Dr. Stephen E. Roulac


An authority on the economic productivity and strategic importance of the places in which we live and work, Stephen Roulac’s work bridges construction sites and high finance, the academy and the board room, intellectual innovation and entrepreneurism. His background include the highest academic credentials, innovative award-winning research, and teaching at leading universities, plus service as an investment manager, real estate expert, and over four decades as trusted primary strategy advisor to major decision-makers in all facets of business, government, real estate, and investing.

Retained by governments and also the savviest, most sophisticated and successful companies, entrepreneurs, and investors throughout the world, he and his team have created billions of dollars of value for his clients, working in 20+ countries, evaluating and investing in more than 100 countries, advising 1,000+ clients, involving in excess of $ trillion real estate interests. Stephen organized, led and had a major impact on developing the real estate consulting practices of two of the four major global accounting firms; Kenneth Leventhal (1983-1984, which subsequently merged with Ernest and Young), and Deloitte & Touche (1987-1991). Dr. Roulac has provided expert witness testimony on valuation, economics, damages and fiduciary investing standards in complex, high-stakes litigation in over 100 cases before public, private, government, legislative and regulatory (NASD, SEC) agencies.

His work is global in scope, and includes all property types, debt and equity positions, securities forms and specialized interests in real property, combining leading strategic management consulting skills with four decades of experience in addressing the implications of trends in the real estate property and capital markets. In 1974 he forecasted the explosive late 1970s growth in specific sectors of real estate market, which insight produced a $2 billion windfall for the Reichman Brothers. Ten years later, in the mid-1980s his insights into the precarious status of the office sector (identified more than five years earlier than other analysts) saved his institutional clients billions of dollars. Strategies Stephen developed for Merrill Lynch created over $1 billion above average market returns. For one of his leading investment clients, California Public Employees’ Retirement System (CalPERS), Stephen and his team added approximately $2 billion of additional portfolio value and return through the investment strategies, policies, and procedures they designed.

Dr. Roulac’s advisory work, research, teaching and speaking focus on:

  • How place choice has transformed society, business and global economy
  • Strategic management of enterprises, institutions, public agencies, entrepreneurial ventures, and major projects
  • Investing strategy, with an emphasis on global economics, the competitive position of places, and comparative market efficiency
  • Fiduciary duty, due process, best practices and applied ethics

His advisory services for significant, complex, high-stakes real estate decisions include

Chart direction, explore options, increase revenues and manage risks, business plans, investment policy, expansion, global markets, valuation, transactions, and systems.

Valuation, Financials Analysis, And Due Diligence: Analytics, models and opinions for high stakes property and financial decisions where sophistication, creativity, experience, expertise, bridging public securities and private interests, multiple perspectives, and/or outstanding credentials are required.

Place Strategy And Corporate Real Estate Services

Advise property users on their critical decisions through linking core business strategy to place strategy to corporate real estate strategy to real estate implementation, including real estate strategy site selection, and surplus property disposition.

Proprietary Research

Covering themes and forces that determine pricing and performance of places, businesses, industries, and property interests throughout the world, available in specialized member research services plus customized special projects.

Professional Speaking And Training

Entertaining, provocative, impactful keynotes, seminars, workshops retreats and training sessions that combine comprehensive strategic overview with specific implementation.

Dr. Roulac and his team work with

Investors And Their Advisors
Desiring alpha returns and/or risk management via strategic advisory, valuation or investment management expertise and management services.

Substantial Property Owners

Facing major value, strategy, disposition, use, stewardship, conservation decisions involving such factors as high-stakes, opaque information, place issues, community relationships, competing priorities, complexity, and pioneering/innovative concepts without precedent.

Entrepreneurs And Real Estate Companies

Desiring world-class strategic innovation, expertise to realize extraordinary outcomes, business models, and decision systems.

