The partners’ experience in the multifamily sector dates back to the 1980s and early 1990s when Joel Peterson (as the CEO of the Trammell Crow Company) and Bob Whitman (as Chief Financial Officer of Trammell Crow Group overall at that time and Managing Partner and CEO of Trammell Crow Ventures – the real estate investment banking and investment management arm of the firm) had responsibility for the investment and operating efforts of the firm globally, which included operating divisions such as Trammell Crow Residential (one of the largest multifamily developers and operators in the nation). The Hampstead Group (a Dallas-based private-equity firm where Bob was Co-CEO and President) also made investments in a variety of multifamily assets and land parcels. And prior to joining Whitman Peterson, Wes Whitman was a Managing Director and Principal at Greystar, one of the nation’s leading multifamily investment, development and management companies (with $3 billion of sponsored investments and 190,000 units under management), where he established and led the firm’s West Coast office. During his tenure at Greystar, his responsibilities included sourcing and structuring property-level and operating-company acquisitions, managing portfolio investments of owned-assets, and leading a sizeable operating team and business.
Whitman Peterson is allocating significant attention and capital to the lodging sector. The firm’s partners were heavily involved in hotel-related investments in the 1980s and 1990s, both at the Trammell Crow Company and The Hampstead Group. At Trammell Crow, Bob Whitman’s responsibilities included serving as the Co-CEO of Trammell Crow Interests, a division of the company which included their lodging investments. He helped recruit the operating team and oversee Crow’s investment in and growth of Wyndham Hotels. At The Hampstead Group, Bob and his partners acquired more than 150 hotels, through several sizeable investment programs, including: (a) the acquisition and conversion of 20+ Wyndham Hotels (through a subsidiary, Bedrock Partners), after which Wyndham went public and Hampstead sold their interest in the company and the hotels; (b) the acquisition of Harvey Hotels and United Inns, after which they took the company public as Bristol Hotel Company (NYSE); and (c) the acquisition of more than 100 hotel assets from Bass PLC, subsequently rolling the Bristol assets and the Bass PLC hotels into FelCor Lodging Trust, where they became substantial owners. Paul Novak (see bio in Team section), one of the industry’s leading acquisition and development executives, was actively involved in substantially all of the lodging investments at Hampstead, and recently joined Whitman Peterson to head up the firm’s lodging acquisition efforts.
While at Hampstead Group, Bob Whitman led the acquisition of Forum Group, Inc., a publicly-traded, national owner/operator of 26 retirement housing communities that had just emerged from bankruptcy. Bob served as Chairman of the Board of Directors and as Acting-CEO for Forum Group, Inc., leading operations and the recapitalization of the company. Hampstead merged four other investment programs into Forum, including Autumn Retirement, National Guest Homes, Hearthside, and Rossmoor Living Center. Ultimately, Forum grew to 42 properties (nearly 8,000 units) and Hampstead subsequently sold the company to Marriott International.
Other Asset Classes
Whitman Peterson principals have deep experience with other asset classes, having overseen the investment of several billion dollars of transactions in the office, industrial, and medical office sectors. Consequently, Whitman Peterson will opportunistically explore opportunities in these and other sectors of the real estate market.