FSU Real Estate Investment Fund

The FSU Real Estate Investment Fund (REIF) provides a hands-on learning experience for students in the Master of Science (MSF) or Master of Business Administration (MBA) programs and for high-achieving undergraduate real estate students accepted into a combined pathway that gives them a head start on an MBA or MSF degree. The fund invests in publicly traded real estate securities, and it uses MSCI US REIT Index as its benchmark index. The fund is managed by a team of students enrolled in the spring semester’s Advanced Real Estate Finance and Investment (REE 5209) course, along with a team of student portfolio managers who assist with the operations and management of the fund year-round. All student managers are advised by course instructor Dr. Mariya Letdin and overseen by an external investment committee of industry professionals.

Investment Strategy – Team members employ a strategy focused on long-term investments, aiming to allocate funds into income-generating REIT equities.

Fund Management – Students learn REIT valuation and cash-flow modeling through course materials and classroom instruction and get the opportunity to apply their knowledge to the REIF. Student teams analyze REIT securities and present recommendations to the external investment committee. Committee members ask questions and further dive into each team’s analysis before deliberating and deciding whether to act upon team recommendations and allocations. Based on the committee’s approval, the REIF implements approved changes to the portfolio.

Students manage all components of the fund and are free to suggest buy or sell recommendations, risk mitigation techniques and further elements they believe will enhance its performance.



Current Top 10 Holdings

  2. Schwab Str:US REIT ETF (ARCX:SCHH)
  7. Gaming and Leisure Properties, Inc. (XNAS:GLPI)


Below are three spring 2023 REE 5209 presentations to the investment committee:

  Management Team

Faculty Advisor

Maya Letdin

Mariya Letdin
Dr. Mariya Letdin is the Madeline Duncan Rolland Associate Professor of Business Administration in the Department of Risk Management/Insurance, Real Estate and Legal Studies at Florida State University’s College of Business, where she teaches undergraduate courses and in the MSF and MBA programs. Letdin is also the Ron Rayevich/NAIOP Distinguished Research Fellow. Her areas of research are commercial real estate valuation and debt utilization. Letdin’s research has appeared in the Journal of Real Estate Finance and Economics, Journal of Regional Science, Journal of Real Estate Research, Journal of Real Estate Literature and International Real Estate Review. She serves on the editorial board of the Journal of Real Estate Finance and Economics and on the boards of the Real Estate Research Institute and American Real Estate Society, as well as the American Real Estate and Urban Economics Association executive committee.

Prior to her academic career, Letdin worked in the commercial real estate industry, where her industry experience includes CMBS lending for JP Morgan; loan origination, underwriting and asset management for Tremont Capital; and debt placement for HFF.

Letdin received her bachelor’s degree in finance and her MBA from DePaul University. Her Ph.D. in finance is from Baruch College/CUNY.

Fund Managers

Jacob Kelly

Jacob Kelly 
An Orlando, Florida native, Jacob Kelly is in the Master of Science in Finance (MSF) program, pursuing a specialization in real estate. Kelly earned a bachelor’s degree in real estate in three years from FSU’s College of Business. Kelly has been an asset Manager for the FSU REIF since June 2023. His on-campus involvement includes serving as the vice president of external affairs for the FSU Real Estate Society and serving as a graduate assistant for the FSU Real Estate Center. Throughout the spring 2023 semester, Kelly served as an analyst for the FSU REIF and assisted in underwriting Simon Property Group, Equity Residential and Prologis. His professional experience includes an internship at Timbers Company, where he primarily worked under the acquisitions and development team. In addition to his academics and on-campus involvement, Kelly is also a property manager/development assistant for a local developer in Tallahassee. He plans to pursue a career in real estate development after graduating with his MSF.  

Will Myers

Will Myers 
An Orlando, Florida native, Will Myers is in the accelerated, full-time MBA program after earning a bachelor’s degree in real estate in three years from FSU’s College of Business. His on-campus involvement includes serving as the graduate liaison for the Financial Management Association, working as a consultant in the FSU Consulting Group and serving as a graduate assistant for the college’s Center for Professional Success. During the spring 2023 semester, Myers served as an analyst for the FSU REIF and assisted in underwriting Prologis (PLD), Equity Residential (EQR) and Simon Property Group (SPG). His professional experience includes a systems and operations internship with Keller Williams, residential and consumer lending internship with Cape Cod 5 Mutual Savings Bank and a technology investment banking internship with Truist Securities. Myers is returning to Truist Securities in Miami, Florida after graduating with his MBA.  

