The University of Notre Dame has announced the appointment of Michael C. O’Malley as executive director of the Fitzgerald Institute for Real Estate (FIRE). O’Malley brings more than 25 years of real estate, entrepreneurship and investment experience and will spearhead the University’s external engagement with the real estate industry. He will serve as liaison for alumni, parents and industry leaders and will direct new real estate initiatives and programs for students, faculty and alumni.
A 1996 alumnus, O’Malley joins Notre Dame from Pennybacker Capital, a real estate private equity firm headquartered in Austin, Texas. During his more than 15 years as a partner at Pennybacker, O’Malley served as chief operating officer, chief financial officer and chief compliance officer. He was a member of the firm’s value-strategy investment committee and led the capital formation team’s efforts as the firm grew to become a multi-strategy investment manager with more than $3 billion in assets under management.
Prior to Pennybacker Capital, O’Malley was COO and CFO of VisionWeb, where he led the firm’s business development initiatives; served as a financial restructuring consultant with Ernst & Young Capital Advisors; and was an auditor at Price Waterhouse. He graduated with honors from the University of Notre Dame with degrees in accountancy and computer applications and received an MBA with highest honors from the McCombs School of Business at the University of Texas, graduating as class co-valedictorian.
In addition to serving as FIRE’s executive director, O’Malley will continue to teach real estate private equity and real estate investment courses at Notre Dame as a professor of the practice. He previously taught for three years as an assistant adjunct professor and served as an active member of FIRE’s advisory board. This past academic year he served as FIRE’s inaugural executive-in-residence, mentoring undergraduate and professional students as they discern career paths.
Dan Kelly, FIRE’s faculty director and a professor of law, said, “Mike O’Malley’s real estate industry experience and dedication as a teacher make him a huge asset for the University and FIRE. Mike will be instrumental in connecting with our many distinguished alumni in real estate, engaging with industry leaders and instructing our talented students who are eager to learn from him and his expertise. We are thrilled that Mike is joining the FIRE team full-time in his new role and returning home to Notre Dame.”
Notre Dame’s real estate program includes an undergraduate minor in real estate. FIRE launched the real estate minor in partnership with the Department of Finance and Mendoza College of Business.
Martijn Cremers, the Martin J. Gillen Dean and Bernard J. Hank Professor of Finance at Mendoza, said, “Professor Mike O’Malley has been a superb teacher of real estate private equity. Our students have been raving about him, so we are very grateful for and excited about this new role for him at FIRE, and are glad to house him at Mendoza. We look forward to his future contributions, including a new global private equity course he will teach in London and the development of new applied investment courses in real estate.”
O’Malley reinforced his commitment to the program by accepting the new role, stating, “It’s an honor to come back to Notre Dame and join an amazing institute in FIRE. Everyone at Notre Dame has been extremely welcoming, including University President Fr. John Jenkins, C.S.C., Provost John McGreevy and Associate Provost Fr. Bob Dowd, C.S.C., Dean Martijn Cremers and Associate Dean Ken Kelley in the Mendoza College of Business, and Professor Dan Kelly and my colleagues at FIRE.”
Rev. Robert A. Dowd, C.S.C., vice president and associate provost for interdisciplinary initiatives and a Fellow on the University’s Board of Trustees, oversees FIRE as a University institute in the Office of the Provost. Father Dowd said, “Mike O’Malley, one of the University’s talented and successful alumni, is returning to Notre Dame out of his desire to help educate and form the next generation of leaders and his dedication to the University and FIRE’s mission. As FIRE’s executive director, Professor O’Malley will be instrumental in advancing FIRE’s priorities, which include furthering FIRE’s initiatives on global real estate, housing affordability, and church property, as well as ensuring Notre Dame has access to the best data, resources and thought leaders, in line with the University’s desire to be a force for good.”
In preparation for his new responsibilities, O’Malley remarked, “I look forward to creating and strengthening relationships between FIRE and the leading global real estate firms and facilitating a deeper involvement between FIRE and our distinguished alumni and friends within the real estate industry. Our students are passionate about their real estate education, and it is an honor to continue to serve as a teacher and mentor to them in my new role.”
About the Fitzgerald Institute for Real Estate
Notre Dame’s Fitzgerald Institute for Real Estate educates and develops ethical future leaders and advances multidisciplinary research and thought leadership on real estate, the world’s largest asset class. Through education and research, and consistent with the University’s Catholic mission, FIRE focuses on innovative, data-driven and scalable solutions that facilitate wise investment, promote sustainable development and create places of lasting value.