Jonathan Kern is the President & Chief Investment Officer for Civitas Capital Group. In his role, Mr. Kern directs the development, execution, and performance of the company’s investment strategies to ensure that every aspect of our investment function is aligned with the firm’s core values and purpose. In this capacity, Mr. Kern guides the entire life cycle of Civitas’ commercial real estate and lodging investments. At the investment vehicle level, Mr. Kern is responsible for overall investment performance and coordination with operations, finance, legal, compliance, and other departments. At the individual property level, Mr. Kern oversees the portfolio managers and the investment teams ultimately responsible for originations, underwriting, structuring, financing, asset management, and dispositions. Working with the sales, marketing, and operations teams, Mr. Kern is focused on promoting, servicing, and supporting Civitas’ portfolio of investments, with an increased focus on investor experience.
Mr. Kern has more than 35 years of experience building and managing multiple investment teams across asset classes, including real estate, private equity, and growth capital. Most recently, from 2014-2017, he was Chief Investment Officer and Head of Direct Investments at ORIX USA, the Dallas-based financial services group, where he oversaw more than $2 billion of investments across all sectors. There, Mr. Kern created and led ORIX’s Direct Investments business unit, where he established investment strategy and targets, reviewed and approved investment decisions, and directed portfolio management across a range of asset classes.
Previously, from 2010-2013, Mr. Kern served as President of GE Capital Real Estate’s Global Investment Management organization, in which he built a new phase of GE’s $40 billion real estate equity investment business and raised more than $3B in total equity across eight investment vehicles, attracting major global asset management firms as investors. From 2003-2013, Mr. Kern was Chief Investment Officer for the same organization, where he drove 100-plus new investment initiatives resulting in the production of over $2 billion incremental net income and five years of record core investment volumes totaling a 500 percent increase.
Mr. Kern holds a Bachelor of Arts in Economics, cum laude, from Harvard University. He holds a Master of Business Administration from The Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania.