Wm. Polk Carey is the Founder and Chairman of W. P. Carey & Co. LLC (NYSE: WPC), a leading specialized investment banking firm headquartered in New York City, with operations world-wide. He is also Chairman of the W. P. Carey Foundation.
Mr. Carey began his career in international corporate finance in 1959 and brought the first foreign direct investment into Australia in 1960, at age 29. He moved into the net leasing of corporate real estate in 1964 as Chairman of the Executive Committee of Hubbard, Westervelt & Mottelay (now Merrill Lynch Hubbard). Before starting W. P. Carey & Co. in 1973, he served as Head of Real Estate and Equipment Financing at Loeb, Rhoades & Co. (now part of Lehman Brothers) and Vice Chairman of the Investment Banking Board and Director of Corporate Finance of duPont Glore Forgan Inc.
Mr. Carey founded W. P. Carey & Co. primarily to structure single-asset private investments. Over 35 years, W. P. Carey & Co. has evolved into the world's largest publicly traded limited liability company and now owns some 850 commercial and industrial properties throughout North America, Europe and Asia, comprising 100 million square feet of space. Conservatively leveraged for a financial enterprise, the total equity and assets of the W. P. Carey Group are around $5 billion and $9.6 billion, respectively.
Educated at Princeton and the University of Pennsylvania's Wharton School, he holds honorary doctorates from Arizona State University (Doctor of Science), from the City University of New York (Doctor of Commercial Science), and from the University of the South (Doctor of Civil Law). Additionally in 1999, Mr. Carey served as the Executive in Residence at the Harvard Business School.
A former Governor of the National Associations of Real Estate Investment Trusts (NAREIT), Mr. Carey is currently a Trustee of The Johns Hopkins University, where the most popular undergraduate minor is the "W. P. Carey Program in Entrepreneurship and Management.” Mr. Carey is also active in other educational and philanthropic institutions throughout the world.
He served for many years on the Visiting Committee to the Economics Department of the University of Pennsylvania, and along with Nobel Laureate Lawrence R. Klein, helped establish the University's Institute for Economic Research (PIER). In January 2003, the W. P. Carey Foundation endowed the W. P. Carey School of Business at Arizona State University, which includes important operations in China.