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REIT Innovator Bernard Winograd Dies at 63

03/07/2014 | By Allen Kenney

REIT Innovator Bernard Winograd Dies at 63
Bernad Winograd, former CFO of Taubman Centers

Bernard Winograd, who helped revolutionize the REIT industry in the early 1990s with the Taubman Centers (NYSE: TCO) initial public offering, has died at 63.

As chief financial officer of Taubman Centers, Winograd was a central figure in the creation of the UPREIT structure under which private owners and limited partnerships can contribute real estate assets to a partnership operated by a REIT in exchange for units of that operating partnership. Taubman Centers and investment bank Morgan Stanley worked with law firm Goodwin Procter to develop the UPREIT as a solution to the capital crunch facing the commercial real estate industry in the wake of the credit crisis of the late 1980s.

In its 1992 IPO, Taubman Centers became the first real estate company to go public using the UPREIT structure, raising nearly $300 million. More than 40 equity REITs followed suit in 1993.

“The work done in [the Taubman deal] proved to be a turning point in the ‘modern REIT era,’ with the UPREIT structure paving the way for the IPOs of numerous widely respected private real estate operating companies,” said Ettore Santucci, a partner with Goodwin Procter who chairs the law firm’s capital markets practice and serves as co-chair of its REIT practice, last year in a REIT magazine article on the Taubman IPO.

Winograd left Taubman Centers in 1996 to become CEO of Prudential Real Estate Investors. He was named president of Prudential Investment Management and chairman of Prudential Real Estate Investors in 2002. After being installed as executive vice president and COO of Prudential Financial’s U.S.-based business in 2008, Winograd retired three years later at the age of 60.

Winograd contributed to promoting the REIT-based approach to real estate investment throughout his career. He served as the first chair of NAREIT’s Real Estate Investment Advisory Council (REIAC) in the early 2000s. He also helped craft NAREIT’s initial guidance on funds from operations (FFO), which is now widely used as the primary supplemental financial standard to U.S. GAAP for reporting REIT operating performance.

NAREIT presented Winograd in 2001 with its Industry Leadership Award, which is given to “a company executive who has made a significant and lasting contribution to the growth and betterment of the industry.”

“Bernard not only played a formative role in the birth of the modern REIT era through the Taubman Centers IPO, but he also played a central role in building NAREIT as members know it today through his service as a NAREIT officer, through his leadership of the Real Estate Investment Advisory Council and through his longstanding service with NAREIT’s executive board,” said Steve Wechsler, president and CEO of NAREIT. “NAREIT was pleased to recognize Bernard’s many achievements by honoring him in 2001 with its Industry Leadership Award.”

Winograd is survived by his wife, Carol; two children, Simon and Christina; and his brother, Morley.