Publications

- June 1, 2017: Vol. 29, Number 6

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Passing the baton: Real estate firms develop succession plans to address leadership changes head-on

by Andrea Waitrovich

1 When leadership changes occur — planned or not — a firm’s culture and management of the transition determine the future of a company for its investors, its employees and its successor-owners. The loss of a founder can be significant and dramatic, but companies can plan in advance how to address a leadership change. Real estate is an industry reliant on relationships, which could be one of the reasons why implementing a succession plan is a little bit more challenging. Many investment decisions are a result of deep personal relationships cultivated over many years. In addition, changes of key personnel may cause an institutional investor to place an investment manager on a watchlist for further review. This makes the transfer of power to the next generation of leadership more difficult and complex. “With clear planning, communication and objectives set out prior to any succession taking place, the next generation of leaders can effectively manage this transition

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