright.

    Keywords: Hotel; real estate; Finance; Property; Accommodations Industry; European Union;

    Citation:

    Retsinas, Nicolas P., and Lisa Strope. "Generator Hostels: The Way Out." Harvard Business School Case 213-069, November 2012. (Revised November 2013.)
  10. Sino-Ocean Responding to Change (TP)

    Teaching Plan for HBS Case, "Sino-Ocean Land: Responding to Change"

    Citation:

    Retsinas, Nicolas P., and Lisa Strope. "Sino-Ocean Responding to Change (TP)." Harvard Business School Teaching Plan 213-023, September 2012.
  11. Pioneers in Colombia (TP)

    Teaching Plan: Pioneers in Colombia

    Citation:

    Retsinas, Nicolas P., and Lisa Strope. "Pioneers in Colombia (TP)." Harvard Business School Teaching Plan 213-022, September 2012.
  12. One South: Investing in Emerging Markets (A)

    A United States private equity fund, The Saboput Group, must decide whether to invest in a new technology park development in Chennai, India. The case provides the reader with a detailed investment memorandum from the local Indian operating partner, and the reader must review the memo and financial model to make an investment recommendation to Saboput's investment committee.

    Keywords: Private Equity; Investment; Emerging Markets; Partners and Partnerships; Urban Development; Real Estate Industry; Chennai; United States;

    Citation:

    Retsinas, Nicolas P., and Justin Seth Ginsburgh. "One South: Investing in Emerging Markets (A)." Harvard Business School Case 210-024, September 2009.
  13. Kibera and the Kenya Slum Upgrading Project (TN) (A) and (B)

    Keywords: Poverty; Projects;

    Citation:

    Retsinas, Nicolas P., and Arthur I Segel. "Kibera and the Kenya Slum Upgrading Project (TN) (A) and (B)." Harvard Business School Teaching Note 207-015, January 2007.
  14. One South Technology Park: Investing in Emerging Markets (TN) (A) & (B)

    Citation:

    Retsinas, Nicolas P., and Griffin H. James. "One South Technology Park: Investing in Emerging Markets (TN) (A) & (B)." Harvard Business School Teaching Note 212-106, May 2012.
  15. The Big Easy, Not So Easy

    Enterprise Community Partners must determine whether to rebuild the Lafitte housing projects in hurricane-ravaged New Orleans and, if so, how to mitigate the risks. Set in January 2007, more than a year after Hurricane Katrina made landfall, the case examines how Enterprise has a number of environmental, contractual, reputational, and legal risks to overcome in making the project a success. Given these risks, Enterprise is unsure whether to rebuild in New Orleans at all and whether to renovate the site or redevelop it into a mixed-income community.

    Keywords: Natural Disasters; Housing; Projects; Risk Management; Urban Development; Reputation; New Orleans;

    Citation:

    Retsinas, Nicolas P., Arthur I Segel, and Ben Creo. "The Big Easy, Not So Easy." Harvard Business School Case 208-068, February 2008. (Revised May 2012.)
  16. Pioneers in Colombia

    In 2011, Equity International made a $75 million equity investment in Bogota-based real estate company, Terranum Development and became the first institutional real estate investor in Colombia.

    Keywords: international investment; emerging markets; private equity; real estate; International Finance; Private Equity; Emerging Markets; Investment; Developing Countries and Economies; Real Estate Industry; Colombia;

    Citation:

    Retsinas, Nicolas P., and Lisa Strope. "Pioneers in Colombia." Harvard Business School Case 212-050, January 2012. (Revised June 2013.)
  17. Sino-Ocean Land: Responding to Change

    In 2010, Sino-Ocean Land Holdings Limited was a highly successful, large real estate developer based in Beijing, China. Sino-Ocean Land had three main business segments—property development, property investment/management, and other real estate related businesses. From 2005-2009, the company focused on becoming a leading regional developer with a multiproduct offering. That strategy was successful, riding the wave of spectacular growth in the Chinese real estate sector from 1998-2008, following a loosening of Chinese state real estate regulations. Although Sino-Ocean Land had gone public in 2007, its key shareholders were still state owned enterprises. The state maintained significant influence on the company and the real estate market, in general. The case explores the interactions between the company and the state, examining land acquisition, financing, and corporate governance. Following the global financial crisis of 2008, Sino-Ocean Land must devise a new five year strategic plan. CEO Li Ming must grapple with the changing market dynamics and regulatory environment to decide the best course for the company. Key issues that he must determine are: whether the focus should be local or national; whether to continue with multiproduct offerings, or specialize in one product type; and whether to continue to pursue primarily development, or to shift to property investment and holding.

