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ATLANTA-Beefing up its acquisitions division at the half-way mark of a $2.5-billion purchasing goal this year, Wells Real Estate Funds hired industry veteran Donald Miller as chief real estate officer.

Miller comes to Wells from Atlanta-based Lend Lease Corp. where he ran that firm’s real estate operations and earlier directed Lend Lease’s Midwest region and hotel investment group. In his 16-year professional career, Miller worked at Texas-based Prentiss Properties Realty Advisors and Delta Air Lines’ pension investment management division.

At Wells, Miller will direct the REIT’s acquisitions, dispositions, property management, construction and leasing groups. Terms of his contract were not disclosed in a prepared statement from Wells founder and president Leo F. Wells III.

“(Miller’s) perspective will reinforce and drive our dedicated team of real estate professionals to continue providing quality income to our investors through creditworthy tenants in quality, class-A office and industrial properties,” Wells says.

Miller says joining Wells at this time is “a perfect fit for my family and me.”

In its race to complete a targeted $2.5 billion in 2003 acquisitions, Wells has purchased $900 million in properties this year. In its three investment products, Wells manages more than $3 billion in assets for 100,000 investors nationwide, the company says. The investment vehicles are the Wells REIT, the Wells S&P REIT Index Fund and the Wells limited partnerships.

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