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Alan Leventhal

Trustees name new chair, vice chair

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By Brian Fitzgerald

Alan Leventhal 2004 Photo by Vernon Doucette
  Alan Leventhal Photo by Vernon Doucette

Page 1 of 3 --On April 15, the BU Board of Trustees named real estate developer Alan Leventhal as its chair and investor Robert Knox (CAS’74, GSM’75) as vice chair.

In addition, former trustee David D’Alessandro, John Hancock chief executive officer, was reelected to the Board after resigning last year.

Submitting their resignations from the Board for health reasons were the former chairman, Christopher Barreca (DGE’50, LAW’53), and vice chairman, Dexter Dodge (SMG’56), who will officially step down from the Board at its fall meeting.

“Mr. Alan Leventhal has already been intensively involved in the future of the University as a Board member,” says BU President ad interim Aram Chobanian. “He brings tremendous leadership qualities to his new position. In addition, his administrative prowess in other fields has been substantial. He is a major figure in the Boston community, and I think that experience will serve us in good stead.”

Alan Leventhal, the chairman and CEO of Beacon Capital Partners, which he founded in 1998, has served as president and CEO of Beacon Properties, one of the largest real estate investment trusts in the United States. He joined its predecessor, the Beacon Companies, in 1976. He is also a trustee at Northwestern University, from which he received a bachelor of arts degree in economics.

Robert Knox Photo by BU Photo Services
Robert Knox Photo by BU Photo Services  

Alan Leventhal is a member of the board of overseers of the Amos Tuck School of Business Administration at Dartmouth College, where he earned an M.B.A., and is a member of the Dartmouth Real Estate Advisory Committee.

He is cochair of Boston 2004, the city’s host committee for the Democratic National Convention, and is a board member of the Pension Real Estate Association. He is also an overseer of the New England Aquarium and Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center. Alan Leventhal's mother, sister, daughter, and niece attended BU, and his father, Norman (Hon.’00), is an honorary degree recipient.

Knox, who earned both his bachelor’s degree and his M.B.A. at BU, has received a Distinguished Alumni Award for Service to Alma Mater. He is a senior managing director of Cornerstone Equity Investors, LLC, a private equity firm in New York that he co founded.

He is on the board of directors of Health Management Associates, Inc., a New York Stock Exchange company, and also sits on the boards of various private corporations. Knox and his wife, Jeanne, are active in charitable activities for juvenile diabetes.

“The opportunity to serve as vice chair is an honor,” says Knox. “I appreciate the vote of confidence from my Board colleagues. I have been involved with Boston University since I was a student in the College of Arts and Sciences, and I look forward to helping move the University to a new level.”

David D’Alessandro
  David D’Alessandro

D’Alessandro is chairman and CEO of John Hancock Financial Services, Inc. He was elected president and chief operating officer in 1998, and in that capacity was responsible for driving the company’s insurance and retail investment businesses as well as marketing, technology, financial, and personnel operations. He became CEO on June 1, 2000, gaining responsibility for the company’s extensive investment operations and institutional pension business, as well as overall corporate strategy. He became chairman on May 14, 2001. In 2001, Worth magazine named D’Alessandro one of its 50 Best CEOs and Money magazine one of the 4 Best New CEOs. He holds a bachelor of science degree in public relations and journalism from Syracuse University.

“We’re delighted that David D’Alessandro has agreed to come back on the Board,” says Leventhal. “He has been an important Board member, and his return is a very positive step.”

Alan Leventhal

The Next Tycoon

 

Alan Leventhal (L), chairman of Boston University's board of trustees

Alan Leventhal (L), chairman of Boston University's board of trustees

 

The scion of a family that helped build Boston sold his father's firm and started again from scratch. Now, just six years later, he's back on top.

By Greg O'Brien

The morning mist off Lake Winnipesaukee was rising gently toward the clear Wolfeboro, New Hampshire, sky as a select group of corporate executives gathered on the sweeping lakeside estate of Paul Montrone, chairman and CEO of Fisher Scientific International, a maker of test tubes and other scientific equipment. They had assembled with their spouses on this soon-to-be-sultry day in August of 1997 for Montrone's celebrated Wolfeboro Classic bocce tournament, an annual weekend gathering of the elite. Among those invited: real estate investment czar Sam Zell, founder and chairman of Chicago-based Equity Office Properties Trust and a man with a commercial appetite the size of a high-rise, and Alan Leventhal, son of the legendary Boston developer Norman Alan Leventhal and CEO of Beacon Properties, whose industry-leading returns on investments had turned more heads than a Manny Ramirez poke over the Green Monster.

The premise of the occasion may have been a genteel game of lawn bowling, but acquisition was in the pine-scented New England air. Dressed casually but with appropriate élan, Zell and Alan Leventhal played on opposing teams. And while Leventhal lost the match, it would be his last setback of the day. Over a light lunch, the talk turned swiftly to business, nudged along by Montrone, a former member of the board of Beacon Properties.

 Suddenly, Zell was floating the idea of a buyout. Alan Leventhal, drilled by his father to put the interests of their stockholders first, was interested. "Sam wanted to expand, and our portfolio matched him very well," Leventhal recalls. Zell continued his pitch for 20 minutes before Alan Leventhal stopped him short. "Sam, there are no social issues here," he assured him. "It's just a matter of price." After a few followup conversations, the corporate titans met again two months later for a dinner meeting at Leventhal's parents' waterfront condominium. Four days and $3.9 billion later, Alan Leventhal -- with characteristic stealth and speed -- struck a deal. It was the same stealth and speed he would apply six years later when he turned the tables on Zell. That was when Beacon Capital Partners, the new company Alan Leventhal started after selling off the old one, bought the prized John Hancock complex right out from under Zell's Equity Office -- by then Boston's leading landlord -- and other heavyweight suitors, including New York? based Tishman Speyer. Leventhal's winning bid for Boston's signature building: $910 million. There were no social issues here. It was just a matter of price. Continued...

Related: Alan Leventhal Blog | Beacon Capital Partners

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