CHICAGO (January 9, 2016) – Waterton, a U.S. real estate investor and operator, today announced co-founder Peter Vilim will transition from co-chairman to vice chairman of the Chicago-based firm. Following a significant expansion of Waterton’s leadership team over the last five years, Vilim transitioned to the role as part of a planned semi-retirement effective January 1, 2017.
The newly formed position will allow Vilim to increase his involvement with various local and national organizations focused on providing affordable housing and homeless services to low-income families and individuals. Vilim, who co-founded Waterton with CEO David Schwartz in 1995, will retain the second-largest ownership interest in the company as well as his equity stake in all existing Waterton property investments. Vilim will also remain on Waterton’s Investment Committee and Advisory Board, continuing to be involved in the strategic direction of the firm.
Vilim’s transition from co-chairman to vice chairman has been a part of Waterton’s leadership development plan, which commenced in 2012. The plan involved a significant expansion of Waterton’s leadership team, including the addition of several senior members to fill expanded or newly created roles.
“With the incredible support of David and the entire Waterton organization, I have been able to delegate many of my day-to-day responsibilities to further pursue a passion developed in nearly forty years of multifamily investment and management,” said Vilim. “Waterton has over twenty years of experience in value-add real estate investment, as well as adding value through community service. As I transition my focus to the latter, I hope to find ways to apply the techniques, systems and technology Waterton has developed to help preserve affordable housing and prevent homelessness.”
“Over the past two decades, Waterton has provided quality housing for renters on both ends of the income spectrum, so Pete’s involvement with these initiatives will help us bridge the gap and provide much-needed assistance to households that, until now, have been drastically underserved,” said Schwartz. “I’m incredibly proud of everything we’ve been able to accomplish so far, and know community investment will always be a core pillar of our business as a result of Pete’s efforts. He may be calling this a ‘semi-retirement,’ but knowing Pete, he’s just getting started.”
Specifically, Vilim has focused his efforts around needs associated with “the space between,” which refers to the widening gap between government-funded housing assistance and conventional income-qualifying rentals. Most housing assistance programs are offered to households earning up to 60 percent of a region’s Adjusted Median Income (AMI), while market-rate rentals that qualify prospects using traditional income multipliers generally serve households at or above 100 percent AMI.
“With record-low homeownership and rising rents across the country, a growing number of households are finding themselves in the 61-79 percent AMI range, which is the worst place to be,” said Vilim. “These households no longer qualify for rental assistance yet are nowhere close to qualifying for a conventional rental, putting many at risk of losing their homes.”
In partnership with Waterton, Vilim has become increasingly involved with various organizations dedicated to breaking the cycle of poverty and homelessness, including Bridge Communities, Forefront, Cara, Thresholds, Inspiration Corporation and Mercy Housing Lakefront. In 2015, Vilim was named president of the board of directors for All Chicago – Making Homelessness History, a not-for-profit organization dedicated to ending homelessness in the city of Chicago. He also sits on the board of Housing Partnership Equity Trust, one of the leaders in the emerging field of raising and investing private equity into affordable housing without program restrictions.
Waterton is a real estate investor and operator with a focus on U.S. multifamily and hospitality properties. Founded in 1995, Waterton executes value-add strategies and manages a national portfolio of multifamily and hospitality properties on behalf of institutional investors, family offices and financial institutions. Since its formation, the company has acquired over $6.5 billion in real estate assets. Waterton is privately held and is headquartered in Chicago with regional teams throughout the United States. Currently, Waterton’s portfolio includes approximately $4.2 billion in real estate assets, including approximately 15,000 multifamily units and 10 hotels. Visit Waterton’s website: www.waterton.com.