Nori Gerardo Lietz

Senior Lecturer of Business Administration

Nori Gerardo Lietz is a Senior Lecturer of Business Administration in the Finance and Entrepreneurial Management Units. She presently teaches Real Estate Private Equity and Venture Capital and Private Equity.

Nori Gerardo Lietz is the founder of Areté Capital, a real estate advisory firm.  Until June 2011, Ms. Gerardo Lietz was a Partner at Partners Group, a Swiss based private alternative asset manager.  At Partners Group she was the chief strategist for private real estate and chairman of the private real estate investment committee.   Ms. Gerardo Lietz co-founded Pension Consulting Alliance in 1988 and developed its real estate investment management and advisory activities. The firm became the largest real estate advisory firm in the world in terms of client assets. In that capacity she represented many of the largest real estate investors in the world. Previously, she co-founded Public Storage, Inc., an institutional money management firm deploying pension capital to acquire real estate assets. She began her career as an attorney at Paul, Hastings   specializing in SEC and ERISA matters on behalf of pension funds, real estate managers and real estate pension consultants.

Ms. Gerardo Lietz holds an AB with honors from Stanford University. She also holds a juris doctorate from the UCLA School of Law where she was the Chief Comment Editor of the UCLA Law Review. She is a former member of the Pension Real Estate Association Board of Directors and of the Real Estate Research Institute.  In 2005 she was the Commencement Speaker for the MIT Center for Real Estate.  She received the 2014 Distinguished Teaching Award for the Elective Curriculum from the Harvard Business School Class of 2014.  The Private Equity Real Estate Magazine named her one the 30 most influential industry leaders in 2006, the second most influential real estate person globally in 2007, and one of the 10 most prominent women in real estate in 2010.  

Cases and Teaching Materials

  1. The U-Turns of National Truck Stops

    Nori Gerardo Lietz and Alexander W. Schultz

    Raj Makam had spent months trying to restructure a 2006 investment he had made in National Truck Stops, Inc. (“NTS”) as a senior member of Oaktree Capital Management’s (“Oaktree”) Mezzanine finance business within their Corporate Debt platform. It was the first time they had truly considered forcing a company into involuntary bankruptcy, which he clearly would prefer to avoid lest they risk losing their entire investment. As the company’s financial position worsened, Oaktree’s counterparties became increasingly difficult. It often seemed as if they were prioritizing their ongoing business relationships over the economics of their respective investments. Oaktree knew the cards were stacked in its favor legally, but did that really make a difference when the cost of perfecting its interests would be so expensive and difficult? Would this be a Pyrrhic Victory?

    Keywords: mezzanine financing; corporate debt; bankruptcy; restructuring; real assets; private equity; Financing and Loans; Borrowing and Debt; Insolvency and Bankruptcy; Restructuring; Private Equity; Cost vs Benefits; Atlanta; New York (city, NY);

    Citation:

    Lietz, Nori Gerardo, and Alexander W. Schultz. "The U-Turns of National Truck Stops." Harvard Business School Teaching Note 217-075, June 2017. View Details
  2. Project Sun Devil and Project Paris

    Nori Gerardo Lietz and Alexander W. Schultz

    Tony Lee is preparing to present a project to the investment committee of Howard Street Capital. He will be recommending an investment in Project Sun Devil, a high-quality 225-unit student housing rental property near Tempe, Arizona. Tony Lee will compete for capital against the other project on the investment committee's agenda, Project Paris. Project Paris, a very different type of real estate transaction, is a hybrid mezzanine investment in the acquisition of a residential real estate services firm headquartered in France. The case provides an overview of the two projects.

    Keywords: general management; financial analysis; return on assets; accounting; performance measurement; Financial ratios; return on equity; financial statements; Profitability analysis; Portfolio Investment; portfolio management; real estate; Property; Investment Portfolio; Investment Return; Analysis; Real Estate Industry; United States;

    Citation:

    Lietz, Nori Gerardo, and Alexander W. Schultz. "Project Sun Devil and Project Paris." Harvard Business School Teaching Note 217-086, June 2017. View Details
  3. Partners Group: Ain't No Mountain High Enough

