DONALD D. SHEETS
Donald is Managing Director at Clarion Partners, LLC (“Clarion”), serves as Portfolio Manager of the Special Situations Debt Group (“SSDG”), and has nearly 20 years of leadership, property acquisition, asset management, capital formation, and restructuring experience across a variety of capital structures, asset types, and geographies. SSDG was created upon Clarion’s acquisition of AlumCreek Holdings LLC (“ACH”), a private equity platform that Donald established in 2014. SSDG’s mandate includes the acquisition of performing/sub-performing/nonperforming commercial real estate mortgage debt from a variety of entities including banks, special servicers, life insurance companies, government agencies, specialty lenders, and investment funds. The platform’s in-house team proactively underwrites, services, and resolves its investments.
Prior to founding ACH, Donald was Senior Principal with Square Mile Capital Management (“SMCM”). At SMCM, a $1.8 billion AUM private equity fund, Donald co-led the transaction team and identified, structured, and negotiated non-traditional commercial real estate investment opportunities. During his tenure with SMCM, Donald sourced, underwrote, and closed the acquisition of over 130 mid-balance commercial mortgages across several transactions aggregating approximately $2.1 billion in outstanding principal balance. Among other investments, Donald sourced, negotiated, executed, and managed the day-to-day strategic oversight of two complex portfolio transactions with the FDIC to acquire over 100 controlling interests in $1.3 billion of performing and non-performing mid-balance commercial mortgage debt formerly held by a failed U.S. banking institution. Donald co-led each of the two ventures and served as the primary interface to the FDIC and over 120 community and regional participant banks. Donald also sourced, negotiated, executed, and oversaw the day-to-day strategic management of a portfolio acquired from a money center bank that contained 23 mid-balance performing and non-performing commercial mortgages aggregating over $630 million in outstanding principal balance. Donald pioneered a proprietary financing mechanism that produced, for the first time since the RTC Era, a liquidating trust pass-through securitization secured primarily by performing and sub-performing commercial mortgage debt and led two of these capital markets transactions.
Prior to his role at SMCM, Donald initiated a special-situation commercial real estate investment platform and built a team at Davidson Kempner Capital Management (“DKCM”), a $20 billion AUM multi-strategy hedge fund. While at DKCM, Donald sourced, underwrote, and managed over $1.1 billion in profitable risk-based capital exposure across dozens of transactions. Prior to DKCM, Donald worked for The Carlyle Group, EastBanc, and Starwood Urban Investments.
Throughout his career, Donald has recruited, trained, and managed multiple teams of transaction and portfolio management professionals. He has sourced and directly managed over $3.6 billion in approximately 75 transactions including the acquisition of performing, sub-performing and non-performing commercial mortgage claims, distressed real estate-related debt, long/short public real estate equities, high-yield preferred real estate securities, mezzanine financing, and real estate enterprise liquidations. Donald has overseen all stages of the investment cycle including proprietary research, sourcing, execution, financing, asset management, and disposition with a profitable track record in the U.S., Canada, and Australia.
Donald was appointed in 2009 to the faculty of both Columbia University and New York University, where he developed and continues to teach the first graduate-level distressed real estate investing coursework within each university's curriculum. He serves on the Harvard Alumni Real Estate Board and has actively lectured at The Massachusetts Institute of Technology, The George Washington University, Georgetown University, and Harvard University.
Donald is a Board Member and Member of the Audit Committee of Educational Housing Services, which is New York’s largest student-housing provider. Donald has served on the Board of Governors of the Commercial Real Estate Finance Council (“CREFC”), is Co-Chair of the CREFC Education Committee, and previously served as Co-Chair of the CREFC High Yield and Distressed Realty Assets Forum.
Donald received a B.B.A. in Accounting and Real Estate Finance from The George Washington University magna cum laude and received an M.B.A. from Harvard Business School.