Darcy Mackay leads the Global Corporate Services consulting practice for CB Richard Ellis,
specializing in corporate strategic
planning, portfolio analysis, location/site selection and land use
analysis for both private- and
public-sector clients. She works
with corporate occupiers, educational institutions, developers, investors and lenders.
Over the past 12 months,
Mackay has worked on portfolio planning for clients including Microsoft, General Motors,
Northrop Grumman, Pfizer, Merck, Washington Mutual,
Fifth Third Bank and Discover Financial Services totaling
more than 200 million square feet. Her location/site selection analysis clients include Cisco Systems, DHL Worldwide
Express, Starbucks and the California State Automobile
Association. She has also consulted with University of
California campuses and Stanford University to develop sustainable land use and student housing programs.
An active member of CoreNet Global, CREW and the
San Francisco Planning and Urban Research Association,
Northrop Grumman, Pfizer, Me
Mackay has guest lectured at Harvard University’s Graduate
School of Design and is a frequent industry speaker and
course instructor. Throughout her career, Mackay has
remained committed to the development of affordable
housing and she was a member of the San Francisco
Chamber of Commerce’s workforce housing loan fund
technical advisory committee.
Not surprisingly, then, Mackay began her career working
in nonprofit development, building affordable and mixed-income housing and urban retail. After returning to graduate school, she entered the field of real estate and land use
economics, advising developers, investors and corporations
with large building portfolios.
“While women are quite well represented in the consultative disciplines, we continue to be underrepresented in
many areas of commercial real estate including development, brokerage and fund management,” Mackay notes.
“We are also underrepresented at senior management levels—something that is unlikely to change until younger
leaders are actively cultivated and find a sustainable career
path in the field.” Her advice to other women: “Discover
what you’re passionate about, gain a great deal knowledge
about your field and actively seek out mentors for feedback
The past year has been a good one for First Financial Network CEO Bliss Morris. In a nod to the expertise and
prominence of her firm, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp.
selected it as one of a handful of companies to work through
the agency’s glut of repossessed assets. So far this year, FFN has
conducted nearly $2 billion in loan portfolio sales.
“While the challenges moving forward are many, certain
government agencies and the private sector have taken, and
will continue to take, the appropriate measures to assist troubled institutions,” she says. Anticipating an onslaught of bank
failures and the subsequent need for asset dispositions, Morris
and her team began devising a strategy in early ’08. They developed a comprehensive plan—based on the CEO’s experience
and involvement in prior economic downturns—to prepare,
value, market and sell performing and non-performing loans.
Prior to founding FFN in 1989, Morris launched her career
at the FDIC. There, she was one of three people chosen to
develop one of the agency’s first asset marketing departments
in the country. Morris was involved in closing roughly 30
banks during her tenure.
“I gained a clear understanding of the complexity of loan
valuation and disposition,” she says. “Being at the FDIC helped
me establish strong ties in the marketplace. I also recognized a
void in the banking industry, which translated into founding
Chief Executive Officer
FIRST FINANCIAL NETWORK
First Financial Network.”
Though early on, most executives in banking were men,
Morris says being a woman-owned business did not hold
FFN back from becoming a
dominant player in the
industry. “It’s gratifying to
see many more women
with extensive expertise
in positions of power at
our nation’s money centers
and regional banks.”
Morris attributes her success not only to her
hard work, but also to having built a team of professionals
driven by the same vision of excellence. To meet the demands
of the current market, FFN’s executive staff has grown. In addition, the firm’s technological capabilities have been expanded,
with the design and implementation of a virtual disaster recovery network. Morris also holds a governor-appointed position
on the business steering committee for the State of Oklahoma.
A mother of four, Morris is grateful for the strong support
network that enables her to succeed, namely her husband,
whom she works closely with.
cess not only to her
ng built a team of professionals
excellence. To meet the demands