Anna Malhari, EVP & COO of Veris Residential, Top 10 Women COOs of 2022 Profile

Anna Malhari
Veris Residentials

Anna Malhari, EVP & COO of Veris Residential, Top 10 Women COOs of 2022

“A Transformative Leader”

Anna Malhari, EVP & Chief Operating Officer, Veris Residential, began her real estate career in Prague and moved to London in 2011 to work in private equity real estate. In 2021, she joined what at the time was known as Mack-Cali Realty Corp. Established for decades as an industry-leading real estate investment trust with a $4.5 billion portfolio of office and multifamily properties in the Northeast, the company was in the midst of corporate transition when Anna joined the team. The thoughtful decision to rebrand the company to Veris Residential was made to clearly redefine its strategic direction; focus on its strengths in the multifamily sector; and position environmental, social and governance (ESG) values at the forefront of the company. Not only was the company successful in this transition, but Veris Residential was named a “Great Place to Work” in 2022, a certification that recognizes a company for its culture. The evaluating body found that 83% of Veris Residential’s employees believe the company is a great place to work, compared to just 59% of employees at a typical U.S.-based company— a major testament to Anna’s ability to implement significant changes without disrupting productivity or employee happiness—and, in fact, boosting it.

According to Anna, one cannot transform an industry with complacency. Everyone in an evolving company needs to aim high and push the boundaries of what is possible. “But I also believe that people come first in business. In my view, everyone within the company should be treated as a peer, whatever role they might have,” she says. “Kindness, empathy, and approachability are, in my opinion, key components to a winning leadership style.”

For Anna, supporting women goes beyond hiring and promotion policies; it requires creating conditions that support women in the workplace, including mentoring and other initiatives. “Early on in my work with Veris Residential, I co-founded our Women’s Network affinity group. We formed the group with the intention of providing strength for women in their roles within our company, as we push toward creating more equitable opportunities for all,” she explains. “Many of our benefits—including parental leave, hybrid work schedules, and enhanced healthcare—helped not only the women in our organization, but all of our employees to find a better work-life balance.”

How is Anna inspiring her team into future leaders? She leads by example. “If I’m not working to maximize my own ability to perform at my company, how will others be inspired to do the same? We also have an exceptionally strong set of ethics and values at Veris Residential. I challenge myself, as much as I do my staff and partners, to uphold these values every day.” She adds, “I also believe that trust is a big part of successful leadership. I could try to micro-manage and control all the activities that take place at my company, but I have learned that not only would I not have the bandwidth to manage the level of growth we need to achieve as an organization, but it would limit the growth of our employees.”

Her message to women in the industry is this: There is real value in what women bring to the table. A diverse workforce is a strong workforce. Every company needs to enhance its diversification of perspectives. And bringing women’s voices into important discussions helps to achieve this. Anna hopes to inspire other women to let their voices be heard in this industry, because their views matter.

“It is important for the industry to recognize that there are a lot of women in real estate, but they predominantly serve in property management and junior-level positions,” says Anna. There is a major deficit of women in the investment, capital markets, development and construction sides of real estate. And it’s essential to help correct this imbalance rather than say, “we need more women in real estate.”

To date, the company has accomplished some incredible things in ESG, including reducing energy consumption by 18% between 2019 and 2021, setting an ambitious target to reduce emissions by 50% by 2030, and introducing new technologies to its buildings to better measure and manage its carbon footprint. “We have a high-quality portfolio, 33% of which is green certified and all of our wholly owned multifamily assets are WELL Health-Safety certified. I am very proud of how all of our employees are embracing these initiatives and helping us limit the impact of climate change, while working to support our communities and residents.”

For the days to come, Anna plans to continue to simplify Veris Residential’s business, strengthen its balance sheet, and enhance its operational platform, transforming the company into a pure-play multifamily REIT dedicated to elevating the residential lifestyle and experience. She says, “We believe this adjustment will allow the company to perform from its greatest strengths on behalf of all stakeholders.” WL


Veris Residential


Anna Malhari
Veris Residential


Veris Residential develops, owns, and manages premier multifamily communities. Beneath that simple statement of fact lies the founding principle of all we do: caring for properties, people, and the planet. Underpinned by high-quality assets and best-in-class technology, we curate holistic places and living experiences that meet the sustainability-conscious lifestyle needs of today’s residents, while empowering our team members, rewarding our partners and investors, and helping to sustain the planet we all share.

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