As Co-President of EGI, David Helfand is involved with all aspects of the firm with a focus on EGI’s real estate activities. He has worked with Sam Zell for more than 28 years in a variety of capacities. David also serves as President and Chief Executive Officer of Equity Commonwealth (EQC), and is a member of the company’s board of directors. EQC is an internally managed and self-advised REIT. Prior to re-joining EGI in 2011, David was Founder and President of Helix Funds, where he oversaw the acquisition, management, and disposition of more than $2.2 billion in real estate assets. While at Helix, David also served as Chief Executive Officer for American Residential Communities, a Helix portfolio company.
Before founding Helix, David served as Executive Vice President and Chief Investment Officer for Equity Office Properties Trust, the largest REIT in the U.S. at the time, where he led approximately $12 billion of mergers and acquisitions activity. Prior to Equity Office, David served as a Managing Director and participated in the formation of Equity International, a private investment firm focused on building real estate-related businesses in international emerging markets. He also held the role of President and Chief Executive Officer of Equity LifeStyle Properties, Inc., a manufactured home community and resort REIT, and served as Chairman of the board’s audit committee. His earlier career included investment activity in a variety of asset classes, including retail, office, parking, and multifamily.
He holds an MBA from the University of Chicago Graduate School of Business, and a BA from Northwestern University. David serves as a Director on the boards of the Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago and The Ounce of Prevention, and as a Commissioner for the Chicago Park District. He is also on the Executive Committee of the Zell/Lurie Real Estate Center at The Wharton School, and the Board of Visitors at the Weinberg College of Arts and Sciences at Northwestern University.