Nationwide Health Properties PRESIDENT AND CEO Bruce Andrews Anaheim, Calif.
It was through an executive search firm that Bruce Andrews started to work for Anaheim, Calif.-based Nationwide Health Properties in September 1989. Back then Nationwide was called Beverly Investment Properties, a REIT under a full management arrangement with Beverly Enterprises. As a result of poor performance, the board of the company fired Beverly and decided that the REIT should be independently managed. Enter Bruce Andrews.
Andrews served as CFO, COO and a director of American Medical International from 1970 to 1986. During this time period, AMI's revenues grew from $39 million to $4 billion. Beverly's board decided he would be an ideal candidate to manage the REIT.
One of Andrews' first goals for Nationwide was to build its portfolio. That goal will be realized this month when the company's portfolio hits $1 billion.
"But that is just the financial growth. I also wanted to be a user-friendly partner to the operating companies to which we provide financial resources," says Andrews. "We want to develop a partnership that is creative in addressing the needs of the operators -- without excessive lawyering. That happens too often. We want our clients to walk out of a deal with a good feeling, as opposed to walking out feeling as though they've just been through a boxing match."
As a REIT, Nationwide owns and leases properties -- 61% of its portfolio consists of nursing homes, while 37% is assisting living facilities and 2% is rehabilitation hospitals.
The company currently owns/leases 273 properties in 30 states and has $250 million in new activities this year. According to Andrews, $100 million of that is in nursing homes, while $150 million is in assisted living facilities. The company's 182 owned facilities are leased to various health care operators, and its 30 mortgage loans are secured by 49 healthcare facilities.
Andrews sees great opportunities for Nationwide's future investment in long-term health care facilities. Corporate and government health care programs are now requiring the highest quality of care at the lowest available cost. That, coupled with the demographics of the United States, will provide Nationwide and its operators with the opportunities they seek.
Marriott Senior Living Services PRESIDENT AND GENERAL MANAGER Paul E. Johnson Washington, DC
"Seniors seemed like a golden opportunity," says Paul E. Johnson Jr., president and general manager of Washington, D.C.-based Marriott Senior Living Services. Although his background was in finance, the pull to join the burgeoning seniors housing industry was too great to resist. Johnson began his career with Marriott in 1983 in the corporate finance department, and in 1987 became group vice president of finance and development for Marriott Service Group. It was in this capacity that he was able to plan the strategic direction for the company's Senior Living division. Johnson is known for his active role in the development and rollout of the company's Brighton Gardens assisted living prototype. He assumed his current position in 1991.
"My No.1 job is making sure we're on target with every aspect of the business," says Johnson. "With the brand recognition of Marriott Hotels behind us, we have the opportunity to extend that reputation for quality to the seniors health care business." Not necessarily a done deal, however, as all appropriate dynamics must be in place, Johnson states. "We must understand the customers' expectations, offering the right products in the right areas; hiring good associates with health care backgrounds; and offering individualized services."
Marriott Senior Living Services owns and/or manages 81 seniors communities in the United States, 23 of which are Brighton Gardens assisted living products. The company has placed an emphasis on the development of the Brighton Gardens communities, where the focus is on resident wellness and maintaining resident independence for as long as possible.
As the result of a merger with the Forum Group, Marriott also owns NGH Assisted Living and Hearthside, alternative assisted living products developed by Forum. NGH by Marriott are moderately priced assisted living communities, and Hearthside offers both assisted living and dementia-related care. Johnson says his company plans to grow and refine these products in the future.
"We want to address as many niches as possible in order to better serve the market," Johnson says. "A balance of products encompassing similar attributes can provide care suitable for a variety of needs. We want to be a quality leader in the industry, in every way we can."
Life Care Services PRESIDENT AND CEO Stan Thurston Des Moines, IA
"It was really a story of ending up in the right place at the right time," says Stan Thurston, president and CEO for Des Moines, Iowa-based Life Care Services Corp. Thurston began his career in real estate development working for a large Toronto company, but the native Midwesterner soon realized he wanted to get back to his roots. Seeking out developers in the area, he came up with Life Care Services.
While Life Care Services develops primarily continuing care retirement communities, or CCRCs, the company has tapped into the growing assisted living segment of the industry in recent years. In the 20 years Thurston has worked for Life Care Services, some major changes have occurred. "Twenty years ago we were focused on developing new communities," says Thurston, "whereas today our major emphasis is on expanding existing facilities."
