Our Team

Fully integrated capabilities that combine dedicated professionals with the support of a veteran organization

We have made a significant investment in our people and have assembled a Best-in-Class team across all facets of real estate investing and execution of the business plan. Cobalt’s team members have led major organizations as property operators, investors or lenders with the most recognized real estate firms in the country.

Our team has fully integrated capabilities that include a dedicated core group of seven investment, leasing and asset management specialists committed exclusively to the Cobalt platform. The Cobalt team is supported by a broader resource pool of nearly 120 legal, accounting and finance and other professionals within the greater Divaris organization. Systems are in place to adequately handle the expected growth in our assets under management. Cobalt will also benefit from its affiliation with two of the leading retail property leasing broker networks as well as from a select group of proven third-party service providers, with which the team members have long-standing working relationships.

Senior Leadership

Great experience in development, leasing and property management and the setting of asset and portfolio management strategies

Our key team members have been owning principals and have deployed significant equity in numerous real estate investments on our own behalf. The collective experience of the team exceeds 200 million square feet leased and managed properties with the value of those managed investments exceeding $35 Billion. The team has also been responsible for the deployment of more than $5 Billion in new development and re-development capital into more than thirty high-profile projects.

Many of our partners have extensive experience as retailers and all have led organizations as property operators, investors or lenders with the most recognized real estate firms in the country. We have wide reaching and in-depth knowledge of each of our targeted trade areas and all of their related components. Throughout the process, we evaluate each investment opportunity as a retailer evaluates the leasing opportunity at the property.

Our Track Record Speaks for Itself…

Download Our Track Record

Gerald S. Divaris
Chairman

Gerald Divaris is the Chairman of the Divaris Group of companies, that leases and manages in excess of 30 million square feet. The firm employs over 120 people in eight offices. He is also, the Chairman/ President of Realty Resources, the nationwide network of brokers specializing in retail real estate.
He has maintained an active involvement and serves on multiple Business and Philanthropic Boards. Gerald is an acclaimed real estate visionary who understands the connection and synergy between the real estate asset classes. He has been a consultant in both the pre- development and development phases of numerous major mixed-use projects nationally and internationally during his career.

Richard L. Taylor
CEO

Dick is the dedicated key principal for the Cobalt platform. He has more than 35 years of experience as a senior shopping center executive. He has served as the senior property management officer for three nationwide shopping center operating companies: First Union, May Centers and The O’Connor Group. While at O’Connor, he also directed the asset management team responsible for the firm’s three Opportunistic Funds that invested $4 billion across a broad spectrum of property types and real estate operating companies. Dick was a Managing Partner and retail property specialist at both Blackstone Real Estate Advisors and Brookfield Asset Management. At Brookfield, he was Chairman of an
$800 million retail property fund.
Dick has served in multiple leadership roles for the International Council of Shopping Centers including State Chairman, Regional Chairman and a Member of the Shopping Center Management Governing Committee. He holds am MBA from the University of Denver and the CSM designation from ICSC.

Michael Divaris
COO

Michael Divaris is the President of the Divaris Group of companies which includes Divaris Real Estate, Inc. and Divaris Property Management Corp. The Company currently employs over 150 personnel and has offices in eight cities on the East Coast of the United States. The Company is a full service brokerage firm with a portfolio in excess of 26 million square feet in management and leasing assignments. Michael Divaris heads up the Office Leasing and Investment Sales Divisions and is responsible for the firm’s Property Management Group.

Our Executives have held senior positions with the most renowned shopping center operating companies and private equity investors.

Blackstone
Brookfield Asset Management
DeBartolo Realty Corp
General Growth Properties
Goodman Segar Hogan
First Union Real Estate
May Department Stores
New England Development

ING Real Estate
The Mills Corp
Madison Marquette
The Rouse Company
Starwood Capital
O’Connor Capital Partners
Jones Lang LaSalle

Dedicated Management Team

We have proven our capability to execute on complex business plans. The Cobalt senior management team averages more than twenty-five years in senior executive roles. Our collective experience in the retail property sector includes direct employment, many at the highest levels of the organization, from a wide cross-section of the most recognized retail property owners and managers and private equity investors. We have also maintained client relationships with a world-class group of institutional investors. Many of those engagements have remained in place for more than twenty years.

Kent Lilley
Managing Partner and Director for the Southeast

Kent’s experience spans nearly twenty-five years with fifteen years focused on the southeast markets. His responsibilities have included positions as the Director of Leasing for Paradise Development, Senior Leasing Advisor for the southern states for Madison Marquette and Senior Leasing Associate for both United Properties and Brookfield Properties. In his advisory capacity, Kent has completed more than $250 million in property transactions and directed the leasing for more than 50 large shopping centers. Mr. Lilley holds a BBA in Accounting from Midwestern State University and is a licensed broker.

Robert Ferguson
Partner and Director of Development

Bob served as President and Chief Development Officer for May Centers and Executive Vice President for DeBartolo Realty Corp. He also held similar responsibilities for the Mills Corporation during its entry into the regional mall sector. Bob has completed numerous US and international development advisory assignments in Asia and South America, including Sun Hung Kai Properties in Hong Kong and the Seibu and Sogo Department Store companies in Japan. Bob has directed more than $5 billion in capital expenditures for new development and redevelopment projects. Mr. Ferguson holds a B.A. degree from Wilfred Laurier University of Waterloo, Ontario, Canada.

