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The office and industrial real estate investment trust (REIT) – Duke Realty Corporation (DRE - Analyst Report) – announced the decision of its Chief Financial Officer (CFO), Christie B. Kelly to quit her post, with effect from May 17, 2013. Consequently, the company declared Mark A. Denien as her replacement.

Kelly is parting with Duke Realty to join Jones Lang LaSalle (JLL - Analyst Report) – another REIT – as the CFO, with effect from Jul 1, 2013. Kelly will replace the company’s previous CFO, Lauralee Martin.

Mark A. Denien, who is currently serving Duke Realty as Senior Vice President (VP) and Chief Accounting Officer, joined the company in 2005. Prior to joining Duke Realty, Denien worked at KMPG for 16 years, overseeing the real estate practices.

With his vast know-how and expertise in the real estate industry, Denien can be easily regarded as a veteran of the sector. We expect the company’s successful trajectory to gain further upside from his expert guidance in the new post.

On the other hand, Jones Lang’s management is confident in its appointment of Kelly, considering her exhaustive proficiency in the real estate domain. They expect Kelly’s financial and operational skills as well as international experience to boost bottom-line growth and thus benefit the company’s clients and shareholder value.

Notably, Kelly held various executive positions at several top companies in her over 25-year career. On previous occasions, she had served Lehman Brothers as Senior VP, Global Real Estate. She also spent a large part of her career at General Electric Company (GE - Analyst Report), holding numerous domestic and global leadership roles.

Currently, Duke Realty and Jones Lang both carry a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). Better performing REITs include Host Hotels & Resorts, Inc. (HST - Analyst Report) carrying a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy).

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