Berkshire Group Announces Formation of Board of Directors and Promotion of New CEO to Position Company for Future Growth

Boston | Thursday, October 02, 2014

Berkshire Taps Leading Industry Executives to Oversee Strategic Direction of
Multifamily-Focused Real Estate Investment Management Company

Chuck Leitner Promoted to Chief Executive Officer

BOSTON, MA – OCTOBER 1, 2014 – Berkshire Group, a real estate investment management company known for its vertically-integrated business model and experience in the multifamily sector, today announced the formation of a new Board of Directors to oversee the strategic direction of the Company, and the promotion of Chuck Leitner to the role of Chief Executive Officer.

Formation of Board of Directors

The six-member Board of Directors is comprised of both inside and independent directors with extensive experience leading and growing real estate investment management organizations.

The Board includes George Krupp, Co-Founder and Chairman, Berkshire Group; Douglas Krupp, Co-Founder and Vice Chairman, Berkshire Group; Chuck Leitner, Partner and Chief Executive Officer, Berkshire Group; Joseph Azrack, Principal Owner, Azrack & Company and Senior Advisor to Apollo Global Management; C. Ronald Blankenship, Member of the boards of Regency Centers Corporation, Pacolet-Milliken Enterprises Inc., and Carefree Communities; and Jeanne Myerson, President and Chief Executive Officer, The Swig Company.

“The formation of this Board is crucial to the continuing evolution of Berkshire Group as a multi-initiative real estate investment management company with a fully-integrated platform,” said George Krupp, Co-Founder and Chairman, Berkshire Group. “Berkshire has over four decades of experience, and a team of industry veterans with a reputation for finding opportunity and effectively managing through various economic environments for investors.  The appointment of these Directors will enhance this experience, as they oversee the ongoing strategic direction of the Company.”

“Each Director has an extensive track record in managing, growing, and leading major institutional real estate investment organizations,” said Chuck Leitner. “We believe the combined experience of this Board will benefit Berkshire as we continue to grow and further develop our capabilities as a real estate investment manager.”

Chuck Leitner Promoted to Chief Executive Officer
Berkshire Group also announced today that Mr. Leitner has been promoted to the role of Chief Executive Officer.  He succeeds George Krupp, who is assuming the role of Chairman of the Board.  Douglas Krupp will assume the role of Vice Chairman of the Board.  Mr. Leitner previously held the role of President, which he assumed in October 2013.

In his role as Chief Executive Officer, Mr. Leitner will lead Berkshire and work closely with the senior leadership team to execute the Company’s business strategy. 

“Since becoming President, Chuck has provided exceptional leadership in the refinement and execution of Berkshire’s long-term strategic plan,” said George Krupp. “I have great confidence in Chuck assuming the helm of our Company. He is a seasoned veteran with experience leading global investment management and real estate organizations. His appointment as Chief Executive Officer continues our legacy of solid stewardship. I look forward to the further evolution of Berkshire under Chuck and the rest of the leadership team.”

Berkshire Group Board of Directors Bios

George Krupp is Co-Founder and Chairman of Berkshire Group.  Mr. Krupp has been responsible for the strategic direction of Berkshire since its inception as the Krupp Companies in 1969. Under his leadership, and together with his brother Douglas Krupp, Berkshire has become a national multifamily industry leader. Notable successes of Berkshire under his tenure include: taking three companies public, raising over $5.6 billion of capital and originating approximately $22.3 billion of mortgage loans; the founding of Berkshire Mortgage Finance, L.P., one of the nation’s largest multifamily loan originators; and the launch of Berkshire’s institutional funds business in 2005, which has successfully sponsored three commingled funds and two separate accounts. He also previously served as Director and Chairman of Berkshire Income Realty, Inc. Mr. Krupp attended the University of Pennsylvania and Harvard University Extension Schools and holds a Master’s degree in History from Brown University.

Douglas Krupp is Co-Founder and Vice Chairman of Berkshire Group. Mr. Krupp, together with his brother George, has established Berkshire as a national multifamily real estate investment management company, investing over $11 billion in equity and $22 billion in debt transactions, and building one of the largest DUS multifamily lending companies in the nation, Berkshire Mortgage, L.P. Mr. Krupp has also chaired three publicly-traded multifamily funds: Berkshire Realty Income, Inc., a public REIT later taken private in a partnership with Goldman Sachs and Blackstone; Berkshire Income Realty, Inc., a privately-owned REIT with public debt; and Harborside Healthcare, a publicly-traded national nursing home company. Mr. Krupp chairs Berkshire Realty Ventures, which focuses on entity-level investments in real estate-related operating companies. Mr. Krupp holds both an undergraduate degree and an honorary Doctorate of Science in Business Administration from Bryant College.

