EY Supports Women Through Its Professional Women’s Network

In her work in the real estate industry, Maxine Hepfer draws on experience with companies such as International Capital, Inc., in Dallas, Texas, and Henderson Global Investors in Frankfurt, Germany. Now a senior in transaction real estate at EY in Dallas, Maxine Hepfer also serves as a committee lead for the company’s Professional Women’s Network.

Participants in the Professional Women’s Network have access to exclusive opportunities for additional education and networking. For example, the New York Tri State branch hosts the program Issues On My Mind®, which fosters an exchange of ideas regarding financial strategies, healthcare delivery, and numerous other topics relevant to women leaders.

EY’s efforts have resulted in a 20 percent increase of women in its top executive management positions. In part because of its commitment to promoting women in the workplace, EY has been recognized as one of the 100 Best Companies to Work For in the US by FORTUNE Magazine. Working Mother Magazine also ranked EY as one of the top 10 companies for career women with families.

About Membership in CREW Dallas

A graduate of the School of Hotel Administration of Cornell University, Maxine Hepfer is actively involved in various women’s organizations. She serves on the Programs Committee of the Dallas chapter of Commercial Real Estate Women (CREW) as well as the Professional Women’s Network of her firm, Ernst & Young,LLP.

A chapter of the national CREW Network, CREW Dallas was established in 1980. CREW is a nonprofit organization dedicated to supporting women in the profession through civic involvement, education, development, and networking. Guided by more than a dozen committees, the Dallas chapter holds a number of regular events, like monthly lunches for members to connect, and fundraisers, like its annual golf tournament to support other nonprofit organizations for women and girls.

Membership in CREW Dallas is open to any woman currently employed in the field of commercial real estate or studying a related subject. Qualifications are broken into an applicant’s primary and secondary discipline. Primary disciplines include practice-oriented areas, including appraisal, development, and facilities management, among others. Secondary disciplines are supplemental areas that are not necessarily specific to the field, like registered interior design, marketing, and title insurance services. Members can also apply for a spot in the CREW Speakers’ Bureau, which promotes the group’s mission via speaking engagements at a range of organizations and businesses.

Potential Impact of Rising Interest Rates on Commercial Real Estate

Maxine Hepfer, who earned her bachelor’s degree from Cornell University in Ithaca, New York, joined Ernst & Young’s Transaction Real Estate services team in Dallas, Texas, in the summer of 2014. As a staff II analyst, she is responsible for performing due diligence prior to sales or acquisitions, advising clients on potential real estate transactions, and other consulting services. Maxine Hepfer’s team recently published an article titled Commercial Property Outlook in a Rising Rate Environment, which discusses the potential impact on commercial real estate prices of an increase in the federal funds rate.

The article notes that while it may seem intuitive that rising interest rates will depress commercial real estate (CRE) values and make development of new projects more costly, the actual impact of increasing interest rates may be much more benign. The article notes that far from being the sole determinant, the interest rate is only one of several variables affecting CRE costs and values. Some of those other variables include changes in the level of supply and demand, transaction activity, and trends in the national economy.

The article acknowledges that, in the immediate aftermath of a rate increase, publicly traded real estate investment trusts, or REITs, may experience a reactionary sell-off. It notes, however, that the spread between CRE and 10-year Treasury yields should permit further compression. In addition, the combination of a great deal of inbound capital, available private equity, a generally positive economic outlook, and strong CRE fundamentals suggest that CRE values are much more able to withstand the shock of rising interest rates. This is especially true if the increases are in the range of 25 to 50 basis points, as seems likely.

Commercial Real Estate Women – Dallas CREW

Maxine Hepfer joined Ernst & Young’s Transaction Real Estate services team in Dallas, Texas, in 2014. A 2013 graduate of Cornell University, her duties include reviewing the real property portions of audits conducted by E&Y and performing due diligence for proposed real estate transactions. Maxine Hepfer belongs to several organizations that promote the interests of women in business, including the E&Y Professional Women’s Network and the Dallas chapter of Commercial Real Estate Women, or CREW.

Dedicated to advancing the interests of women in the real estate industry as well as positively impacting the industry as a whole, Dallas CREW traces its origins to 1980. The organization today boasts a membership of about 300 dues-paying members representing all the various disciplines in the commercial real estate industry, including brokerage, law, accounting, finance, and property management. More than 80 percent of the members are full members, with five or more years’ experience.

Dallas CREW provides its members numerous opportunities to network with each other. It hosts monthly luncheons with speakers, whose presentations have covered such topics as the overall economic outlook, the importance of the fresh water supply in north Texas, updates on various local developments, leadership, and contemporary reports on the development of public policy. The organization also hosts a cooking competition, a fall wine tasting event, informal cocktail hours at various venues and an annual Dine Around event held right in members’ homes. Dallas CREW also collaborates on networking events with local chapters of similar organizations, such as the Certified Commercial Investment Member Institute, the National Association of Industrial and Office Properties, and CORENet, another association serving real estate professionals.

In addition to providing networking opportunities to members, Dallas CREW sponsors an annual golf tournament, the CREW Dallas Golf Classic, the proceeds of which support the initiatives of various groups and individuals in the area of women’s issues.

Top Travel Destinations in Germany

Maxine Hepfer, a Staff II Analyst with the Transaction Advisory Services branch of Ernst and Young, LLP, reviews the portions of company audits having to do with real property and performs due diligence for real estate sales and acquisitions. A world traveler, Maxine Hepfer has visited nearly every city in Germany.

Germany is a top destination for many travelers, who must choose which, among many cities, they want to see. Some of the most popular are the following:

1. Berlin: The biggest city in Germany and the country’s capital, Berlin has a storied history, including its division during the Cold War. Since East Berlin and West Berlin have reunited, the city has evolved and become one of the most exciting in Germany, known for its art, architecture, and night life.

2. Munich: Munich is another of Germany’s largest cities and the capital of Bavaria, a region near the Alps. It has a reputation for being one of the greenest cities in Germany and is also home to Oktoberfest.

3. Frankfurt: Over the years, Frankfurt has become a major European hub, due to its confluence of roads and trains and its international airport. It is also the country’s financial center and home to the International Book Fair every October.

Eating Italian Food – Keep It Light

A staff II analyst in the transaction advisory services group of Ernst & Young, LLP, Maxine Hepfer is responsible for reviewing the real property portions of company audits and advising clients on real estate acquisitions, sales, and portfolio management. In her free time, Maxine Hepfer enjoys eating healthy food and is particularly fond of Italian cuisine.

Due to the large amount of pasta and heavy sauces used in many Italian dishes, Italian cuisine is not often regarded as very healthy. However, there are ways to make it lighter. Instead of choosing a pasta dish, focus more on soups and salads. Traditional minestrone soup is good for you because it is packed with vegetables and beans. Caprese salad and Caesar salads are also healthier choices for an Italian meal. If pasta just sounds too good to forgo, focus on eating pastas with red sauces instead of cream sauces, which contain more butter and heavy cream.

Another good way of making Italian food a bit healthier is to combine courses. Typically, a traditional Italian meal includes a second course that consists only of meat, but by combining meat with another course, such as pasta, the total amount of food ends up being less than the two courses separately. Furthermore, seafood dishes like calamari are a healthier option than some red meat dishes. However, this is only true for seafood that is cooked in wine broth or olive oil and has not been fried or breaded.