Places And Governments

Seeking strategies, insights, models and systems to preserve legacy values, enhance place appeal and competitiveness, and improve place performance
Dr. Roulac and his team have been retained for a number of signature engagements on behalf of prominent and/or very private individuals, entrepreneurs, corporations, institutional investors, and government agencies, whose identity remains confidential. He and his team have worked with diverse investment/corporate/entrepreneurial enterprises, leading law firms, trade associations, and nonprofits on significant strategy, and investment real estate decisions, as well as clients including:

  • Apple
  • California Public Employees’ Retirement System (CALPERS)
  • California State Teachers’ Retirement Systems (CalSTRS)
  • Citigroup Salomon Smith Barney
  • Chevron
  • Children’s Museum of Indianapolis
  • City of Los Angeles
  • Dai-Ichi Life Insurance Company
  • Department of Labor
  • Department of Housing and Urban Development
  • Government of Singapore Investment Corporation
  • Hilton Hotels
  • Internal Revenue Service
  • Bank of America Corporation
  • Merrill Lynch Hubbard
  • Mitsui Trust and Banking Company, Ltd.
  • National Association of Realtors
  • Nomura Securities Company, Ltd.
  • Office of Hawaiian Affairs
  • Pomona College
  • Santa Anita Consolidated
  • Securities and Exchange Commission
  • Standard & Poor’s
  • State Teachers’ Retirement System of Ohio
  • Teachers’ Retirement System of Texas
  • Trust Lands Administration
  • USB Warburg Pincus
  • Universal Studios
  • Weyerhauser

Stephen has worked and traveled extensively, spending time in some fifty countries throughout the world. This hands-on experience has enabled him to gain first-hand knowledge of global economies, political regimes, market inefficiencies, and diverse business cultures. This, in conjunction with his deep theoretical knowledge and the empirical research he has conducted, enables a superior understanding of global market dynamics.

Leading Author and Academic

Dr. Roulac has made fundamental, innovative research contributions and has pioneered the applications of modern economic theory and securities analysis in ways that have transformed the property discipline. Currently, Professor of Global Property Strategy at the University of Ulster in Belfast, Northern Ireland, for a decade, served on the faculty of the Stanford Graduate School of Business. He has also taught at the graduate school of business administration at Dartmouth College, University of California at Berkeley, the University of Chicago and the University of California at Los Angeles.
Author of some 20 books, many of which are considered landmarks, plus over 400 articles, reviews, and columns, appearing in publications in Asia, Australia, Europe and the Americas. From the mid 1980s through early 1990s he wrote the “Property Strategy” column for Forbes magazine. His books include Stephen Roulac on Place and Property Strategy (Property Press); Modern Real Estate Investments: an Institutional Approach (Property Press), which is recognized as the authoritative treatise on contemporary real estate investment practice; and Real Estate Investment and Finance (McGraw Hill) recognized by Library Journal as ‘Book of the Year’. Consistent themes of some 100 reviews of Stephen Roulac’s books are “brilliant”… “must read”… “pioneering”… “compelling”… “provocative”… “very valuable”… “highly recommend”… “amazing”… “stimulating”… “challenging”.

Beyond his seminal work in Strategic Management and Place Strategy, his expertise embraces:

Finance and Investment

  • Securitization
  • CMBS
  • REITs
  • mortgage securities
  • real estate stocks
  • syndication
  • partnerships
  • structured finance

Pension Real Estate

  • investing policies
  • prudent investing
  • diversification
  • fiduciary issues

Institutional Investing

  • global portfolio strategies
  • due diligence
  • fiduciary duty
  • investing practices/standards

Financing Structure

  • management contract
  • joint ventures
  • specialized interests
  • transaction planning and execution
  • acquisitions

Real Estate Finance

  • financing practices
  • regulatory issues
  • investment analysis
  • bankruptcy


  • economics
  • feasibility
  • strategies
  • leasing
  • due diligence
  • financing
  • management practices
  • developer responsibility


  • economics
  • damages
  • contracting
  • construction defects

Property Analysis

  • investment analysis
  • market analysis
  • portfolio valuation
  • appraisal
  • business valuation
  • environmental regulatory compliance

Property Markets

  • cycles
  • trends
  • structure
  • impacts
  • market analysis
  • antitrust
  • property market conditions

Capital Markets

  • flows
  • composition
  • trends
  • structure
  • formation
  • access

Business Strategy

  • strategic management
  • new economy
  • e-commerce
  • due process
  • development practices
  • due diligence
  • business practices
  • management strategies
  • antitrust
  • business valuation

Information and Intellectual Property: assessment of uniqueness vs commonplace brands – valuation – comparative assessments – intangibles – trade secrets – NDA conflicts

Corporate Real Estate:

  • transactions
  • landlord-tenant issues
  • complex lease issues
  • favored nations leases
  • joint ventures.


