Khalid Rashid, equity owner and managing director with Clarion Partners, is a portfolio manager and member of the Firm's Investment Committee. He has more than 18 years of experience in the real estate industry with extensive transaction and leadership experience in portfolio and asset management, acquisitions, and financings. Based in the Firm's Los Angeles office, Khalid oversees separate account portfolios for several institutional investors.
Khalid serves as Clarion's DEI Council Chair, spearheads the company's business development and co-investment partnership opportunities with diverse firms, and leads the Social Subcommittee of the Firm's ESG Committee.
Khalid currently serves on Project REAP's Executive Board and on the Robert A. Toigo Fellowship (RTF) Alumni Endowment Board. He is also an RTF recipient, Real Estate Executive Council education committee member, and an active member of the Urban Land Institute's Multifamily Product Council.
What changes have you seen during your time at Clarion Partners and in the greater commercial real estate industry?
Over the last 14 years, there has definitely been a shift with a totally different generation coming into the industry, and with that, there's a heightened awareness and focus on diversity. The Firm has worked on improving diversity for several years, and our growth in this area over the past decade demonstrates that. But there's always more for us to do, so I don't think it's “mission accomplished" at all. It's also encouraging to see our clients and others in the industry embrace diversity and actually implement tangible changes. Much of our Firm's and industry's focus on improving diversity is a direct result of our clients letting us know how important it is to them, and simultaneously us letting our business partners know how important DEI is when it comes to choosing our providers.
How was Clarion Partners' DEI Council created and what are its goals?
Last summer, there was a new initiative to create a council of business leaders to help the Operating Committee and the HR team rethink how we as a Firm approach DEI. We put together a council of 10 people throughout the company, with a balanced mix of more established and younger colleagues. I think this approach is critical to providing clear insight into what the needs of the current generation are, and what their views on diversity are.
Our DEI Council is structured around four pillars:
- retention and recruitment
- communication and reporting
We've split the council into two subcommittees to tackle these initiatives, to lay out a roadmap and to further refine our objectives, but ultimately our goal is to positively impact the culture of Clarion and lead us to a place where we're a much more diverse Firm — a Firm where people can come every day as who they are. Our work is going to span multiple years and so we're just getting started, but I'm pretty excited about it.
Could you tell us a bit more about our Firm's work with our vendor diversity questionnaire as it relates to Minority and Women-Owned Business Enterprises (MWBEs)?
We've used a diversity form with many vendors for the past several years as part of tracking this information in our AP systems. I've worked closely with our Chief Legal Counsel and members of the DEI Council to roll out a more robust vendor diversity questionnaire and scorecard which we will send to Clarion's top vendors (based on total spend) to better understand who they are and what their diversity profiles look like. Having that information will prove a great starting point for us in terms of establishing a baseline and in helping us best identify how to make progress. The ultimate goal is to identify targeted DEI KPIs and be more intentional in our approach to expand the pipeline of diverse vendors.
Congratulations on your appointments to the Project REAP and the Toigo Alumni Endowment Boards. Could you explain a little bit about both roles and how you will make an impact?
Project REAP has been around for 20+ years and they've had a great platform to help those mid-career professionals who do not currently work in commercial real estate transition into the industry through networking, education, and sponsorship. I've been working with the organization for many years in various capacities, including as a teacher, mentor, and tutor. I've long had a desire to make an even greater impact, so I recently joined the Board. As a member of Project REAP's Executive Committee and in my role as Assistant Treasurer, I'm working with teams to explore how to expand the program's operating budget and bring in additional sponsors and industry partners. I leverage my first-hand knowledge of the program as well as my connections and experience in the real estate industry to help Project REAP rethink how it approaches the various milestones it's looking to achieve.
For the Toigo Alumni Endowment Board, we have an endowment of over one million dollars to help support Toigo's alumni base. We're primarily focused on how to grow the endowment via fundraising and investing. I joined the Board so that I might play a more active role in this regard, as well as contribute ideas around how to better support my peers and other alumni that have completed the program.