David B. Henry, 58, vice chairman and chief investment officer of Kimco Realty Corp., is sculpting a new vision for the nation’s largest publicly traded owner and operator of neighborhood and community shopping centers, transforming it from a developer of real estate to a financial firm. He is joined in the effort by Kimco’s 77-year-old chairman and CEO, Milton Cooper.
When Cooper brought in Henry in 2005, the move raised a few eyebrows. Though he was well-equipped with real estate experience, Henry was a financial wizard first—having served as senior VP and chief investment officer of GE Capital Real Estate and chairman of GE Capital Investment Advisors. He had no direct management experience.
No matter. Henry brought in a new perspective and, with that new perspective, new business initiatives that included entry into Mexico and a participating lending program called Preferred Equity that provides equity/mezzanine debt to developers and owners of retail centers. With Henry on board, Kimco has taken to thinking outside the real estate box—and the company is reaping the rewards from it.