CEO Spotlight

CEO Spotlight: Pat Smith of WestPac Blazes a Trail of Success

Pat Smith
Pat Smith, CEO of WestPac Investments

Pat Smith has been the CEO of WestPac Investments, a leading real estate investment and management firm, for nearly 30 years. But who is Pat Smith, and what has the Pat Smith WestPac era meant for the company’s success? Here’s everything we know about the current CEO of WestPac.

Education & Early Career

Many of Pat Smith’s colleagues point to his background in architecture and real estate brokerage & securities as a strong factor in his real estate success—he knows what it means to build a development from the ground up, literally. That seems to have made him a more effective investor.

Smith received his contractor license at age 20 in 1974 and a B.S. in Architecture from California Polytechnic in 1976, but quickly discovered that his ambitions went beyond designing buildings— he wanted to develop a wide array of buildings and facilities not only from the design phase, but starting at the financing phase. He obtained his architectural certification in 1980 and his real estate license in 1982, followed by securities dealer designation in 1984.

Launch of Smith and Company

In 1984, Pat Smith made his first major move in the real estate industry when he launched Smith and Company, a real estate investment development corporation, and the corresponding brokerage firm, Avila Beach Realty. Over the course of his tenure at the helm of Smith and Company, Pat Smith was responsible for the development of over 5,000 multi-family housing units throughout the U.S. as well as offices, retail centers, and over 500,000 square feet of medical office space—not to mention countless housing developments.

Pat Smith: WestPac CEO

In 1998, Smith became CEO of WestPac, a real estate development and management firm based in California but with operations in California, Hawaii, Arizona, New Mexico, Colorado, and Michigan, with locations in Australia.

Between its independent projects and those acquired through partnerships with banks and private investors, WestPac is responsible for projects that span over 5,000 apartments, seven hotels, five communities for seniors, and a range of condos, office buildings, and single-family subdivisions.

The Pat Smith WestPac era represents nearly 25 years of success, with Smith responsible for projects worth over $7 billion. Meanwhile, Smith has been committed to increasing the environmentally conscious approach at WestPac, driving the company to focus on developing projects with LEED Certification.

WestPac features four associated companies— WestPac Communities, WestPac Development, WestPac Hospitality, and WestPac Investments. In recent years, the company most active in new developments has been WestPac Campus Communities.

WestPac Campus Communities

WestPac Campus Communities is a project under the WestPac umbrella that Pat Smith began in 2012. Its mission is to provide quality, affordable and market rate student housing beyond the commonly expected domain of poor quality housing for college students to offer better service, a greater range of amenities, reliable properties, and innovation— serving both students and investors.

So far, WestPac Campus Communities has been a success financially as well as in the communities that it serves, helping expand WestPac’s offerings and the Pat Smith WestPac reputation.

WestPac Campus Communities’ most recently sold asset was The Rocks, a nearly 400-bed student housing community at Michigan State University in East Lansing. It was 95% pre-leased in its first school year in operation.

Joint Venture with Related Companies

Another major project under the Pat Smith WestPac tenure has been the company’s joint venture with Related Companies, one of the top private real estate development firms in the U.S. In 2007, Smith paved the way for WestPac and Related to purchase Snowmass Base Village in Colorado from Intrawest and Aspen Skiing Company.

The venture came from WestPac’s already strong presence in the area’s West Village and Snowmass Center, including Snowmass Mall.

The official Pat Smith Westpac statement went as follows: “We aspire for Snowmass to become the leading multi-season mountain resort in the country.” This was in reference to the master plan for the three new sites to focus on skiing and offer a range of all-seasons activities to bring revenue to the area year-round.

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Anna Papadopoulos
Anna Papadopoulos is a senior money, wealth, and asset management reporter at CEOWORLD magazine, covering consumer issues, investing and financial communities + author of the CEOWORLD magazine newsletter, writing about money with an enthusiasm unknown to mankind. You can follow CEOWORLD magazine on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, or connect on LinkedIn for musings on money, wealth, asset management, millionaires, and billionaires. Email her at info@ceoworld.biz.