As a self-described “product guy,” head of acquisitions Jared Morgan has been acquiring and disposing of single tenant net lease assets at Four Springs Capital Trust for three of his fifteen years of experience in the sector. “What’s great is that fifteen years’ experience in net lease is like fifty years in other sectors because it’s relatively new and has grown so fast,” says Morgan. He has been employing his experience in the sector by securing deals in the industrial, retail, and medical space.
Morgan didn’t start out in net lease real estate when he was fresh out of undergrad from Colby College. After graduation, Morgan cut his teeth as a real estate consultant at Arthur Anderson, one of the “big five” tax accounting firms in the late ’90s. “I was on the lowest end of the org chart as an analyst trying to figure out how to underwrite and place a value on the massive real estate transactions that were being executed by REITs and Wall Street,” Morgan jokes, “but all that travel and late nights proved to be a tremendous training experience.”
After working on Wall Street for Banker Trust, Morgan found himself building an estate technology company for sponsor Apollo Real Estate Advisors. After feeling the impact of the first downturn of the 21st century tech boom, Morgan found that this professional experience set up his professional character for the years to come. “It created an immediate level of maturity for me, and I learned a lot of valuable lessons,” Morgan recounts. “I really came out of that experience with a goal to not sacrifice my values and to always keep my word.”
Today, Morgan builds his diversified portfolio with a lean but mean team at Four Springs. One of the largest benefits to running a small team is the ability to problem solve with efficiency. “To have an experienced management team that can sit down together at a moment’s notice when problems arise and solve them is important to me, and I have that with Four Springs,” says Morgan.
Another facet of Morgan’s work at Four Springs is to develop a diversified portfolio. As he explains, you don’t want all your eggs in one basket and product diversity will be the most beneficial to shareholders in the long run. “When a sector hits a tough spot like retail has for the past couple years, then I’m not fully exposed. As sectors like industrial get overheated and overpriced, I might find better transactions in other asset classes. I like that diversity, and I think it’s critical to building the right portfolio.”
With the multiplicity of moving pieces at Four Springs, Morgan works to overcome daily challenges by promoting efficiency protocols. “There are only so many hours of the day and so many places that I can go visit,” he explains. “I’ve learned how to become extremely efficient and creative in how I find opportunities.” This attitude manifests itself in Morgan’s meetings with the investment committee at Four Springs, in which he requires unanimous approval before writing an offer on a transaction. This might seem like a lot of upfront work, but Morgan finds it essential to have senior management commitment to a transaction to maintain a strong reputation in the market.
Morgan keeps up his competitive edge through creativity, hard work, and strong relationships with colleagues in his field. “There’s really no room for hubris/ego in what we do. We are all just too busy building,” Morgan emphasizes. When he’s not working on building his portfolio, he maintains his network by reaching out to colleagues on a daily basis and taking the time to share leads and ideas.
In addition to keeping his professional network in shape, Morgan also places a focus on building relationships with his tenants. “I’m always holding to my word. People know that when they close a deal with me, the relationship will continue. I want to help them grow their business, and sometimes that may mean expanding their building or connecting them with similar companies they may want to work with,” says Morgan. “To me, it’s important to keep those relationships not just because I want to make sure that they’re happy as a tenant but also in case there are growth opportunities.”
Morgan’s main focus is on the intersection of efficiency and creativity. He maintains a methodical professional outlook in structuring and negotiating deals, while still being the guy that personally delivers gift baskets to tenants during the holidays. At the end of the day, Morgan manages business without being prideful and without sacrificing his values. “There are a lot of great people that do what I do in this space,” he says. “At the end of the day, the fact that I can look back and feel proud of the portfolio and relationships I’ve built means I’ve done my job.”
Operating at the Intersection of Health and Business
Physical well-being isn’t just a priority in Jared Morgan’s personal life, but in his professional life as well: Every year, Morgan and his colleagues embark on a strenuous hike to the bottom of the Grand Canyon and back up in a day. “What had started out as just two people is now a much larger group that requires six months of disciplined planning and training. I’m always trying to figure out the next new experience where we do something together as a team,” Morgan explains, “and I can blend both work and adventure to create a stronger bond.”