Thurston brought to the seniors housing industry a different approach to marketing and pricing. Rather than use a standardized system to market each product, Life Care Services treats each facility with a specifically analyzed and developed approach. "We believe that each community should be unique both in design and in how it responds to the marketplace demand," Thurston says.
Life Care Services manages approximately 54 seniors facilities and owns all or part of four communities. For the most part, the company develops and manages not-for-profit facilities for 501(c)(3) sponsors, but it has worked with several for-profit centers in recent months. According to Thurston, the company will continue to develop assisted living facilities and expand existing CCRCs in the future. A new Life Care Services CCRC opened its doors six months ago and currently is in the fill-up stage, and an expansion phase is wrapping up at Blakehurst community in Towson, Md. Plans are in the works for that community's final phase. The company also is starting to manage Alzheimer's units.
Thurston's goals for Life Care Services are sizeable. One of his primary plans is to grow the management side of the business. In addition, the company will look toward international opportunities and become more involved with the home health care business. "Home health care is a logical extension of the other services we provide," says Thurston. "We can do it better than a provider outside the community who isn't familiar with the market and the needs of the residents."
Senior Lifestyle Corporation CHAIRMAN OF THE BOARD AND CEO William Kaplan Chicago, IL
When William Kaplan co-founded Senior Lifestyle Corp. in 1985, he did it for the purpose of owning and operating seniors housing. Over the years, the company's portfolio has evolved to encompass assisted living and affordable seniors housing in the form of the Senior Suites.
"When we started in the business, we were one of the first seniors housing companies in the Chicagoland area," says Kaplan. "There was no competition, but we had to educate the market."
The company's first project, a 476-unit property on the Chicago lakefront, recently celebrated its 10th anniversary. "With the second property, a 282-unit community also in the Chicago area, people were ready to sign," says Kaplan. "We had to learn the business, establishing relations with prospective clients and building a level of credibility. We like to say that we don't market ourselves, we bond with our future clients." By the time the second property came along, "it looked good, it felt good, it was good."
Senior Lifestyle Corp. offers five different product types, including independent; independent and assisted living; freestanding assisted living with Alzheimer's wing; freestanding Alzheimer's units; and independent affordable seniors housing, or Senior Suites.
"We wanted to be involved with different product types," says Kaplan, "enabling us to attract a range of age groups, from 70-75, 75-80 and 80+." The company currently has 9,000 units, and is experiencing "tremendous growth in development and acquisition," he says.
For Kaplan's company, quality has always been the No.1 priority. "We want to offer a good service package for a fair price. Reputation is important." Kaplan's strategy for growth includes development in targeted areas. In addition, the company is starting a new joint-venture plan with local developers to build in strategic areas. Having a local development partner gives Senior Lifestyle the advantage to grow faster in certain areas, and the developers benefit as well, through the opportunity to take part in ownership.
In order to bring Kaplan's goals to fruition, he has insisted upon quality employees with a great degree of dedication to the field. His persistence has paid off, as close to 95% of the individuals who were with the company when it was created are still at Senior Lifestyle today.
Professional Community Management PRESIDENT Jeffrey Olsen Lake Forest, CA
Jeffrey Olsen started working for his father in October 1973. When he began his career at Professional Community Management (PCM), Olsen was the first property manager in the company. Upon Edward L. Olsen's retirement in 1978, Jeffrey became president and, working with senior vice president Russell Disbro, he now oversees the property and real estate management of the Lake Forest, Calif.-based company. PCM manages common interest developments in the Southern California area, representing a combined real estate portfolio of more than $10 billion.
According to Olsen, PCM started in the community association management field back in 1964, when his father and other company founders opened and managed Leisure World communities throughout the United States. PCM has continued to grow on a yearly basis, expanding its management portfolio from approximately 8,000 units when Olsen first joined the company, to 58,000 residential units in 116 community associations. More than 19,000 of these are in active senior communities, with some of the larger communities including Leisure World in Laguna Hills (12,736 units) and Sun Lakes Country Club in Banning (2,128 units).
As PCM celebrates its 25th year in the seniors housing industry, Olsen reflects on some of the more important aspects of the business. "We're in the people business, stressing customer service. How we treat others -- both clients and employees -- is important." According to Olsen, community managers are challenged with increased responsibilities, requiring a knowledge of the legislation governing community associations as well as the California civil code. PCM now demands that all of its managers obtain California Association of Community Managers (CACM) status to ensure their clients receive "the most knowledgeable and professional service possible." Olsen was a founding member of CACM, and emphasizes the importance of such industry organizations in training managers in California law, financial management, ethics and property management.
Olsen's dedication to the industry and his community are evident: "It's a difficult business; you have to love it to stay in it. And we love the business."
Holiday Retirement Corporation PRESIDENT AND CEO William E. Colson Salem, OR
It was back in 1963 that William E. Colson, president of Holiday Retirement Corp. (HRC), became involved in the development and construction of more than 110 retirement residences throughout North America, Canada and the United Kingdom. In 1971, the retirement housing industry became his main focus. The management company, Holiday Retirement Corp., currently operates 177 retirement complexes with more than 21,000 units.
Since 1983, affiliates of HRC, including Colson and Colson Construction Co., have developed and constructed retirement facilities through partnerships or limited liability companies. HRC typically assumes management responsibility for these properties as they are completed and ready for occupancy. Including its operations in England, HRC has more than 50,000 units, and it has around 10,000 units in various stages of development in the United States.
HRC and its predecessor, Holiday Management Co., have spent the last 26 years developing the infrastructure for the management of multiple retirement projects on a national basis, while maintaining a high-quality product and services for their residents. The key ingredients of HRC's success has been a focus on simple systems, common purchasing, dietary planning, consistent operating policies, and procedures with divisional and regional facility management. "Our typical project is about $7 million, 110 to 120 units. When we open it, we're preleased about 48%, and we'll hope to be stabilized in eight to 12 months. Nobody really does that," says Colson.
HRC found its niche focusing on the middle-market business and the constant attention to being cost-effective in all aspects of the retirement housing business. "It's just a focus. We figure we're going to have 200 buildings shortly, and if you save $3,000 to $5,000 a month on each of those buildings, that's a lot of cash," says Colson.
In 1996, HRC did nearly $600 million in revenue and, for 1997, the company expects to earn $550 million or $600 million, according to Colson. As for the future, Colson notes HRC will seek more opportunity for growth in his company's niche areas. "We think that we can build and operate 500 properties. We're coming on 200, and that's taken us a very long time," says Colson. "We hope to build 300 more buildings shortly."
ARV Assisted Living PRESIDENT AND CEO Gary L. Davidson Costa Mesa, CA
The year was 1980 when Gary L. Davidson, president and CEO of ARV Assisted Living (ARV), formed the company to become one of the nation's largest operators of assisted living housing for the rapidly growing seniors population. The publicly held company reported an impressive growth margin for the second quarter 1997 with revenue of $27.4 million, an increase of 78% over revenue of $15.3 million during the same period a year ago. "Our continued revenue growth and the operating results of the company's stabilized facilities are positive factors in line with analysts' expectations," says Davidson. "Nearly 60% of the 46 facilities owned and leased by the company maintained stabilized occupancies greater than 90%."
As of March 1997, the company operated 46 assisted living facilities containing 5,855 units, compared to 36 facilities containing 4,516 units during March of last year. A major component of the company's growth was the acquisition of eight assisted living facilities, containing 1,177 units from third parties, and the opening of new facilities, with 162 units. Additional growth was provided by the acquisition of controlling interest in 11 assisted living facilities containing 1,033 units, all of which were managed by the company. The 1997 ASHA Top 25 Owners Survey placed ARV No. 6 for total units owned with 6,566 units in 51 facilities. The average monthly revenue per occupied unit increased from $1,480 to $1,610 for the year ended March 1997. During this growth, ARV increased revenue derived from assisted living services provided by the company by 39% over the same time last year.
The company will seek to grow by increasing its portfolio through direct ownership and the use of long-term operating leases with institutional investors and other lenders. ARV's growth strategies include the utilization of lease and mortgage financing with health care REITs, private companies and commercial banks to sustain its efforts. "The company intends to continue to expand our portfolio through acquisitions and development of assisted living facilities, as well as through the operations of leased facilities," says Davidson.
ARV provides its residents' with a combination of living accommodations, basic care services and assisted living services. The residents' average age is 85, and they often require assistance with certain daily activities. The company also provides a three-tier assisted living structure with personal services to which residents can subscribe.
Grand Court Lifestyles CEO John Luciani Boca Raton, FL
In 1969, John Luciani, founder and CEO of Grand Court Lifestyles (GCL), brought his background in real estate development and construction to the seniors living industry. Initially concentrating on the development, construction and sales of residential high-rise apartments, he progressively moved toward multifamily rental housing. Since 1986, the company has focused on the acquisition, development and financing of seniors living communities.
