Invitation Homes names new CEO and executive chair

Elevates Bryce Blair, adds John Bartling

Invitation Homes has made some changes to its senior management. Bryce Blair, who has been on Invitation Homes’ board of directors since 2013, was named executive chairman of the board of directors.

Invitation Homes also named John Bartling as president and chief executive officer. Bartling’s appointment is effective on Nov. 3. Bartling will replace Invitation Homes’ current CEO Nick Gould.

Gould is a co-founder of Invitation Homes, Blackstone Group’s (BX) real estate portfolio company, and has been CEO since 2012. He has been named vice chairman of the board of directors.

Blackstone, via Invitation Homes, has grown into the nation’s largest landlord. Since its founding 2012, Invitation Homes has built a portfolio of 46,000 single-family homes by buying real-estate-owned properties, renovating them and renting them out.

“Over the last two years, we have grown Invitation Homes from its inception into the country’s leading single family rental company with 46,000 quality homes,” Gould said.

“Our success can be attributed to the vision of our team and I am delighted to welcome John to the company and Bryce to his new role on the board. They bring a wealth of management experience and real estate expertise that will prove invaluable, as we continue to grow and progress. I look forward to working with them.”

Prior to joining Invitation Homes, Bartling was a senior partner and global co-head of real estate for Ares Management since 2010. Earlier in his career, served in leadership positions at AllBridge Investment; WMC Management Company, a privately held company with clients including Olympus Real Estate Partners; Arnold Palmer Golf Management; Walden Residential, a company with approximately 45,000 multifamily units, and Hyphen Solutions.

“The single family rental business is an exciting place to be with the growth of the industry over the past few years,” Bartling said. “I am excited to join Invitation Homes and build on the momentum that has been created by the management team which has a breadth of operational and multifamily experience. I look forward to working with them and with Bryce Blair as our executive chairman.”

Blair, who joined Invitation Homes’ board of directors in Sept. 2013, is the former chairman of the board and CEO of AvalonBay Communities and currently serves on the board of Pulte Homes and Regency Centers.

He joined AvalonBay in 1993 and served as CEO from 2001 to 2012 and chairman of the board from 2002 to 2013.

“We believe John is extremely well qualified to build on the successful foundation that Nick has established for Invitation Homes,” Blair said. “John is a veteran of the residential real estate industry with a proven record of leading residential and multifamily real estate entities and he brings a wealth of proven operational, financial and leadership skills which will be extraordinarily beneficial to Invitation Homes as it moves to its next phase of growth.”

In recent months, the company has entered the securitization market, bringing three REO-to-rental securitizations to market. Its third securitization launched in late July, and was collateralized by a single $720 million loan secured by the mortgages of 3,750 single-family rental properties.

As with its previous two securitizations, the offering received AAA ratings.

Morningstar, for example, issued $322.58 million in AAA ratings to the offering. Morningstar also awarded $78.79 million in AA ratings and $69.41 million in A ratings.

Of note in the presale report is the vacancy rate of the underlying properties, which stands at 4.4% as of the cutoff date. That’s lower than the vacancy rate in Invitation Homes’ previous SFR securitization in 2014, which was 5.1%, but still far above the vacancy rate of any of the other rental securitizations this year.

Blackstone’s senior managing director and global head of asset management in the real estate group, Bill Stein, said that he is confident that the changes will serve as a positive for the company going forward.

“With John as CEO and Bryce as executive chairman of the board they are well positioned to accelerate the execution of a long-term growth strategy for Invitation Homes that strengthens its position as the market leader in single family rental homes,” Stein said.

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