Alex Divaris
Partner, Acquisition

Alex assists in the property acquisition and disposition. His other areas of specialization include financial analysis and evaluation of investment properties including the due diligence and closing processes. Alex holds a Bachelor of Business Administration degree in Finance from The College of William and Mary in Williamsburg, Virginia, and is a Certified Commercial Investment Member (CCIM). He is also a co-Founder and Board member of the CBDA’s young professionals group.

Daniel Owen, CSM
Partner and Director of Asset Management

Dan’s extensive experience includes roles as the Senior Vice President at General Growth, where he oversaw approximately 50 retail properties and directed the third-party property management for an additional 30 properties. Dan also served as the senior property management executive for Madison Marquette and Jones Lang LaSalle’s retail property group. At JLL, he was the Executive Vice President of all North American retail property management with responsibilities encompassing 60 properties and a 150 member executive team.

We Have Maintained Investor and Partner Relations with Many Well Known Firms and Associations

AEW
Alex Brown Realty
CALPERS
CALSTRS
Capital Guidance
DRA Advisors
INVESCO
JP Morgan Chase
ING Real Estate
Heitman Real Estate Advisors
HSBC
Oaktree Capital
Ohio Teachers Retirement
TIAA Cref
Prudential

UBS
Commonwealth of Virginia
New York Life
Mass Mutual
Northwestern Mutual
AIG Global
John Hancock
Inland Real Estate Group
Armada Hoffler REIT
Sun Life
GE
Unum
PREIT
Rouse

Key Divaris Support

Divaris has full service capability with proven systems in place. Initially most of the personnel will be available on a shared basis. As the platform and the assets under management grow, additional dedicated team members will be added from either the Divaris staff or from experienced new hires.
Beth Buchert, RPA
Director of Lease Administration

Beth has served as Director of Lease Administration for Divaris Property Management Corp since 1998. She oversees a team of trained professionals who are responsible for lease abstracts, audits, financial transactions, expense reconciliations and recovery projections for CAM, Tax, Insurance, and Utilities. Beth developed Divaris’ custom lease abstract and other reports utilizing Yardi Voyager™. Beth has over 30 years of real estate experience, including prior positions with Goodman, Segar, Hogan, Hoffler, Turner-Harwood Ventures and Burlage Corp. She received her degree from East Carolina University. Beth is a Real Property Administrator (RPA) through Building Owners and Managers Association (BOMA) International.

Susan E. Collins
Director of Property Management

Susan Collins has more than 30 years of experience in commercial property management. As national director, she is responsible for all property management activities. She has developed the Core Management and Best Practices for Divaris. Prior to joining Divaris, Susan was a manager with S. L. Nusbaum Realty, responsible for management of a 1,500,000 square foot retail portfolio. She attended Radford College, the Washington Business School and the Institute of Real Estate Management. Susan is a member of Commercial Real Estate Women (CREW), and holds a Certified Property Manager (CPM) through IREM. She served on the Board of the local IREM Chapter as Vice President of Finance.

Gwen Gilbert, SHRM-CP, PHR
Director of Human Resources

Gwen directs the daily operations of Human Resources, overseeing all key areas of HR including: recruitment/employment, employee benefits, training and development, employee relations, recognition and compliance. She has a Bachelor of Arts degree in Human Resources Administration from St. Leo University. Gwen earned the SHRM-CP and the Professional in Human Resources (PHR) credentials.

Jason Oliver, CCM
Property Acquisition Member

Jason is a member of the acquisition and disposition team. His responsibilities include transaction sourcing, financial analysis and due diligence process. Jason handles the analysis of investment properties through ARGUS, as well as the research and marketing of investment sales materials. He holds a Bachelor degree from the University of Virginia.

Joe Rapisardi
Director of Consumer Marketing and Brand Development

Joe directs the branding and consumer marketing for Cobalt. He previously served as Marketing Director for Franciscus Homes, a regional homebuilder located in Virginia Beach. He received two National Awards from the National Association of Homebuilders for his creative marketing programs for several residential projects. Other prior experience includes serving as Marketing Director for HomeQuest Realty, and Doran Consulting. Joe holds a Bachelor’s Degree from Christopher Newport University where he studied Design, Marketing and Computer Science.

Chris Taylor
Director of Accounting

Chris joined the Divaris team in 2000 and has over 30 years experience in Real Estate Accounting. As Director of Accounting, she oversees the property management accounting. Previously, Chris was controller of development and property management accounting for the National Housing Corporation/Housing Management Services, Inc. Chris is also a former assistant controller for Goodman Segar Hogan & Hoffler. Other prior experience includes controller for J. Webb Incorporated and two other prominent real estate firms in the DC Metropolitan area, Carl Freeman Associates and The Henry A. Long Company. Chris holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration, with a Finance and Accounting concentration from the University of Virginia in Charlottesville, Virginia. She is a licensed Certified Public Accountant.