I recently read your book Watch That Rat Hole and was motivated to tell you personally how much I appreciated the story you told.
In a nice personal context you were able to give the reader a front row seat on the evolution of the U.S. REIT market from its initial days. It was great to hear about the early days of tiny companies and short term business plans, and subsequently to see later waves of REITs evolve toward larger platforms with professional management and stable strategies. As a practitioner in this industry, it is great to learn more about where it all started.
The vignettes you recounted about our industry were fascinating looks into a world of 40-50 years ago. Many of them of course provided more than just stories – the lessons learned then still hold true today – good management, aligned interests, clear and honest communication, and rational financial strategies all have a lasting place in our world.
I also really enjoyed your ringside seat to the urban development pressures of 1950s Columbus – slum clearance, highway construction, city annexation – these are issues we only read about in history books today, and it was great to hear your first hand recount.
Finally, your book is a triumph for entrepreneurship and perseverance – a great ‘can-do’ attitude! I really enjoyed the tale of your pursuit of a career in New York, identifying a market opportunity, becoming a respected and yet still objective opinion in that industry and then transitioning to a more growth oriented… role in investment management.
Ken, I don’t know you well, but reading your book makes me wish I did. Thank you for writing the book and sharing your historical perspective and lessons learned.
Robert Promisel, U.S. based Portfolio Manager, Resolution Capital, Sydney, Australia [Mr. Promisel subsequently sent six copies to colleagues and friends.]
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