Position: President and chief executive, Enterprise Social Investment Corp., a provider of affordable housing affiliated with the Columbia-based Enterprise Foundation. Officially starts in January.
Career highlights: Executive vice president, Rouse Co.
Education: BA, international economics, Cornell University; MBA, finance, Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania
Personal: Lives in Baltimore with wife, Anne
You've practically spent your whole career at Rouse, where you were responsible for raising money for some of that company's most high-profile developments, such as Harborplace in Baltimore and South Street Seaport in Lower Manhattan. Why the change now? Well, I had been there for 30 years. That's a long time to be at one place. There was one person above me . . . and I had my hopes that he might retire at a younger age. He's still doing a great job and decided he wanted to work for a longer period. . . . I wanted to see if I could find a position where I could be a leader of an organization that was doing good things. And I had an interest in urban planning and rebuilding cities and helping people who hadn't been as fortunate. . . . I had been on the ESIC board for seven years. And they were doing wonderful things.
ESIC recently joined Fannie Mae in a five-year initiative to provide $1.5 billion to support the development of affordable housing in low- to moderate-income communities across the nation. Yes, Fannie Mae is our largest provider of funds.
So, how does ESIC differ from other low-income housing providers? It's part of a foundation. And the foundation in the investment company has a specific social mission, which is to improve life in urban America. And the belief is that in accomplishing that mission, they can be economically viable. The mission comes first, and the economic viability is watched closely to be sure it's there. But the investment company chooses projects that have the most social impact, rather than the ones that will make ESIC the greatest profit.
What are your operational goals for the coming year? The company at this point invests about $500 million per year in affordable housing. So, a major goal is to see that it is done well, that the projects are completed on time and that the investors' yield expectations are met. Enterprise Homes, which is a subsidiary company that builds new homes and is currently in process to do about $500 million worth of projects. .
Do you anticipate any challenges? Absolutely. Challenges on several levels. The syndication -- the raising of funds through low [income] housing tax credit -- business is competitive. And so, ESIC needs to continue to work hard to get its share of available tax credit and to invest those funds prudently. Also, there is now available a New Market Tax Credit designed to facilitate commercial, non-housing construction in urban areas. So, ESIC's goal and challenge is to obtain a significant share.
-- Judith Mbuya