August 25, 2007 - Los Angeles, Ca

Jameson Family Portraits

Photo by Alex Berliner © Berliner Studio / BEImages

All Rights Reserved (photo by Watt Companies)

SUNSET PARK — Nadine Watt will step into the role of president at Watt Companies, one of the largest owners, developers and managers of commercial real estate in the Western United States, it was announced Monday.

Watt is currently vice president of the Santa Monica-based company.

Her appointment, effective July 1, “reflects a strategic shift in direction away from traditional property management and leasing, and toward increased activity in acquiring and developing real estate assets, and pursuing entrepreneurial joint ventures to diversify the company’s existing portfolio of investments,” according to a company statement.

Jim Maginn, who joined Watt in 1986 as chief financial officer and was named president and CEO in 1995, will spearhead a newly created investment division in partnership with Chief Investment Officer Dean Pentikis that focuses on acquiring retail and multifamily assets.

“The real estate market has changed dramatically over the past few years, and the best way to adapt to the new landscape is to shift our focus to investment, joint ventures and acquisition activities,” said company Chairman Scott Watt.

“We are thrilled to see Nadine make the logical progression to lead the company through this exciting next phase,” he said. “Watt Companies prides itself on being a family-run organization, and Nadine will do a wonderful job carrying out the vision of my father and her grandfather, Ray Watt.”

Over the past 12 years, she has helped develop more than 300 apartment units along with two shopping centers currently under her management. She has also overseen management and operations at Watt Plaza, a 920,000-square-foot office building in Century City that underwent a multimillion-dollar renovation, and served as vice president of Watt Genton Associations, where she identified and analyzed urban, mixed-use and multifamily development opportunities throughout the greater Southwest Region.

“My grandfather Ray Watt taught me more than anyone can imagine,” she said. “I will work hard to protect his legacy and carry on the business with the same kind of vision and care he modeled during his seven-decade career.”

As part of its new strategic focus, the company will consolidate all of its investment in homebuilding ventures under the leadership of Scott Watt and Howard Press, president of Watt Communities.

Press has worked in the homebuilding industry for 27 years, 20 of which have been spent at Watt.

In addition, the leasing and property management activities traditionally performed in-house will be transferred to outside firms, which will be selected within the next 60 days to help manage a portfolio of 40 shopping centers as well as industrial buildings, apartments and mobile home communities.

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