we’ve taken public, we started off with virtually no dividend protection at all and then
grew the revenues in such a way that, over
time, the dividends had some protection.
“When we took STORE public in 2014,
the dividend was very highly protected,” he
continues. “Today, it’s even more so, and
we’ve done that while increasing the divi-
dend 16% over the past couple of years.”
The result: greater revenue growth for
STORE shareholders than in any of Volk’s
prior vehicles, including Spirit Finance.
“Again, you have to set it up from day one; it
takes years to be able to see reap fruits.”
More so than in any of Volk’s previous
organizations, STORE focuses squarely on
profit center real estate, and also puts an
even greater emphasis on directly contact-
ing potential tenants. “We have more rela-
tionship managers here than at any com-
pany we’ve ever run,” he says. “We’ve really
put the focus on our sense of outreach.”
If its employee base has grown in some
areas, it’s also been reduced in others. “We
outsource things that we used to do inter-
nally,” says Volk. “Today we run STORE
with about 70 employees out of Scottsdale,
AZ”—and that for an investment portfolio
of about 1,750 properties across 48 states.
“In prior companies with this asset base,
we might have had 200 employees. So
we’ve learned to run the company much
more efficiently in that sense,” Volk says.
Greg Murphy’s 17 years with Natixis have
been times of expansion—and contraction.
In fact, expansion followed by contraction
followed by a rebound to his group’s pre-
contraction size. “When I first joined, the
real estate team consisted of 16 or 17 peo-
ple,” recalls the New York City-based man-
aging director. “It was a new business for
Natixis, in its formative stages. At our peak
we had about 55 people. After the 2008
financial crisis we shrunk to 18 or 20, and
now we’re back up to about 50 people com-
prising the real estate finance group.”
He charts the different types of financ-
ing a Natixis client might seek at different
stages of a property’s life cycle. “If one of
our important clients is buying a parcel of
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