The company is a fully integrated provider of seniors housing and manages many of the communities. As a result, the company is one of the largest operators of seniors communities in the country. GCL specializes in assisted living and independent seniors housing. GCL's facilities are located in 11 states throughout the Sunbelt and the Midwest. The company's operating objective is to provide high-quality, personalized living services to senior residents, primarily persons over the age of 75. GCL anticipates that the percentage of its revenue derived from sales of partnership interests would decrease and revenues from newly constructed communities would increase.
GCL currently plans to acquire between four and eight communities over the next two years. The company recently acquired an independent living community in Mesa, Ariz. containing 174 apartments and entered into contracts to purchase other communities, including 133 units in Winter Haven, Fla., 140 units in Albuquerque, N.M., and 153 units in Westland, Mich. In addition, Luciani plans to commence construction on approximately 24 new independent living communities over the next two years. He anticipates on being the managing general partner of the new owning partnerships of any facilities in the future.
Luciani notes that many seniors find that adult living centers provide them with a number of services and features they are unable to find at home, including security, good nutritious food and companionship. Also, according to the National Long Term Care Survey, despite the growth in the elderly population, the percentage of elderly that are disabled and need assistance with activities of daily living (ADLs) has decreased substantially and is expected to continue to decrease. This suggests that demand for independent living communities will increase in the future.
GCL's plans are to move ahead with the prototype adult living community. The prototype contains 142 apartment units and will be located on sites of up to seven acres. Luciani believes that the greater number of units will allow GCL to achieve economies of scale in operations, resulting in lower operating costs, without sacrificing quality of service.
Emeritus Corporation CHAIRMAN AND CEO Daniel R. Baty Seattle, WA
"Many residents currently in nursing homes could be served just as well and at a lower cost in assisted living facilities," says Daniel R. Baty, chairman and CEO of Emeritus Corp. The company was formed in 1993 and currently is one of the largest providers of assisted living communities in the nation.
The company is focused on operating residential-style assisted living communities. Since its organization in 1993, Emeritus has grown to hold ownership, leasehold or management interests in 76 residential communities in 19 states. Of the 76 operating communities, 13 were newly developed in 1996 and 1997, along with three other new facilities that were acquired in 1996. In addition, the company has agreements to purchase eight existing communities located in four states and purchase six communities located in Canada.
"Better products should be available to consumers at a lower cost because of ongoing industry segmentation. And clearly, assisted living will have an increasingly important role to play in this continuum," says Baty.
By December 1994, Emeritus had acquired seven existing residences containing approximately 1,600 units and, in 1996, continued its aggressive growth plan and acquired 35 long-term care properties containing nearly 2,800 units. Further, Emeritus completed 11 newly developed communities and acquired three more that were developed by other companies. The company ended the fiscal year with 74 communities, 71 of which were operating and contained 6,100 units. In 1995, Emeritus went public and, by June of 1996, had doubled in size. "Hopefully, we'll soon be the largest assisted living operator in the country. Our target market is midmarket, but there is room for all the players in this industry," says Baty.
Emeritus plans to expand its network and will continue the acquisition of existing seniors housing, which is either currently operating as assisted living facilities or can be repositioned as assisted living product. Over the long term, Baty notes the popularity of assisted living as a long-term care alternative will decrease the number of existing long-term care facilities and promote the success of assisted living facilities. As a result, Emeritus has instituted a development program to open 15 to 20 newly developed assisted living communities per year. "No matter how you calculate it, the demand for assisted living is growing faster than any other seniors housing product," says Baty.
Host Marriott Corporation PRESIDENT AND CEO Terry Golden Bethesda, MD
"We view our entry into the seniors living industry as a natural extension of our real estate investments in the hospitality industry," says Terry Golden, president and CEO of Host Marriott Corp. "Entry into this complimentary line of business will enable us to invest in an industry enjoying double-digit growth rates." In September 1995, Golden joined Host Marriott Corp. and, in June of this year, the company purchased the Forum Group and its 29 seniors communities for $433 million.
The acquisition represents Host Marriott's aggressive growth strategy into the seniors housing industry. The company plans to grow its seniors real estate portfolio at a rate of 20% per year through the development of new properties and the acquisition of other companies. The Forum Group portfolio includes 29 assisted living communities with 6,127 units located in 11 states. The properties will carry the Marriott name for brand identity purposes and success.