    Keywords: Organizational Change and Adaptation; Strategic Planning; Diversification; Property; Policy; State Ownership; Business Strategy; Business and Government Relations; Real Estate Industry; Beijing;

    Citation:

    Retsinas, Nicolas P., Jeffrey Hu, and Runjiao Xu. "Sino-Ocean Land: Responding to Change." Harvard Business School Case 211-107, June 2011. (Revised June 2013.)
  18. Equity International: The Second Act

    Thomas McDonald, senior vice president of Equity International (EI), is weighing an investment in the Brazilian homebuilder Gafisa. Was this the right country? The right company? The right co-investor? The right time? McDonald would be investing alongside a Brazilian private equity firm, GP Investments, and must decide how to structure the investment. Especially, he must decide how to align his interests with those of GP. GP has recruited EI due to its prior experience with the Mexican homebuilder Gafisa. McDonald must also consider: Is that experience transferable to this investment?

    Keywords: Private Equity; Investment; Emerging Markets; Partners and Partnerships; Interests; Brazil;

    Citation:

    Retsinas, Nicolas P., Ben Creo, and Ricardo Reisen de Pinho. "Equity International: The Second Act." Harvard Business School Case 209-110, April 2009. (Revised December 2010.)
  19. Toward Golden Pond (A)

    The Rong-D companies must decide whether to build a luxury senior housing development in Chengdu, China. Demographics are very encouraging for this new product type, but there are numerous cultural, market, financial, and political risks that they must assess before moving forward.

    Keywords: Age Characteristics; Investment; Housing; Risk Management; Emerging Markets; Business and Government Relations; Luxury; Chengdu;

    Citation:

    Retsinas, Nicolas P., G.A. Donovan, Nancy Dai, and Justin Seth Ginsburgh. "Toward Golden Pond (A)." Harvard Business School Case 210-045, January 2010. (Revised December 2010.)
  20. Toward Golden Pond (B)

    Supplements the A case. Provides an additional dilemma for the Rong-D companies with regard to building luxury senior housing in China.

    Keywords: Buildings and Facilities; Age Characteristics; Investment; Housing; Risk Management; Emerging Markets; Business and Government Relations; Luxury; Chengdu;

    Citation:

    Retsinas, Nicolas P., G.A. Donovan, Nancy Dai, and Justin Seth Ginsburgh. "Toward Golden Pond (B)." Harvard Business School Supplement 210-046, January 2010. (Revised December 2010.)
  21. Eldeco: Playing in the Big League (TN)

    Citation:

    Segel, Arthur I., Nicolas P. Retsinas, and Griffin James. "Eldeco: Playing in the Big League (TN)." Harvard Business School Teaching Note 207-007, July 2006. (Revised June 2010.)
  22. Eldeco: Playing in the Big League

    In 2001, Pankaj Bajaj is considering whether to go forward with a residential development outside New Delhi. Facing an uncooperative local authority, he must determine how to evaluate the risks of proceeding against the potential loss of a golden opportunity to bring Eldeco, his real estate development company, into the top tier of industry players.

    Keywords: Developing Countries and Economies; Construction; Government and Politics; Risk Management; Emerging Markets; Business and Government Relations; Conflict and Resolution; Real Estate Industry; New Delhi;

    Citation:

    Segel, Arthur I., Nicolas P. Retsinas, and Siddarth Yog. "Eldeco: Playing in the Big League." Harvard Business School Case 206-116, March 2006. (Revised June 2010.)
  23. Capital Field: A Room with a View (TN)

    Teaching Note for [207091].

    Keywords: Investment; Assets; Growth and Development; Financial Services Industry;

    Citation:

    Retsinas, Nicolas P., Joshua Moore Wyatt, and Griffin James. "Capital Field: A Room with a View (TN)." Harvard Business School Teaching Note 210-084, May 2010.
  24. Toward Golden Pond (TN) (A) and (B)

    Teaching Note for [210045] and [210046].

    Keywords: Age Characteristics; Risk and Uncertainty; Decision Choices and Conditions; Demand and Consumers; Real Estate Industry; China;

    Citation:

    Retsinas, Nicolas P., and Griffin James. "Toward Golden Pond (TN) (A) and (B)." Harvard Business School Teaching Note 210-083, May 2010.
  25. One South: Investing in Emerging Markets (B)

    A United States private equity fund, The Saboput Group, must decide whether to invest in a new technology park development in Chennai, India. The B case provides the reader with due diligence observations, which reveal numerous potential problems with the investment. The reader must decide whether the The Saboput Group should go through with the investment.

