Kennedy named president, COO of Wells

The former senior vp at the Norcross, Georgia-based US real estate investment firm has been picked to replace founder Leo Wells, who will step down as president but remain CEO.

Robert Kennedy has been named president and chief operating officer of the Wells Real Estate Funds, according to a statement released by the Norcross, Georgia-based real estate investment firm. In his new role, Kennedy will be responsible for executing corporate strategy and managing the day-to-day business operations of the real estate investment company.  

A spokeswoman for Wells told PERE that Kennedy will be replacing the firm’s founder Leo Wells, who is stepping down from the role of president but remaining chief executive officer. Wells also will continue to serve as chairman of Wells REIT II, chairman and president of Wells Core REIT and president of Wells Timberland REIT. The role of COO is a newly-created post at the firm. 

“We’re extremely pleased Robert is taking on this new role and new responsibilities,” said Wells in a statement. “As a former investment banker, he brings a wealth of management experience and product development expertise that will be invaluable to Wells Real Estate Funds as we continue to grow and diversify our business.”

Kennedy, who joined Wells in 2009, most recently served the company as senior vice president of product development and special projects. Prior to working at Wells, he held various positions at Wachovia Securities and SunTrust Robinson Humphrey. 

Since Wells founded the firm in 1984, it has invested more than $11 billion in real estate on behalf of nearly 300,000 investors.