Sierra Wicker

Sierra Wicker 
Sierra Wicker is pursuing her Master of Science in Finance (MSF) with a specialization in real estate. In May 2023, she earned her bachelor’s degrees in finance and real estate with a minor in economics, all from FSU. Wicker’s campus involvement includes working as a graduate assistant in the College of Business, as well as being a part of several student-run organizations, including the Financial Management Association, the Real Estate Society, the Baptist Collegiate Ministry and the Level Dance Company. During the spring 2023 semester, Wicker was an analyst for the FSU Real Estate Investment Fund, where she assisted in underwriting REITs such as Kite Realty, Park Hotels & Resorts, American Tower and Crown Castle. Her professional experience includes working for a local tax firm in Panama City Beach as an accounting intern during Summer 2022. 

Investment Committee Members

Scott Darling

Scott Darling 
Scott Darling is the president of American Realty Advisors (ARA), where he leads the firm’s portfolio management team. He also serves as the co-portfolio manager of ARA’s largest commingled fund, for which he has overseen the creation and implementation of the investment strategy since its inception in 2003. Darling also serves as a member of the firm’s investment and leadership committees. Prior to joining ARA, he served as director of asset management and sales for Resolution Trust Corporation’s California office, where he was the senior asset officer responsible for the management and sale of more than $60 billion in assets from savings and loan institutions. Darling more than 42 years of experience and earned his bachelor’s degree in finance from Florida State University and a J.D. from the University of Southern California School of Law.

Bill Lloyd

Bill Lloyd 
Bill Lloyd is the owner and president of R.K.M. Development Corp, a full-service retail development company, specializing in build-to-suit single tenant projects, neighborhood and regional retail shopping centers, with locations in St. Petersburg, Florida; Birmingham, Alabama; and Raleigh, North Carolina.  Lloyd has been with R.K.M since 1989 and became the president and partner in 1999. R.K.M. has developed more than two million square feet of retail valued at more than $1 billion. Prior to joining R.K.M., Lloyd worked with Equitec, a California-based REIT and managed the Florida portfolio, which consisted of both retail and office investments. Lloyd graduated from Florida State University with a Bachelor of Science in real estate.

Kyle Riva

Kyle Riva 
Kyle Riva is the CEO and president of Alexander Investments International. Throughout his extensive career, Riva has been responsible for the financing, construction and development of high-profile commercial real estate, which includes apartments, office buildings, retail centers, industrial properties, hotels, resorts, single-family projects and land. Prior to forming Alexander Investments, Riva was with Epoch Properties, Inc. for more than 25 years, where he led the company as president for a decade. He also served as manager of the Central Florida office of Carey, Kramer, Silvester & Associates, a commercial real estate mortgage and sales company. His experience also includes vice president/branch manager of Alliance Mortgage Company and territory manager for the Burroughs Corporation. Representing more than 20,000 multi-family living units at a value of more than $2 billion, Riva’s projects have been recognized in national publications such as Housing, Professional Builder and Florida Trend. Riva graduated Florida State University with a Bachelor of Science in management and a Master of Science in management from Rollins College.

Thekla Salzman

Thekla Salzman 
Thekla Salzman, a principal with Salzman Real Estate Advisors, has more than 30 years of experience in commercial real estate, primarily focused on financial management and operations. She also was part of a senior management team that raised, invested and managed more than $3 billion in private equity funds. She has served as the chief administrative officer for Rialto Capital Management and chief financial officer for Rialto Real Estate Fund Group Part. Prior to that Salzman served as the CFO for the Miami and Europe divisions of LNR Property and the CFO for Centrum Corporation. She has extensive experience in all aspects of the investment management cycle, including fundraising, investor relations, accounting, financing, treasury, tax, legal and business systems, as well as of debt and credit products such as commercial mortgage-backed securities and mezzanine debt, distressed debt, securitized financings and special servicing operations. Salzman has a Bachelor of Science in finance and accounting from Florida State University and is a Certified Public Accountant. 


R.K.M. Development Corporation president Bill Lloyd (BS Real Estate ’86), along with his business partner and fellow FSU alumnus and company chairman Richard Maloof (BS Real Estate ’85), provided the initial generous donation to seed the fund with additional private donors and the FSU Foundation contributing to the REIF. In spring 2022, students in Dr. Letdin’s Advanced Real Estate Finance and Investment course (REE 5209) began investing in publicly traded real estate securities.

As of July 31, 2023, the fund balance was approximately $2.3 million.

Read more about the start of this gift.


For questions about the college’s FSU Real Estate Investment Fund (REIF), please contact one of the following:

Dr. Mariya Letdin
Faculty Advisor and Madeline Duncan Rolland Associate Professor

Jacob Kelly
Fund Manager

Will Myers
Fund Manager

Sierra Wicker
Fund Manager

  Login Portal

This is a password-protected portal for the REIF investment committee members. Log in to the investor portal here.