Nathan Vitan, SVP, chief legal officer, and corporate secretary at Public Storage (NYSE: PSA), participated in a video interview in conjunction with Nareit’s REITwise: 2023 Law, Accounting & Finance Conference held March 21-23 in Phoenix, Arizona.
Vitan said that from climate risk management to having the legal department do more under economic pressure to preparing for shareholder activism, REIT general counsels (GCs) across sectors are focused on similar issues.
“I think these [issues] are not only relevant, but top of mind—and not just for REIT general counsels, but I think across all companies,” he said.
Vitan said he thinks the pandemic highlighted the skills needed for an effective general counsel, including being a conduit between the company and the board, serving as a catalyst for the business while managing risk, and being a responsive and understanding leader of high-performing teams that are agile and can work through crises.
Vitan also said REIT GCs should be in as many board conversations as appropriate since they provide a unique perspective that’s based on ethics as well as business and strategic considerations.