Real estate CEOs “disturbingly” unprepared for successions

They’ll scour the market to find replacements for your vacant apartment or office space, but do chief executives in the real estate industry have a plan for their own replacement? Not according to a survey of top executives at more than 235 real estate firms in the United States released today by the Urban Land Institute and Russell Reynolds Associates.

The report found that just 11 percent of them believe the industry is “adequately prepared” for CEO succession. And they appear to be right. Less than half of all firms — 48 percent to be exact — review their succession plans annually and just 22 percent have a formal, written replacement scheme. Even fewer maintain plans for chief operating and investment officers and general council.

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“Conversations with CEOs from across the real estate industry in recent months have revealed a disturbing lack of preparedness for CEO succession,” wrote Debra Barbanel, who leads the American Real Estate Practice at ULI, in the report. — Adam Fusfeld