A Trailblazer, Leading with Integrity
When Herman Bulls was named the Brigham Young University Marriott School of Business 2022 International Executive of the Year, he was praised by Host Hotels & Resorts Chairman Richard Marriott for exhibiting five principles of success: putting people first, pursuing excellence, embracing change, acting with integrity, and serving others.
Bulls puts these principles into action in his roles as international director and vice chairman, Americas at Jones Lang Lasalle Incorporated (JLL), overseeing relationships with major clients like Apple, Cisco and Microsoft and working with the firm’s largest public and corporate clients to devise and implement integrated real estate strategies to lower occupancy costs and increase productivity. He provides thought leadership and strategic guidance to senior level executives, in addition to serving as an expert witness in court and testifying before Congressional committees on real estate issues.
Over his 34 years at JLL, Bulls has worked in the areas of development, investment management, asset management, facilities operations and business development and retention. In addition to developing and managing an asset portfolio of over $800 million, Bulls founded JLL’s highly acclaimed Public Institutions unit. He was responsible for the privatization of $15B of military housing, worked on over 100 college campuses and was involved in the first major outsourcing of a state government’s real estate with the state of Tennessee.
A native of Florence, Alabama, Bulls is a graduate of Coffee High School, where he was a four-star athlete and the first African-American student body president and full time starting quarterback. He also hosted a weekly radio show, a skill that would later serve him at the United States Military Academy at West Point, where he hosted a sports radio show with guests such as legendary West Point basketball coach Mike Krzyzewski. He played intercollegiate football for two years and ultimately earned a bachelor’s degree in engineering. Bulls also holds an MBA from the Harvard Business School.
Prior to joining JLL, Bulls completed almost 12 years of active duty service with the United States Army; his last active duty assignments were working in the Office of the Assistant Secretary of the Army for Financial Management at the Pentagon and as an assistant professor of economics and finance at West Point. He has completed the Army’s Airborne, Ranger and Command and General Staff College courses and served overseas in South Korea. He retired as a colonel in the U.S. Army Reserves in 2008.
A driven entrepreneur, Bulls co-founded and served as president and CEO of Bulls Capital Partners, a commercial mortgage firm in partnership with Fannie Mae. Strategic partners included SunTrust Bank (now Truist) and Goldman Sachs. Additionally, he founded Bulls Advisory Group, LLC, a management and real estate advisory firm.
Bulls serves on several public, private and not for profit boards. He is chairman of NASDAQ-listed Fluence Energy and vice chairman of USAA. He is also vice chairman of the West Point Association of Graduates and serves on the Department of Defense Policy Board. Additionally, he serves on the boards of Host Hotels; Comfort Systems, USA; Collegis Education; the American Red Cross National Board of Governors; and the Real Estate Advisory Committee for New York State Teachers’ Retirement System. He previously served on the board of directors of the Thayer Leader Development Group and the Military Bowl, a NCAA-sanctioned football bowl game played in the nation’s capitol each December. Bulls’ other former board service includes Exelis, Inc.; ComputerSciences Corporation; American Campus Communities; and Rasmussen, Inc.
Bulls has been honored with numerous awards, including: 2020 Executive Leadership Council Achievement Award; 2020 Savoy Magazine Most Influential Black Directors in Corporate America; 2018 Savoy Magazine: Most Influential Blacks in Corporate America; 2017: USM National Association of Corporate Directors Top 100; 2017 USAA NACD Fellow; 2015 Morgan State University Apex Award; 2009 Washington Business Journal Minority Business Leader Award; 2008 Global Real Estate Diversity Conference Trail Blazer Award; 2007 Commercial Real Estate News & Commercial Property News National Minority Leader of the Year; and 2007 African American Real Estate Professionals Passing the Torch Award.
Bulls and his late wife, Iris, have three sons, Herman, Jr. (Jennifer), Nathaniel, and Jonathan (Brittney). He is the proud grandfather of Connor, Quinn, and Kennedy.