In this episode of Quick Takes from the Boardroom, Heather Wolf speaks with Paul McDowell, long-time real estate executive and chief operating officer of VEREIT, Inc., who shares his experience stepping up to lead the company when his CEO came down with COVID-19 in late March. He talks about how this crisis is different from the financial crisis in 2008, how communication has been key throughout this pandemic and how the real estate industry might fare when the economy opens back up..
Paul McDowell serves as Executive Vice President, Chief Operating Officer for VEREIT, Inc. He is responsible for all real estate operations, including the company’s asset management, portfolio management, property management, construction management, underwriting, credit analysis and leasing. Paul serves on VEREIT’s Investment, Portfolio Management, Asset Allocation and Executive Committees.
Prior to joining VEREIT, Paul was a founder of CapLease, a publicly traded net-lease REIT that was sold to Vereit in 2013. He served as CEO from 2001 to 2014 and as Senior Vice President, General Counsel and Secretary from 1994 until 2001. Paul served on the CapLease Board of Directors from 2003 to 2014 and was elected Chairman of the Board in December 2007. He was a member of CapLease’s Investment Committee and the Investment Oversight Committee of the Board of Directors. Prior to his roles at CapLease, Paul was Corporate Counsel for Sumitomo Corporation of America, the principal U.S. subsidiary of one of the world’s largest integrated trading companies. From 1987 to 1990, Paul was an associate in the corporate department at the Boston law firm of Nutter, McClennan & Fish LLP.
Paul earned a Bachelor of Arts degree from Tulane University and a Juris Doctor with honors from Boston University School of Law.