ROCKVILLE, Md., Aug. 20, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- The Board of Trustees of Washington Real Estate Investment Trust (WRIT) (NYSE:WRE) today announced the appointment of Paul T. McDermott as the company's new President and Chief Executive Officer. He will also serve on the WRIT Board of Trustees. Mr. McDermott will succeed George F. "Skip" McKenzie, who has served as President and CEO of WRIT since 2007. In January 2013, Mr. McKenzie announced his intention to retire pending the appointment of a successor.
Mr. McDermott comes to WRIT from The Rockefeller Group, a wholly owned subsidiary of Mitsubishi Estate Co., Ltd., where he served as Senior Vice President and Managing Director and headed up the domestic acquisitions team for Rockefeller Group Investment Management Corp., the investment management arm of this leading developer, owner and operator of global real estate. His responsibilities also included product development and portfolio strategy, as well as interfacing with private equity clients."We are pleased to have found an exceptional individual to assume leadership of WRIT as its fourth CEO in a 53-year history," said Charles T. "Tuck" Nason, Chairman of the WRIT Board of Trustees. "Paul not only has a deep knowledge of our industry and the DC regional market, but he also brings a broad skill set to the table. He has experience in all aspects of commercial real estate, in all asset classes WRIT owns and in capital markets, as well as strong institutional relationships and a background in risk management. We believe he is uniquely qualified to lead WRIT successfully into the future and to build value for our shareholders over the long term." A native of the region, Mr. McDermott has been based in Washington, DC throughout his entire 29-year career. Prior to joining The Rockefeller Group, he served from 2006 to 2010 as Principal and Chief Transaction Officer at PNC Realty Investors, where he led the company's acquisition, disposition, development and capital markets efforts nationally, across multiple asset classes. Between 2002 and 2006, he held two primary officer roles at Freddie Mac – Chief Credit Officer of the Multifamily Division and Head of Multifamily Structured Finance and Affordable Housing. From 1997 to 2002, he served as Head of the Washington, DC Region for Lend Lease Real Estate Investments, then the largest real estate advisory firm in the nation. Age 51, Mr. McDermott holds a BS in Business Administration from Shepherd University and an MBA in Finance from American University. The appointment follows an extensive search process conducted by Ferguson Partners Ltd., a leading executive search firm. "Paul was the top choice from a group of highly qualified candidates," said John P. McDaniel, Chairman of the Board's CEO Search Committee. "He possesses the critical leadership attributes we identified as part of our selection process – strong DC real estate experience, substantial experience in a variety of disciplines and the ability to lead an integrated, diversified public REIT." "It is an honor to be joining this storied franchise," said Mr. McDermott. "I look forward to working with a dedicated employee base to enhance WRIT's value proposition by expanding the 'Live, Work, Shop' strategy and continuing to enhance the quality of the portfolio – in order to drive value creation for our shareholders."