Carey, Campbell, Robert: Industry Legends Pass
NEW YORK CITY—The industry has lost three
iconic figures—all company founders—in a
span of little more than three weeks, most
recently with the passing of Wm. Polk Carey,
chairman of locally based W.P. Carey & Co.
LLC and the W.P. Carey Foundation. The
sale-leaseback pioneer died Jan. 2 in West
Palm Beach, FL at age 81.
Having founded the investment firm that
bears his name in 1973, Carey launched the
Corporate Property Associates program in
1979 with the idea of creating investment
products that could perform well in both up
markets and troughs. The firm’s current
series of non-traded REITs have combined
assets valued at approximately $9.2 billion.
Trevor Bond, W.P. Carey & Co.’s CEO,
said in a statement that Carey “was more
than our founder and chairman—he was
the cultural leader of our company.” He
added that the best way to honor his memory is to “continue to deliver outstanding
results to investors” and “to ensure that the
standards of excellence he established
remain intact.” Two days after Carey’s passing, the firm named Benjamin H. Griswold
IV as non-executive chairman.
Carey’s death occurred a little more than
two weeks after the Dec. 15 passing of Robert
M. Campbell at his home in Aliso Viejo, CA.
Cofounder of CT Realty and one of the
most influential leaders in the California
commercial real estate industry for more
than four decades, Campbell was 71.
During Campbell’s 15-year tenure as
president of the firm he cofounded in 1994
with U. T. Thompson III, CT Realty completed more than 200 transactions valued
in excess of $2.5 billion. Before establishing
CT Realty, Campbell was general partner of
Birtcher Campbell Properties for 20 years.
While at Birtcher, he was responsible for
the development of commercial real estate
projects involving more than 11. 5 million
square feet of space.
Over the years, Campbell was the recipi-
ent of numerous awards for his business
and philanthropic achievements. In 2003,
he received the UC Irvine Graduate School
of Management’s Lifetime Achievement
Award, presented to an individual who has
exhibited a long period of positive influ-
ence over the real estate industry in Orange
County, CA. Both Campbell and Carey
were spotlighted this past September as
“Industry Legends and Icons” in the 65th
anniversary issue of Real Estate Forum.
A Broker/Corporate Services Clash
When we think of commercial real estate brokerage, some words that come to mind are:
entrepreneurial, cowboy mentality, client-centric, commission-focused and event-driven.
When we think of corporate services, some of the words that come to mind are: process-driven, integrated service lines, collaboration, fixed fees, fee sharing and salaried.
Historically, brokerage and corporate services lines were separate. The trend began to
change about eight years ago when brokerage firms, attracted by the multi-year fixed fee
contracts, began to purchase corporate services firms. At the same time, corporate ser-
vice firms, drawn to the higher profit margins, began to acquire brokerage firms. In
addition, large institutional clients were pushing for a global single
point of contact to streamline their corporate real estate process.
One of the first challenges facing these much larger real estate
organizations was setting and managing the
expectations of their real estate profession-
als. Since brokers were compensated by each
transaction, it has always been in their best
interest to gain control of the client and the transaction as quickly as
possible. However, their new firm was imposing rules and processes
on how pursuits and clients would be handled.
Another challenge was the competing personalities. Brokers have
a tremendous amount at stake with each deal and thrive on the risks and rewards of commissions. Corporate services professionals are usually salaried and take a broader view.
It’s not about a particular deal, but instead, the client’s entire portfolio. They focus on
securing multi-year contracts and up-selling additional services.
The clash between brokerage and corporate services is usually not visible to the client
or the market. However, the angst exists as each transaction and account is initiated and
managed. Brokers feel that the value for the client is ultimately realized through the
commission model because the broker has knowledge, transaction expertise and relationships to deliver superior results. The corporate services professionals view portfolio
management as the ultimate value.
As a result, each side holds a healthy, professional disdain for the other, feeling that
they are ultimately responsible for delivering value and service to the client. The clash
tends to present itself when both are pursuing the same business or when one group has
taken the lead and needs the assistance of the other group to secure the business.
Industry leaders are attempting to bridge the gap through integrating the separate
cultures and different styles of doing business. Two of the leading industry players now
regularly include a broker in corporate services functions and conversely, insert a corporate services professional into traditional brokerage transactions. However, this
solution is effective only if the individuals adding value are willing to share their expertise and knowledge.
By Paul Waters
Paul Waters ( email@example.com) is the New York City-based executive vice president,
brokerage, with NAI Global. Gus Poulopoulos ( firstname.lastname@example.org), New York
City-based executive managing director of NAI Global Corporate Solutions, contributed to this
column. The views expressed here are the authors’ own.
Vital Signs...REITs in all the major property sectors, and the REIT industry as a whole, have stable ratings outlooks for 2012.—Moody’s