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    May 2, 2008  


Our friends at Arnold & Porter congratulate partner Rich Lucas
on his recent appointment as EVP and GC of Hilton Hotels Corp
After 18 years in A & P's DC office, Rich will be based in Beverly
Hills starting May 12. Our congrats, too!


The U.S. population over the age of 75 will double in the next 20 years, growing at a rate nearly triple that of the overall population. If you’ve got the entrepreneurial bent of Sean Murphy, GC of Wakefield Capital, you see those stats and think: Hey, that’s going to require a lot of senior housing. And then you start buying. In two years since Wakefield’s formation, he’s guided its acquisition of 119 housing and healthcare real estate properties with a $1 billion valuation.


Wakefield is a joint venture between Chain Bridge Capital of Bethesda (where Sean also served as GC) and NorthStar Realty Finance of NY, which provides the green. Sean keeps a watch over the corporate niceties but the lean staff of 15 and the pace of purchases require a structure built for speed: Wakefield has just three members on its Investment Committee and Board of Directors. GC by title, Sean also sources many of Wakefield’s deals, like their recent pickup of six assisted-living facilities in North Carolina. The business role was probably inevitable—Sean considered B-School but felt a duty to follow a professional path and knew he “didn’t have the patience” to become a doctor like his father. That made law school the “default option.”


He considers former Williams & Connolly partner and Wakefield CEO Ed Nordberg a bit of a mentor, although they went Georgetown Law at the same time. (Ed does have a couple years and a few gray hairs over him.) They might not have reunited if Sean, with a background at DOJ’s Civil Div., had accepted the job he was offered with the independent counsel office investigating former HUD Secretary Henry Cisneros. Sean consulted another mentor at the time, a federal judge, who asked him if he really wanted to take an assignment that would put him in an investigatory niche. (And if he wanted to make that many enemies.)  


Sean decided against it and got in touch with his inner entrepreneur, but don’t think he’s all about money. He’s received the John Carroll Society legal service award for pro bono work on behalf of Catholic Charities. More importantly for you golfers, he’s chairing the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society’s Golf Classic on May 19th at Bethesda Country Club, honoring his father who died of a related disease. (Still time to sign up!)

John Ford is Bisnow’s Managing Editor.  Got a good story? By all means, let him know at john@bisnow.com.

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