SmartStop Asset Management LLC, a real estate company and alternative investment sponsor focused on student and senior housing, has hired real estate investment veteran Brad Watt as executive vice president.
In his new role, Watt will be responsible for managing the company’s Delaware statutory trust platform as well as working with the sponsor company on new product development.
Over the course of his career, Watt has participated in more than $4 billion in public and private real estate offerings, including more than $1 billion in 1031 exchange structures. Prior to joining SmartStop, he held leadership positions for some of the country’s largest non-traded REIT and DST sponsors.
Prior to joining SmartStop, he served as senior managing director at KB Exchange Trust and spent nearly four years at Behringer Net Lease Advisors as EVP and head of net lease investments. Before that, he served as co-president of Realty Capital Securities and EVP at American Realty Capital Exchange.
Watt holds a bachelor’s degree in business and finance from Grand Canyon University.
“Brad is a proven leader with an exceptional talent for promoting growth,” said H. Michael Schwartz, founder, chairman and chief executive officer of SmartStop. “He brings with him a wealth of experience, in public and private real estate offerings, and his expertise is a welcome addition to our leadership team.”
SmartStop Asset Management and its affiliates oversee a $2 billion portfolio and have transacted approximately $6 billion in real estate deals since 2007. The firm’s managed portfolio includes five student housing communities with approximately 2,800 beds, as well as four senior housing communities with approximately 680 beds.
SmartStop Asset Management is the sponsor of Strategic Student & Senior Housing Trust Inc., a non-traded REIT, and also sponsors Section 1031 exchange offerings using the Delaware statutory trust structure.
The company’s previous full-cycle REIT liquidity events include the all-cash merger of SmartStop Self Storage Inc. (f/k/a Strategic Storage Trust, Inc.) with Extra Space Storage in October 2015 for $13.75 per share and the all cash merger of Strategic Storage Growth Trust Inc. with Strategic Storage Trust II Inc. in January 2019 for $12.00 per share.
In June 2019, SAM entered into a series of transactions with SmartStop Self Storage REIT Inc. (f/k/a Strategic Storage Trust II Inc.) where SmartStop REIT acquired the self-storage advisory, asset management, property management and certain joint venture interests of SAM. SAM and its subsidiaries own limited partnership units in the operating partnership of SmartStop Self Storage REIT, a self-administered REIT that sponsors Strategic Storage Trust IV Inc. and other self-storage private programs through its wholly-owned affiliate.