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Tucker named Wood Center executive director

Jeff Tucker

Jeff Tucker (MBA ’00) has been selected as the next executive director of the Leonard W. Wood Center for Real Estate Studies at UNC Kenan-Flagler Business School effective July 10.

Tucker is a long-time friend of the program, an engaged alumnus and a dedicated real estate private equity professional.

“The Wood Center is one of the crown jewels at UNC Kenan-Flagler, and it gives me great confidence knowing that such a strong foundation has been laid,” he said. “My goal is to work with the team to take it to the next level without losing the fabric of the culture that has been deliberately built over the past 20 years.”

He succeeds Jim Spaeth, now a full-time professor of the practice of finance.

Tucker has more than 20 years of experience in private equity, with the last 16 focused on real estate. He most recently served as co-chairman and CEO of Century Bridge Capital, a firm based in Beijing and Dallas that is focused on middle-class residential developments in China.

Jeff Tucker poses with former UNC Kenan-Flagler Dean Paul Fulton at the Bell Hall groundbreaking in September 2022.

Jeff Tucker with former Dean Paul Fulton ((BSBA ’57) at the Bell Hall groundbreaking in 2022

Since starting the firm in 2007 with his partners, Tucker built the firm’s investment team in Beijing, designed its investment strategy, raised institutional capital and oversaw investor relations.

Under the leadership of Tucker and his partners, the firm invested about $650 million of equity and debt in 19 developments and co-developed 22,679 residential housing units in 16 cities across China.

“Co-founding an investment firm in China and navigating the many cultural intricacies there has taught me a lot about the importance of teamwork,” he said. “I also hope that my international industry relationships will be a powerful leverage point for the benefit of the Wood Center.”

Tucker also brings an intimate understanding of the Business School to the role. He received UNC Kenan-Flagler’s Outstanding Young Alumni Award in 2001 and its Global Leadership Award in 2015. In 2001, he created the Rollie Tillman Jr. Development Fund, an endowment enhancing UNC Kenan-Flagler’s development efforts. He is the former chair of the UNC Kenan-Flagler Alumni Council and served a four-year term as chair of the UNC Kenan-Flagler Board of Advisors.

“Kenan-Flagler changed my life,” he said. “And I think it was the culture that drove that. I love that we use the word ‘we’ far more often than we use the word ‘I,’ and that has always been a hallmark of the school that has resonated with me since day one.”

Tucker, who received his bachelor’s in finance from Southern Methodist University, lives in Dallas with his wife, Allison, and daughter, Eleanor. He plans to split his time between there and Chapel Hill.

“It was my wife who put the bug in my head about this job back in January,” Tucker said. “She told me, ‘You’re at your best when you’re doing things at UNC.’

“I am being given the unique opportunity to do something that leverages everything I’ve done in the past, takes me in a new direction and allows me to do something impactful for a place that I love.”