WP Carey’s DuGan resigns after clashing with chairman

The former co-founder of Credit Suisse’s real estate equity group Trevor Bond has been named interim chief executive officer of the New York-based sale-leaseback firm, effective today, until a successor to Gordon DuGan is found.

WP Carey chief executive officer Gordon DuGan has resigned after clashing with chairman Polk Carey over his powers and the strategic direction of the sale-leaseback firm.

The New York-based firm said DuGan would be replaced temporarily by board member Trevor Bond, who co-founded Credit Suisse’s real estate equity group.

The 79-year-old Carey founded WP Carey in 1973 and was previously chief executive officer from 2002 until 2005, and chairman of a variety of the firm’s Corporate Property Associates (CPA) REIT programmes, which have raised more than $4.2 billion in equity over the past three decades, since 1993. He owns 30 percent of the firm, according to regulatory filings.

DuGan said in a statement his resignation was “based on a disagreement with respect to the degree of authority and control of the chairman and a disagreement with the chairman on the strategic direction of the company”. DuGan had been chief executive officer since 2005, and president of the firm since 1999.

Though Gordon and I have not been strategically aligned in the recent years, I remain an admirer of his abundant investment management and general business talent.

Polk Carey

Carey added that he and DuGan had not been “strategically aligned in the recent years”. Bond was  formerly a managing member of fund of funds firm Maidstone Investment, and previously spent 10 years at Credit Suisse, helping found the real estate equity group.  Bond will continue as interim chief executive officer until a permanent successor is named.

The firm also announced that Mark DeCesaris, WP Carey’s acting chief financial officer since November 2005, had been appointed chief financial officer, effective today.
Last March, WP Carey acquired part of the New York Times headquarters for $225 million in an all-equity deal. The firm said at the time it had purchased 21 floors of space, covering around 750,000-square-feet, and would lease the property back to the newspaper group over the next 15 years. WP Carey gave the newspaper the right to buy back the property for $250 million after 10 years.

In December, Edward LaPuma, the firm’s international chief, quit. LaPuma resigned on 24 December after reaching a “mutually agreed separation agreement”, according to regulatory filings.