    Keywords: Decisions; Private Equity; Investment; Foreign Direct Investment; Markets; Emerging Markets; Problems and Challenges; Partners and Partnerships; Valuation; Real Estate Industry; Chennai; United States;

    Citation:

    Retsinas, Nicolas P., and Justin Seth Ginsburgh. "One South: Investing in Emerging Markets (B)." Harvard Business School Supplement 210-027, September 2009.
  26. Kibera and the Kenya Slum Upgrading Project (A)

    Kenya's Minister of Housing faces tremendous pressures in dealing with the pervasive housing troubles in his country. Kibera is the largest slum in Africa and home to more than 800,000 residents, yet only measures two square kilometers, roughly half the size of Manhattan's Central Park. Most homes are single-story structures and the density is 3,000 persons per hectare (compared to 43 in London, 100 in New York City, and 143 in Tokyo), making this one of the most densely populated areas in the world. The slum's living conditions are abysmal by Western standards and gets little to no support from the local government due to the entrenched bureaucracy that has seemingly misaligned interests in the slum.

    Keywords: Construction; Housing; Urban Development; Poverty; Kenya;

    Citation:

    Retsinas, Nicolas P., Arthur I Segel, Marc Diaz, and John Dean Shepherd. "Kibera and the Kenya Slum Upgrading Project (A)." Harvard Business School Case 207-017, January 2007. (Revised May 2009.)
  27. Kibera and the Kenya Slum Upgrading Project (B)

    Keywords: Projects; Wealth and Poverty; Kenya;

    Citation:

    Retsinas, Nicolas P., Arthur I Segel, Marc Diaz, and John Dean Shepherd. "Kibera and the Kenya Slum Upgrading Project (B)." Harvard Business School Supplement 207-018, January 2007. (Revised May 2009.)
  28. Equity International: The Second Act (TN)

    Teaching Note for [209110].

    Keywords: Private Equity; Investment; Alignment; Leadership Style; Experience and Expertise; Globalization; Interests; Brazil; Mexico;

    Citation:

    Retsinas, Nicolas P., and Ben Creo. "Equity International: The Second Act (TN)." Harvard Business School Teaching Note 209-147, May 2009.
  29. North Goes East

    In August 2006, Magnus Lofgren and Robert Provine, managing directors and co-founders of the "North Real Estate Opportunities Fund," need to decide which real estate investment the Fund should pursue as its first project. The Fund's target region, Central and Eastern Europe, was changing rapidly and returns in some of the more developed regions started to resemble those generated in Western Europe. Yet, the two partners had managed to identify several projects in different countries that promised to generate the Fund's targeted Internal Rates of Return at or above 20% annually. They now had to decide which opportunity was the best match to the Fund's investment profile and showed the highest economic promise.

    Keywords: Developing Countries and Economies; Investment Funds; Risk Management; Emerging Markets; Opportunities; Real Estate Industry; Europe;

    Citation:

    Retsinas, Nicolas P., Daniela Beyersdorfer, and Elena Corsi. "North Goes East." Harvard Business School Case 208-136, April 2008. (Revised December 2008.)
  30. North Goes East (TN)

    Teaching Note for [208136].

    Keywords: Investment; Investment Funds; Partners and Partnerships; Investment Return; Leadership Style; Opportunities; Real Estate Industry; Financial Services Industry; Europe;

    Citation:

    Retsinas, Nicolas P., and Ben Creo. "North Goes East (TN)." Harvard Business School Teaching Note 209-007, August 2008.
  31. Capital Field: A Room with a View

    Jerzy Peters, Managing Director of Patron Capital Partners, must decide the best investment option on the development of the Odra Polish theater chain and the associated real estate. Capital Field was a company formed by U.S.-educated Polish natives involved in real estate and cinema who worked to privatize Odra. There is potential in reinvigorating the former state-owned and operated Odra theater chain and also redeveloping portions of the associated real estate to retail, office, or residential.

