Korn Ferry Recruits Brixmor Property Group CEO

April 14, 2016 – Korn Ferry has placed James M. Taylor as president and chief executive officer of Brixmor Property Group. He succeeds Daniel B. Hurwitz, who has held the position on an interim basis. Past CEO Michael Carroll resigned from his position in February.

Mr. Taylor joins Brixmor with more than 20 years of experience in the commercial real estate industry. He currently serves as executive vice president, CFO and treasurer for Federal Realty Investment Trust.

Previously, he served as a senior managing director and head of real estate investment banking at Eastdil Secured / Wells Fargo, where he completed over $100 billion of public debt and equity offerings, M&A transactions, asset and portfolio sales, private equity placements, mortgage financings, and bank loans for his real estate clients. Prior to joining Eastdil Secured, Mr. Taylor practiced corporate and securities law at Hunton & Williams, with a focus on equity REITs.

“Jim is a highly accomplished and well regarded real estate executive,” said John Schreiber, chairman of the Brixmor board. “He brings to Brixmor a career full of accomplishments, including an extensive knowledge of the shopping center space, strategic planning and operations, leasing and redevelopment; demonstrated transactional expertise; and balance sheet management and exceptional capital markets capabilities. Jim is a proven leader who we feel is uniquely qualified to enhance Brixmor’s position within the industry, while maximizing value for shareholders.”

“The board of directors’ search committee was extremely pleased with the depth and breadth of the candidate pool for the chief executive position and is delighted that Jim emerged as the leading candidate,” said Mr. Hurwitz. “I look forward to working with him to ensure a seamless transition.”

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Brixmor owns and operates the nation’s largest wholly owned portfolio of grocery-anchored community and neighborhood shopping centers, with 518 properties aggregating approximately 87 million square feet of gross leasable area located primarily across the top 50 U.S. metro markets. Headquartered in New York City, the company is the largest landlord to The TJX Companies and The Kroger Company.

According to executive recruiters specializing in financial officer search mandates, CFOs are fast-tracking into CEO roles with increased frequency and predictability.

“Boards tend to see two people with regularity: the CEO and CFO. Boards want people with outstanding external communications skills, strategic orientation and comfort with the balance sheet to become CEO — all skills possessed by great chief financial officers,” said Peter Crist, chairman of executive search firm Crist | Kolder Associates, a functional specialist in the chief financial officer sector. It might be why, he said, that many really strong CFOs now aspire to become CEO.

“The CFO is, in the vast majority of public companies, viewed as the No. 2 executive to the CEO,” said Mr. Crist’s colleague, Scott Simmons, a Crist | Kolder managing director. “The CFO has a unique vantage point to see the entire enterprise and interact with the board of directors. If a CFO has operational knowledge and truly understands the underpinnings of the business, not just the numbers, then he or she will and should be seen as a legitimate CEO succession candidate.”

Contributed by Dale M. Zupsansky, Managing Editor, Hunt Scanlon Media 

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