Name: Yesenia Scheker Izquierdo
Title: Global Real Estate Tax Leader and Partner
Company Name: KPMG LLP
Association/Organization Affiliations (REAL ESTATE ONLY): Women Executives in Real Estate, Co-Founder of Women in Real Estate at KPMG
What is your favorite motivational quote?
“If you want to lift yourself up, lift up someone else.” ~ Booker T. Washington. I perform my best when my physical and mental energy are in balance. I feel my best when I can give back and help others. I remind myself often of how good I feel when I help others and generally live my life this way. It’s also often my morning go to affirmation when I think of what I want to accomplish that day. It also helps ground me when I am focused on something negative that may be going on.
What recent project or transaction are you most proud of?
I was a tax advisor on a merger of two firms who formed a leading global real estate investment platform. This involved a very important client of mine and I was proud to be involved in this pivotal moment in their firm’s history.
Who inspired you to join the CRE Industry?
A senior KPMG partner, Steven Messing, who was a tax attorney focused on serving real estate developers, owners and operators. He was and still is a well-respected advisor in the industry and he took an interest in my career very early on when I was a young intern. He inspired me personally and professionally in many ways and introduced me to this industry by being a role model–someone who not only was passionate about helping others, but about the real estate industry itself. He is still my mentor today, 20 years later!
How do you hold your own in a negotiation?
I consider myself a savvy professional with strong analytical skills and I am very instinctive. I always think 3-4 steps ahead, if not through a final resolution. I am quick to think through the alternatives, the consequences and what is the most important from both sides. Because I am quick on my feet and can think far ahead, I am usually extremely confident during a negotiation and not caught off guard, which leads to a quick resolution.
What is the best advice you have received, and who was it from?
I’ve had terrific advice over the years from many mentors. Recently, Greg Williams, building construction and real estate national sector leader gave me some sound advice. I was working on an important project and struggling to finalize it. He reminded me that my 80% is someone else’s 100%. When I find myself feeling overwhelmed to stride for perfection, he said, don’t overthink it and take a step back and put an end to it. I find myself reminding myself of this when important things need to get done.
What was one of your biggest accomplishments in the last 12 months?
I was named the global real estate tax leader for KPMG. I am the first women to take on this role and proud that leadership sought me out to take on a role that allows me to work with a terrific global steering committee, and help lead our global real estate practices around the world. I am also proud of where we have taken our KPMG Women in Real Estate initiative, with the formation of our steering committee just twoyears ago and the development of our Women in Real Estate Board Readiness Program this year.