    Nori Gerardo Lietz

    Partners Group (PG), a Swiss-based PE manager, initiated a series of strategic shifts and evolved from a predominately fund-of-funds manager into a large, multi-asset class PE firm focused on direct investments. PG was the first PE firm to go public in 2006. A number of large U.S.-based private equity firms followed to create a new category of firms: public private equity firms (PPEs). PG’s results were superlative (565% since inception total return and 22% annual compounded growth) versus the U.S.-based PPEs performance over the same time of 76% to 18%. PG’s multiple was 22x versus its PPE peer group of 8x. PG had the lowest value of AUM yet had the second largest market capitalization behind Blackstone. Why? PG had differing management practices: (i) compensation practices, (ii) corporate governance structure, (iii) accounting policies, and (iv) source of revenues. PG historically had a low percentage of its revenues derived from carried interest payments (less than 10%) while the U.S. PPEs had a significantly higher percentage (on average 50%). Should PG do more direct investments and have more of its revenues come from carried interests? This could conceivably jeopardize its trading multiple and its stock price. Should PG risk changing its business model or proceed with confidence? Teaching Note for HBS No. 217-035.

    Keywords: Business Model; Entrepreneurship; Management Practices and Processes; Private Equity;

    Citation:

    Lietz, Nori Gerardo. "Partners Group: Ain't No Mountain High Enough." Harvard Business School Teaching Note 217-064, May 2017. View Details
  4. Mubadala and EBX: To X or to X It?

    Nori Gerardo Lietz and Ricardo Andrade

    In April 2012, Mubadala, Abu Dhabi's sovereign wealth fund invested $2 billion in Brazilian conglomerate EBX, believing the company to be undervalued by the public markets. Shortly thereafter, however, EBX and its multiple business lines began to spiral downward. Hani Barhoush and Oscar Fahlgren, members of Mubadala's investment team, were now charged with leading the restructuring efforts on behalf of Mubadala. The situation was exceptionally complex and involved dealing with different creditors, untangling cross-collateral clauses from EBX’s subsidiaries’ loans, and foreclosing on personal guarantees from Batista. There were also strong political challenges, since most companies operated in tightly regulated markets, some were publicly-traded, and many had received substantial subsidized financing from Brazil’s Development Bank (BNDES). Finally, the country’s economic and political environments were rapidly deteriorating, with a combination of stagflation, rising interest rates, and successive popular demonstrations causing the gradual loss of governability and ultimate impeachment of President Dilma Vana Rousseff.

    Keywords: sovereign wealth funds; conglomerates; Investing; corporate structure; International; restructuring; Sovereign Finance; Business Conglomerates; Investment; Financing and Loans; Restructuring; Organizational Structure; Economy; Brazil; Abu Dhabi;

    Citation:

    Lietz, Nori Gerardo, and Ricardo Andrade. "Mubadala and EBX: To X or to X It?" Harvard Business School Case 217-065, March 2017. View Details
  5. The U-Turns of National Truck Stops

    Nori Gerardo Lietz and Alexander W. Schultz

    Raj Makam had spent months trying to restructure a 2006 investment he had made in National Truck Stops, Inc. (“NTS”) as a senior member of Oaktree Capital Management’s (“Oaktree”) Mezzanine finance business within their Corporate Debt platform. It was the first time they had truly considered forcing a company into involuntary bankruptcy, which he clearly would prefer to avoid lest they risk losing their entire investment. As the company’s financial position worsened, Oaktree’s counterparties became increasingly difficult. It often seemed as if they were prioritizing their ongoing business relationships over the economics of their respective investments. Oaktree knew the cards were stacked in its favor legally, but did that really make a difference when the cost of perfecting its interests would be so expensive and difficult? Would this be a Pyrrhic Victory?

    Keywords: mezzanine financing; corporate debt; bankruptcy; restructuring; real assets; private equity; Financing and Loans; Borrowing and Debt; Insolvency and Bankruptcy; Restructuring; Private Equity; Cost vs Benefits; Atlanta; New York (city, NY);

    Citation:

    Lietz, Nori Gerardo, and Alexander W. Schultz. "The U-Turns of National Truck Stops." Harvard Business School Case 217-062, April 2017. (Revised June 2017.) View Details
  6. Interline Brands: Don't Stop Believing

    Nori Gerardo Lietz and Ricardo Andrade

    Interline Brands, a leading distributor of residential housing maintenance and repair parts and equipment in the U.S., had just held its November 2014 board meeting. The meeting had been productive but not without some soul searching for both the company’s management team and financial sponsors. Was now the right time to start a sale process? In particular, the team wondered whether the capital markets would cooperate and how effectively the management and sponsor teams would execute. Moreover, the company had only been private for two years, and the value creation plan was only halfway through completion. While there was much to be done at Interline, the company had performed well and was gaining momentum. Interline was a rare asset in terms of the scale it had reached. However, there were still unknowns. Would buyers reward Interline with a high valuation multiple that reflected its acceleration in organic growth? Would financing markets remain healthy? Would such a process disrupt Interline’s customers and employees?