    Keywords: Investment; Emerging Markets; State Ownership; Privatization; Property; Real Estate Industry; Poland;

    Citation:

    Retsinas, Nicolas P., and Joshua Wyatt. "Capital Field: A Room with a View." Harvard Business School Case 207-091, January 2007. (Revised July 2008.)
  32. Chiaphua Group Vietnam

    As part of its expansion and diversification strategy, the Chiaphua Group explored real estate investments in emerging markets. The Group was one of the largest privately held company groups based in Hong Kong, with international investments in a variety of manufacturing and property development. A family member, Raymond Cheng, had narrowed the list of potential markets to Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia, and Vietnam. Notwithstanding a history of instability and conflict and substantial government control of markets, Raymond concluded that Vietnam was the best option. Revolves around how to assess the market in the absence of hard data, and what would be the appropriate entry points. Illuminates how relationship-driven investments can be the foundation of a long-term investment strategy. Issues also involve how, by working with government through a structured forum (along with personal relations), laws and regulations can evolve to facilitate real estate investments.

    Keywords: Investment; Governing Rules, Regulations, and Reforms; Laws and Statutes; Emerging Markets; Market Entry and Exit; Business and Government Relations; Diversification; Hong Kong;

    Citation:

    Retsinas, Nicolas P., and Michael Shih-ta Chen. "Chiaphua Group Vietnam." Harvard Business School Case 207-090, March 2007. (Revised March 2008.)
  33. Conceptual Overview of Real Estate Options in Emerging Markets

    A conceptual overview of real estate investments in emerging markets and descriptions of suggested modules, cases, and discussion questions for a course on this topic. Intended for instructors, this overview describes the nature of emerging markets and how real estate investment should function in such environments. This overview explains the course objectives, modules, and cases used in the 15 session HBS course, "Real Estate Options in Emerging Markets."

    Keywords: Emerging Markets; Investment; Situation or Environment; Cases; Curriculum and Courses; Real Estate Industry;

    Citation:

    Retsinas, Nicolas P., and Ben Creo. "Conceptual Overview of Real Estate Options in Emerging Markets." Harvard Business School Course Overview Note 208-109, February 2008.
  34. Chiaphua Group Vietnam (TN)

    Teaching Note for [207090].

    Keywords: Expansion; Diversification; Investment; Emerging Markets; Globalization; Market Entry and Exit; Governing Rules, Regulations, and Reforms; Private Ownership; Real Estate Industry; Viet Nam; Hong Kong; Singapore; Malaysia; Indonesia;

    Citation:

    Retsinas, Nicolas P., and Ben Creo. "Chiaphua Group Vietnam (TN)." Harvard Business School Teaching Note 208-122, February 2008.
  35. The Big Easy, Not So Easy (TN)

    Teaching Note for [208068].

    Keywords: Projects; Risk Management; Partners and Partnerships; Natural Disasters; Contracts; Buildings and Facilities; Housing; New Orleans;

    Citation:

    Retsinas, Nicolas P., and Ben Creo. "The Big Easy, Not So Easy (TN)." Harvard Business School Teaching Note 208-084, February 2008.
  36. The Big Easy, Not So Easy: The Letter

    A short, supplemental case to "The Big Easy, Not So Easy" (208-068). Doris Koo must respond to new challenges at Lafitte in New Orleans.

    Keywords: Natural Disasters; Housing; Projects; Risk Management; Urban Development; Reputation; New Orleans;

    Citation:

    Retsinas, Nicolas P., and Ben Creo. "The Big Easy, Not So Easy: The Letter." Harvard Business School Supplement 208-125, February 2008. (Revised May 2012.)
  37. Pacifica Residencial S.A. (TN)

    Teaching Note for [207094].

    Keywords: Real Estate Industry; Financial Services Industry; Brazil;

    Citation:

    Retsinas, Nicolas. "Pacifica Residencial S.A. (TN)." Harvard Business School Teaching Note 208-032, January 2008.
  38. Chongqing Tiandi

    In late 2000, Vincent Lo, a prominent Hong Kong developer was invited by the Deputy Mayor of Chongqing, China to undertake a major redevelopment of the urban core. Lo had previously successfully developed the landmark Xintiandi retail and entertainment district in Shanghai. Lo must decide if the opportunity is the right fit in terms of place, timing, government support, and market demand.

    Keywords: Demand and Consumers; Emerging Markets; Business and Government Relations; Urban Development; Real Estate Industry; Chongqing (municipality, China); Hong Kong;

    Citation:

    Segel, Arthur I., Nicolas P. Retsinas, Joshua A. Katzin, Nadeem Meghji, and Cindy Yan. "Chongqing Tiandi." Harvard Business School Case 207-019, November 2006. (Revised August 2007.)
  39. Brazilian Real Estate Market

    From the late 1990s to 2004, Brazil had a reputation as a burgeoning market for foreign investment across many asset classes. Classified as one of the top emerging markets by Goldman Sachs' BRIC (Brazil, Russia, India, and China) Reports, the country has exhibited attractive fundamentals that excite many investors. Investigates the fundamental characteristics of the Brazilian economy, politics, and demographics as they relate to the real estate industry. In addition, explores the current status of property types within Brazil and markets of interest around the country.

