People - JANUARY 27, 2014

Bob Burke, Metropolitan co-founder and managing director, retires

by Reg Clodfelter

T. Robert “Bob” Burke, cofounder and managing director at Metropolitan Real Estate, has retired from Metropolitan and has no intentions to start another business.

Burke has been with Metropolitan since he co-founded it alongside David Sherman and David Nasaw in 2002, but he has been an active participant in the industry for much longer.

After graduating from law school in 1967, Burke joined the law firm Morrison and Foerster as a real estate lawyer in 1970, and, from 1975 to 1984, Burke represented RREEF. It was in 1984 that Burke joined Douglas Abbey and Hamid Moghadam in cofounding AMB Property Corp., the major industrial property investment firm that merged with Prologis in 2011.

After the early success of AMB Property, Burke and his partners were not done, and they founded IHP Capital, the home building finance giant, in 1992. Through the 1990s, Burke held positions as the chairman of PREA and as a board member for NAREIT, and AMB Property went public in 1997. Burke retired from AMB in 2000, but stayed on the REIT’s board until 2011.

After cofounding Metropolitan in 2002, Burke remained with the company until last year, when it was acquired by The Carlyle Group.

“My time with Metropolitan was terrific,” Burke says. “When we started, there were three of us, and when we sold the company 11 years later, we had $3.5 billion or more under management and about 20 funds of funds investing all over the world.”

Burke was proud to add that Metropolitan will continue as a part of Carlyle, and that all of his partners have gone over to Carlyle where they continue to run the business today.

“I’ve had the opportunity to be a very active participant in the industry,” Burke adds. “And I’ve also had the opportunity to work with some terrific partners, most of whom are still running the businesses we started over the years, so I feel very fortunate.”

Burke does remain on the board and investment committee of IHP Capital and has retained a financial stake and personal interest in IHP, Prologis and Metropolitan. Additionally, Burke has been actively volunteering with Stanford University, University of California San Francisco and with Harvard, where his wife is an alumna.

Burke says he is most excited to spend time with his wife and five children.

“I couldn’t be happier,” Burke concludes. “I have three different business which I helped start and I have a financial stake in, a wonderful wife, and five children spanning from age 15 to age 45, so … well, I’m a happy camper.”

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