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Columbia Property Trust Hires New CEO, Names Nelson Mills Chairman

Nelson Mills, the longtime CEO and now chairman of Columbia Property Trust

Columbia Property Trust, the real estate investment trust that was taken private last year, has a new CEO for the first time in a decade.

Adam Frazier, the former head of New York at Oxford Properties, will replace Nelson Mills as Columbia's chief executive, the New York-based investment firm announced. Mills, who has served as CEO since 2012, has been named non-executive chairman of the company’s board.

“We are excited to welcome Adam as President and CEO,” Mills said in a statement. “Adam possesses a wealth of experience and expertise across asset management, investments, and development that will greatly benefit Columbia and its stakeholders.”

Frazier spent close to eight years at Oxford Properties before joining Columbia, where he oversaw development, operations and leasing in New York for the company, the real estate arm of Canadian pension fund OMERS. He led the redevelopment of St. John's Terminal on Manhattan's West Side into 1.3M SF of office that Google bought for $2.1B last year. He also spent almost seven years at Boston Properties, first as development manager and later as vice president of leasing.

“I’m excited to join Columbia’s incredibly talented and dedicated team of real estate professionals,” Frazier said in a statement. “Nelson and the team have built an exceptional company, portfolio, and business platform, which is well positioned for future growth and success.”

Mills joined Columbia in 2010, overseeing the company’s debut as the first REIT to list publicly on the New York Stock Exchange through its 2021 sale to Pacific Investment Management Co., a subsidiary of German financial services giant Allianz SE. During his time as CEO, Mills also oversaw Columbia’s portfolio consolidation down from more than two dozen markets, including Houston and Atlanta, to office buildings concentrated largely in New York, San Francisco and Washington, D.C.

Mills led Columbia's purchase of Normandy Property Trust, which saw much of its legacy portfolio sold and roughly 50 former real estate professionals depart to spinoff firm Cannon Hill Capital Partners earlier this summer.

Prior to joining Columbia, Mills served as president and CEO at Williams Realty Advisors and as chief financial officer for Lend Lease Real Estate Investments.