Chuck Leitner is Partner and Chief Executive Officer of Berkshire Group, responsible for overseeing the Company's operations and investment activity. Mr. Leitner most recently served as Chairman and CEO of the ULI Greenprint Center for Building Performance, and as a member of the advisory board for SVP Global, a hedge fund manager specializing in distressed debt investments. Earlier, Mr. Leitner spent 24 years at RREEF, a global real estate investment management business and a division of Deutsche Asset Management, serving in a variety of roles, including Global Head of RREEF (Chief Executive Officer) and Chairman. Prior to RREEF, Mr. Leitner held positions in real estate investment and finance with GE Capital in Chicago and TIAA/CREF in New York. Mr. Leitner received a Bachelor of Arts in Urban Studies from the University of Pennsylvania. Mr. Leitner is a trustee for the Urban Land Institute (ULI).

Joseph Azrack is currently the principal owner of Azrack & Company, and Senior Advisor to Apollo Global Management. He is the Founder, past Chairman, and Managing Partner of Apollo Global Real Estate. Prior to joining Apollo, Mr. Azrack was President and CEO of Citi Property Investors (CPI). Before CPI, he was Chief Executive and Chairman of AEW Capital Management, L.P., Founder and President of the AEW Partners Funds, a Director of Curzon Global Partners, and Founder and Chairman of AEW Europe. Mr. Azrack holds an M.B.A. from Columbia University and a B.S. from Villanova University. He is an adjunct professor at Columbia University’s Graduate School of Business. He is currently the Chairman of Apollo Commercial Real Estate Finance (NYSE: ARI) and a Director of Atrium European Real Estate Ltd. (Vienna: ATRS). Mr. Azrack is a member and past Chairman of the Pension Real Estate Association, and is also Treasurer and Director of the Urban Land Institute.

C. Ronald Blankenship has over 40 years of real estate experience and has extensive knowledge of the REIT industry, including cross-border experience. Mr. Blankenship was previously Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Verde Realty. Prior to Verde, he was Vice Chairman and Chief Operating Officer of Security Capital Group Incorporated, later sold to GE Capital Corporation. Earlier in his career, Ron held senior leadership positions with Archstone Inc., Trammel Crow Company, Mischer Investments, Heritage Mortgage Company, and Peat, Marwick, Mitchell & Co. Mr. Blankenship is a certified public accountant and a graduate of the University of Texas. He currently sits on the boards of Regency Centers Corporation, Pacolet-Milliken Enterprises Inc., and Carefree Communities.

Jeanne Myerson is currently President and Chief Executive Officer of The Swig Company, a national commercial real estate investment company. She was previously President and Chief Executive Officer of the Bailard, Biehl & Kaiser Real Estate Investment Trust. Earlier in her career, she held positions with NeXT Computer, Inc., and Metropolitan Life Real Estate Investments. Ms. Myerson graduated from Grinnell College, and received her Masters in City and Regional Planning from Harvard University. Ms. Myerson is presently on the Northern California Advisory Committee of Presidio Bank and was previously on the Board of NYSE-listed BRE Properties, Inc. She is also a member of the Urban Land Institute (ULI), the Fisher Center for Real Estate, and Lambda Alpha.

About Berkshire Group
Based in Boston, Berkshire Group is a real estate investment management company known for its vertically integrated platform and experience in the multifamily sector.  Berkshire deploys capital primarily through equity, debt and development in the multifamily arena, as well as through opportunistic ventures in other real estate sectors. Over more than four decades, Berkshire’s team of industry leaders has gained a reputation for being able to identify opportunities and effectively manage through various economic environments, establishing a long-term track record of solid performance based on thoughtful, leading edge strategies, and operational experience. The Company has experience across the multifamily real estate spectrum in disciplines including acquisitions, asset and property management, debt, development and redevelopment. Berkshire, a registered investment advisor, has approximately $5.5 billion in assets under management, and offices in Boston, Atlanta, New York, Baltimore, Dallas, Houston and San Francisco.  For more information on Berkshire, please visit www.berkshire-group.com.