May – Briefs/People

Boston Properties Taps Lehman’s Thomas as CEO; Duncan to Retire from USAA Real Estate Co.; Kilroy Chairman Hands Reins to Son; Fascitelli Resigns as Vornado CEO; Crescent Names Sustainability Director; Centerline Promotes Levy to CEO; Hirsch to Head CMBS at Arbor; Related Names Jacobsson EVP; Cantor Commercial Names Milner Head of Investment Management.

Boston Properties Taps Lehman’s Thomas as CEO

Owen Thomas

Boston Properties has taken a major step in its leadership succession plan with the selection of Owen Thomas as the REIT’s new CEO. Thomas, former chairman of the board of Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc., officially stepped into the shoes occupied by Boston Properties co-founder & executive chairman Mortimer Zuckerman on April 2.

Thomas has more than a quarter-century of experience under his belt. At Lehman, he helped spearhead the $15 billion sale of the Lehman-owned Archstone Enterprise L.P. to Equity Residential and AvalonBay Communities Inc. Prior to joining Lehman Brothers’ successor company in 2012, Thomas spent 14 years at Morgan Stanley occupying different roles, including those of president of Morgan Stanley Investment Management and managing director & head of Morgan Stanley Real Estate.

Duncan to Retire from USAA Real Estate Co.

Patrick Duncan, CEO of USAA Real Estate Co., retires from his position May 1. He will pass the torch to current president & COO Len O’Donnell. Duncan became CEO of USAA Real Estate Co. at the beginning of 2006 and has been instrumental in taking the company’s portfolio of assets under management from approximately $3.5 billion to $12 billion. O’Donnell has held his current positions since February 2011, when he joined the company with 25 years of real estate industry experience culled from his roles as president & CEO of Crimson Capital Ltd. and principal & chief investment officer at Crimson Real Estate Fund.

Kilroy Chairman Hands Reins to Son

John Kilroy Sr., founder & chairman of Kilroy Realty Corp., has retired. His son, John Kilroy Jr., has replaced him as the head of the company. Kilroy Sr. founded the company’s predecessor, Kilroy Industries, in 1947 and has served as the REIT’s chairman since its IPO in 1997. Kilroy Jr. has run the day-to-day aspects of the business since 1981 and has been its president, CEO & a director since its incorporation in September 1996. He was the obvious choice when the board met to announce Kilroy Sr.’s replacement earlier this year, having led its private predecessor  in a similar capacity.

Fascitelli Resigns as Vornado CEO

Michael Fascitelli resigned as president & CEO of Vornado Realty Trust. Steven Roth, the REIT’s chairman, will be taking the CEO spot. Fascitelli joined Vornado 16 years ago as president & trustee. He became CEO in May 2009, taking over from Roth, who had served as CEO since May 1989. Fascitelli will continue to serve on the board of trustees and will maintain an office in Vornado’s Manhattan location.

 Crescent Names Sustainability Director

Jenny Vallimont has been named director of innovation and sustainability at Crescent Resources. She will work to bring sustainable design and development approaches to the firm’s multi-family, residential and commercial businesses. Vallimont was formerly vice president & sustainability manager with Bank of America. Prior to that time, she served as manager of sustainability with Crosland L.L.C., where she also worked as an in-house LEED consultant.

Centerline Promotes Levy to CEO

Centerline Capital Group has promoted Robert Levy to CEO. He will also remain president. Levy was previously the president & COO of Centerline and a member of the board of Centerline’s parent company, Centerline Holding Co. He assumed the roles of president & COO in 2010 while retaining his previous title of CFO. In 2012, the CFO post was turned over to Michael Larson. The COO position will remain vacant. Levy joined Centerline in 2001 as a director of capital markets. From 1998 to 2001, he was vice president in the real estate research and investment banking departments at Robertson Stephens. Prior to that time, he worked at Prudential Securities in the real estate equity research group.

Hirsch to Head CMBS at Arbor

Arbor Commercial Mortgage L.L.C. has appointed Todd Hirsch as executive vice president & head of CMBS finance and distribution—a post that will have him overseeing Arbor’s national CMBS origination platform. Hirsch comes to the firm from Credit Suisse, where he most recently served as managing director & head of the European finance group. Prior to that post, his Credit Suisse titles included director & managing director of U.S. CMBS, vice president & director of the real estate group, and principal of the transactions group. Hirsch is based in Arbor’s New York office.

Related Names Jacobsson EVP

John Jacobsson has been named executive vice president at The Related Cos. The newly created position will have Jacobsson pursuing new investment and business opportunities and building upon Related’s existing global institutional investor community. Prior to joining Related, Jacobsson was a partner at AREA Property Partners, which he joined when it was founded in 1993 as Apollo Real Estate Advisors. He started his real estate career in 1990 as a member of the acquisitions group of Trammell Crow Ventures in Dallas.

Cantor Commercial Names Milner Head of Investment Management

Cantor Commercial Real Estate has appointed Chris Milner head of investment management. He has more than 20 years of experience in real estate debt, equity and capital markets. The new role will task Milner with leading all investment management activity, reporting to CEO Anthony Orso. Prior to joining Cantor, Milner spent 14 years at BlackRock Inc., where he co-founded its commercial real estate debt business.