W.P. Carey Celebrating 40th Anniversary
06/14/2013 | by Carisa Chappell

Trevor Bond, president and CEO of W.P. Carey (NYSE: WPC), joined REIT.com for a CEO Spotlight video interview in Chicago at REITWeek 2013: NAREIT's Investor Forum.

W. P. Carey is a New York-based net-lease investor that manages a global investment portfolio of more than $15 billion. The company elected REIT status in September 2012 and is celebrating its 40th anniversary this year. Bond talked about the keys to W.P. Carey’s sustained success.

“I think that our longevity stems from our ability to make money for our investors. Fundamentally, that’s really what it’s all about,” he said. “As an investment manager, we’ve had 14 funds come full cycle since 1979 through a wide range of cycles.”

Bond added that the company has also increased its dividend over the past 48 consecutive quarters.

When it comes to making investment decisions, Bond said that W.P. Carey’s performance comes from its “investment discipline.”

“We have lots of eyes looking at each investment, and it’s a long process. We study each deal carefully,” he said. “Also, this is particularly important for the net-lease space. We do spend a lot of time being proactive asset managers.”

Bond discussed the company’s investment tactics. W.P. Carey’s assets are 99 percent occupied at present.

“In terms of what we’re trying to avoid, we are always looking at underwriting the residual value,” he said. “What happens if the tenant isn’t paying rent anymore and we have to put someone else in there and do something else with the asset? We’re trying to avoid markets that are very thin, so that the property itself would comprise too large a portion of that individual market. That would be a red flag for us.”

Bond said he would also avoid specially designed retail buildings that are overly branded, regardless of the yield.

“They’re hard to sometimes position a new tenant in,” he said.

Additionally, Bond discussed the impact of quantitative easing and what he hopes is an “improving and expanding economy.”