Direct Real Estate's Leadership Team


AURA has overseen property operations of all of Aegon's equity and investment properties throughout the U.S. for over 25 years. With over $4.5 billion in real estate assets under management, our seasoned managers have proven themselves skilled in managing all property types on a national scale.


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Thomas Schefter, CCIM, CPM, CSM joined Aegon in 1989. Tom is a Senior Vice President and Head of Aegon Realty's Tax Credit and Equity Asset Management Groups. In his role as Senior Vice President, Thomas is responsible for the management and oversight of the Asset Management Group, including 21 managers and related support staff, which are located in the New York and Cedar Rapids offices. Prior to his current role, Thomas served as a Property Manager for Life Investors/Aegon USA, worked in Mortgage Loan Origination, and worked exclusively on the RCC portfolio in the New York, Tri-State region. Prior to joining Aegon, Thomas worked in commercial real estate for Trammell Crow Company and Coldwell Banker Commercial Group, and managed and leased investment properties for a local investor/developer in Seattle Washington. Thomas received his BS in Environmental Studies from SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry and his BA from Syracuse University.


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Thomas Mathes joined Aegon in 1995. Thomas is a Vice President for RE Equity Asset Management. In his role as Vice President, Thomas is responsible for managing the New York office of Aegon USA Realty Advisors and assisting with the planning and direction of the Asset Management Group, including the review and approval of proposed lease agreements and contracts. Prior to his current role, Thomas served as a Senior Asset Manager, responsible for a portion of the RCC portfolio. Prior to joining Aegon, Thomas worked in New York as an Asset Manager for Delma Properties, a Senior Investment Coordinator for Shimizu Corporation, a Trust Real Estate Officer for First City Bancorporation, an Assistant Vice President at Victoria Bankshares, Inc., an Asset Manager for Sentinel Real Estate Corporation, and was a CMBS mortgage underwriter for Lehman Brothers in New York. Thomas received his BA in Marketing from Texas Lutheran University and his MBA from the University of Michigan.


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Francis Minchella Jr., CPM joined Aegon in 1993. Francis is a Real Estate Portfolio Manager for RE Equity Asset Management. In his role as Real Estate Portfolio Manager, Francis is responsible for managing a wide range of assets including shopping centers, office buildings, hotels, and industrial/warehouse properties. The properties are located throughout the Eastern United States, from New York City to Chicago to Florida. Francis also manages a third-party, Class A office building in midtown Manhattan that is owned by a prominent Tokyo based firm. Prior to joining Aegon, Francis served as a Vice President for a real estate investment firm that acquired and developed a wide range of properties for offshore investors. He directed the management of the firm's U.S. investment portfolio including properties in New York, Georgia, Texas, Southern New Jersey, Kentucky, Florida and New Mexico. He was also responsible for the Southern New Jersey management office. He was awarded the Certified Property Manager of the Year in 1999 and served as the President of the New York Chapter of the Institute of Real Estate Management from in 2000. Francis received his BA in Political Science and Administration from Rider University and his Masters of City and Regional Planning from Rutgers University.


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Mark Novack, CCIM, CPM joined Aegon in 2004. Mark is a Real Estate Portfolio Manager for RE Equity Asset Management. In his role as Real Estate Portfolio Manager, Mark is responsible for the asset management and development entitlements of the San Francisco Transamerica Center portfolio which includes the Pyramid Center and its surrounding assets. Mark additionally has a supervisory asset manager position for assets located in the West, Midwest and Southwest regions. Prior to his current role, Mark served as an Independent Contractor providing asset management, portfolio development and advisory expertise for corporate and individual clients. Prior to joining Aegon, Mark served as a Vice President for Kennedy and Associates Real Estate Counsel in Seattle, WA., Vice President of Real Estate at MONY Life Insurance Company in Denver, CO., Vice President of Asset Management for a subsidiary of American Express in Seattle, WA. and Senior Asset Manager for the Koll Company in Bellevue, WA. Mark received his BA in Real Estate from Washington State University.


Aegon USA Realty Advisors, LLC (AURA) is a U.S.-based real estate asset manager and a member company of Aegon Asset Management, the global investment management division of the Aegon Group. AURA is not a registered investment adviser with the Securities and Exchange Commission.