US - First Industrial Realty Trust, the North American Real Estate Investment Trust (REIT), has appointed Bruce Duncan as president and chief executive officer. 

Duncan, 57, has over 30 years' experience of real estate management and investment and has been tasked with enhancing shareholder value and strengthening its team.

First Industrial has also appointed Ed Tyler, the company's interim CEO, as the new non-executive chairman of the firm's board of directors following the resignation of Jay Shidler - chairman of First Industrial since its launch in 1994 but will now as a member of the board and act as chairman of the company's investment committee.

Commenting on the new CEO, Tyler said: "Bruce is the ideal leader for our organisation as we navigate through the current environment and seek to capitalize on the long-term opportunities in the industrial real estate sector." 

"The Board's search committee identified a strong group of potential new leaders and, following extensive review and deliberation, Bruce was our top choice," he added.

First Industrial is currently involved in a joint venture with California State Teachers' Retirement System (CalSTRS) to invest in logistics in the Netherlands and Belgium, however the arrangement was extended last September because officials were having trouble finding fairly priced logistics properties. (See earlier IPE Real Estate story: CalSTRS joint venture gains news financing)

Not long after that First Industrial had a major management change, but CalSTRS vowed to continue to work with the firm. (See earlier IPE Real Estate story: CalSTRS to stick with changing First Industrial)

Duncan is currently chairman of the board of Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, where he was also interim CEO between April and September 2007. Before joining the firm in 2005, he served as president and CEO of Equity Residential, an apartment REIT, for three years.

Duncan has a number of previous affiliations, as he has served on the Board of Governors for the National Association of Real Estate Trusts (NAREIT) and the Canadian Institute for Public Real Estate Companies (CIPREC).

This latest arrival follows recent news of further management changes at First Industrial, as Scott Musil was named acting chief financial officer following the resignation of Mike Havala.

If you have any comments you would like to add to this or any other story, contact Poppy Sketchley on + 44 (0)20 7261 4629 or email