Michael Kojaian, the recently elected new chairman of the board at New York-based Grubb & Ellis, has strong incentive to push the real estate services company to higher levels of profitability and efficiency. After all, Grubb & Ellis manages more than $1 billion of his own family’s real estate holdings.

A substantial stockholder and director with Grubb & Ellis since 1996, Kojaian also recently provided the company with $15.2 million in financing through a wholly-owned company, Kojaian Ventures. A native of Bloomfield Hills, Mich., Kojaian is known as one of the largest office developers in the state.

"Over the past six weeks, Grubb & Ellis has faced and overcome some serious challenges," Kojaian said in a prepared statement. "We’ve lost some good people. We have also done a lot more business than most people realize, and have capitalized on a unique opportunity to really examine and evaluate our systems, human capital, geographic positioning and competitive structure."

Kojaian succeeds outgoing chairman Reuben Leibowitz, a principal with New York-based venture capital firm and major Grubb & Ellis investor Warburg Pincus.