LOS ANGELES, Jan. 27, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- Pacific Oak Capital Advisors LLC, a sponsor of commercial real estate-focused alternative investments programs, announced today that the company grew assets under management to approximately $3.2 billion during 2019, its first year of operations. As a result of its rapid growth, the company has expanded its executive management team to include: Brian Ragsdale, executive vice president, transaction management; Jeff Rader, executive vice president, asset management; Michael Potter, senior vice president; and Jason Espiritu, vice president.
As previously announced, during 2019 Pacific Oak was named sponsor and advisor of Pacific Oak Strategic Opportunity REIT, Inc. and Pacific Oak Strategic Opportunity REIT II, Inc. (formerly known as KBS Strategic Opportunity REIT, Inc. and KBS Strategic Opportunity REIT II, Inc.). The company was also named external manager of Keppel Pacific Oak US REIT, which trades on the Singapore Exchange Securities Trading Limits as "KepPacOakREITUSD," and Pacific Oak Residential Trust, formerly known as Reven Housing REIT, which became a wholly owned subsidiary of Pacific Oak Strategic Opportunity REIT in November. Additionally, other affiliates of the company have successfully launched a number of private investment programs that have acquired hundreds of millions of dollars worth of commercial real estate assets throughout the United States.
"Pacific Oak enjoyed tremendous success in 2019, our first year of operations, and remains on an aggressive growth trajectory heading into 2020," said Peter McMillan, co-founder of Pacific Oak. "Fortunately, we have longstanding relationships with some of the most experienced professionals in the commercial real estate world and have been able to seamlessly expand our management team to match the exceptional growth of our assets under management."
Keith Hall, co-founder, added, "Brian, Jeff, Michael and Jason are proven professionals who add tremendous experience and expertise to Pacific Oak. We couldn't be more pleased that they have chosen to continue their professional relationships with us and to help us provide industry-leading service to our clients and investors."
Each of the new executive hires joined Pacific Oak from KBS Capital Advisors, where they previously worked under Mr. Hall and Mr. McMillan.
Pacific Oak and its affiliates facilitate the acquisition, disposition and management of commercial real estate and commercial real estate-related investment products, as well as the distribution of financial products designed to provide individual and institutional investors with the benefits that can accrue from the ownership of commercial real estate. Investment offerings include tax-advantaged Delaware statutory trusts (DSTs) and qualified opportunity zone funds (QOZFs), real estate investment trusts (REITs), as well as other value-add alternative investment products.
Biographies of Additions to Pacific Oak Management
Brian Ragsdale, Executive Vice President, Transaction Management Ragsdale is responsible for all origination and underwriting of loans, both by Pacific Oak Capital Advisors and those purchased from third parties. He has more than 22 years of experience in originating and negotiating commercial real estate mortgage loans and identifying equity acquisition opportunities.
Prior to joining Pacific Oak Capital Advisors, he was vice president of mortgage lending and real estate at AIG Global Investment Corp. where he was responsible for the supervision of the investment management department associated with AIG's $13 billion, 1,500-square-foot loan portfolio. Previously, Ragsdale was senior vice president of client portfolio management for Trammell Crow Company, and he was vice president of asset and portfolio management for PM Realty Advisors. While at PM Realty, he oversaw a 30-asset, $450 million portfolio owned by a state employee retirement fund.
Ragsdale graduated from the University of Arizona with a bachelor's degree with honors in civil engineering and received his Master of Business Administration degree from Southern Methodist University in Dallas. He is the recipient of the Costa School of Real Estate Certificate at Southern Methodist University.
Jeff Rader, Executive Vice President, Asset Management Rader is responsible for the acquisition, asset management and disposition of numerous Pacific Oak investments located across the United States for Pacific Oak Strategic Opportunity REIT I and Pacific Oak Strategic Opportunity REIT II. Previously at KBS, Rader underwrote, originated, purchased and managed debt investments for KBS REIT I, KBS REIT II and KBS REIT III.
Rader completed his Master of Business Administration in real estate and finance from the Marshall School of Business at the University of Southern California and holds a bachelor's degree in economics from DePauw University.
Michael Potter, Senior Vice President Michael Potter has served as a senior vice president of Pacific Oak Capital Advisors since November 2019. As senior vice president for Pacific Oak Capital Advisors, he oversees and directs the origination, underwriting, financing and closing activities for acquisitions and joint venture opportunities. Prior to joining Pacific Oak Capital Advisors, Potter served as vice president for KBS Capital Advisors for more than seven years, where he was responsible for the origination and underwriting of direct acquisitions, joint ventures and loans in KBS Strategic Opportunity REIT I and II.
Potter completed his bachelor's degree at UC Davis and also earned a Master of Business Administration/ Master of Real Estate Development from the University of Southern California.
