Wednesday, January 2, 2013

It pays to be the boss.

Before the "housing bubble meltdown" in late 2008, I briefly worked at Sunrise Senior Living, headquartered in Tysons Corner, as a Development Transaction Associate.  Essentially, I was hired to track the progress of the various community developments around the U.S. including coordinating Purchase Sale Agreements, making sure Debt was lined up, and communicating with equity partners.  After 2+ years at JHU READING about this stuff, I was FINALLY experiencing it first hand.  I was in heaven, working for a great company who fed us ice cream and popcorn, free gym membership, free Starbucks coffee...this was great! Then, after the second week, they made an announcement they were stopping the free Starbucks.  I should have known that was the beginning of the end.

Third week, the entire company was invited to the neighboring Hilton to have a meeting.  They announced Mark Ordan (of The Mills Corporation and Balducci's) was taking over as CEO and also announced voluntary layoffs.  Anyone who felt their position could be consolidated were invited to present their plan and receive a generous package in return.  Uh oh.  Obviously once the markets tanked, I knew my position was in trouble.  A week later, both my boss and my positions were eliminated.  I wasn't worried though.  They gave me a great package (frankly for a month of employment, I didn't think I deserved) and I found a job a week after my layoff working in the distressed market!

Point of the story is that even after being laid off, I knew Sunrise was a winner and I knew the company would eventually be sold.  How did I know? Because they hired Mark Ordan, had a reputation for taking over a company and orchestrate its eventual sale as he did for The Mills.  I knew Mark would do the same for Sunrise.  So after I got laid off, I bought tons of Sunrise stock essentially at a penny stock.  My husband thought I was crazy.  Fast forward 3 years, Health Care REIT announced its agreement to acquire Sunrise for $14.50 per share.  PARTY TIME FOR PATTI (and I told you so for Neil).

Why am I going into all of this? Because I just read in the Washington Business Journal that Mark Ordan will stand to collect $16.7 million for his efforts. Damn.  That puts my $14.50 per share to shame. ;P  But as the title suggests, It pays to be the boss!

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