Feature Story: Todd J. Meredith – Carrying on the legacy

Todd J. Meredith of Healthcare Realty is the 2022 HRE Executive of the Year

By John B. Mugford

Todd J. Meredith, the 2022 HRE Executive of the Year, was unable to accept his award in person March 1 because Healthcare Realty was reporting earnings that day. But he did share his thoughts with the audience through a video. (HREI photo)

Since its founding in 1992, Healthcare Realty Trust (NYSE: HR) has been viewed as one of the healthcare real estate (HRE) sector’s steadiest and most reliable investors.

Maybe the publicly traded real estate investment trust (REIT) wasn’t flashy. But the Nashville, Tenn.-based firm has been an active investor in the space, making prudent acquisition decisions and delivering 20 years of consistent returns for its investors.

But in 2022, after years of quietly residing in the middle of the pack among the top dozen or so healthcare REITs – it was the seventh largest last year at this time – HR suddenly broke out the pack, jumping to fourth place with a market capitalization of about $8.2 billion as of the end of January. Its swift move up the rankings is all the more impressive because HR is a pure play medical office building (MOB) REIT, while the only larger healthcare REITs invest in a broader spectrum of property types including senior housing, hospitals and life sciences as well as MOBs.

HR accomplished most of this thanks to one huge deal: an $11.1 billion merger with another pure play MOB REIT, Scottsdale, Ariz.-based Healthcare Trust of America, formerly a publicly traded, MOB-focused REIT as well. HTA, in fact, was the country’s largest owner of MOBs at the time of the merger, with a portfolio topping 24 million square feet of space.

The result of the transaction, which was first announced in February 2022 and closed by mid-year, is a newly reorganized REIT bearing the Healthcare Realty Trust name and owning a whopper of a portfolio that, at the time of the closing, made it the nation’s largest owner of MOBs.

Leading HR through the merger and reorganization process was its president and CEO for the past six years, Todd J. Meredith.

Because of his leadership during such a “transformational” year for one of the sector’s best-known, longstanding and well-regarded firms, Mr. Meredith has been named the 2022 HRE Executive of the Year.

Not a fluke

Although orchestrating what is believed to be the biggest single HRE deal ever was a major accomplishment, it was no fluke.

For example,

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