Retail Properties of America CFO Heath Fear leaves for GGP

  • After two years on the job
  • Praise and good wishes for Fear
  • Responsibilities redistributed

(exechange) — Oak Brook, Illinois, September 21, 2017 — Heath Fear, finance chief of Retail Properties of America, leaves. It is an abrupt change. As announced by Retail Properties of America, Inc. in a regulatory filing published on Thursday, September 21, 2017, Heath R. Fear has already left the post as Chief Financial Officer at the real estate investment trust company after two years on the job, effective September 20, 2017.

No company wants a CFO to flame out in the first years.

Among the 3,000 largest publicly held companies incorporated in the U.S. based on market capitalization, only 36 percent of the CFOs who departed over the past twelve months left within three years. Overall, the average tenure of those who left was 5.6 years, according to data compiled by exechange.

The position of Chief Financial Officer is currently not filled. Heath Fear’s responsibilities are redistributed.

Career change

The sudden management change is explained as follows. Retail Properties of America said: “On September 20, 2017, Heath R. Fear resigned as the Executive Vice President, Chief Financial Officer and Treasurer of Retail Properties of America, Inc. … to pursue other opportunities.”

Fear will be CFO at GGP

GGP Inc. announced the appointment of Heath R. Fear as the Company’s Executive Vice President, Finance, effective November 6, 2017. GGP Inc. announced Michael B. Berman is retiring as Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer, effective on March 1, 2018, or such earlier date as mutually agreed. Upon Berman’s retirement, Fear will assume the role of Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer.

GGP Inc. announced the move on Thursday, September 21, 2017.

GGP is a real estate investment trust.

“Departure did not result from any disagreement”

“Mr. Fear’s departure did not result from any disagreement regarding the Company’s financial reporting or accounting policies, procedures, estimates or judgments, any deficiency in the Company’s internal controls or any error in the Company’s reported financial results,” Retail Properties of America said.

Share price decline

The change follows a decline in the share price of Retail Properties of America, Inc. since July 2016.

Chaired by Gerald M. Gorski

Retail Properties of America, Inc. is chaired by Gerald M. Gorski.

Gerald M. Gorski has been one of the Company’s directors since 2003 and Chairman of the Board since 2010.

CEO: Steve Grimes

Steve Grimes serves as CEO of Retail Properties of America, Inc. Steve Grimes is the President, Chief Executive Officer & Treasurer of RPAI. He joined the Company in November 2007 and became President and CEO in October 2009.

On the job as CFO since 2015

Heath R. Fear served as the Company’s Executive Vice President, Chief Financial Officer and Treasurer.

Fear joined the Company on August 17, 2015.

Fear has over 20 years of experience in the real estate industry and served as senior vice president, head of capital markets of General Growth Properties, Inc. (“GGP”), a real estate company with a portfolio primarily comprised of Class A malls and urban retail properties.

Fear joined GGP in 2003 and prior to serving in his role as senior vice president, head of capital markets, held various senior roles within GGP’s legal team.

Prior to joining GGP, Fear served as counsel for Prime Group Realty Trust, a real estate investment trust engaged in the ownership, management, development and leasing of office and industrial real estate, and as an associate in the real estate practice groups at the law firms of Kirkland & Ellis and Pedersen & Houpt.

Fear received his B.A. in Political Science and English from John Carroll University and his J.D. from the University of Illinois, College of Law.

At the time of Fear’s appointment as Chief Financial Officer at Retail Properties of America, Steven Grimes, president and chief executive officer, had said: “After an exhaustive search, we have selected a highly accomplished and seasoned real estate professional to be the next CFO of RPAI. Heath has an outstanding reputation within the financial community and he brings a broad set of skills to our company, including capital markets expertise and a deep understanding of public REIT operations. Heath is welcomed by our senior leadership team as a complementary fit and we look forward to leveraging his experience and industry relationships to achieve our long term goals. This key executive management hire coupled with the recently announced realignment of our operating platform reinforces RPAI’s commitment toward creating long term value for our shareholders.”

Read the full story in the exechange report 40.2017 ($).