NREI cover jinx: Myth meets reality

ATLANTA - You could call it the Sports Illustrated jinx of real estate publications. More and more the case can be made for a direct relationship between those folks who appear on NREI's front cover and the terms "pink slip," "right-sized" and "earnings downturn."

As a public service, we present you with our detailed findings:

March 1996, Edward S. Gordon Co. In an unusual twist of fate, our June 1996 cover subject (Andrew Farkas of Insignia Financial) bought ESG soon thereafter to form the cornerstone of a new services powerhouse.

May 1997, Heitman Financial. We had partnered on a series of annual corporate roundtables with Heitman for years. We did such a good job publicizing their work, they were purchased by Kennedy-Wilson in 1998.

October 1997, Ethan Penner. This well-known Master of the Universe moved from New York to San Francisco as we were shooting our cover, but we got him to sit still for a couple of minutes. Soon thereafter he formally left Nomura, creating a "run for the exits" mentality at the once-mighty lender.

January 1998, Andy Stone. A well publicized blow-up at Credit Suisse First Boston last fall left this risk-taking star on the lending sidelines.

March 1998, Steve Plavin & Ben McGrath. Chase restructured its entire real estate group, hiring Peter Baccile from JP Morgan to run the show.

April 1998, Michael Tomasz. This head of First Industrial Realty Trust left the firm months after appearing on our front cover. He was the recent subject of a "lifestyle" portrait in The Wall Street Journal, in which he likened being a REIT executive to performing as an entertainer.

June 1998, Kurt Wright. Restless nights were ahead for this head of Atlanta-based Chastain Capital. As a result of last fall's credit crunch, earlier this year Chastain's board voted to sell off its assets in a total liquidation.

Sept. 15, 1998 HOTELStrategies, Paul Nussbaum. Another well-publicized shakeout for this high-flying lawyer turned hotel REIT exec. Obviously the course he plotted didn't quite pan out.

Thankfully, our 1999 cover subjects' track records are still largely unblemished - so far. So, go ahead, stepright up, we're looking for volunteers.

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