    Keywords: Markets; Property; Brazil;

    Citation:

    Retsinas, Nicolas P., and Luke Ingles. "Brazilian Real Estate Market." Harvard Business School Background Note 207-095, February 2007. (Revised June 2007.)
  40. Cinco de Mayo

    In 2004, Adrian Pandal is seeking financing for a residential conversion of a building in Mexico City's historic center district. He must convince potential lenders that the project is viable and that it makes sense to bet on the future potential of an area that, until recently, has not attracted substantial real estate investment.

    Keywords: History; Risk Management; Opportunities; Urban Development; Investment; Property; Real Estate Industry; Mexico City;

    Citation:

    Segel, Arthur I., Nicolas P. Retsinas, David Margain, and Andres Caldera Radonski. "Cinco de Mayo." Harvard Business School Case 206-115, March 2006. (Revised April 2007.)
  41. Habitat for Humanity International in South Africa

    In March 2006, Larry English, Director of Program Design and Innovation for Habitat for Humanity International Africa and the Middle East, was reflecting on a large development project in Durbin that had stalled. Notwithstanding global attention led by former President Jimmy Carter, the local capacity to carry out the project was limited. English wondered whether partnerships with private, for-profit real estate companies were plausible, and whether they could be carried out without undermining the mission of Habitat to focus on the very poor.

    Keywords: Partners and Partnerships; Investment; Innovation Strategy; Emerging Markets; Social Entrepreneurship; Poverty; Property; Projects; South Africa; Middle East;

    Citation:

    Retsinas, Nicolas P., Arthur I Segel, and Nelson Hioe. "Habitat for Humanity International in South Africa." Harvard Business School Case 207-016, November 2006. (Revised January 2007.)
  42. Habitat for Humanity International in South Africa (TN)

    Keywords: Nonprofit Organizations; Housing; Construction Industry;

    Citation:

    Retsinas, Nicolas P., and Arthur I Segel. "Habitat for Humanity International in South Africa (TN)." Harvard Business School Teaching Note 207-014, January 2007.
  43. Chongqing Tiandi (TN)

    Citation:

    Segel, Arthur I., and Nicolas P. Retsinas. "Chongqing Tiandi (TN)." Harvard Business School Teaching Note 207-012, November 2006.
  44. Cinco de Mayo (TN)

    Keywords: Mexico;

    Citation:

    Segel, Arthur I., and Nicolas P. Retsinas. "Cinco de Mayo (TN)." Harvard Business School Teaching Note 207-013, August 2006.

Presentations

  1. U.S. Housing Market: What is Next? (BNY Mellon)

    Keywords: Housing; United States;

    Citation:

    Retsinas, Nicolas P. "U.S. Housing Market: What is Next? (BNY Mellon)." .

        Awards & Honors

      1. Nicolas P. Retsinas: Named by Business Week and Bloomberg in 2010 as of the 50 most powerful people in real estate.

      2. Nicolas P. Retsinas: Named by Builder Magazine in 2009 as one of the top 30 innovators in the house building industry in the past 30 years.

      3. Nicolas P. Retsinas: Inducted into the Affordable Housing Hall of Fame in 2008 by Affordable Housing Finance to recognize his outstanding achievement in the housing industry.

      4. Nicolas P. Retsinas: Awarded an Honorary Doctorate in Public Service from Rhode Island College in 2008.

      boston.com
      November 20, 2011

      Jenifer B. McKim

      More than six years after the housing downturn began in Massachusetts, home sales are still painfully slow. Values remain 15 percent below their peak. Foreclosures, which slowed as banks wrestled with legal problems, appear to be accelerating again.

      Boston Herald
      October 16, 2011

      Thomas Grillo

      Sales of single-family homes and condominiums in the Bay State posted their third consecutive month of gains in September amid growing signs that the worst of the housing collapse may be over.

      September 20, 2011

      Christine Dunn

      Foreclosures are a persistent problem in Rhode Island, and high housing costs continue to burden many in the state, whether they own or rent, according to HousingWorks RI, a nonprofit advocacy group.