Yvonne Nelson


Yvonne Nelson recently retired as Head of Real Estate on behalf of the New York City Retirement Systems, an aggregation of the city’s five primary pension plans with a total of $244 billion in assets under management (as of November 2022) where she led a multi- billion global real estate portfolio. Over the course of her career, she grew the pension’s private real estate portfolio from $1 billion in 2005 to a diversified, multi-billion global real estate portfolio valued at $16.9 billion (as of November 2022).

Yvonne is a recognized leader in the field of diversity and inclusion within the institutional real estate industry. She serves as Secretary and is an inaugural board member of the PREA (Pension Real Estate Association) Foundation, an organization which fosters the inclusion of under-represented groups in commercial real estate founded in 2017. The launch of the foundation, which raised seed pledges in excess of $15 million, occurred during Yvonne’s leadership at its parent organization (PREA).The foundation’s initial strategic alliance with SEO (Sponsors for Educational Opportunity) has resulted in real estate internships for nearly 300 college students to date in SEO’s newly established real estate track. As a member of WX-NY Women Executives in Real Estate,Yvonne continues to pay it forward through her involvement in WX’s networking, philanthropy, and DEI committees. Her career and diversity efforts have been honored by NASP Wall St. Hall of Fame, PREA and profiled in a podcast sponsored by the Ohio State Center of Real Estate.

Yvonne graduated from New York University with a BA in Urban Design in 1979 and earned her MBA from Rutgers University as a Ralph Bunche Fellow in 1989.

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