Golden notes that upon closing, the Forum transaction gives Host Marriott 1997 year-to-date acquisitions of more than $800 million, and gets the group closer to its goal of $1 billion. The existing portfolio of seniors communities is expected to generate approximately $55.2 million of Earnings Before Interest, Taxes, Depreciation and Amortization (EBITDA) for the full year 1997. "In an industry where consumers' selection of a seniors facility is primarily based on a brand name and quality of service, we feel that Host Marriott has a competitive advantage which positions us as a leading real estate investor in the industry," says Golden.
Host Marriott's communities have a median age of eight years and represent premier assets in respective markets. The portfolio offers independent living, assisted living, Alzheimer's and nursing care units, and carries an average occupancy rate of 95%. According to the ASHA 25 Owners Survey, Host Marriott is ranked No. 4 nationally with 7,200 units in 29 facilities. The company has an expansion plan that will add 1,075 units, at a total cost of $107 million, by January 1999 with 500 units being completed in 1997.
Advocat Inc. PRESIDENT AND CEO Dr. Charles W. Birkett Franklin, TN
Since 1994, Dr. Charles W. Birkett, president and CEO of Advocat Inc., has used his 35 years of experience in health care to bring Advocat to the position it occupies today. According to the 1997 ASHA 25 Managers Survey, Advocat is ranked tenth with more than 5,890 units in 58 facilities under its management. Advocat operates in the long-term care component of health care, utilizing services for its elderly residents. The growth structure of Advocat has, as of June 30, 1997, the company operating 87 facilities including 65 nursing homes containing 7,341 units in nine Southeastern states and two provinces of Canada. The company also operates 22 assisted living facilities containing 2,470 units.
Most of Advocat's facilities are in secondary markets. In fact, 20 of its nursing home are the only ones in their communities. Approximately 30% of Advocat's residents are receiving some form of care beyond normal nursing home services, including physical, occupational and speech therapies. The company has entered into an agreement with Continental Health Properties to lease an assisted living facility with 54 units to be developed in Thomasville, Ga. The facility will be an upscale property based on an attractive turn-of-the-century home that will be fully renovated. Advocat anticipates opening the facility in mid-1998.
"We're pleased with our expansion into a new state with an upscale assisted living facility," says Dr. Birkett. "These transactions, along with our previously announced lease/acquisition of Pierce Management Group's 29 facilities, greatly expands Advocat's presence in both the United States and Canada." Within the fourth quarter of this year, Advocat will operate 117 facilities with more than 12,054 units, of which 52 will be assisted living communities containing 4,954 units. As for revenue, Advocat's total revenues increased to $44.2 million for the first quarter 1997, compared to $39.8 million in the comparable period of 1996.
"We are pleased to report solid growth in both revenues and net income," says Dr. Birkett. "Our improved profits are driven by both rate increases and our strict focus on expense control within our facilities."
ACTS Inc. VICE CHAIRMAN AND CEO George R. Gunn West Point, PA
Almost three years ago, George R. Gunn, Jr. joined ACTS as vice chairman and CEO. Under his stewardship, the veteran of 20-plus years in the Philadelphia advertising community helped ACTS attain a number of significant accomplishments. With one community and the hopes to provide a more secure living option for seniors, ACTS has grown to become one of the largest owner/operators of seniors housing in the nation with more than 5,500 units at 15 communities in Pennsylvania, North Carolina and Florida.
According to the ASHA 25 Owners and Managers Survey, ACTS places tenth on both lists for 1997. This is a big year for ACTS -- during September ACTS will celebrate its 25th anniversary. Founded in 1971, ACTS opened its first retirement community in Fort Washington, Pa. in October 1972. "For a quarter of a century, ACTS has provided a way for the older members of our population to live independently in a loving, caring and secure environment," says Gunn. "We are proud to celebrate this milestone in our company's history and look for prospects for expanding our services in other areas."
ACTS is currently in the midst of major expansions and new construction projects, as well as plans to pursue new markets over the next few years. A number of Sunbelt communities are presently under review as potential sites for development. Each of ACTS' 13 mature communities has been accredited by the Continuing Care Accreditation Commission (CCAC), so that ACTS now has the largest number of accredited communities of any owner/operator of continuing care retirement communities (CCRCs).
Some notes about 1997: ACTS rebundled its debt load at less than 6% in early 1997, taking advantage of historically low interest rates. The financing, totaling more than $142 million, is believed by ACTS management to be the largest issuance of its kind in the seniors housing industry. In conjunction with the financing, Standard & Poor's awarded ACTS an A-minus investment grade rating. Today, ACTS has led the development of their 15 communities, providing more than 6,000 residents with seniors housing, and is the largest non-for-profit owner/operator in the United States with corporate assets in excess of $400 million.