Jason Espiritu, Vice President Jason Espiritu has served as a vice president of Pacific Oak Capital Advisors since November 2019. Prior to joining Pacific Oak Capital Advisors, he served as associate vice president for KBS Capital Advisors for five years. At KBS, Espiritu played an integral role in the acquisition of assets totaling more than $400 million and nearly 3 million square feet in Pacific Oak Strategic Opportunity REIT and Pacific Oak Strategic Opportunity REIT II. In 2017, Espiritu was instrumental in the sale of an $800 million, 3.2 million-square-foot portfolio into Keppel Pacific Oak US REIT, leading the due diligence and closing process on behalf of the KBS asset management team. In 2016, Espiritu spearheaded the due diligence effort in order to raise $250 million in proceeds through an Israeli bond issuance on the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange.
Prior to KBS, Espiritu served as an acquisitions analyst for one of the most active and seasoned buyers and operators of multifamily communities in the United States, the Bascom Group, which has completed in excess of $16.2 billion in multifamily and commercial value-added transactions since 1996. Espiritu began his career as a civil engineer, working for AECOM, a Fortune 500, multinational engineering firm and Stantec, a $4.3 billion revenue, Canada-based engineering company.
Espiritu obtained his bachelor's degree in engineering from the University of California, Irvine and earned a Master of Business Administration degree from the University of Southern California.
Michael Bender, Chief Financial Officer As chief financial officer, Mike Bender is responsible for the firm's finance, accounting, treasury and administrative functions. He has more than 30 years' experience in the financial services industry, focused on public companies.
His experience comes from previous leadership roles with several organizations, including Spirit Realty, Kamal Osman Jamjoon LLC (a Dubai-based retailer), Republic Services, American Express and FINOVA. Prior to those roles, Bender was a senior manager with Deloitte. He is a graduate of Arizona State University, with a Bachelor of Science in accounting degree and a Master of Business Administration. He is a certified public accountant (CPA).
Ben Aitkenhead, Managing Director, Pacific Oak Capital Advisors Ben Aitkenhead is responsible for building and managing Pacific Oak's private placements business. In this role, he is building Pacific Oak's DST business, single-family rental business, and opportunity zone fund.
Prior to joining Pacific Oak, Aitkenhead was a managing director at Credit Suisse and a member of the Global Fixed Income Operating Committee. He held multiple positions in fixed income at Credit Suisse during his 22-year tenure at the firm, including head of Commercial Real Estate Finance, Securitized Products, co-head and national sales manager, head of Mortgage Special Servicing, and head of Real Estate Trading & Capital Markets. In these positions he was responsible for building multiple business platforms, capital raising, capital commitment, risk management, client relationships and strategic business development. Aitkenhead was co-head of the securitized products business throughout the global financial crisis in 2007-09. Credit Suisse did not receive any government bailout as a result of that crisis.
Aitkenhead received his Master of Arts degree in comparative politics from New York University, and his Bachelor of Arts degree in philosophy, politics and economics from Oxford University. He is an independent director on the board of Blackstone Real Estate Investment Fund.
Jeremy Healey, Managing Director, Pacific Oak Residential Trust Jeremy Healey is the co-founder of Battery Point Financial and its affiliates. Since 2009, he has focused on moderate and middle-income housing, including investments in both single-family and multifamily properties. He brings more than twenty years of experience in related fields from previous management positions at Goldman Sachs and Credit Suisse, including principal transactions, real estate investments, structured asset investments and structured finance. Healey is a graduate of both Georgetown University (B.A.) and the Wharton School (M.B.A.).
Michael Gough, Managing Director, Pacific Oak Residential Trust Michael Gough is a co-founder of Battery Point Financial and its affiliates. Michael is primarily responsible for portfolio management. He has more than twenty years of experience in sales and trading, proprietary investing, structured finance, alternative investments, debt capital markets, derivatives, real estate, and investment banking. Michael's experience includes tenures with Soloman Brothers and Credit Suisse. Michael is a graduate of Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University.
About Pacific Oak Capital Advisors Pacific Oak Capital Advisors is an alternative investment asset management company that focuses on sponsoring and distributing financial products that provide quality investment opportunities to financial advisors, registered investment advisors, institutional investors and high net-worth clients.
Pacific Oak is driven by its mission to pursue opportunity through a broad range of real estate investments and to develop and manage these investment opportunities for the benefit of our clients, including our investors, joint venture partners, tenants, associates and communities. Our investment professionals are dedicated to matching capital with opportunities that produce above-market results and growth through real estate, private equity, and other alternative investment product offerings. Pacific Oak and its affiliated companies currently manage a portfolio of real estate valued in excess of $3.2 billion.