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Did You Hear? CBRE Promotes Two to Vice Chairman

A Daily Look at the Movers and Shakers in Commercial Real Estate
October 4, 2018

Chris Bosworth and Will Pike

CBRE has named two partners in its net-leased properties group to vice chairmen, including the first-ever retail capital markets broker to earn the title.

The Los Angeles-based global services firm this week promoted Chris Bosworth and Will Pike. Both co-lead a practice group that provides net-lease investors with advice on acquisitions and dispositions of single-tenant assets and national net-lease portfolios. Its work typically includes transactions such as helping a company sell and then lease back an office tower or selling a portfolio of Walgreens locations.

Bosworth specializes in net-lease retail deals and is the first producer in CBRE’s retail capital markets group to reach the level of vice chairman. He joined CBRE in 1999 and is a founding member of its net-lease practice.

Pike, who splits his business between office and retail net-lease properties and his time between Atlanta and New York, becomes the third-youngest CBRE broker to earn the title. Now 37, he joined CBRE in 2004, around the same time the net-lease business took off as technology enabled their team to conduct net-lease transactions across the U.S. and in Canada and Mexico, Pike said.

Pike attributes his and Bosworth’s success to their team’s execution, expertise and work ethic. “We do what we say we’re going to do. We return everyone’s call every day,” he said. “I know that might seem trivial, but you’d be surprised.”

Pike and Bosworth also invest the time to educate investors on the net-lease market. Pike recently traveled to Mexico City, where he conducted a roadshow to talk about net-lease opportunities with investors.

Back in the U.S., as the economy continues to expand, both job creation and investor interest in real estate continue to increase. “This environment accelerates our ability to source aggressive sale-leaseback financing on behalf of both domestic and global companies,” he said.

In their careers, Bosworth and Pike combined have executed over $16 billion worth of assignments involving more than 2,600 properties, including $682 million in sale-leaseback transactions for Bloomin’ Brands, owner of Outback Steakhouse, Carrabba’s Italian Grill and Bonefish Grill. In 2016, Bosworth and Pike placed in the top 1 percent of CBRE producers overall, based on transaction volume.

Did you know?  Pike’s wife Kristen owns a large travel company and brings her husband on her trips once or twice a year. His favorite destination? Italy.

PPM Hires Blackstone Exec to Help Expand

PPM America, a Chicago-based investment management firm, has tapped an executive from a leading asset management firm to help attract institutional investor clients.

PPM hired Mark Kramer as a managing director. Kramer joins PPM from BlackRock, the world’s leading asset firm with about $6.3 trillion of assets under management, where he served as a director of commercial real estate debt.

Kramer is an important addition as PPM expands its offerings that historically have focused on investments in senior loans, said Kent Born, senior managing director and head of commercial real estate at PPM. “Mark joins us at a pivotal time as we continue our expansion plans to extend the firm’s offerings to institutional investors in the U.S.,” Born said.

Kramer said he’s confident his experience will help PPM expand into higher-yield investments, including subordinate debt and stretch senior loans, a hybrid debt tool consisting of asset-based and cash-flow loans.

Kramer has 18 years of experience in real estate investment. Prior to working at BlackRock, Kramer was a lead analyst at Merrill Lynch, now a wealth management division of Bank of America.

more moves

ElmTree Promotes Gawrych to CFO

ElmTree Funds LLC, a real estate private equity firm, promoted Kerry Gawrych to chief financial officer, effective immediately.

Gawrych, who joined ElmTree as controller in 2015, now leads all of the firm’s accounting, financial reporting and analysis and administration departments. Based in the firm’s St. Louis headquarters, Gawrych will continue to serve on ElmTree’s compliance committee.

Prior to joining ElmTree, Gawrych served as controller and director of accounting for Koch Development Co. and has held leadership positions at TH Realty, John Buck Co. and General Growth Properties, now Brookfield Properties Retail Group.

The firm also hired Annie Hsieh as executive vice president. Based in ElmTree’s New York City office, Hsieh will lead its capital-raising efforts and investor relations.

Walker & Dunlop Ramps Up Senior Housing Group

Walker & Dunlop, a commercial real estate services and financing company, sees even greater potential in senior housing and has added an expert to help it grow that part of its business.

The Bethesda, Maryland-based firm hired Michael Davis as senior vice president in its FHA Finance Group. In this role, Davis will be responsible for the origination of multifamily loans through lending programs offered by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. He will focus on the financing of senior housing and healthcare projects.

In 2017, Walker & Dunlop was the fourth-largest HUD lender, having originated $1.4 billion in HUD loans. That represented a 54-percent increase from 2016 in its HUD loans.

Based in the firm’s Charlotte, North Carolina, office, Davis joined Walker & Dunlop from Silver Leaf Partners, where he served as principal role in sourcing debt and equity for real estate. He has nearly 30 years' experience in the business.

Eastdil’s Kennedy Leaves for Cousins

Kennedy Hicks, a rising investment sales star in Eastdil Secured’s Atlanta office, is moving on.

This week, Hicks bolted for Cousins Properties, an Atlanta-based real estate investment trust. Cousins confirmed that Hicks will join the REIT as senior vice president of investments, but declined to say much more. Kennedy did not immediately reply to emails seeking comment about what she’ll do at Cousins or why she left Eastdil Secured.

Hicks leaves Eastdil Secured at the same time as her boss, Managing Director Michael McDonald. McDonald is moving to Dallas, where he’ll be a vice chairman at Cushman & Wakefield.

Did You Hear? is a new column focusing on real estate's movers and shakers. Send new executive hires and promotion announcements to  |  Check out yesterday's issue of Did You Hear? and follow the news on Twitter @TheCoStarGroup and @TWilbert.

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