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CEO Spotlight: First Industrial Closing in on Goals

11/14/2013 | By Mitch Irzinski

Bruce Duncan, president and CEO of First Industrial Realty Trust (NYSE: FR), joined REIT.com for a CEO Spotlight interview at REITWorld 2013: NAREITís Annual Convention for All Things REIT at the San Francisco Marriott Marquis. 

In 2011, First Industrial Realty Trust set a goal of having 92 percent occupancy by the end of 2013. Duncan talked about their progress in reaching that goal. First Industrial's portfolio was 86.6 percent leased when it set the goal. It was 91.2 percent leased in the third quarter of 2013.

"I'll be disappointed if we don't hit that," Duncan said. 

Duncan described how the capital markets have affected his company's strategy and performance.

"The capital market has been very good to us," he said. "We have a goal to get to investment grade rating by the end of next year."

Duncan, who has held management positions in a variety of sectors within the commercial real estate industry, shared his opinion regarding what the keys are to being a successful commercial real estate CEO.

"I think it's leadership," he said. "I think at the end of the day, you have to figure out what the opportunity is, you have to figure out what your core competencies and skill sets are, and then you figure out the plan. With the plan, you've got to lock arms with your team. You've got to get the compensation system right - because compensation drives behavior. But if you get it right and think about what's good for shareholders, good things happen."