Essex's management team consists of dedicated professionals responsible for executing a focused investment strategy. The Company's senior executives have worked together at Essex for roughly 20 years.
Michael J. Schall
President & Chief Executive Officer
Mr. Schall, Director, is the President and Chief Executive Officer of the Company. He previously served as the Senior Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer for the Company from 2005 to 2010, during which years he was responsible for the strategic planning and management of the Company’s property operations, redevelopment and co-investment programs. From 1993 to 2005, Mr. Schall was the Company’s Chief Financial Officer, responsible for the organization’s financial and administrative matters. He joined The Marcus & Millichap Company in 1986. He was also the Chief Financial Officer of the Company’s predecessor, Essex Property Corporation. From 1982 to 1986, Mr. Schall was the Director of Finance for Churchill International, a technology-oriented venture capital company. From 1979 to 1982, Mr. Schall was employed in the audit department of Ernst & Young (then known as Ernst & Whinney), where he specialized in the real estate and financial services industries. Mr. Schall received a B.S. from the University of San Francisco. Mr. Schall currently serves as a member of the Board of Trustees of Pebblebrook Hotel Trust, Inc. Mr. Schall is a Certified Public Accountant (inactive) and is a member of NAREIT, the National Multi Housing Council, the AICPA, and the Board of Governors of NAREIT.
Executive Vice President & Chief Financial Officer
Ms. Kleiman oversees the Private Equity, Capital Markets, Economic Research, Accounting, Financial Planning, Internal Audit and Investor Relations departments. Ms. Kleiman was responsible for the overall transaction management for the acquisition of BRE Properties which successfully completed in April 2014. She joined Essex in 2009 to manage the Private Equity platform and grew the business from $750 million to $3 billion in gross assets. Prior to joining Essex, Ms. Kleiman's real estate career focused primarily on institutional investment management and investment banking. As a Senior Equity Analyst and Vice President of Investor Relations at Security Capital, she was responsible for over $2 billion of the firm's REIT investments and all client communications. As a Vice President with J.P. Morgan Real Estate & Lodging Investment Banking Group, she advised senior management and boards in strategic business platforms and capital markets transactions. Ms. Kleiman began her career in real estate development management in 1991. She holds a Bachelor of Science from Northwestern University, and a Master of Business Administration from the Kellogg School of Management. She is a member of NAREIT and NMHC.
Adam W. Berry
Co-Chief Investment Officer, Development
Mr. Berry is responsible for leading the Development department and overseeing dispositions at the Company. Mr. Berry joined Essex’s Acquisitions group in 2003, where he covered the LA, Ventura and Bay Area markets, leading over $1.4B of acquisitions, joint ventures and developments. Beginning in August 2012, Mr. Berry shifted over to the Asset Management group to oversee the Company’s redevelopment, capital, dispositions and overall asset management activities. He was also instrumental in the BRE merger, overseeing the valuation and due diligence phases of the transaction. Mr. Berry joined the Development team in 2017 to oversee land acquisitions along with continuing to manage the Company’s dispositions. Prior to joining Essex, Mr. Berry practiced law for two years as a corporate and securities attorney at Wilson, Sonisini, Goodrich and Rosati in Palo Alto. He received a Juris Doctor (J.D.) degree in law from University of Southern California in 2001 and a Bachelor of Science (B.S.) in Biology from University of California, San Diego in 1995.
Craig K. Zimmerman
Co-Chief Investment Officer/Executive Vice President, Acquisitions
Mr. Zimmerman is responsible for acquisition activities. He joined Essex's predecessor, Essex Property Corporation, in 1984 and was responsible for all West Coast multi-family acquisitions. Prior to joining Essex, Mr. Zimmerman was the Vice President of Acquisitions with Prometheus Development Company, a national real estate developer and a principal in Zimmerman Properties. From 1975 through 1978, Mr. Zimmerman worked as a real estate acquisitions specialist for American Equities Corporation. He received a Bachelor of Arts degree in Rhetoric from the University of California at Berkeley in 1974.
John F. Burkart
Senior Executive Vice President
Mr. Burkart is responsible for leading the Asset Management, Property Operations, IT and Business Intelligence departments. His responsibilities include overseeing overall Operations and Portfolio Management including the redevelopment program, resource management, due diligence, facilities, the condominium portfolio, dispositions, and the commercial division. During his tenure at Essex, Mr. Burkart lead the integration of the BRE and Essex merger and has had a variety of responsibilities including oversight over the Research Department, the Operations Portfolio in the Northern Division, the Private Equity business, debt financing and obtaining the corporate credit rating. Prior to joining Essex in 1996, Mr. Burkart was a real estate consultant for various companies including Essex during the period of the IPO. Mr. Burkart began his real estate career in property management at Pacific States Management where became the Vice President responsible for the management of a portfolio including office, multi-family and security storage assets as well as oversight of the accounting department. Mr. Burkart received a Bachelor of Science degree in Finance from San Jose State University in 1987 and a MBA degree in Real Estate from Golden Gate University in 1993.