2012 Forty Under 40: Jason F. Sturman

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Jason F. Sturman
Where were you, and what were you doing in 1991?
At Park Tudor School listening to REM, rowing at Eagle Creek Park and trying to stay out of teenager trouble.

When you graduated from high school, what did you think you wanted to be as an adult?
A businessman.

Was there an event in the last 20 years that had a great impact on your aspirations and/or career path?
Quitting part-way through an internship at the prestigious investment bank Donaldson Lufkin Jenrette. I had been working seven days a week, 16 hours a day, and pulling at least one all-nighter every few weeks. I probably should have stuck out the summer, but this event clearly taught me the importance of balancing work, life, family and fun. Plus, seeing the inside of that shop taught me that money can’t buy happiness.

Have you been mentored by (or had any significant interactions with) previous Forty Under 40 honorees? What did you learn from that person? What do you admire about that person?
Jim Bremner is a great friend and a mentor. My little brother, Jake Sturman, has also been a great influence.

Where/what do you want to be 20 years from now?
Enjoying life with my wonderful wife, Molly, and reflecting on the happiness and success of my three children.

Vice president, acquisitions, Duke Realty Corp.
Age: 37

In a sense, Jason Sturman is following in the footsteps of his grandfather, R.J. Moore, the Indianapolis real estate developer who built the Park Fletcher Business Park near Indianapolis International Airport. But as vice president of acquisitions for Duke Realty Corp., Sturman finds himself mostly working outside the Midwest.

Duke’s strategy calls for adding to its portfolio of about 950 buildings by buying properties in areas such as the Port of Los Angeles. The thought is that as global trade continues to grow, rents there will increase. So Sturman meets with commercial real estate brokers and property owners to find opportunities and then ushers the company through pricing, making the offer, negotiating the transaction and carrying the deal through from concept to closing.

“I spend a lot of time in other markets driving around in rental cars, looking at buildings,” he said.

He got to this point after attempting investment banking while at the University of Pennsylvania, working in finance for Duke right out of school, and then trying out management consulting in grad school at the University of Chicago. When Duke invited him back five years ago, Sturman got into commercial real estate, which he describes as “a nice mix of finance and real property.”

Since 2009, he and his team have closed more than $1.7 billion in acquisitions. He said his goal is to keep up that momentum and help Duke continue to be a major national player in commercial real estate.

Sturman also serves on the board of Park Tudor School, which he attended for 15 years and which two of his three young children now attend. His mother teaches math there.

“It did a lot to prepare me to go to college and prepared me for where I am in my life right now,” he said. “So I wanted to give back from a caring alumni perspective.”•


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