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There has been a lot of talk recently about the public-to-private REIT trend. The latest news, of course, was Glenborough Realty Trust going to Morgan Stanley later this year, and more REITs will likely say goodbye to Wall Street as this current cycle plays out. There is the obvious chatter that the sales were precipitated by the executive teams’ frustration with public-market scrutiny and the time it takes to run a public company, which often has little to do with the real estate business. In my view, these deals are all about economics, not investor relations. To reinforce my point, an interesting by-product of these transactions is the freeing-up of senior talent with valuable experience running a real estate company and dealing with the unique challenges of being public. REIT teams have gone though an evolution, from private entrepreneurs to more management-intensive, public-focused organizations. Along the way, the executive teams have gained the experience, skills and talent necessary to succeed in the public arena. Instead of fleeing back into the private side, these individuals are a hot commodity who are being–or will ultimately be–lured back into the public domain.

Tony LoPinto is CEO of Equinox Partners, an executive search firm specializing in the real estate industry, and parent company of SelectLeaders.

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