  • brokerage
  • financing
  • venture capital
  • mergers/acquisitions/transactions

Applied Ethics

  • fiduciary standards
  • environmental disclosure
  • regulatory compliance
  • investing practices and standards
  • professional standards
  • business practice

Thought Leadership

Stephen Roulac’s thought leadership role has been widely recognized. His research has been ranked first, second, third or fourth in several studies of leading property scholars, covering more than 4,000 researchers from some seventy countries. In additional to numerous awards for papers and articles, he is the recipient of:

  • James A. Graaskamp Award (1997) for his iconoclastic thinking, leadership and scholarship in the areas of real estate securitization, institutional real estate and real estate indices and disclosure;
  • Warner Bloomberg Award (1998) for promoting vision of the future and establishing principles of social justice;
  • David Ricardo Medaer Bloomberg Award (1998) for promoting vision of the future and establishing principles of social justice;
  • Richard Radcliffe Award (2005) in recognition of significant research contributions that extend the real estate discipline, introduce new paradigms and pushes the envelope of real estate knowledge through his pioneering work concerning place perspective and place strategy; and
  • International Real Estate Society Achievement Award (2009) for international real estate research, service to the society and corporate leadership.

He was recognized with the U.C. Berkeley Millennium Award (2000) as one of the individuals having the greatest impact on the real estate industry in the 20th century.

Stephen’s major contributions to the industry include:

  • Commercial Property Securitization (1970s) – Pioneered the rationale for property investing in a securitized format; advanced the comprehensive analysis of strategies and structures employed by real estate securities in the Questor Real Estate Securities Yearbook, and created the valuation models for pricing real estate securities, as well as financial models for evaluating mortgage securities.
  • Institutional Investment (1980s) – Pioneered pension investing policies; conceptualized design of the NCREIF commercial-property returns indices; and performed early development work in the design of the Standards & Poor’s commercial-mortgage risk rating system, which became the industry standard for the commercial-mortgage backed securities industry.
  • Place Strategy (1990s) – Pioneered research on the significance of place strategy to business and personal decisions and how societal spatial patterns are undergoing profound changes due to advances in communications and transportation technologies.
  • Global Real Estate Alternative Investment Strategies – In 2000 he established a research team of top analysts and technologists in Hyderabad, India, focusing on the development and implementation of new investment strategies, based on the models developed from insights gathered during decades of work in the global real estate markets. Employing these models and apply strategic research, he and his team invested in global property securities, managing funds based in Europe, India, the United States, and Cayman Islands, generating substantial positive alpha performance.

Dr. Roulac has served on and continues to serve on numerous editorial boards of leading real estate and investment journals

Media and related comments on his work include:

  • “There is nobody righter or brighter and no one more intellectually pure in his approach to real estate.” – San Francisco Business Journal
  • “If the real estate related challenge requires a visionary, is going to break new ground, or involves a high stakes decision, the Roulac Group…is…the firm to call.” – Professional Services Review
  • “… perhaps the most influential of the country’s independent real estate analysts.” – Kiplinger’s Personal Finance Magazine
  • “…a thinker among doers… in a niche by itself… a voice of authority…revolutionize the way people think about the real estate industry…conceptually ahead of most of the business.” – San Francisco Business Journal
  • “That melding of the theoretical talents of an academic and the hard-nosed pragmatism of a businessman seems to be what sets Roulac apart from other consultants.” – Real Estate Times
  • “Real estate’s ‘Rolls Royce’ of consultants…client list reads like a Who’s Who of America’s blue-blood corporations.” – California Business.
  • “Stephen Roulac is to finance as Einstein is to physics” – Dean Dilip Dasgupta, ICFAI

He is featured on national TV (ABC, CNN, FOX) and quoted in international media.


  • Ph.D., Stanford University Graduate School of Business, in finance and strategic management
  • J.D., Boalt School of Law, University of California at Berkeley
  • M.B.A., with Distinction, Harvard University Graduate School of Business Administration
  • B.A., Pomona College, Economics

Stephen currently holds the CPA and CMC professional designations; he previously held the AICP and SRS designations.

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Complete the form below for your free 16 page color perspective describing the benefits of The Property Knowledge System.