November – Briefs/People

Changes at the Top at Related Cos.; First Potomac Names Blocher CFO; IPA Appoints Murdy National Director; Avison Young Buys Starrpoint Commercial, Opens Third L.A. Office; NGKF Promotes Wootten to Executive Managing Director; Witte Named Senior Managing Director at Hines; Voit Hires SoCal Regional Director; Prudential Mortgage Capital Expands M-F Team.

Changes at the Top at Related Cos.

Stephen Ross, founder of Related Cos., has stepped out of his CEO shoes and into the role of executive chairman. Ross will continue to spearhead global business strategy and will remain in charge of the multibillion-dollar Hudson Yards mixed-use endeavor in Manhattan. The move, which comes 40 years after Ross established the company, is followed by other big leadership changes.

Jeff Blau, president and 22-year veteran at the company, will become the new CEO. He will be tasked will managing the company, pursuing new development opportunities and overseeing corporate acquisitions and financing activities. He will have help from Bruce Beal, formerly executive vice president, who was pushed up the ladder to the position of president. Additionally, Kenneth Wong moved from vice chairman to COO & director of international development.

First Potomac Names Blocher CFO

Office and industrial owner First Potomac Realty Trust has appointed Andrew Blocker as executive vice president & CFO. In his new role, Blocher will oversee the accounting, capital markets, investor relations, corporate communications and information technology functions. Blocher comes to First Potomac Realty Trust with more than 20 years of finance and capital markets experience, including 15 years in the public REIT sector. He recently served as senior vice president & CFO for Federal Realty Investment Trust.

IPA Appoints Murdy National Director

Institutional Property Advisors has named Brian Murdy national director. He comes to the firm, a multi-family brokerage division of Marcus & Millichap, from Cornerstone Real Estate Advisers, where he served as a portfolio manager. Murdy is a 28-year veteran of the institutional multi-family investment industry and had been with Cornerstone since 1999. He is a board member of the National Multi-Housing Council, a member of the Pension Real Estate Association and a Certified Public Accountant.

Avison Young Buys Starrpoint Commercial, Opens Third L.A. Office

Avison Young has acquired Starrpoint Commercial Partners Inc., a full-service commercial real estate brokerage firm that specializes in the Santa Monica submarket of L.A. The change in ownership brings Randy Starr (the Santa Monica company’s founder & CEO) and Tim Dornan (its principal) into Avison Young’s L.A.-area operations. Starr was named a principal of Avison Young and will lead the company’s expansion in the Silicon Beach area of West L.A. Dorman joins as a vice president for the region.

NGKF Promotes Wootten to Executive Managing Director

Thomas Wootten has been named an executive managing director of Newmark Grubb Knight Frank Global Corporate Services. Wootten, who is based in the company’s Denver office, represents national and international clients and specializes in corporate dispositions, asset monetization and financial optimization. He previously served as in-house director of real estate with responsibility for the full regional real estate portfolio of AT&T Broadband/MediaOne and also managed the global portfolio of StorageTek.

Witte Named Senior Managing Director at Hines

Hines has promoted Rob Witte from vice president to senior managing director of the firm’s Dallas office, working out of Chase Tower. Witte joined the company in 1993 and has worked on the development and repositioning of several office assets, including Computer Associates Plaza (Plano), Greenspoint Plaza (Houston) and the Baylor College of Medicine (Houston). Witte’s promotion will now give him oversight of Hines’ Southwest regional land platform, which encompasses more than 2,700 acres. The platform develops single-family lots for private and public homebuilders, and is active throughout Texas and Colorado.

Voit Hires SoCal Regional Director

Voit has named Joe Newman regional director of asset services for Southern California. In his new role, he is tasked with overseeing the company’s asset services operations in Orange County, Los Angeles, San Diego and the Inland Empire. Prior to joining Voit, Newman served as director of CBRE Group Inc.’s San Diego asset services division and downtown brokerage office, where he led a 50-person team that managed a portfolio of 16.5 million square feet throughout San Diego County.

Prudential Mortgage Capital Expands M-F Team

Prudential Mortgage Capital Co. has expanded its multi-family team, naming Patrick McAllister and Laurie Morfin directors of multi-family originations. McAllister, based in the company’s San Francisco office, and Morfin, based in a new Carlsbad, Calif., office, are tasked with originating loans nationally on behalf of the company’s agency lending business, which includes Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. Both hires come from Wells Fargo Multifamily Capital, where they were both directors and originators.

Smith Named Managing Director of Hudson Realty Capital

Geoffrey Smith has been named a managing director of Manhattan-based Hudson Realty Capital L.L.C. In his new role, Smith has been tasked with expanding the firm’s lending platform to include more conventional senior and subordinate loans on both transitional and stabilized commercial real estate. Prior to joining Hudson, Smith was managing director of Natixis North America L.L.C. As a senior manager for the U.S. Real Estate Finance Group, he was involved in the development of the company’s structured balance sheet and permanent lending program. Smith previously held similar positions with Morgan Stanley, JP Morgan and Nomura Securities.