6/13/2012 | By Matthew Bechard
As he approaches the end of his tenure as co-CEO of industrial REIT Prologis (NYSE: PLD), Walt Rakowich says he considers the successful union of the former version of the company with AMB Property Crop. to be his most significant accomplishment.
"There are a lot of challenges associated with putting together a merger this size, but the truth of the matter is that the people on both sides have really embraced change," Rakowich said during a video interview with REIT.com at REITWeek 2012: NAREIT's Investor Forum in New York. "I think they've embraced change, faster than I thought that they would embrace that change, and have really come together as a unit very quickly."
Rakowich noted that both companies shared a number of similarities at the time of the merger. The biggest change for sets of employees was not only getting to know new co-workers, but adjusting to the downsizing of both staffs that occurred as a result of the merger, according to Rakowich.
Rakowich downplayed the potential challenge of further integrating the new-look Prologis going forward.
"Here we sit a year later, and I'm pleased to say that, really, the heavy lifting in the integration is over," he said. "The only thing that we have left in the integration is systems, and I think that we're making a lot of progress in that regard."
Overall, Rakowich said he feels "great" about the position of Prologis as he approaches the end of his tenure at the conclusion of 2012.
"The fact of the matter is that the company, in my view, has never been in a better and stronger position to grow globally," said Rakowich, adding that Prologis has holdings in markets that represent approximately 80 percent of global GDP. "We are where our customers want to be."