John Z. Kukral
President and Chief Executive Officer
John Z. Kukral, President and Chief Executive Officer of Northwood Investors, has been an active real estate investor for over 35 years. Mr. Kukral serves as the Chairman of the Investment Committee and approves all commitments by the firm. During his career Mr. Kukral has been involved in over $40 billion of real estate transactions worldwide ranging from office buildings, shopping centers, hotels, and residential.
Mr. Kukral started his career at JMB Realty Corporation in 1982 and, prior to founding Northwood in 2006, he was most recently (1994 to 2005) with Blackstone Real Estate Advisors where he served as President and CEO from 2002 until his departure in 2005. During his tenure, Blackstone Real Estate Advisors grew to become one of the largest and most successful real estate managers globally. He served as a Senior Managing Director of The Blackstone Group from 1997 through 2005 and was a member of the firm's Executive Committee from 2000 through 2005.
As a Co-Head, and then as President and CEO of the group, Mr. Kukral was actively involved in overseeing all investment activities of Blackstone's real estate funds including (i) the creation of five real estate investment partnerships with approximately $5.8 billion in discretionary investment capital; and (ii) the day-to-day management of Blackstone's 70-person professional, financial reporting, and support staff. In this capacity, Mr. Kukral worked closely with Stephen A. Schwarzman, Chairman and CEO of The Blackstone Group and John G. Schreiber, Partner and Founder of Blackstone Real Estate Advisors.
Mr. Kukral spent three years in London, helping to open Blackstone's office and building its European real estate investing platform. In July 2001, the European team raised BREP International which at the time was the largest real estate investment fund dedicated to investing in Western Europe and Blackstone's first fund dedicated to non-U.S. investments, with over $1.0 billion of discretionary capital under management.
Mr. Kukral is a Trustee of the Urban Land Institute, a Governor of the Urban Land Foundation, a Trustee of the National Jewish Hospital in Denver and former Chairman of the Savoy Group in London. He lives in Connecticut with his wife Karin and three children.
Mr. Kukral received his undergraduate degree from Northwestern University and received his M.B.A. from Harvard Business School.