Stars to Watch 2014: Nikita Rao

Vice President of Asset Management, Federal Capital Partners

Greatest Accomplishments: Designed and implemented FCP’s customized proprietary asset management system. Leased up and then oversaw the 2012 sale of the Allegro luxury apartment building in downtown Washington, D.C. (purchased out of foreclosure in 2009), one of the most lucrative sales in the company’s history and regionally recognized as one of the top deals of the last several years. Before joining FCP, managed a portfolio of 20 assets valued at $1.8 billion for The Carlyle Group.

Best Advice Received: Ed Mathias, managing director of The Carlyle Group, had the office next door to her. He encouraged her to stick to what she was passionate about and never settle. She turned down outside industry recruiting efforts and stayed in real estate as a result.

Secrets to Success: Time management, prioritizing and uber-efficiency. “I try to focus on the ultimate goal and determine the necessary steps needed to execute quickly and efficiently.”

Greatest Challenges:  The sale of the Allegro, which involved navigating Washington’s complex TOPA legislation. The law gives residents the right to purchase an asset if it’s placed on the market. “It can cause a lot of problems when your team knows that you’re about to exit and you have to keep the folks on site happy, keep the place occupied and keep NOI up, as well as continuing to work on the transaction.”

Advice to Others: “If you work hard and surround yourself with those that you aspire to be, you’ll get to where you need to be. A lot of times people are so focused on what’s going on that they lose focus of what their goals are.”

What Others Say About Her: “Nikita is smart, resourceful, driven and always delightful to work alongside. Her personality and work ethic enhance the daily performance of all FCP team members,” said Lacy Rice, managing partner at FCP.

—Leah Etling

More details on the accomplishments of CPE’s 2014 Stars to Watch appeared in the January 2014 issue.