    Keywords: private equity; Private Equity Exit; consumer goods; IPO; Private Equity; Initial Public Offering; Decision Choices and Conditions;

    Citation:

    Lietz, Nori Gerardo, and Ricardo Andrade. "Interline Brands: Don't Stop Believing." Harvard Business School Case 217-061, March 2017. View Details
  7. Partners Group: Ain't No Mountain High Enough

    Nori Gerardo Lietz and Ricardo Andrade

    Partners Group (PG), a Swiss-based PE manager, initiated a series of strategic shifts and evolved from a predominately fund-of-funds manager into a large, multi-asset class PE firm focused on direct investments. PG was the first PE firm to go public in 2006. A number of large U.S.-based private equity firms followed to create a new category of firms: public private equity firms (PPEs). PG’s results were superlative (565% since inception total return and 22% annual compounded growth) versus the U.S.-based PPEs performance over the same time of 76% to 18%. PG’s multiple was 22x versus its PPE peer group of 8x. PG had the lowest value of AUM yet had the second largest market capitalization behind Blackstone. Why? PG had differing management practices: (i) compensation practices, (ii) corporate governance structure, (iii) accounting policies, and (iv) source of revenues. PG historically had a low percentage of its revenues derived from carried interest payments (less than 10%) while the U.S. PPEs had a significantly higher percentage (on average 50%). Should PG do more direct investments and have more of its revenues come from carried interests? This could conceivably jeopardize its trading multiple and its stock price. Should PG risk changing its business model or proceed with confidence?

    Keywords: Business Model; Management Practices and Processes; Entrepreneurship;

    Citation:

    Lietz, Nori Gerardo, and Ricardo Andrade. "Partners Group: Ain't No Mountain High Enough." Harvard Business School Case 217-035, September 2016. View Details
  8. Doctor My Eyes: The Acquisition of Bausch & Lomb by Warburg Pincus (A)

    Nori Gerardo Lietz and Ricardo Andrade

    In early 2010, senior partners at Warburg Pincus met to review a report on Bausch & Lomb Incorporated, the firm's largest investment at the time. Warburg Pincus had led a group of investors in acquiring Bauch & Lomb on October 26, 2007, taking the company private and becoming its largest and controlling shareholder. Since the acquisition, there had been significant progress at Bausch & Lomb through changes in senior leadership and in its business model. But, shortly after the second anniversary of the investment, the senior partners were beginning to question whether the depth and pace of change was enough. They had some tough decisions to make.

    Keywords: private equity; health care; Mergers & Acquisitions; governance; buyout; Private Equity; Finance; Mergers and Acquisitions; Health Industry; Consumer Products Industry; Pharmaceutical Industry; United States;

    Citation:

    Lietz, Nori Gerardo, and Ricardo Andrade. "Doctor My Eyes: The Acquisition of Bausch & Lomb by Warburg Pincus (A)." Harvard Business School Teaching Plan 217-003, July 2016. View Details
  9. Project Deutschland: Unpeeling the Onion of a Distressed Real Estate Portfolio

    Nori Gerardo Lietz and Ricardo Andrade

    James Tallest analyzed the opportunity to invest in a distressed portfolio of high quality properties in Germany by acquiring one or more non-performing loans from Deutschland Bank. While he considers the many aspects of the deal that is about to unfold, he must decide which securities to acquire, the price he should offer to each of them, and whether to retain the former owner of the portfolio as property manager.

    Keywords: real estate; Germany; distress investing; non-performing loan; Borrowing and Debt; Capital Structure; Private Equity; Negotiation Deal; Valuation; Real Estate Industry; Financial Services Industry; Germany; Europe;

    Citation:

    Lietz, Nori Gerardo, and Ricardo Andrade. "Project Deutschland: Unpeeling the Onion of a Distressed Real Estate Portfolio." Harvard Business School Teaching Note 216-056, May 2016. View Details
  10. Project Deutschland: Unpeeling the Onion of a Distressed Real Estate Portfolio

    Nori Gerardo Lietz and Ricardo Andrade

    Keywords: real estate; Germany; distress investing; non-performing loan; Borrowing and Debt; Capital Structure; Private Equity; Negotiation Deal; Valuation; Real Estate Industry; Financial Services Industry; Germany; Europe;

