Wells Real Estate Investment Trust II has changed its name to Columbia Property Trust and internalised its management.
The newly renamed company now is headquartered at One Glenlake Parkway in Atlanta, Georgia, and has approximately 100 employees nationwide.
In April 2012, Wells REIT II declared its intention to internalise its operations, separating the company from its former adviser, Wells Real Estate Funds. Pursuant to its charter, the REIT is required to list its shares on a national stock exchange or begin to liquidate its assets by October 2015.
The majority of publicly traded REITs are self-advised, and Wells REIT II indicated in its 2012 proxy filings that its board of directors intended to consider listing on a national exchange. In its move to become self-advised, the REIT paid no internalization fee to Wells Real Estate Funds for the employees, assets, proprietary systems and processes necessary for self-management. To ensure the successful transition to a fully internalised structure, the REIT will pay fees to Wells Real Estate Funds for transition services, consulting and investor services agreements through 2013.
The board also determined that having an independent director as chairman would be in the best interest of Columbia Property Trust. On 31 December 2012, Leo Wells stepped down as chairman of the board, a position he had held since 2003, and John L. Dixon, an independent director since 2008, was appointed in his place.
“We have reached a major milestone for the REIT,” says Nelson Mills, president and chief executive officer of Columbia Property Trust. “With close to USD6bn in Class-A office properties, we believe we are well-positioned to advance to the next phase in the REIT’s lifecycle.”