"I probably couldn't leave the company at a better time or inbetter hands," Thompson tells GlobeSt.com. He says it's too earlyto say specifically what he will be doing in the real estate world,other than to comment, "I'm a real estate guy, and I will continueto be doing real estate investments. I have a lot of differentoptions that I'm weighing right now."

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Thompson became chairman of Grubb & Ellis on Dec. 7 lastyear when the Grubb & Ellis merger with NNN Realty Advisors wascompleted. Grubb & Ellis has named independent director GlennL. Carpenter as nonexecutive chairman of the board, meaning a boardchairman who is not a part of the company's executive managementteam.

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Carpenter, who has served on Grubb & Ellis' board since themerger with NNN, served on the board of NNN Realty Advisors sinceits formation in November 2006. Since August 2001 he has served asCEO of Newport Beach-based senior housing specialist FountainGlenProperties, and before that he served from 1994 to 2001 as the CEOand founder of Pacific Gulf Properties, a public industrial andapartment REIT. From 1970 to 1994, Carpenter served as CEO and inother posts at Santa Anita Realty Enterprises, a public REIT thatowned and managed a variety of property types.

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Although NNN and Grubb & Ellis have only recently merged,Thompson says that the relationship between the two companies goesmuch farther back. "I began talking with some folks at Grubb &Ellis about the possibilities as early as the spring of 2001," thedeparting chairman recalls.

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Scott Peters, CEO of Grubb & Ellis, comments that Thompsonwas "hugely helpful in the effort to merge the Grubb & Ellisand NNN Realty Advisors platforms." Peters called Thompson "anacknowledged visionary in our sector of the real estate investmentuniverse, having led us to transaction volumes of over $8.5billion."

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Thompson formed Triple Net Properties LLC in 1998, and thecompany quickly became a leader in the 1031 exchange andtenant-in-common markets. Through the years, Thompson expandedTriple Net's reach, creating a broker-dealer network through NNNCapital Corp., launching several public offerings for nontradedREITs, then reorganizing Triple Net and NNN Capital Corp. in 2006to create NNN Realty Advisors Inc. NNN raised $160 million in acommon stock offering before the combination with Grubb &Ellis, by which time NNN Realty Advisors and its predecessors hadplaced nearly $3 billion in investor funds in a variety of realestate investments.

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