    Citation:

    Lietz, Nori Gerardo, and Ricardo Andrade. "Project Deutschland: Unpeeling the Onion of a Distressed Real Estate Portfolio." Harvard Business School Spreadsheet Supplement 216-708, April 2016. (Revised April 2016.) View Details
  11. Doctor My Eyes: The Acquisition of Bausch & Lomb by Warburg Pincus (A)

    Nori Gerardo Lietz

    In early 2010, senior partners at Warburg Pincus met to review a report on Bausch & Lomb Incorporated, the firm's largest investment at the time. Warburg Pincus had led a group of investors in acquiring Bauch & Lomb on October 26, 2007, taking the company private and becoming its largest and controlling shareholder. Since the acquisition, there had been significant progress at Bausch & Lomb through changes in senior leadership and in its business model. But, shortly after the second anniversary of the investment, the senior partners were beginning to question whether the depth and pace of change was enough. They had some tough decisions to make.

    Keywords: private equity; health care; Mergers & Acquisitions; governance; buyout; Private Equity; Finance; Mergers and Acquisitions; Health Industry; Consumer Products Industry; Pharmaceutical Industry; United States;

    Citation:

    Lietz, Nori Gerardo. "Doctor My Eyes: The Acquisition of Bausch & Lomb by Warburg Pincus (A)." Harvard Business School Case 216-021, April 2016. (Revised July 2016.) View Details
  12. Project Deutschland: Unpeeling the Onion of a Distressed Real Estate Portfolio

    Nori Gerardo Lietz and Ricardo Andrade

    James Tallest analyzed the opportunity to invest in a distressed portfolio of high quality properties in Germany by acquiring one or more non-performing loans from Deutschland Bank. While he considers the many aspects of the deal that is about to unfold, he must decide which securities to acquire, the price he should offer to each of them, and whether to retain the former owner of the portfolio as property manager.

    Keywords: real estate; Germany; distress investing; non-performing loan; Borrowing and Debt; Capital Structure; Private Equity; Negotiation Deal; Valuation; Real Estate Industry; Financial Services Industry; Germany; Europe;

    Citation:

    Lietz, Nori Gerardo, and Ricardo Andrade. "Project Deutschland: Unpeeling the Onion of a Distressed Real Estate Portfolio." Harvard Business School Case 216-055, March 2016. View Details
  13. Project Sun Devil and Project Paris

    Nori Gerardo Lietz

    Tony Lee is preparing to present a project to the investment committee of Howard Street Capital. He will be recommending an investment in Project Sun Devil, a high-quality 225-unit student housing rental property near Tempe, Arizona. Tony Lee will compete for capital against the other project on the investment committee's agenda, Project Paris. Project Paris, a very different type of real estate transaction, is a hybrid mezzanine investment in the acquisition of a residential real estate services firm headquartered in France. The case provides an overview of the two projects.

    Keywords: general management; financial analysis; return on assets; accounting; performance measurement; Financial ratios; return on equity; financial statements; Profitability analysis; Portfolio Investment; portfolio management; real estate; Property; Investment Portfolio; Investment Return; Real Estate Industry; United States;

    Citation:

    Lietz, Nori Gerardo. "Project Sun Devil and Project Paris." Harvard Business School Case 213-078, February 2013. (Revised June 2017.) View Details
  14. The Perfect Storm: What Happens When the Market Moves Four Standard Deviations?

    Nori Gerardo Lietz

    Adam Carter was the portfolio manager for Tate Modern Finance III, L.P. (“Tate” or the “Fund”), the third in a series of U.S. commercial real estate debt funds sponsored by the London-based Tate Partners. The Fund was capitalized with $700 million of equity commitments, including a $50 million Sponsor commitment. The Fund’s objective was to acquire income-producing commercial real estate mortgages at conservative attachment points in the capital structure, leverage these investments modestly, and generate mid-teen, net returns. The return objectives were consistent with prior funds and represented an alternative means of investing in commercial U.S. real estate equity that was felt to be overvalued at the time (2006). In theory, a debt strategy would provide more protection, and be more conservative, than an equity-oriented strategy due to the multiple layers of debt and equity subordination that insulated the Fund’s investments.

    Keywords: CMBS; CLO; repo financing; Financial Strategy; Investment Funds;

    Citation:

    Lietz, Nori Gerardo. "The Perfect Storm: What Happens When the Market Moves Four Standard Deviations?" Harvard Business School Case 213-077, January 2013. (Revised June 2017.) View Details