SOURCE: Wood Partners

Wood Partners

April 09, 2010 12:54 ET

Wood Partners Announces Leadership Changes

One of the Country's Largest Multifamily Developers Has Made Changes to Its Upper Ranks, With Ryan L. Dearborn Taking Over as CEO and Joseph Keough as COO

ATLANTA, GA--(Marketwire - April 9, 2010) -   Wood Partners, L.L.C., one of the nation's largest multifamily real estate companies, announced today the promotion of Ryan L. Dearborn to the position of Chief Executive Officer, with Joseph Keough adding the role of Chief Operating Officer to his Chief Financial Officer duties.

Dearborn, formerly president of Wood's west division, takes over CEO responsibilities of the company from Jerry Durkin, who remains as Chairman of the Board. The moves were part of a succession plan laid out in 2005. "We are all very excited over the shifts to our leadership. It comes at a time when things are turning around for the market and Wood Partners is ready to reassert itself as a leader in the multifamily industry," said Dearborn. "Jerry will be missed when he steps back from the front lines, but we'll continue to rely on his industry connections and strategic guidance as we move forward."

Durkin will continue to be a very active leader in the company as he pursues capital sources and business opportunities for Wood. He contributed greatly to the founding and success of the company and plans to stay involved as it enters a second decade.

Joe Keough's new role as COO will also give the company more efficiency as his talent and experience will help drive an aggressive push in the new real estate cycle.

Wood Partners is majority owned by real estate fund CB Richard Ellis Strategic Partners U.S. Opportunity 5, L.P. (Strategic Fund 5). Strategic Fund 5 is sponsored by CB Richard Ellis Investors (CBREI), LLC, the global investment subsidiary of CB Richard Ellis, Inc. CBREI has over $35 billion in assets under management. "We are very proud of our partnership with CBREI and believe that it is a strong combination of real estate forces," said Dearborn.

"We very much look forward to getting back on offense. Our goals are modest this year, but as everything comes into place we expect to make a great push in the coming years," Dearborn said. "Supply and demand drivers never looked better -- given the lack of new construction in recent years -- and the economy is showing signs of a sustainable recovery."

On the capital front, Keough says steady improvements in the capital markets are materializing with non-banking institutions like insurance companies increasingly offering competitive debt products -- for both new construction and stabilized properties. In addition, the acquisition market has improved drastically over the last few quarters increasing the value of Wood's existing portfolio of nearly 15,000 units. "We are steadily improving the quality of our balance sheet as we move to position ourselves to take full advantage of the turning real estate cycle," Keough said.

Wood Partners successfully launched acquisition and property management platforms last fall to strengthen its strategic position, diversify its revenue sources and more aggressively build its portfolio. In 2010, the company has again started putting shovels in the dirt and by mid-year will have started six new development projects across the country including starts in Oakland, Calif.; Boston, Mass.; Denver, Colo.; Atlanta, GA; the Carolinas and Washington D.C.

Special emphasis will be placed on workforce housing, said Dearborn, which will meet the tremendous need for affordable homes in major cities and help Wood Partners retain its seasoned construction staff until the market fully recovers.

"Everything is falling into place -- both the economy and the market are headed upward - and the time is right. These leadership changes enhance our position and plans for the coming years," said Dearborn.

About CEO Ryan Dearborn

As CEO of Wood Partners, Ryan Dearborn is responsible for the firms overall operations and performance. He was promoted to that position after having served as president of Wood's west division, with oversight of the multifamily development operations of Wood Partners in Texas, Colorado, Arizona, Utah, Nevada, California, Oregon, and Washington. Since joining Wood Partners, Mr. Dearborn has been a principal in the financing and development of over $2 billion of multifamily communities totaling over 15,000 units in the Southeastern and Southwestern United States. 

Mr. Dearborn came to Wood Partners, in 1998, as a Director in development after having served as a Development Partner in Trammell Crow Residential's (TCR) South Division. During his tenure with TCR, he was involved with the financing, development, construction, and/or asset management of over 2,500 multifamily and hotel units in Atlanta. 

Prior to graduate school, Mr. Dearborn worked for four years in operations at Avalon Properties, Inc. (formerly TCR-Mid Atlantic). He also worked in the Real Estate Advisory Group of Alex Brown Kleinwort Benson. 

Mr. Dearborn holds an MBA degree from the University of North Carolina's Kenan-Flagler Business School, where he received a Pension Real Estate Association (PREA) fellowship, a Master of Science degree in Real Estate from Johns Hopkins University, and a BA degree from the University of Maryland. He currently serves on the ULI Multifamily Council and on the University of Maryland Board of Trustees.

About CFO & COO Joseph Keough

Joseph Keough joined Wood Partners in 2008 as Chief Financial Officer, and now holds the additional title of COO. Before joining Wood Partners, Mr. Keough acted as the Chief Operating Officer of Fuqua Capital where he was responsible for the day-to-day management of the Fuqua's family office operations, as well as defining and implementing the firm's investment strategy across asset classes.

Mr. Keough has also served as the CFO of Weeks-Robinson, an operating company of Fuqua Capital. Weeks-Robinson focuses on industrial and office development and acquisition in high-growth Sunbelt markets.

Prior to joining Fuqua Capital, Mr. Keough served as the Senior Vice President, Development and Investment Strategy, in the office/multifamily division at Cousins Properties, a publicly-traded REIT.

Mr. Keough is a Certified Management Accountant and earned his MBA from Harvard Business School. He received his BS degree in Finance and Economics from Babson College.

About Wood Partners

Wood Partners is a national multifamily real estate company that acquires, develops, constructs and property manages high density and mixed-use communities. Through quality construction, responsible land development and intelligent design, its communities reflect the aesthetic and social fabric of the community and provide a luxurious living experience at a fair price. The company has been involved in the development of more than 36,000 homes with a combined value of more than $4.5 billion. It currently has offices and projects in Arizona, California, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Maryland, Massachusetts, Nevada, North Carolina, South Carolina, Texas, and Virginia, To learn more about Wood Partners, please visit www.woodpartners.com.

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