Equity Office Properties Trust The Chicago-based real estate investment trust has named Michael A. Steele as chief operating officer, in addition to his post of executive vice president - real estate operations. The company's current senior vice president - investments, Jeffrey L. Johnson, has additionally been named chief investment officer.

Paine/Wetzel Associates Inc. Twenty-year industry veteran Stuart L. Rosenberg has been promoted from vice president to senior vice president of the Chicago-based firm. Rosenberg is a past recipient of the "Clinton B. Snyder" trophy, given once a year to the broker who engineers the "most creative exchange."

Dames & Moore/Brookhill LLC Charles G. Smail has been appointed president and chief operating officer of the New York firm. The company redevelops environmentally impaired real estate and buys mortgages secured by these properties.

Prudential Mortgage Capital Co. LLC The Newark, N.J.-based company has named Jeffrey Elm as vice president - production. He will be located in San Francisco. Elm joins Prudential from the Dallas regional headquarters of NationsBank, where he was a senior vice president and regional origination manager in the Real Estate Banking Group.

Federal Realty Investment Trust Hal Vasvari has resigned as chief operating officer of the Rockville, Md., REIT, a position he has held since 1994. He plans to pursue other business interests.

Leggat McCall Properties LP The Boston-based real estate developer and operator has announced the following promotions:Frances X. Jacoby to senior vice president and chief financial officer; Mary Roche to senior vice president and controller; and Barbara Massarone to assistant property controller.

Dynex Commercial Inc. Recent promotions in the Glen Allen, Va.-based affiliate of mortgage REIT Dynex Capital Inc. are in the divisions of operations and marketing. Carolyn C. Ager has been appointed executive vice president of operations, and Corine G. Sheridan has been promoted to senior vice president of marketing and corporate sales.

Jackson-Shaw Co. The Dallas-based development firm has announced the arrival of James F. Russell as vice president and chief financial officer.

GMAC Commercial Mortgage Corp. Company veteran Harold W. Purcell has been named executive vice president for Proprietary Lending and Conduit Operations at this Horsham, Pa., company; Purcell had served as senior vice president for three years prior.

Before joining Compass Management and Leasing Inc. in 1990, Timothy J. Donley was involved in real estate management, leasing, construction and redevelopment for more than 22 years. For the past eight years, Donley has served as Compass' chief operating officer. He was recently appointed executive vice president/chief acquisitions officer. NREI caught up with him to find out about this career transition.

NREI: How does one prepare for the task of identifying and pursuing mergers and acquisitions?

Donley: There's no book on how to do this. I have an extensive background in real estate services management. I've always been on the real estate side, and since 1975 I've been on the development side. What's key is knowing what clients need and want, and having a global focus. I've worked in the UK and South America, and I'm working toward continued expansion of our services and geographic locations.

NREI: What do you look for in a deal?

Donley: The right fit. And that's what I found last year when I worked on the acquisition and merger of Compass and Lend Lease Group. You look for a company that provides the right benefits ... the right people that the client needs.